04/28/2019 at 5:44 pm #2874chris in redlandsParticipant
April 28 From the forsee Creek trailhead you can get to Johns Meadow and beyond snow free, with a few blowdown obstacles and a spot where a seasonal stream decided to make the trail the stream. Road in is in its usual dry, rutted summer conditions.
First patch of snow below jackstraw is at 8k ft. Above 8500 feet or so, long sections of trail that receive little or no sun have no broken trail, just slippery steps kicked into a mushy layer over hard old snow with high consequence drops below. Depending on your skill, may want ax and crampons. Some winter!
- This topic was modified 3 years ago by chris in redlands.
04/29/2019 at 9:08 pm #2879MikeHParticipant
Thanks for the info, Chris.
Thought I (and my dog) would take this trail and try to make it to Trail Fork Springs camp for an overnight this weekend. Weather looks like it will be nice.
I’ve never been on this trail before. I have crampons and an ice axe, although I’ve never walked in the crampons or used the ice axe before. Only used microspikes so far.
I have no problem turning around, but would rather choose another trail/ camp if conditions really aren’t favorable.
I could always camp at Jackstraw, but was hoping for a longer hike in. Even thought about summiting San Bernardino/ East (I’ve summited them before but not in the snow and from Limber Pine)
You seem to have quite a bit of experience. With your comments about no trail, I’m thinking it might be best to put this trail off for a bit (?).
I wouldn’t hold you to anything but wanted to get your thoughts? Even opinions on another trail/ campsite. I did Dry Lake a couple weeks ago and Limber Pine Bench permits are all taken. Read your report about Momyer, but the comment regarding all the fallen trees made me think to choose another trail (because of the dog).
Thanks for any information.
04/30/2019 at 6:41 am #2880chris in redlandsParticipant
A person with an ice ax and crampons, the knowledge to use them, and a general idea of the terrain and where the summer trail goes, I would image would be fine. I would not recommend doing it alone, just from a safety perspective. The dog is out of the question. You’ll be crossing or climbing many steep snow fields that are old hard snow where a dog’s paws could find no purchase. You’d have to turn back before jackstraw.
All of the north face trails are going to have snow and ice to contend with for some time still, at the moment, starting just above 8k ft. Your best bet for getting up high is definitely the momyer Creek trail taking it straight up instead of turning toward Alger Creek. There’s a steep face on the east side of Alger creek that is probably still holding a lot of snow. Vivian will be snowy still by halfway camp, I’d assume.
If you’re looking for a good snow free hike and a night on the mountain, you could go from forsee trailhead over to John Meadow then up to join the San Bernardino peak trail, dropping down to columbine camp. It’s only maybe a 12 mile round trip, but it would be doable with the dog. Not sure about snow at columbine, haven’t been there in a while, but it’s a beautiful spot after winters like this past one, with seasonal streams that most people never get to see.
04/30/2019 at 7:14 am #2881MikeHParticipant
Excellent info. I’ll put off Trail Fork for another day. Thanks!
Snow doesn’t bother me… even climbing up slopes is “ok”, but the traversing steep/ slippery slopes and falling to my death does. 😉
Dealing with that going to Limber Pine and a bit on the way to Dry Lake over the last month or so just wasn’t fun, although I had microspikes for the Dry Lake trip and it made a huge difference, especially coming back in the morning when the snow was frozen and crusted where they could get traction. I imagine crampons would be even better but would prefer to practice with them somewhere first. Probably take a class next season.
Oddly enough, the dog did better than I did. But, of course, no reason to take unnecessary risks.
I’ll take a look at the Columbine hike. If I got the itch for snow, we could wander up toward Limber Pine- or as close as I felt comfortable. I really like that flat area you walk through a mile or so before LP. That was about where we turned around last time.
Thanks again for all that information.
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