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Re: Hiking in snow?

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Hiking in snow?
May 14, 2015 01:14AM
Hey Folks,

While this isn't Yosemite related, I was hoping to get your help on hiking in snow (Rae Lakes/Glen Pass). According to the NPS, the north face of Glen Pass still has a few feet of snow and is doable via postholing. Now considering the trail isn't visible and that I've never hiked in snow before, would be safe to step IN or around previously traveled areas/postholes to make life easier?

Thanks!
Kevin
avatar Re: Hiking in snow?
May 14, 2015 06:39AM
Quote
KevinD
Hey Folks,

While this isn't Yosemite related, I was hoping to get your help on hiking in snow (Rae Lakes/Glen Pass). According to the NPS, the north face of Glen Pass still has a few feet of snow and is doable via postholing. Now considering the trail isn't visible and that I've never hiked in snow before, would be safe to step IN or around previously traveled areas/postholes to make life easier?

Thanks!
Kevin
If the snow has crusted up, as it tends to do in the Sierra, you will find that stepping in old postholes won't work. Imagine they are set concrete. Step on the area between them.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Hiking in snow?
May 14, 2015 07:31AM
It's not a simple answer. And there is a lot that is inferred from what you wrote
about what nps said. What I would get out of what nps said is that it's not enough
snow and danger that you probably won't need an ice axe and you probably
can simple post hole up the NORTH side of the pass... and the SOUTH side
is probably free of snow. Post holing gives you a lot of stability... so that is
why you MAY want to create your own. BUT it depends on how deep the old
postholes are... what the current state of the snow is... and IF you can posthole...
and IF when you posthole do you have a crust layer on top that is ripping
your legs on the penetration.
SOOOO... all that being said... in a normal year... typically you may not
posthole at all or very little and simply walk on top of the snow... but since
we've had such a goofy year... you may end up postholing quite a bit...
This can be VERY tiresome... but doable as nps said.

As for seeing/following the trail probably others have been thru and hopefully
followed the trail and it should be obvious... even with that much snow
there more than likely will be a depression where it settles and melts a bit more.
Unfortunately it can also hold there where it is gone everywhere else...

If it was a LOT of snow ... then an ice axe is in order.
Sorry, but I have only been up the pass once... it was october and it had
just snowed...
here's the trail from the pass looking east on the north side:


and the other side:


I would take solice in that the south side it sounds like is free of snow and start up from Rae
and just see how you are doing... if you are not comfortable.. then just hike back down and go back
out Woods.

Hope this helps.

Have fun and be safe



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Hiking in snow?
May 14, 2015 10:21AM
avatar Re: Hiking in snow?
May 14, 2015 11:02AM
Quote
Sierra Miguel
Glen Pass photo

The photos uploaded by that backpacker of Glenn Pass shows a lot of snow as of May 10th.

This is what he/she wrote on his/her trip report posted on that website (High Sierra Topix) about Glenn Pass:
“The third day we climbed Glen Pass. We used crampons and ice axes, but three other guys crossed it with just trekking poles (I would advise bringing an ice axe at least)”

.
Re: Hiking in snow?
May 14, 2015 11:15AM
Shot will probably rent crampons. might consider an ice axe . Trekking poles might Not work
Re: Hiking in snow?
May 14, 2015 08:25PM
Did a little more research and talked to a few folks from the High Sierra site. Hoping the conditions improved over the next week (forecast doesn't look too good). Will definitely be getting some ice axes and practicing. I feel a little bit better knowing the south side doesnt have snow as I will be doing the trail ccw. Descending the north side though....hmmmm
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