Vivian Creek 2-9-08

Southern California and far-away places. Hiking, wildlife, cycling etc.

Vivian Creek 2-9-08

Postby AlanK » Sun Feb 10, 2008 11:02 am

Eric and I joined our friend Frank to hike up the Vivian Creek trail. Frank is on the mend, so we were aiming for no further than High Creek. We ended up eating lunch on a nice overlook on the way to High Creek, then turning around. There have been several storms since Eric and I hiked up San Gorgonio on this trail three weeks ago. We were in snow all the way, meeting everything from hard and crusty to soft enough for thigh-deep postholing. The day was beautiful, nearly cloudless, and mild. I was in short sleeves in the way down. We only met one person on the hike until near the end, but there were several other parties in various places on the trail. If you want some idea of conditions on the lower Vivian Creek Trail, here are our pix.
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Postby Brad P » Sun Feb 10, 2008 12:44 pm

Thanks for the beta...attempting either San G via Vivian Creek or San J via Marion Mountain next week. Your pix were very helpful regarding conditions. How prevalent were the postholes? I intend to bring only ice axe and crampons.
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Postby KathyW » Sun Feb 10, 2008 2:24 pm

Alan: Thanks for the pictures - I think I'm going to head up that trail next weekend if the weather looks good and your pictures help.

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Postby AlanK » Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:54 am

What a difference 5 months make.

ImageImage
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Postby AlanK » Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:02 am

Brad P wrote:Thanks for the beta...attempting either San G via Vivian Creek or San J via Marion Mountain next week. Your pix were very helpful regarding conditions. How prevalent were the postholes? I intend to bring only ice axe and crampons.

You can see from our pictures that we brought snowshoes, but we never used them. The trail was well-traveled enough that postholing was just an occasional annoyance.

A bit past Halfway, the trail switches back. In the middle of that section, we headed straight up. We have no data on the trail after that, but I suspect that it was much the same at least as far as High Creek.

We did meet several guys back at the car who had left nice and early and gone almost to the summit. They seemed to have done fine without snowshoes.
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Postby KathyW » Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:02 am

I think I'm going to camp at High Creek Camp next weekend - I don't think I'll bother with the snowshoes - it will probably be a slushy mess out there next weekend if the weather stays warm.

Leaving the trail and picking up the ridge at least part of the way between Halfway Camp and High Creek Camp is pretty standard in the winter - it avoids the north facing slopes along that section.
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Postby AlanK » Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:02 pm

KathyW wrote:I think I'm going to camp at High Creek Camp next weekend - I don't think I'll bother with the snowshoes - it will probably be a slushy mess out there next weekend if the weather stays warm.

There was quite a bit of melting along switchbacks above Mill Creek on Saturday alone. There will be lots of changes this week -- part of the fun, I suppose. :)

KathyW wrote:Leaving the trail and picking up the ridge at least part of the way between Halfway Camp and High Creek Camp is pretty standard in the winter - it avoids the north facing slopes along that section.

Yes -- a good winter route to the peak cuts off a coupe of miles. It makes the sluch worthwhile! :D :D
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Postby Brad P » Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:55 pm

Thanks Alan
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