North Tahoe Snow/Avi Conditions Recent Weather?

  • 05/30/2019 2:35 PM
    Message # 7512041

    Hey all!

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on understanding the North Tahoe area snowpack and safe climbing in the warm spring conditions, especially with the recent snow, rain, and prolonged warming.

    I've planned out a trip to climb Castle Peak near Donner Lake and we bailed this weekend due to the rain/lightning and potential risk for wet loose/slab avalanches. Weekend of June 8th looks dry but warm. The primary goals are to practice snow camping/climbing skills with friends that have various levels of experience, secondary is to climb the peak.

    I'm the only one with any Avi experience or beacon/equipment of the group so the primary goal is to just avoid avalanche hazards. 

    The route I've chosen avoids the normal trail to castle pass on the east side of Andesite peak and instead climbs the low angle slopes to the Andesite peak/ridge (it appears the normal path in traverses a potential runout zone). We'll camp somewhere near the hut in Round Valley (sorry, named it hidden valley, Shasta was on my mind!). 

    For the climb it seems like was can stay on the ridge and low angle slopes/northern facing slopes through most of the climb except for the final push.


    • How is the snow-pack safety in this area during the warming spring months usually?
    • Does the week of rain and consistent above freezing temps day/night create a constant avalanche hazard or would most of the releases likely have occurred during the warm storms?
    • Tips on understanding warm spring safe climbing where it is necessary to be expose to 35-45 degree slopes?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated! I'm looking to transition safely into planning my own trips. I'd rather air on caution, ask, than blinding go for it.

    - Brent

(916) 692-0005

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