Skyline Report 11-25

General Palm Springs area.

Skyline Report 11-25

Postby TectorGorch » Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:28 am

My wife and I left the art museum at 6a with microspikes and an expectation of 5-10 mph winds. All was calm until we hit the pines. We looked up to see clouds of snow blowing from the tram area and soon the wind was howling. The trail up through the pines was excellent (with microspikes) but with the wind gusting over 60MPH we were worried about falling trees, branches and especially the 18-inch, 8 pound greenish pine cones that were starting to litter the trail. We topped out to a pretty much empty Long Valley and made our way to get the quickest tram down. There was a long line to depart, some simply turning around as soon as they arrived. Trams up were cancelled for the rest of the day and our ride down resembled more an action movie than a smooth descent: "Stand away from the doors!!"..."the floor will NOT rotate"...we were buffeted by so much wind we had to stop and let the tram settle before proceeding...very slowly. Exciting!!!

A beautiful day on the mountain!

Don and Diane
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Re: Skyline Report 11-25

Postby TectorGorch » Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:19 pm

Also...special note to Margaret K., student at Cal Poly SLO, we found your phone and identification yesterday at flat rock. We carried it up to the tram and looked everywhere for you then gave it to the tram personnel to contact you. Hope you recover it soon.
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Re: Skyline Report 11-25

Postby smiles » Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:18 pm

I was leading a group of 4 other guys with me up Skyline yesterday. We were passed by you guys and a couple other small groups. We started from the museum just past 4am, but had some issues with 2 of the guys. One of them was cramping up when we took a break at the 4300 foot marker. He apparently did not hydrate properly prior to this hike, but I had plenty of stuff to get him back on track without further incident. And the other one, who I first took up Skyline with me 7 years ago without incident, apparently learned that he was not conditioned as well this time around. With that said, it was my longest trek up, taking about 11 1/2 hours. Usually I do this trek in 6 1/2 - 7 hours. Even though I have done skyline and the full C2C many times, I found this to be one of the "scariest". I was not too fond of high winds we encountered starting around 7000 feet. I assume the winds had gotten even stronger for us by the time we hit the traverse area in the mid afternoon. The blowing snow even did a good job of covering up your guys tracks! Micro-spikes were a must in this area. Every time a high wind gust came, we had to "duck and cover". Numerous tree limbs were coming down, and we even had a boulder the size of almost 2 basketballs come tumbling down one of the snow chutes. I took a couple pine cones to the head, but no harm there. When we got the tram station, it was almost emptied out, as they had closed all up-bound trams to the public. The cafeteria staff said all soda drinks were free to anyone waiting to tram down, and they told us we did not need to buy the one way ticket down this time. The tram operator told me some gusts were at 80 mph on the upper tram towers, and we also slowed way down to get by each tower. All in all a great day on the mountain!

Steve Miles :-)
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Re: Skyline Report 11-25

Postby TectorGorch » Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:53 am

You guys definitely got the worst of the wind...we were on top before 1p and it just got worse after that. You did get lucky with the free ride down...they made us buy 1-way tickets for the descent and NO FREE SODA!!

Epic!!
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Re: Skyline Report 11-25

Postby Ellen » Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:14 am

Howdy All 8)

Hiked up Skyline yesterday with Marilyn, Cameron and Sophie -- Diana passed us at about 3 K. We donned microspikes at the beginning of the traverse due to icy snow from melt/refreeze cycle. The amount of new dead fall and related obstacles on the traverse was astonishing and took time to get around -- at least three huge trees blocked the route.

TectorGorch and Smiles -- I am so glad you're safe -- I would not have wanted to be anywhere on the traverse with that wind. Tram Tim told us about the wind and adjusted tram schedule.

I shudder to think of what the traverse will look like with several feet of new snow on top of all the new dead fall :shock:

Hopefully we'll get enough snow to tramshoe...

Happy Thanksgiving and Miles of Smiles,
Ellen
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Re: Skyline Report 11-25

Postby TectorGorch » Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:14 pm

Hi Ellen...my wife and i followed you up tramshoeing to the summit last winter and i'm sorry we missed you by a day! Hopefully we'll have a chance to do it agaiin soon.

Don and Diane
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Re: Skyline Report 11-25

Postby guest » Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:22 pm

Hi friends,
The mountain has shown some real weather lately, glad everyone had a safe trek.
Steve, I know what you mean re. strong, gusty winds, it's a very nerving feeling to be knock instantly off balance, especially in gnarly terrain & ice.
Ellen, that Traverse is becoming quite the obstacle course, I hope people do research to learn this, as those not at least fairly agile, (even when exhausted), may really struggle navigated over, under & around those dead-fall, especially when icy.
I went up to the base of Cornell, (above Tamarack) today, Wed,0 it it was cold, a bit windy, until about 11:30-noon. As we descending from 9,400ft. the wind, snow & spin-diff was smacking us in the face, until heading down Sid Davis, where it was on our backs.
There was plenty of ice, especially on the main trail, so with this new snow, dangerous conditions are developing.
Happy Thanksgiving, scott
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Re: Skyline Report 11-25

Postby zippetydude » Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:21 pm

As long as everyone finished safe and sound it looks like the weather just added to the adventure! Congrats to all of you crazy trail warriors! I will see if I can get up there (weather permitting) and cut some trees and make the trail clearer in the next few weeks. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

z
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