Split Mountain and the Big Pine skyline emerge from the clouds on November 1, 2014
Well mountain lovers, another summer has gone down in the books and autumn is in full gear. The High Sierra has just received its first fall storm, late enough where the short days, cool temps, and low sun angles will cause it to stick in high and shady places. For most people this marks the end of the high elevation hiking for the year, assuming we don’t experience another gut wrenching winter drought that blows and sublimates all the precious white stuff away.
But we won’t even go there.
Instead we will report some current totals around the Eastside of the range for settled snow on the ground:
- 1″ in Leavitt Meadows @7200′
- 6″ in Tuolumne Meadows @8600′
- 16″ at Ellery Lake @9645′
- 7″ at Gem Pass @10,750′
- 12″ on Mammoth Mountain @9300′
- 15″ at Mammoth Pass @9300′
- 2″ at South Lake @ 9600′
- 4″ at Bishop Pass @11,200′
- 6″ at Charlotte Lake @10,2400′
So the Eastside was christened with a dusting to over a foot of fresh snow down to around 7000′. Believe it or not some brave and stoked friends have taken their backcountry gear to the hills and made some turns in places with more snow and less ground cover such as pumice slopes in the Mammoth Lakes Basin and the slopes of Mammoth Mountain pre-opening day (which is set for November 13th).
This is still the best time to enjoy recreating in the desert and mountain terrain below 8000′. The rock climbing season in the Owens Valley and in lower mountain venues like Pine Creek, Rock Creek, Clark’s Canyon, Benton Crags, Granite Basin, and Whitney Portal and others it does not get more perfect than it is right now. Some will continue to venture into the high mountains to enjoy stunning beauty and solitude, but in hopeful anticipation that we will very soon be venturing there on backcountry skis and snowboards this will be our last Alpine Conditions Report for the year. Around the next noteworthy weather event (forecast for not until at least the next 3 weeks by the long range fantasy charts), we will switch over to our Backcountry Snow Report on this blog.
Until then, enjoy the season and look us up if you are on the Eastside. Most of our winter programs are scheduled and up on the site and our crew of AMGA trained and certified guides are standing by. Take an avalanche course, ski the backcountry, learn the art of ice climbing, or rock climb in the Owens River Gorge. So much to do, in all conditions.
Hope to see you soon! ~ Howie