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  1. #4201
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Truckee, CA
    Posts
    4,384
    Quote Originally Posted by B.Gillis View Post
    The first gate into the canyon off of 89 is open but the second gate is still closed. I just parked right over the river/bridge at the second gate and biked in from there. I stopped at the first sign of snow patches and started to boot pack for a little bit before switching to skinning. Realistically if I just walked the bike over those first few snow patches I could have biked for another half mile or so before skinning. I skinned up to the flattish plateau area at the base of the chutes and then just followed the cliff section from east to west until I found a dry opening and boot packed up over some loose rock and vegetation.
    nice.

    i usually enter from the plateau/bowl at the bottom of the chutes when there is less snow and you can drive all the way to the top of Barker Pass...much quicker than hiking the Ellis Peak Trail all the way to the ridge.

    did you hit this today or yesterday?
    "Man, we killin' elephants in the back yard..."

    http://www.blizzardsportusa.com/

  2. #4202
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Flatstar
    Posts
    109
    I hit this yesterday, the snow is definitely melting fast. I have no idea how the forest service judges which roads can be opened or not but they still have a snow line starting around 7200 depending on the aspect of the road. Once all that melts there are still a bunch of trees and other debris they'll need to remove before opening the gate.

    Just for reference .. Red is where I stopped biking, blue is where I could've biked too had I walked the bike past the first few snow patches. Snow on the road get's patchy after the blue spot but becomes a solid pack once you get up towards the next switchback.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #4203
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Truckee, CA
    Posts
    4,384
    ^sweet.
    danke gracias for the beta.

    In other news, heard that the Rose Chutes are still skiing nicely, as long as you hit them early morning.
    "Man, we killin' elephants in the back yard..."

    http://www.blizzardsportusa.com/

  4. #4204
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    SF & the Ho
    Posts
    2,815
    Great beta. Thx!

  5. #4205
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Reno
    Posts
    114
    Quote Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
    In other news, heard that the Rose Chutes are still skiing nicely, as long as you hit them early morning.
    Let's get 'em next weekend if you're in town.

    Did Yellowjacket laps this Saturday and last at Rose. Coverage was primo top to bottom last Saturday, but close to burnt out at the top today.

    Dropped in at 9am both days, snow was creamy. Looking up Yellowjacket today:



    Beehive looks like it still has coverage top to bottom and could hold for another several days.
    Last edited by thudder; 06-24-2017 at 07:30 PM.

  6. #4206
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    a poop plant
    Posts
    2,453
    Guess I'll answer my own questions.

    Forestdale is open. Blue lakes is open. Don't know how far as I didn't go too far up either.

    Snow was good on Roundtop. Getting small cups, but not bad. Can still skin from about Frog, but doesn't look like for long. Saw a guy who did to crescent. Said it was marginal in there.

  7. #4207
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    2,388
    Anybody gonna see sambada today?

    Per wednesday reporting in the Nevada county peeps FB page, which is only sometimes useful/accurate, you can drive to Jackson meadows. Hennessy (sp?) pass road is not drivable all the way through. There's still snow blocking meadow lake road and others in the area at that elevation with northern aspects. I assume people have seen that access to bowman lake and that general area should not be from highway 20 due to a damage on bowman lake road at the canyon creek crossing.

    Anybody have info on the elevation of the skeeter hatch. Heard serene lake was all good. We were at feeley lake yesterday and have more skeeters at 2600ft than we found up there.

  8. #4208
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    sutro tower
    Posts
    261
    Quote Originally Posted by GiBo View Post
    Guess I'll answer my own questions.

    Forestdale is open. Blue lakes is open. Don't know how far as I didn't go too far up either.

    Snow was good on Roundtop. Getting small cups, but not bad. Can still skin from about Frog, but doesn't look like for long. Saw a guy who did to crescent. Said it was marginal in there.

    Alpine County website updated again, blue lakes road open to faith Valley but not all the way to deadwood peak:

    http://www.alpinecountyca.gov/index.aspx?NID=176

    If anybody ends up in the cirque or kirkwood crest please snap a shot of the deadwood bowl!

  9. #4209
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    3,891
    Anyone lose a shovel? I found one near carson pass.


