C2C in Late March 2018

General Palm Springs area.

C2C in Late March 2018

Postby KJoshi » Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:57 am

Guys, a few of my buddies and I are planning on this extreme day n night ..hiking the Skyline Trail to Mt San Jacinto around March 29th, 2018. Is this doable with good shoes, crampons and cold weather clothes (assume we are in good shape)? Please let me know if this is a good idea. We are not mountaineers by any stretch. We are just looking for a season which is not too hot or too cold. Appreciate all your comments in advance
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Re: C2C in Late March 2018

Postby Ellen » Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:17 pm

Howdy KJoshi :)

Welcome to the forum. At this point, it is too early to predict conditions on upper Skyline and from the tram to peak. We'll be able to give you better advice in early March.

We had a lot of snow on Skyline and San Jacinto this past winter season. The Skyline traverse (7.5 K to Coffmans crag to Long Valley) was particularly hard to navigate, even for those experienced with the route. Many folks were rescued by helicopter hoist because they didn't have crampons/ice-axes and couldn't find the route from 7.5 K on.

In other winters, microspikes and poles have sufficed, just depends.

Stay tuned...

Miles of smiles,
Ellen
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Re: C2C in Late March 2018

Postby KJoshi » Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:49 am

Thanks Ellen. Look forward to updates on trail ...otherwise we may have to postpone our trip from Late March to Late April.....Would April 23rd be enuf of a delay
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Re: C2C in Late March 2018

Postby zippetydude » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:47 pm

Where do you presently reside? The trail conditions and weather are perfect right now. Strangely, we have had no rain since spring, and the trail is normally somewhat covered with remnant snow by now at high elevations, but presently it is amazingly clear. You won't find better conditions than we have at the moment. If you're all in shape and ready to go, you might pull the trigger early. I know December is a busy month and it sounds like you will be traveling, but it's a possibility. The reason Ellen gives you such an "iffy" response is that all of us locals who have done the trail many times have learned to take it on a day by day basis. There are truly a lot of ifs. In general, if there have been only light rains and a few days of sunshine before your hike, the trail may have been broken in again by someone. If you're going the day after a big, cold storm, the route will be invisible above the traverse. I know the route well, but I have gotten up to a suddenly solid line of snow and simply turned around. So you are wise to try to plan for the highest chance of success. Fall is the very best time, but spring is good as well. March and April offer you very good opportunities to make the hike. If you're traveling a significant distance, I hope the weather cooperates with your plans. If not, you can always do a Cactus to Flat Rock, retreat, Long Valley to San J summit adventure. After all, an adventure without obstacles is fun in the doing but dull in the telling. If you end up with a story like, "You're not gonna believe this! California had exactly zero rain in this rainy season until the day before we went, then we show up to find a clear trail replaced with feet of impassable snow! It was crazy! We still made the peak, though, check out these awesome pictures!" It's all about the adventure, and any friend who understands adventure would probably relate to the story of an event that was unpredictable and trying more than an easy success.Keep posting and we'll keep updating. :)

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Re: C2C in Late March 2018

Postby KJoshi » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:43 am

zippetydude
Thanks for your response. We guys are from Houston, so before we fly over there we want to make sure the C2C trail is navigable (with microspikes, at the most). We are basically old geezers, but very enthusiastic, so safety and making it back in one piece is important. But if the snowfall has been below normal, it makes it easier to climb earlier, rather than later.

Also would late April make it too late? Does it get too hot once the sun comes up in S. Cal, regardless of the season?
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Re: C2C in Late March 2018

Postby zippetydude » Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:26 am

This year has been bizarre and unpredictable as far as the weather. We have only had two storms since last March. But by this March (or April for that matter) there may be considerable snow or absolutely nothing. Keep watching our weather and you'll know as much as is knowable. April is seldom too hot to go, though even that is unpredictable. I remember it being over 100 degrees in April a few years ago... :?

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Re: C2C in Late March 2018

Postby Ed » Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:00 am

If you are flying from Houston, two of the best short-term indicators, if you aren't aware of them already, are the Long Valley Ranger Station videocam and the 5-day Mountain Tram Station weather forecast, both on the Palm Springs Aerial Tram website. The video cam is a short distance from where Skyline enters Long Valley, and at the same elevation. The snow tends to be a bit icier on the upper part of the trail than at the Ranger Station, due to the north-facing slope and shade. A recent report on the discussion board is best. But everything can be quickly outdated by a new storm.
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Re: C2C in Late March 2018

Postby annzilla » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:55 am

Hi lovely hikers. C2C March 3rd... Thoughts? Thanks in advance. Can take axe and crampons but would prefer not to...
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Re: C2C in Late March 2018

Postby JohnK » Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:57 pm

Annzilla,
We are in the midst of several light storms, with a bigger one coming next week.
I would think there will be quite some snow in Mt. San Jacinto in early March.
I would not want to take the C2C hike in early March unless I were a very experienced winter hiker.
As to the snow condition in late March, it is hard to predict now.
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