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crazy_t

Washington Pass conditions?

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Has anyone been up to Washington Pass this week? I'm wondering about the approaches, route conditions, recommendations. My guess is that it's pretty dry? Thanks in advance.

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Maybe I'm in a bad mood, but I get tired of lurkers always asking for conditions, but never posting conditions when they go out. That's why people write trip reports.

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Prove me wrong by posting a trip report when you get back. There is a great weather forecast for this weekend. Go for it.

Edited by catbirdseat

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Thanks for the encouragement CB. Still hoping to hear from anyone who was up there last weekend or yesterday. Thanks!

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Anybody have an idea of what its like in the Liberty Bell Group? Much snow on the approach to the backside and in the gullies?

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OK, since no one has answered the original question, let me give it a try cantfocus.gif but this beta is almost two weeks old and may be outdated:

 

As of May 7, the Blue Lake trail was intermittent snow and dirt up to where the LB group turnoff is. From there on up it was deep, posthole hell type of snow. That continues all the way up to the ridge where the S. Arete route on SEWS starts. The gully up to the LB-CT col was dry on its lower half and had snow on the upper half, but step-kicking was pretty easy and the postholing not too bad. We were doing the Beckey Route and it was in great shape. Just like summer. The other routes that we could see with southern exposure looked the same.

 

Edit for PS: There was significant snow going down to the rap anchor. Quite a ski if you are wearing rock shoes tongue.gif The rap route itself was dry.

Edited by Maestro

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According to the National Weather Service website, the freezing level at the pass has been in the 5,000 to 6,000 foot range this week. They have received a significant amount of precipitation. Bring your big snowshoes.

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Any new news on conditions? I'm thinking about going this weekend, but don't want to spend the weekend postholing, I just want to climb some rocks...

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Lets see, tons of new snow and 90 degree temps and sunny. I wonder if any of the posthole records will be smashed. The old record of 7.2' with snowshoes on is in danger.

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Lets see, tons of new snow and 90 degree temps and sunny. I wonder if any of the posthole records will be smashed. The old record of 7.2' with snowshoes on is in danger.

yellaf.gifyellaf.gifyellaf.gifyellaf.gif Totally!!!!!!!

I call it uber alpine hyper-stumble-wallowing pitty.gif

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JJA ropegunned my sorry ass up the the SW Buttress of S Early Winter Spire last Sunday. No snow to speak of until after you get above the slabs on the climbers boot track, miserable soft snow conditions from there to the foot of the SW Gully. We brought snowshoes because we had been warned of this and thus avoided the miserable postholing. fruit.gif

 

Very little snow on route- some at the base of the 5.8 pitch, some on the ledge before the 4th pitch. S Arete has snow in some places, but it's easily avoided.

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Most of the postholing on the way up can be avoided by hiking up to Concord tower first, then heading over. It is not the most direct way, but saves the hassle of postholing all the way up. The last 2-300 yards or so is all the snow travel required...

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JJA ropegunned my sorry ass up the the SW Buttress of S Early Winter Spire last Sunday. No snow to speak of until after you get above the slabs on the climbers boot track, miserable soft snow conditions from there to the foot of the SW Gully. We brought snowshoes because we had been warned of this and thus avoided the miserable postholing. fruit.gif

 

Very little snow on route- some at the base of the 5.8 pitch, some on the ledge before the 4th pitch. S Arete has snow in some places, but it's easily avoided.

 

 

Don't even go to the SW gulley. Head directly to a prominent twin-topped larch 4427HPIM0302-med.JPG and go left from there along obvous third class to a belay spot below the two dead snags and the offwidth crack. The first pitch is probably 5.6 or so and protects easily. It's a much more direct and logical start than to go up the gulley to above the giant chockstone and to downclimb left to the base of Pitch 2.

 

Billygoat was refering to the TR I posted from last week. It's reasonable to be able to extrapolate future conditions based upon snow levels a week ago, and our current weather.

 

I'd advise against snowshoes. IMO they are not worth lugging up the trail merely to avoid a couple hundred yards of knee-deep snow.

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Billygoat was refering to the TR I posted from last week.

Uh, ya. It was my very lame attempt at psuedo-humor. I am much more funny looking than funny reading.

It's reasonable to be able to extrapolate future conditions based upon snow levels a week ago, and our current weather.

I'm no meteorologist, but that does seem to work.

 

I do appreciate you posting your TR--it is helpful. I am looking forward to this weekend, and I am greatful that I can avoid the crummy stuff you mentioned. Thanx.

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JJA ropegunned my sorry ass up the the SW Buttress of S Early Winter Spire last Sunday. No snow to speak of until after you get above the slabs on the climbers boot track, miserable soft snow conditions from there to the foot of the SW Gully. We brought snowshoes because we had been warned of this and thus avoided the miserable postholing. fruit.gif

 

Very little snow on route- some at the base of the 5.8 pitch, some on the ledge before the 4th pitch. S Arete has snow in some places, but it's easily avoided.

 

Fred, were you the two guys who passed me by my belay above the chockstone pitch on the South Arete and then rapped down? You guys got out of there just in time. We ended up going down in a nasty thunderstorm probably about the time you hit the woods.

 

We didn't have snowshoes, but the postholing didn't seem that bad to me. Not as bad as great scott basin on das toof a couple weeks ago.

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Are any of you guys a part of the the group of three that we ran into on Sat evening? You were going up to bivy, and climb for the day Sunday.

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Yeah- I was the second one down- bonking pretty damn hard by the time I got to your belay. cry.gif

 

We did time it right- we got back to our packs as the tumder started and were mostly down in the trees by the time the real fireworks started. I felt really bad for the party I saw on on the SW Buttress right below the bear hug pitch when it started sleeting.

 

Of coure, John was smart (and fitter) and made it back to the car before it really started raining. Me, soaking wet 1/2 later. wave.gif

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