Mt Winchell snowed out

26 Sep 1998 - by Steve Eckert (view roster page)

The unannounced private trip to Winchell (lead by Suzuki and Fitzsimmons) fizzled yesterday. It started snowing around 9am, getting heavy enough at Sam Mack Meadow (11k) that spindrift was blowing around and drifting. Everything not wet was white. Harris and Zandi made a valliant attempt at Agassiz (our Saturday goal) but turned back in slush-freezing-on-rocks conditions (with fresh snow on top and drifts up to 2' deep in places). It cleared about 4pm, revealing lots of snow up high. We decided Winchell could not be climbed safely with snow on the 3rd class holds, and most of us hiked out for dinner in Bishop. A long drive just to take a nap during a snowstorm in September. It was below freezing at noon at 11k.

I drove back from Big Pine yesterday afternoon. There is a dusting of snow over the entire Sierra and what appears to be significant accumulation on northern slopes from Mammoth to Tioga Pass at 9000 feet and above. The summer is over.

The SPS had a Winchell trip planned for the same weekend, and Tina Stough gave me a new summit register since they decided (earlier than we did) to back off. I still have it... so if you are headed for Winchell, please take a register! (Electra also needs a new book, if you are headed over there.)

David Harris adds:

I drove back from Big Pine yesterday afternoon. There is a dusting of snow over the entire Sierra and what appears to be significant accumulation on northern slopes from Mammoth to Tioga Pass at 9000 feet and above. The summer is over.

Steve Eckert adds:

What happened overnight? Cold? More snow? Tioga was closed, and we had to go home over Sonora in a mild snow storm. It rained most of the way up 395, starting before Lee Vining.

David Harris adds:

It was between 0 and 20 degrees overnight at Sam Mack. No more snow and beautiful in the morning, but by the time we were back to the car, the South Fork was lost in clouds. There was a beautiful coat of snow on the mountains, but nothing had accumulated on Tioga Pass road.


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