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.
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.