High Sierra Snow Conditions shot from Top of Mt Watkins

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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Original Post - May 6, 2010 - 08:18am PT
Climbed Mt. Watkins two days ago. Working on a trip report. But in the mean time thought I would post some photos of the High Sierra snow pack. In a word: DEEP!

Looking across at Half Dome. Snake Dike climbers take NOTE: lots of sn...
Looking across at Half Dome. Snake Dike climbers take NOTE: lots of snow on the Northeast Shoulder of Half Dome still.
Credit: Chris McNamara

Half Dome in early May, 2010.
Half Dome in early May, 2010.
Credit: Chris McNamara

Mt. Conness in the upper left corner. Snow conditions on May 4, 2010
Mt. Conness in the upper left corner. Snow conditions on May 4, 2010
Credit: Chris McNamara

Looking from the top of Mt Watkins across to Mt Starr King. May 4, 201...
Looking from the top of Mt Watkins across to Mt Starr King. May 4, 2010
Credit: Chris McNamara

Tommy Caldwell starts the descent from Mt. Watkins. Oops, forgot the s...
Tommy Caldwell starts the descent from Mt. Watkins. Oops, forgot the snow shoes.
Credit: Chris McNamara

Looking at Medlicott Dome in Tuolumne Meadows from the summit of Mt Wa...
Looking at Medlicott Dome in Tuolumne Meadows from the summit of Mt Watkins. May 4, 2010.
Credit: Chris McNamara

Bear prints near Snow Creek (a mile West of summit of Mt Watkins&#...
Bear prints near Snow Creek (a mile West of summit of Mt Watkins). I think it was headed to Manure Pile Buttress - http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1159715
Credit: Chris McNamara

Tommy Caldwell post holing on the descent from Mt. Watkins. May 2010
Tommy Caldwell post holing on the descent from Mt. Watkins. May 2010
Credit: Chris McNamara
eKat

Trad climber
BITD2
May 6, 2010 - 08:22am PT
Well. . . . YAY!

GoCMacGO!

:-)

eKat
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
May 6, 2010 - 08:23am PT
Wow!
That is really beautiful Chris.

Was that wide crack near the top wet inside?

Did you post hole deep in places?

Wet legs?

A couple spots we thrashed through on the descent certainly would have gotten us soaked in those conditions!
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
May 6, 2010 - 08:24am PT
kewl, thx







Ed H., looks like your scrambling trip may take a while.
Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
May 6, 2010 - 08:42am PT
Looks like you'd need an ice axe to get down from Snake Dike.

Thanks, Chris!
Pate

Trad climber
May 6, 2010 - 08:42am PT
Beautiful shots Chris, thanks. That's "posthole light" you guys are doing, with "posthole medium" at knee deep, "stout" at thigh deep and "hell" at waist to chest!
rockermike

Trad climber
Berkeley
May 6, 2010 - 08:43am PT
good news; I was thinking of doing a late May trans-Sierra ski trip. lol
cleo

Social climber
Berkeley, CA
May 6, 2010 - 09:31am PT
Did you stay at Snow-Creek hut?

Mike, have we been emailing? My x-sierra crew is "fair-weather" - they'd rather delay for sun and corn as opposed to wind, cold, hard snow.

-V
NotIt

Trad climber
Malaga Cove
May 6, 2010 - 09:46am PT
Is said X-S trip going nordic or alpine?

I would love to get on board with one this season and likewise can't round anyone up. This late season snowpack is making everyone indecisive. Waiting for corn season this year may mean waiting out the season entirely, apart from Shasta.

Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - May 6, 2010 - 10:00am PT
Here is a link to the trip report of Mt. Watkins, South Face

http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Mt-Watkins-near-onsite-free-by-Tommy-Caldwell/t10627n.html
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - May 6, 2010 - 10:01am PT
didn't find the snow creek hut but we wanted to... anyone have the GPS coordinates for it?
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
May 6, 2010 - 10:07am PT
Thanks for the Pics. Hopefully someone will post some comparison shots in a week or two.
bmacd

Trad climber
Beautiful, BC
May 6, 2010 - 10:31am PT
Looking forward to the TR Chris. What pack is Tommy wearing ?
rockermike

Trad climber
Berkeley
May 6, 2010 - 05:04pm PT
Hey Cleo, If you are Val, yep, that's me. small world.