  10. #4210
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Truckee, CA
    Posts
    4,384
    just got back from Castle Peak.
    took me roughly 6 hours round trip.
    I started hiking around 7 am.
    i lost close to 40-minutes trying to locate a river crossing and probably another 30-40 mins boulder and bushwhacking (the bushes whacked me good).
    i was aiming for the 4 SE facing strips that you see when driving westbound on 80.
    my plan was to ski the two furthermost strips (the ones far looker's right).
    when i finally got to the bottom of the snow, somewhere just after 1`1am, to my surprise, there was a couple there, ready to skin up. i hollered and waved at them and asked if they had already skied the furtherest right strip. the dude of the couple answered, "No, it looks pretty rotten" (plus I had seen that there was a waterfall running underneath it), then he turned away and they proceeded to skin up without another word or glance my way.
    i dry hiked the ridge next to them and got to the top roughly at the same time as they did. as they began heading to the furthest looker's right strip I remarked, "Seems like we had the same idea". The woman of the couple completely ignored me and the dude just said "Looks like it." Due to their incredibly stand-offish nature, I opted to ski the strip they had just skinned up, thinking that they would probably hit the one they were headed to and then come over to the one I was about to ski, given the lateness of the day and the increasing heat.
    I banged out 2 laps and they never showed up, which led me to believe that they summited and probably hit the N facing backside (Coon Canyon).
    on my hike out i ended up inadvertanly following their trail part-way (thought their footprints in the snow were mine, until they separted into two distinct paths) and it became obvious that they had entered from either the PCT area over by Boreal or the westbound rest stop on 80 (I, on the other hand, entererd from Castle Peak road proper).
    i was kinda bummed that they weren't at all talkative--I didn't want to ski with them or have apres drinks with them-- i really just would have appreciated swapping some beta with them in regards to approaches.
    gonna have to give them a fail/zero on the patch-skiing camaraderie scale.

    that said, the snow I got was good snow, and I didn't schuss my first run until a bit after 11am. No sun-cups, just smooth soft-serve.

    Andesite is kinda burnt, as are the strips just under the ramparts on the SW facing aspects of Castle Peak. Imagine the backside (Coon Canyon) might still be good.

    In regards to the approach, if you come in from Castle Peak turn-off, you're gonna have to go to the second meadow and the first one has no easy crossing (unless you want to wade through knee deep water or brought a pair of waders). Second meadow still has a thick snow bridge and then you can more or less stumble your way onto the Donner Lake Rim Trail.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by dookey67; Yesterday at 06:01 PM.
    "Man, we killin' elephants in the back yard..."

    http://www.blizzardsportusa.com/

  11. #4211
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    sutro tower
    Posts
    261
    great trip report.

    I'm just glad "ramparts" is turning in to a common term to describe this zone

  12. #4212
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Truckee, CA
    Posts
    4,384
    Quote Originally Posted by emcee View Post
    great trip report.

    I'm just glad "ramparts" is turning in to a common term to describe this zone
    did i steal that from you?

    i def stole it from someone on here. but it's fitting, given the name Castle Peak and all.
    "Man, we killin' elephants in the back yard..."

    http://www.blizzardsportusa.com/

  13. #4213
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    2

    Castle Beta

    Small world,

    I apologize I didn't not mean to be unfriendly. Mostly, I assumed we were both going to the North side of Castle and would cross paths again at the choke further up. As a frequent beneficiary of conditions reports here, allow me to share some beta of my own.

    We parked at the I-80 rest area and followed the Warren Lake Trail towards the south facing snow patches on Castle Peak. The trail is quite hard to follow in some places as there is a lot of snow in the densely forested areas. After a little more than a mile on along the Warren Lake Trail we veered left and cut over to the snow patch extending down the gully. If you are look up from the interstate we took the middle of the three largest snow patches although the left most one, the main corn run people access from the rest area, would be a good option too. We started skinning around 7,700ft and only had to walk between a few snow patches lower down.

    There is still an absurd amount of snow on the top plateau east of Castle peak as well as in the north bowl and it is skiing quite nicely. The objective of the day, beyond skiing was to try and find a ski pole my buddy lost back in there on March 2nd. We skied one the north facing gullies closer to the actual summit of Castle Peak along that ridge and it was great. Considering how prevalent the sun cups have become, they were pretty minimal and had softened nicely. There was also a very nice absence of rockfall in the that back bowl, I think I am still picking rocks out of my skis after skiing the Y-couloir on Levitt Peak down on Sonora Pass last weekend.

    We descended the back side around 11:30 and didn't set off any real sloughs or loose wet slides even on the steepest stuff. As we got the bottom, low and beyond the lost pole had just melted out, probably in the last week. There was still a little snow arch over part of it. Not too bad for nearly 4 months later.

    We exited via the aforementioned left most snow patch on the south face, which did take us closer to the car, but involved a bit more bush-whacking and route findings. Pick your poison I guess.

    We were nicely surprised at how good the skiing was and will definitely return in the near future. While we couldn't actually see much of those north chutes coming off the summit Castle proper, I bet they would still be in great shape. To access those I would probably ski that north bowl and then boot up them. You could hike up the summit of Castle Peak via the summer trail from the Boreal exit, and that ridge is fairly melted out, but that could entail a fair amount more walking than skiing. The skiing is still great so go out there and get it.

