Current Conditions

April 18, 2011

395 Report (South)

395 Report (South)

Scouted Highway 395 between Olancha and Independence this past weekend. As has been the case the past few years, snow coverage varies greatly depending (I assume) on wind effect history. It appears generally true, once again, that high altitude north faces have been blasted clean. This is not universally the case, but given how much snow fell over the course of the season, if you're expecting Tyndall's north face to be blanketed with snow, for example, you'll be disappointed.

Some of the more wind-protected areas, however, look quite spectacular. Check out Williamson's Bairs Creek Cirque, for example—that looks about as good as it gets, with coverage going all the way down to about 7500', and the majority of the cirque above well filled-in. I can't help thinking the higher-altitude peaks are supposed to be white this time of year—but many are not. So, for south/eastern Sierra skiing, it's probably best to collect as much beta as you can about current coverage on your intended route—and a have a backup plan...

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About SierraDescents

When there is snow, SierraDescents is Andy Lewicky's California backcountry skiing and mountaineering website. Without snow, sierradescents becomes an ill-tempered hiking and climbing blog.

Pray for snow.