On Saturday 03/26/2108 the Big Falls Parking Lot is clear and dry. The Vivian Creek Trail has no snow until Halfway Camp which has snow patches. After Halfway Camp the trail becomes icy and dangerous in the “shady switchback areas” before High Creek Camp. Microspikes work well but there is a lot of areas with no snow on the trail. At High Creek Camp and beyond is completely cover with snow which has a icy hard crust and makes it difficult to travel.
The last storm had a lot of rain and the cold night temps have created icy condition until we start getting warming temps this week.
Hiked vivian on 3/25 and can add a little more flavor. At least early in the day while the ice is still firm, you want (need) an ice axe above high creek and preferably crampons. I went up in microspikes and stopped a few hundred vertical feet before the summit (on the exposed traverse) because of ice and effort needed to carve out steps in the crust (approx 10 am). Maybe the crampons in my pack would have done the trick but didn’t want to try to change out on the slick slope. Coming down from the high creek ridge i slipped twice in the microspikes and needed the ice axe. Would not go up there without one until the ice passes.
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