  14. #4214
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South Lake Tahoe
    Posts
    120
    Quote Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
    just got back from Castle Peak.
    took me roughly 6 hours round trip.
    I started hiking around 7 am.
    i lost close to 40-minutes trying to locate a river crossing and probably another 30-40 mins boulder and bushwhacking (the bushes whacked me good).
    i was aiming for the 4 SE facing strips that you see when driving westbound on 80.
    my plan was to ski the two furthermost strips (the ones far looker's right).
    when i finally got to the bottom of the snow, somewhere just after 1`1am, to my surprise, there was a couple there, ready to skin up. i hollered and waved at them and asked if they had already skied the furtherest right strip. the dude of the couple answered, "No, it looks pretty rotten" (plus I had seen that there was a waterfall running underneath it), then he turned away and they proceeded to skin up without another word or glance my way.
    i dry hiked the ridge next to them and got to the top roughly at the same time as they did. as they began heading to the furthest looker's right strip I remarked, "Seems like we had the same idea". The woman of the couple completely ignored me and the dude just said "Looks like it." Due to their incredibly stand-offish nature, I opted to ski the strip they had just skinned up, thinking that they would probably hit the one they were headed to and then come over to the one I was about to ski, given the lateness of the day and the increasing heat.
    I banged out 2 laps and they never showed up, which led me to believe that they summited and probably hit the N facing backside (Coon Canyon).
    on my hike out i ended up inadvertanly following their trail part-way (thought their footprints in the snow were mine, until they separted into two distinct paths) and it became obvious that they had entered from either the PCT area over by Boreal or the westbound rest stop on 80 (I, on the other hand, entererd from Castle Peak road proper).
    i was kinda bummed that they weren't at all talkative--I didn't want to ski with them or have apres drinks with them-- i really just would have appreciated swapping some beta with them in regards to approaches.
    gonna have to give them a fail/zero on the patch-skiing camaraderie scale.

    that said, the snow I got was good snow, and I didn't schuss my first run until a bit after 11am. No sun-cups, just smooth soft-serve.

    Andesite is kinda burnt, as are the strips just under the ramparts on the SW facing aspects of Castle Peak. Imagine the backside (Coon Canyon) might still be good.

    In regards to the approach, if you come in from Castle Peak turn-off, you're gonna have to go to the second meadow and the first one has no easy crossing (unless you want to wade through knee deep water or brought a pair of waders). Second meadow still has a thick snow bridge and then you can more or less stumble your way onto the Donner Lake Rim Trail.

    Click image for larger version. 

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Views:	28 
Size:	1.17 MB 
ID:	208689
    Not tahoe but did No name on Sonora lots Of suncups? Leavitt lake jeep road still gated. What's the Approach rn?


    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using TGR Forums mobile app

  15. #4215
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Truckee, CA
    Posts
    4,384
    ^thanks for the beta.
    out of curiosity, what time did y'all start hiking from the rest stop?
    "Man, we killin' elephants in the back yard..."

    http://www.blizzardsportusa.com/

  16. #4216
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    2

    Castle Peak

    Quote Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
    ^thanks for the beta.
    out of curiosity, what time did y'all start hiking from the rest stop?

    We started around 8:45 or 9.

  17. #4217
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Cruzing
    Posts
    7,296
    Quote Originally Posted by emcee View Post
    Alpine County website updated again, blue lakes road open to faith Valley but not all the way to deadwood peak:

    http://www.alpinecountyca.gov/index.aspx?NID=176

    If anybody ends up in the cirque or kirkwood crest please snap a shot of the deadwood bowl!
    I'm hoping to be atop the Cirque Friday morning. Can you see deadwood from there? Dunno if I've ever looked. That would be an interesting mission.

  18. #4218
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    the Low Sierra
    Posts
    9,674
    Quote Originally Posted by Fish Rider View Post
    Not tahoe but did No name on Sonora lots Of suncups? Leavitt lake jeep road still gated. What's the Approach rn?


    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using TGR Forums mobile app
    Look at the Sonora Pass thread.

  19. #4219
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Truckee, CA
    Posts
    4,384
    Quote Originally Posted by Fish Rider View Post
    Not tahoe but did No name on Sonora lots Of suncups? Leavitt lake jeep road still gated. What's the Approach rn?
    Quote Originally Posted by ~mikey b View Post
    Look at the Sonora Pass thread.
    methinks that Fish Rider got his thumbs crossed and that his post should have read:
    "Not Tahoe, but I did No Name on Sonora and it had lots of suncups. Leavitt Lake jeep road is still gated.
    What's the approach mileage on the Castle Peak trek you did today."

    but then I'm just guessing.

    as for the Castle Peak approach mileage for the SE facing strips, my best guess is around 3+ miles, probably leaning more towards the + end (that's gauging on how long it takes me to get to Roundtop Lake, which is 3 miles 1-way and usually takes me an hour or so). Problem right now with the Castle Peak approaches is that there's still a great deal of snow on the ground, so sometimes you're on a well-worn trail and the rest of the time you're bushwhacking and trompling off-trail, which, with all the boulders and thick brush, can add considerable time to one's hike.
    "Man, we killin' elephants in the back yard..."

    http://www.blizzardsportusa.com/

  20. #4220
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    the Low Sierra
    Posts
    9,674
    No he wants to know about the walkies up LL Rd.

  21. #4221
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South Lake Tahoe
    Posts
    120
    Quote Originally Posted by ~mikey b View Post
    No he wants to know about the walkies up LL Rd.
    Yeah I didn't want to hike 2 miles+ to leavitt lake. We bailed sat night when it hailed, so kinda moot now.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using TGR Forums mobile app

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