Seems things in my schedule have changed and I couldn't have made it until later anyway. Second half of May may work better for me.

NotIt; For myself, I'll be on downhill oriented tele gear with fish scales, plus (of course) skins.
QITNL

climber
May 6, 2010 - 11:22pm PT
Excellent stuff. I'm cross-posting this to the Yosemite Forum and giving it a bump.
cleo

Social climber
Berkeley, CA
May 6, 2010 - 11:43pm PT
Chris -

Le Snow Creek Hut is marked on the USGS Quad (as "Ranger Cabin"). I could probably dig out coordinates too, but the best way to find it is to follow those trail markers (from the big meadow). Tired now, but it I think of it tomorrow, I'll post more...
T H

climber
. . . not !
May 7, 2010 - 12:04am PT
Apart from what we already knew (alot of snow) , these are unique photos from a rarely seen vantage point .
gonzo chemist

climber
Crane Jackson's Fountain St. Theater
May 7, 2010 - 12:14am PT
looks like a dusting to me...


QITNL

climber
May 7, 2010 - 12:24am PT
may look like a dusting, but the dustings have blown. this is good slushy, rich full-season stuff. the skeeters are gonna bite and the streams are gonna flow. jump on the early alpine. stoke.
T H

climber
. . . not !
May 9, 2010 - 12:53am PT
Top of Yasoo . . (nice !)
flakyfoont

Trad climber
carsoncity nv
May 9, 2010 - 01:06am PT
god i hate post holing.looked worth it though.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
May 9, 2010 - 01:18am PT
hey there say, chris... man oh man.... three in a row, and this topped off my night... yep, sure was my night...

sawtooth ridge
dolomites...

and: yosemite...
and these great shots FROM mt watkins, to now learn more of,
the back???? of half dome... very nice, read the title under
the pic, just now... understand better, thanks...

edit:
*----okay... got it now,
THIS IS HALF DOME, then, yes, i am learning more of this view...
i really love it.. thanks chris...

WELLLLLLL whatever... i am veryyyyyyyy happy!!!
:)


will check out your link, chris...
to veiw... as i sign off for the night...



wonderful!!
also saw a nice socialclimber shine-shot, too...

all for now, all, got to run...
grandkids in the morning, as they spent the night here...

god bless all...
:)
Flanders!

Trad climber
June Lake, CA
May 9, 2010 - 09:01pm PT
South side of Mount Watkins on March 9, 2010. Allot of snow !
South side of Mount Watkins on March 9, 2010. Allot of snow !
Credit: Flanders!


Doug
msiddens

Trad climber
Mountain View
May 13, 2010 - 11:13am PT
awesome stuff Chris....always wanted to do this one
Fletcher

Trad climber
not very much, recently.
May 13, 2010 - 11:24am PT
Refreshing photos! Thanks!

"Post hole stout" and up can be indicated when you start to cry after thrashing a while. Extra points for hollow spots under hidden fallen tree trunks. 50 to 60 lb. pack plus your own on board baggage (fat) will help contribute to this condition.

Everyone should post hole at least once... Then you will appreciate how good you've got it the rest of the time!

Eric
TripL7

Trad climber
san diego
May 13, 2010 - 11:36am PT
Thanks for the heads-up!

EDIT: Just read the TR on Mt. Watkins.

Absolutely stunning...way to go.

And thanks much!!
Fuzzywuzzy

climber
suspendedhappynation
May 19, 2010 - 07:54pm PT
Beautiful shot of Cloudsrest Doug!!!
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jun 5, 2010 - 11:42pm PT
It looked to me a month ago when I flew over both the Sierras and the Rockies, that there was actually a lot more snow in the Sierras this year.
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