Uintas Conditions 2019

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Artemus

I walk
.
Joined
Jun 25, 2012
Messages
4,339
Looks like more significant snow up in the high country next week.

View attachment 78071
Cool, Windy. I mean COLD, Windy!

What is the source (link) and what are the units on the right? inches of snow? I am guessing so. A foot of snow! Dang, don't they know I want to walk UP THERE?

Whoa, interpreting from the data in the header are they saying 4' of snow in the Wasatch this weekend? I took the chains off my snowplow tractor and put away my snowblower already.
 

Artemus

I walk
.
Joined
Jun 25, 2012
Messages
4,339
snowshoeing for the most part.
Interesting. Good on ya. Average snow depth on Boulder Top which I remember is just over 10K'? You saw the pictures of Bald Mountain Passes snow-cave-like outhouse I assume.
 

LarryBoy

Hiker Trash
.
Joined
Jan 4, 2015
Messages
1,792
Interesting. Good on ya. Average snow depth on Boulder Top which I remember is just over 10K'? You saw the pictures of Bald Mountain Passes snow-cave-like outhouse I assume.
Clayton Guard snotel (10,100ish) had about 2 feet as of a few days ago.

Boulder Top is over 11. I detoured around there on the Awopa Plateau bc there's literally zero liquid water above about 10,200. Stove would have come in handy!

I did however go over Griffin and Barney Top (10,500+) where the pack was deep enough to be indeterminate, but drifts were at least 10-15 feet in spots.

Patchy above 9,500 and blanketed above 9800 on all aspects. Note though that Aquarius Plateau is much more melted than even thousand lake mtn per snotel, not to mention the Uintas etc.
 

andyjaggy

Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2013
Messages
896
How much snow do you guys think there would be on Deadhorse pass in Mid June? I am not foolish enough to attempt it but I have a neighbor who has a friend who is planning on doing a "fast packing" (aka around 30 miles per day) trip of the Highline trail over Father's Day weekend. I expressed my concerns about how foolish that sounded and she assured me he is legit and knows what he is doing. I still can't shake off the nagging feeling that it would be near suicidal to attempt that pass in Mid June, especially with the snow year we have had.
 

Nick

Spiral out.
.
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,670
How much snow do you guys think there would be on Deadhorse pass in Mid June? I am not foolish enough to attempt it but I have a neighbor who has a friend who is planning on doing a "fast packing" (aka around 30 miles per day) trip of the Highline trail over Father's Day weekend. I expressed my concerns about how foolish that sounded and she assured me he is legit and knows what he is doing. I still can't shake off the nagging feeling that it would be near suicidal to attempt that pass in Mid June, especially with the snow year we have had.
Hilarious. Not a chance in hell this year. Probably not even early-mid JULY. The good thing is that he wouldn't even get that far. The other passes, and even the lower elevation stuff should still have plenty of snow to stop him in his tracks.
 

andyjaggy

Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2013
Messages
896
That's what I was thinking. He will be lucky if he can even make it over the previous passes up to Deadhorse Pass. Even the upper basins are going to be a postholing nightmare. There is literally no way he is going to make it 30 miles per day, even if he didn't have to cross the high passes.
 

LarryBoy

Hiker Trash
.
Joined
Jan 4, 2015
Messages
1,792
Is Dead Horse doable in mid-June? Sure, but it's a mountaineering objective, and would require the appropriate gear and skills, and is completely incompatible with his planned pace. And given his unrealistic expectations, it's highly doubtful he has the mountaineering background to pull it off.
 

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

andyjaggy

Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2013
Messages
896
Well I expressed my concerns so I can wash my hands of it. I mostly just didn't want to have something bad happen to this guy and end up wishing I had said something. I will check back with her in a month or so and see if he is still planning on it, and I definitely want a trip report if he somehow pulls it off.
 

LarryBoy

Hiker Trash
.
Joined
Jan 4, 2015
Messages
1,792
Well I expressed my concerns so I can wash my hands of it. I mostly just didn't want to have something bad happen to this guy and end up wishing I had said something. I will check back with her in a month or so and see if he is still planning on it, and I definitely want a trip report if he somehow pulls it off.
I recommend that he bring a snowblower and push it in front of him to make the going easier. At least until he hits the Wilderness boundary.
 

andyjaggy

Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2013
Messages
896
LOL. I think you really nailed it though. He has two completely incompatible objectives. Wanting to go 30 miles per day AND wanting to attempt some serious mountaineering objectives. You just can't do both of those in the same trip. I am pretty sure he is a trail runner as my neighbor is pretty heavily involved in that community and herself has done 50 and 100 mile mountain races. I know that trail runners can be serious mountaineers as well, but I don't see how you can expect to do 80 miles in a weekend AND deal with potentially 5-10 feet of snow on the trail.
 
Last edited:

Perry

Formerly Cuberant
.
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
1,667
I recommend that he bring a snowblower and push it in front of him to make the going easier. At least until he hits the Wilderness boundary.
Love the vision


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Artemus

I walk
.
Joined
Jun 25, 2012
Messages
4,339
How much snow do you guys think there would be on Deadhorse pass in Mid June? I am not foolish enough to attempt it but I have a neighbor who has a friend who is planning on doing a "fast packing" (aka around 30 miles per day) trip of the Highline trail over Father's Day weekend. I expressed my concerns about how foolish that sounded and she assured me he is legit and knows what he is doing. I still can't shake off the nagging feeling that it would be near suicidal to attempt that pass in Mid June, especially with the snow year we have had.
I'd remind you guys that even Deadhorse Pass is a non-issue for a mountaineer with an ice axe and crampons. In fact you wouldn't necessarily even need crampons. Some of us search out snow climbs like that just for fun (e.g. the east couloirs of Deseret Peak this time of year - three separate times) :)

Granted he is also planning it during a Highline crossing but sometimes snow cover greatly improves your speed in the mountains. And you know it has been run straight through in one push by Davy Crockett and others in 30 or 40 hours solo depending on what you call the full Highline. Some of these guys thrive on snow, cliff and weather challenges,. I am just saying you might get surprised...
 
