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So Cal Snow conditions
http://easternsierraforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=19054
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Author:  cheapski [ Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: So Cal Snow conditions

Mt Pinos XC Jan. 30 2017

My friend and I hadnt been xc skiing since 2011, judging by the old lift ticket clipped to my jacket I had to remove. It was hot in LA when we went up. At Frazier Park it was 55°. But, there was snow everywhere! But no surface water! Where was the duck pond? At the ranger station where we got our Adventure Pass they told us the town had to stop pumping water a while ago for it.

Driving up to Lake of the Woods

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Ascending Mount Pinos. Looking east.

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Lots of snow at 7000 ft.

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Big snow at the parking lot.

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Ready to ski. Purple gaiter fashion statement.

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We began our ski up. It was hot. I was in tshirt and thermals, no gloves. Did I say it was hot? The snow was nice and soft and in very good condition. We were surprised with the heat it wasnt in bad Spring condition yet.

In fact, where were the snow bombs we usually dodged as we passed under trees? There was no snow on the trees at all. It was very dry. Nothing really melting like we were used to. Also there was no wind crust. In fact there was no wind at all which was really unusual.

First meadow. We had started late so we were hungry and looking for a lunch spot with a view.

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View from lunch looking NW to Cerro Noroeste. You can see the SJ Valley. We could see the snow covered southern Sierra Nevada but I couldnt find a clear view without trees for a pic.

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I did see Ben Goldberg.

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Animal tracks

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From these snow dogs?

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Looking up to the summit at 8848 ft.

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Nice soft snow, no crust from the winds.

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It was getting late past 3:30 so we skied to the end of the meadow before it begins climbing and turned around. And now, the smiles turn to frowns.

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Because we waited so long, and were deceived by the really hot weather, we werent expecting the snow to firm up so quickly in the shade. In years past it was still pretty slushy with temps like we had during the day. We discovered why the snow was preserved so well. In addition, snowshoers and snowboarders had carved a nice luge run down the middle of the path which was so firm by this time I was able to walk without sinking. Because for the first time in over 20 years, I had to abandon ship and walk down. I am shamed. I blame my dodgy ankle which is still recovering from 2 bad sprains.

However being the seasoned vets we are we made it back and were treated to a beautiful sunset looking south to Ojai.

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In conclusion. We were both shocked with all that snow that it was still bone dry up there. There was nothing in any stream beds, there was virtually no melt runoff in the parking lot, and we never saw anything resembling what we were used to seeing. Even the roadway was mostly dry. So it seems to me the drought is still alive in Ventura County.

Author:  Sierra Lady [ Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: So Cal Snow conditions

Wonderful TR and photos. So glad you finally got on xc skis again, despite your healing ankles and the firm afternoon snow!

Author:  cheapski [ Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: So Cal Snow conditions

You know you havent skied in a long while when you have to remove a layer of dust from your gloves. I think I last skied during the good snow year down here around 2010-2011.

Author:  Spirit Tree [ Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: So Cal Snow conditions

Great pics Cheapski! Yes the views across SJ is always a pleasure to grab a lunch break with that view.
I noticed the temp up there was 50 yesterday at 5pm, glad the snow held out.
My first time up there back in 82, I drove up to the summit. Gate was open no sign saying otherwise...
Wondering why all these people were walking up there... lifted Datsun p/u with off road tires.
We did get some looks...
Glad you had fun! 8-)

Author:  cheapski [ Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: So Cal Snow conditions

We should have gotten a clue when everyone was descending at 2:30. :|

I still cant get over how dry it was up there. You would have thought there would be melting snow everywhere, but nope. In the parking lot pic you can see how dry it is.

Author:  snowtrekker [ Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: So Cal Snow conditions

From what I saw this weekend, the VTA mountains must have missed out on a lot of the moisture that LA saw. All streams and springs along Highway 2 in the San G's were flowing well at 6,000', and above 7k the snowpack was too deep to see them. It seems Ben G. really has been missing out on this winter's storms.

Author:  Ben Goldberg [ Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: So Cal Snow conditions

Awesome photos cheapski! As dry as it appears, you have to imagine how bad it was before lastmonth. Down in PMC, the local creeks are running again. Last summer there were quite a few creeks that I saw dry for the first time ever. The drought map shows it perfectly though, the worst of the drought still exists in the Ventura county mountains. It will take more than this winter to get out of the drought here.

Author:  Big Tim [ Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: So Cal Snow conditions

Had some good times doing car drops on Pinos. Have to be with local to find the right drainage to your car. The best was a run all the way down to PMC including a rappel over the waterfall in 18" of fresh.

Author:  cheapski [ Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: So Cal Snow conditions

Big Tim wrote:
a run all the way down to PMC

How far is that? :o

Author:  ride395 [ Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: So Cal Snow conditions

Big Tim wrote:
Had some good times doing car drops on Pinos. Have to be with local to find the right drainage to your car. The best was a run all the way down to PMC including a rappel over the waterfall in 18" of fresh.


this post falls short of its potential impact without digital imagery ... or it didn't happen!

:twisted:

:D:D:D:D

Author:  ocboarder [ Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: So Cal Snow conditions

Do they not groom summit/bear anymore?

Chopped out mine field out there

Author:  ShiftyRider [ Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:59 am ]
Post subject: 

I think yesterday the snow was too wet to groom. You can't put a heavy machine on top of it without making it worse.

Author:  Freerider [ Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: So Cal Snow conditions

Shifty is right. I`ve seen the groomer cats sink and head back to the yard. I`m not sure they are grooming at the right time. Today at
5 p.m was not the right time. I think there also could be some rookies out there or they have strict working hours which makes no sense. I`ll cut them some slack with all the rain but it`s possible a better effort could be made.
I cant remember a time when I drove up and almost drove home after a couple hours and 6 chairs at SS and couldn`t find more than 25% flat carvable terrain on any run. Very choppy and some icey in the shade. Total bummer.
at bear the usual reliable silver mountain was chopped. Rip Cord skiers right had a couple hundred yards of butter. Chair 5 central park had some also skiers right. I did the short hike up to top of gambler and it was really nice until the traverse from the upper park run .
Overall I had a good time, met some nice people but i felt sorry for anyone paying full price.
I need a MM trip soon.

Author:  ocboarder [ Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: So Cal Snow conditions

IMO, it was pretty terrible for the first 1.5 hours hours or so of skiing.

The sun helped out later in the day, but if I didn't have my pass, I wouldn't have skied that day.

Author:  cheapski [ Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: So Cal Snow conditions

Drool over this.

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