06/17/2019 at 9:07 pm #2987ptyxParticipant
Did a 3 days loop from South Fork to Forsee Creek this week end, here are the trail conditions:
South Fork to Dry Lake: clear, plenty of water – the alternate route is still there.
Dry Lake to Fish Creek Saddle: no snow, last water before High Meadow Spring is Lodgepole Spring – it’s a good idea to fill up.
Fish Creek Saddle to Mine Shaft Saddle: clear, a couple trees on the trail but easy to go around. Dry.
Mine Shaft Saddle to San Gorgonio summit via Sky High Trail: not clear at all – lots of snow. The Sky High Trail switchbacks are almost completely covered. Based on the (few) tracks everyone does their own path depending if they like rolling rocks or snow better. Spikes and poles (with baskets) highly recommended. Ice axe for mental comfort. This is a grueling ascent. After the switchbacks, Sky High Trail gets pretty exposed – still fully covered in snow. Dry despite all the snow.
San Gorgonio Summit to High Meadow Springs: nice and easy. Some snow, but mostly flat sections. Gets mushy in the afternoon. Spikes and poles might help, but you can probably do without. No water until High Meadow Spring although you could probably filter some of the snow melt on the trail if you’re patient and very thirsty.
High Meadow Spring to Anderson Flat: lots of snow. It’s on and off until Shield flats, and then almost completely covered. There is a very sketchy section going around Shields Peak – the ice axe earned its spot on the pack there. Spikes and poles with baskets really recommended. It might get better in the afternoon but it was quite icy in the morning.
Our plan was originally to continue from Anderson Flat to San Bernardino / John’s Meadow, but we bailed via Forsee Creek after spending way too much time negotiating High Meadow to Anderson.
Anderson Flat to Forsee Creek: mostly clear. A few snow patches here and there at the beginning, easily avoided or flat enough they won’t slow you down much. Easy water at Tail Fork Springs. Then a very nice hike down to the parking lot.
A fun week end – but unless you know what you’re doing (obviously we didn’t…) I’d recommend sticking to Falls Creek or Dollar Lake trails until it melts some more.
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