Last edited:

Nick

Spiral out.
.
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,670
What about cornices, Art? Seems like gear would be needed that early on a big snow year.
 

Artemus

I walk
.
Joined
Jun 25, 2012
Messages
4,339
What about cornices, Art? Seems like gear would be needed that early on a big snow year.
By mid-June any cornices that could be an issue will have fallen off or melted down enough to be a non-issue. One of the risks that a mountaineer needs to assess is the avalanche risk. That time of year is perfect for snow climbing because the snow has consolidated and there is zero risk of avalanche except late in the afternoon when it is melting hard or if there hasn't been a good re-freeze overnight. This also plays into the calculus. The next thing is the difficulty of kicking steps or chopping steps or postholing all depending on the snow hardness on the route. Me I like to climb said things in mid morning when the snow is what we call styrofoam snow and an easy kick makes a perfect ~4" deep step. Another fun time is before thaw when it is hardpack and with crampons you can walk right up. These conditions vary throughout the day and day to day.

As far as gear, aka ropes, harnesses, snow stakes, etc. in addition to the ice axe - we typically don't break those out until we get to a steeper angle than Deadhorse pass or when there is a poor runout below (cliff) if you get sliding out of control. Deadhorse has a little of that but not too bad.

On walking the snowpack I really enjoy walking in the Uintahs when for a couple of weeks of the year you can walk easily on top of the snow pack. It is like backcountry skiing - you can go anywhere - no need for no stinking trail. But this perfection only lasts a little while and also varies place to place and the hour of the day. It can change from cross country perfection to postholing to your crotch in an hour and stop you dead in your tracks.
 

Parma

@parma26
.
Joined
Feb 12, 2014
Messages
682
By mid-June any cornices that could be an issue will have fallen off or melted down enough to be a non-issue. One of the risks that a mountaineer needs to assess is the avalanche risk. That time of year is perfect for snow climbing because the snow has consolidated and there is zero risk of avalanche except late in the afternoon when it is melting hard or if there hasn't been a good re-freeze overnight. This also plays into the calculus. The next thing is the difficulty of kicking steps or chopping steps or postholing all depending on the snow hardness on the route. Me I like to climb said things in mid morning when the snow is what we call styrofoam snow and an easy kick makes a perfect ~4" deep step. Another fun time is before thaw when it is hardpack and with crampons you can walk right up. These conditions vary throughout the day and day to day.

As far as gear, aka ropes, harnesses, snow stakes, etc. in addition to the ice axe - we typically don't break those out until we get to a steeper angle than Deadhorse pass or when there is a poor runout below (cliff) if you get sliding out of control. Deadhorse has a little of that but not too bad.

On walking the snowpack I really enjoy walking in the Uintahs when for a couple of weeks of the year you can walk easily on top of the snow pack. It is like backcountry skiing - you can go anywhere - no need for no stinking trail. But this perfection only lasts a little while and also varies place to place and the hour of the day. It can change from cross country perfection to postholing to your crotch in an hour and stop you dead in your tracks.
Just don't take horses on it...thus the name.
 
Last edited:

Nick

Spiral out.
.
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,670
By mid-June any cornices that could be an issue will have fallen off or melted down enough to be a non-issue. One of the risks that a mountaineer needs to assess is the avalanche risk. That time of year is perfect for snow climbing because the snow has consolidated and there is zero risk of avalanche except late in the afternoon when it is melting hard or if there hasn't been a good re-freeze overnight. This also plays into the calculus. The next thing is the difficulty of kicking steps or chopping steps or postholing all depending on the snow hardness on the route. Me I like to climb said things in mid morning when the snow is what we call styrofoam snow and an easy kick makes a perfect ~4" deep step. Another fun time is before thaw when it is hardpack and with crampons you can walk right up. These conditions vary throughout the day and day to day.

As far as gear, aka ropes, harnesses, snow stakes, etc. in addition to the ice axe - we typically don't break those out until we get to a steeper angle than Deadhorse pass or when there is a poor runout below (cliff) if you get sliding out of control. Deadhorse has a little of that but not too bad.

On walking the snowpack I really enjoy walking in the Uintahs when for a couple of weeks of the year you can walk easily on top of the snow pack. It is like backcountry skiing - you can go anywhere - no need for no stinking trail. But this perfection only lasts a little while and also varies place to place and the hour of the day. It can change from cross country perfection to postholing to your crotch in an hour and stop you dead in your tracks.
I'd say to your average person without mountaineering experience, climbing a snow-covered Dead Horse pass would be a terrifying, extremely dangerous experience. Personally, the thought of doing it with an axe but no spikes scares the crap out of me. Kicking in steps with nothing but boots on was bad enough on the short snow sections we had to cross. You'd need to have your self arrest dialed. Crazy to hear you talk about it like it's not a steep enough angle! It's at repose!
 

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Top