Snow Levels near Momyer Creek??

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Snow Levels near Momyer Creek??

Postby Hikin_Jim » Fri Dec 11, 2015 4:01 pm

What are the snow levels in the Forest Falls area? I'm headed up from the Momyer Creek trailhead tomorrow. I'm thinking it'll just be patches, but ... it could be a bit more, quite a bit more.

Any info welcome. :)

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Re: Snow Levels near Momyer Creek??

Postby zippetydude » Fri Dec 11, 2015 7:00 pm

IDK about Forest Falls, but in Redlands and Yucaipa it was absolutely crazy off and on for about an hour today. The forecast was for "possible showers" but we had an extremely hard downpour for perhaps 20 minutes, with lightning, thunder, and quite a bit of hail, and steady, sustained rain for almost twice that long. I would guess FF got several inches of snow. There's a chain advisory for Crestline so you may need chains after you cross the bridge. Should be really pretty.

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Re: Snow Levels near Momyer Creek??

Postby Hikin_Jim » Sat Dec 12, 2015 6:16 am

Thanks, Zip.

CHP site says:
SR 38
[IN THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AREA]
CHAINS ARE REQUIRED ON ALL VEHICLES EXCEPT 4-WHEEL-DRIVE VEHICLES WITH SNOW
TIRES ON ALL 4 WHEELS FROM 1.3 MI EAST OF FOREST FALLS BLVD TO ANGELUS OAKS
(SAN BERNARDINO CO)


1.8 miles east of Forest Falls? What? Maybe they mean west? East would be somewhere up near Mill Creek JumpOff, wouldn't it?

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Re: Snow Levels near Momyer Creek??

Postby Hikin_Jim » Sun Dec 13, 2015 6:51 pm

I went up to the Momyer Creek trailhead yesterday. There was a bit more snow than I expected with good coverage of maybe 3 cm all around the trailhead area. 8) The roads were clear, but the parking lot was covered. Our vehicle (a normal 2WD) had no trouble with the snow, however tire tracks from the day before were very icy.

The trail itself was in decent shape where ever there was fresh snow. In spots where there were footprints, it was a bit icy. I don't normally like heavy leather boots with big lug soles, but I was glad that I had them yesterday. One of my friends who just had walking shoes was really slipping and sliding whereas I was fine.

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Re: Snow Levels near Momyer Creek??

Postby Ed » Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:29 am

Hikin_Jim wrote:I don't normally like heavy leather boots with big lug soles, but I was glad that I had them yesterday. One of my friends who just had walking shoes was really slipping and sliding whereas I was fine.


I am amazed at the number of people I see trekking in the snow in low-cut hiking shoes. A few with confidence, tripping alone like fairies, but it is not for me. Even ankle-high boots with good lug soles are often not enough, in my opinion. Admittedly, I am now an ox-footed klutz, but I had the same opinion when I was a seasoned snow climber. I was more comfortable high on Shasta with crampons on my feet and an ice axe in my hand, than I often was walking a Southern California trail in the snow. We did not have trekking poles and microspikes then, and wore our crampons much less because they did not have anti-balling plates. So we tended to rely on our ice axes, which were longer then. But you have limited confidence from an ice axe in your hand when the slope below is studded with trees, rocks and logs with which you could collide before a self-arrest takes. A very experienced mountaineer died on a solo hike on the Bear Flats Trail on Baldy in January, 2004. The reports I read did not say what equipment he was carrying or using, unfortunately. I believe there was not much snow at the time, so perhaps he was relying on rubber soles alone. It happened at around 9k, but the same type of accident can occur a few hundred yards from a parking lot.

When I cross the Traverse, I am a very slow, careful guy, even with limited snow and a pair of trekking poles in my hands. So slow I don't like to see people behind me, for fear of causing a traffic jam. I have not used my microspikes yet, but they are there in my pack. I have seen other people on the trail under the same conditions, without trekking poles or microspikes. Some seem confident, but I've also seen someone crossing the Traverse ahead of me with only a tree branch in his hand. He was clearly scared, and I thought he had good reason to be.

In short, I think snow-covered Southern California trails can be dangerous. Technical climbing can be safer than walking across a patch of icy snow on a Southern California trail relying on rubber soles alone.
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Re: Snow Levels near Momyer Creek??

Postby Hikin_Jim » Mon Dec 14, 2015 1:36 pm

There were a number of hikers who died in early 2004. Among them were two very experienced Sierra Club leaders, one of whom died on the trail to Mt. Baldy (I think it was on the ski hut trail) and the other who died near the Acorn Trail near Wrightwood while in the process of doing a PCT section hike.

The gentleman who died on Baldy had crampons -- strapped to the back of his pack. The other gentleman didn't bring crampons because he wanted to save weight. Both paid with their lives.

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