Hi all Happy Solstice week. This week we have the shortest day of the year and the sun is at the lowest angle in the sky. This should all work in our favor for good ice formation. The reality for the Eastern Sierra is that we have had warm temps and dry conditions so even though there is ice – it is actually getting thinner. I was out at June Lake yesterday and found the ice had gotten thinner than before the weekend. In places where I had been able to sink 13cm screws now you could only get 10cm stubbies into the ice and the ice was still thin. Part of this “Ice shrinking” is due to warm daytime temps and sun exposure. Another part is from climbers smashing the ice with heavier swings than necessary that can be seen by the piles of ice at the base. I also noticed that the area that is open where water was flowing at horsetail is larger than a week ago which means more chance for ice fall. With not a large amount of precipitation in the next while we are all embracing the ice that does exist. The Gullies on Carson peak still look like they are in great shape and with no sun exposure are growing. No direct word on any changes in the Lee Vining situation. Please send us a message if you have any photos, videos or conditions for me to add in the next ice report.
On Saturday we had friends on Tatum falls. They started before dark for the hike up to avoid spontaneous ice fall from the solar rays and Saturday was the coldest day. They found wet and hollow ice but still “fun and a little scary”.
Our friends Luke and Jenica got some great sticks but had a scary ice fall event on Friday (12/15/2017)
They hiked up to horsetail on dry ground without trouble from the creek crossing. They had a TR on the far left of horsetail and then got shelled with basketball sized chunks shortly after lowering. It was 53 F in the parking lot. They don’t recommend anyone climb up there until it gets colder. They saw that the N. Gulley was formed in nicely.