02/14/2020 at 7:27 am #3763
Haven’t decided if I want to go up via Vivian Creek (quicker, but more popular/ crowded) or via Fish Creek- maybe spend the night at Fish Creek Saddle and summit in the AM.
I watched a video of the trail from Vivian Creek and there is still quite a bit of snow, but looks doable- lots of tracks etc.
Haven’t seen anything about the Sky High Trail. Assuming no more new snow, does the snow melt on that side of the mountain quicker/ slower than the other side? Anyone been on the Sky High Trail lately?
02/14/2020 at 1:36 pm #3764BrittanyParticipant
Nope, have heard or seen anything on the sky high trail, thanks for the blurb on Vivian. BF and I are thinking about doing super early AM hike up Vivian (2am)! Actually getting my gear list together now. Where did you see the recent video??
02/14/2020 at 7:39 pm #3765stbrnnrParticipant
Hey Mike–I’ve not been in SGW yet this winter (surgeries, hopefully soon!) but:
historically speaking, Sky High approaching and into the switchbacks on the E-NE side of San G is among the last areas to melt out and return to a non-mountaineering zone in the range. Whereas Vivian is primarily S-SW aspect and gets alot of sun, those Sky High switchbacks stay shaded into mid- spring, thus usually icy-dicy all day.
Following 2019’s big Feb snow events some (strong!) pathmakers smartly bypassed these switchbacks by breaking trail up and over the adjoining ridge. Study the topo and note the steepness of the drops in this area.
My vote for safely summiting SG in Feb remains Vivian (or Momyer/Falls Creek if you’re into some mega-mileage!); via SF/Dollar a more distant second but only with mountaineering training/gear under belt and onhand. Not trying to be alarmist but a hiker died last winter on the Dollar trail…so whatever the route, do take supreme care this time of year. Looking forward to your upcoming TR!
02/15/2020 at 8:23 pm #3767
Brittany- check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAPAsvjx3yw
Jarl (the guy in the video) seems to know these mountains really well.
Steve- Thanks! That was exactly what I was hoping to learn. I knew some faces tended to melt faster than others. I really have no desire to break trail or traverse a questionable slope.
I’m glad you mentioned the issues with the Dollar Lake trail. That was another option I thought of. I’ve camped at Dry Lake View before and it was a nice short hike to the summit in the morning. Of course that was in the summer. 🙂
Might try to get a weekday off and go up Vivian… maybe two days and spend the night at High Creek or something.
02/16/2020 at 6:41 am #3768
FWIW- The forum shows there was a reply from Ranger Lon to this thread, but I don’t see it.
02/17/2020 at 8:49 am #3769BrittanyParticipant
Mike- Thank you! That is a stunning video you found!!
I too saw the ” reply” from ranger Lon- weird
02/17/2020 at 1:22 pm #3766Ranger LonParticipant
I would reiterate what stbrnnr said about Sky High – with the North/East exposure it will take the longest to clear of icy conditions. You should also be aware of the recent rescue from that trail – see the Nixle report at this link: http://nixle.us/BLK4Q
Short synopsis is a fully equipped and experience hiker went up there with crampons and ice axe and in spite of the gear he slid on the ice. Luckily he know how to use the axe and arrested his slide, but injured himself in the process and had to call for rescue on the PLB he was carrying. Extra tip, if you activate a PLB you probably should not go wandering away from the spot – the helicopter went to his location and he tried walking out, but thy were able to see his tracks and found him at Dry Lake.
Also, you mentioned Fish Creek – are you aware that the road into that trailhead is under winter closure until early May? Are you planning to walk in from highway 38? If so, best of luck! Personally I’d recommend the South Fork trail instead. You can get to Fish Creek Saddle above the Dry Lake area if you wish, but South Fork is more accessible right now.
The guy that went into Vivian Creek on the 8th posted his You Tube video on the So Cal Hikers Facebook group. Try going to this link and find his video: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC34MVsreWXxyh3seQRsuKCg/videos or search You Tube for “Norwegian Xplorer” to find his videos. He shows the ice on the road leading into where you would normally park and great coverage of the trail conditions all the way to the summit. Looks really gnarly above High Creek but there was at least one spot up there that was completely clear of ice and snow (probably not far enough to take off the crampons, though.)
Hope that helps!
Any other questions, call us at Mill Creek.
02/17/2020 at 1:30 pm #3772Ranger LonParticipant
That was odd. Not sure why, but I had to go in as admin and approve my post to get it to show up. Probably because I tried to include links??? At least it is there now.
02/18/2020 at 6:59 am #3773
There’s the reply we were all looking for!
Thanks Ranger Lon. I did not know about the road closure… and, if no one told me about it when getting my permit (assuming I went for an overnight), I probably would have driven all the way up there only to find it closed.
*mental note*- drop a few bucks in the jar at the ranger station next trip. 🙂
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.