Upper Skyline closed per State Park

General Palm Springs area.

Upper Skyline closed per State Park

Postby Florian » Thu Jan 26, 2023 1:05 pm

Upper Skyline trail above 5800' closed per State Park .. https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100068251936089

Also here .. https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=636

Per the facebook post .. Please be advised of the Skyline Route, also known as “Cactus to Clouds” partial trail closure at Mt. San Jacinto State Park. As you may have heard in recent news, there has been a recent string of our fellow hikers go missing in the wilderness of Southern California. This Winter has proven to be substantially better than previous years in terms of snowpack - while great for water availability in the later seasons, this has led to mountaineering conditions on many trails throughout the region. We appreciate those that adhere to precautionary closures that not only keep members of the public safe, but first responders (many being volunteers) as well.
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Re: Upper Skyline closed per State Park

Postby Florian » Thu Jan 26, 2023 1:11 pm

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Re: Upper Skyline closed per State Park

Postby Ed » Thu Jan 26, 2023 4:16 pm

I have no great objection to the closure notice. But I doubt the State Park has specific knowledge of the snow conditions on the trail, other than there is a lot of snow, and I would die of shock if I encountered a ranger on the trail. If anyone who has been up the trail before the closure can post a report, I would love to see it. With of course the warning that snow conditions can change sharply in a few days.

The biggest problem I have with closures is that inexperienced people can give them a binary interpretation. I.e., when an area is not closed, they can think it is safe.

As always, I don't think anyone should attempt Skyline in the winter unless (a) they know the trail well, (b) have experience hiking on steep snow-covered slopes, (c) carry microspikes and trekking poles, and (d) know that this still does not necessarily ensure a smooth and safe trip. There have been plenty of reports on this discussion board from the best and most experienced people of winter trips where they had route-finding problems, needed ice axes, crampons and helmets, etc.
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Re: Upper Skyline closed per State Park

Postby Florian » Fri Jan 27, 2023 1:17 pm

Notice at North Lykken trailhead at Ramon this morning ..
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Re: Upper Skyline closed per State Park

Postby drndr » Tue Feb 28, 2023 10:00 am

can anyone out in PS give an estimate how low the snow is on the trail

D
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Re: Upper Skyline closed per State Park

Postby Florian » Wed Mar 01, 2023 7:10 am

It had been as low as 3000' some days ago. Yesterday (2/28) was maybe 6000'. Currently (3/1) raining with the mtn in clouds.
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Re: Upper Skyline closed per State Park

Postby Florian » Wed Mar 01, 2023 5:21 pm

Wednesday PM (3/1) level somewhere around 4000'.
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Re: Upper Skyline closed per State Park

Postby Florian » Fri Mar 17, 2023 6:24 am

Seems there was a rescue on upper Skyline on Wednesday (3/15) involving CalFire helicopter. Also heard a RMRU member was injured. That's not going to encourage the SP to open the trail anytime soon.
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Re: Upper Skyline closed per State Park

Postby Ed » Sun Mar 19, 2023 12:42 pm

Here is a brief Facebook account of the RMRU rescue on Skyline last week. I assume there will eventually be a more detailed report on the RMRU website.

'This week RMRU was called for a rescue on the Skyline trail near the Palm Springs Tram. The initial team responding had to turn back for the night due to wet slide avalanche conditions combined with heavy rain. In the morning with the weather clearing and additional teams coming to assist, efforts were resumed. The conditions were still quite hazardous and by the end of the day the hiker as well as two rescuers were taken to the hospital.

This is not a common occurrence.

The trails and wilderness are not in their "normal" conditions right now.

Please research and carefully consider trail conditions and incoming weather patterns when going for a hike. Please heed closure orders. There are sometimes conditions where we cannot safely perform a rescue and teams may decline or stop an assignment.

Please turn around if you encounter conditions outside your comfort zone if you can do so safely. When a hiker chooses to put their safety at risk, they are putting the safety and lives of multiple rescuers at risk. Our hearts are with the injured rescuers and their families while they recover.

Thank you to San Bernadino Sheriff Department Cave Rescue Team, San Bernardino Mountain SAR, San Diego MRT, Sierra Madre SAR, San Dimas MRT, Montrose SAR, San Bernardino SAR, San Diego Sheriff Department SAR, SBSR, Los Angeles SAR, RSO Aviation, and CalFire 301 for all your help on this mission.'
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Re: Upper Skyline closed per State Park

Postby guest » Mon Mar 20, 2023 8:31 am

Thanks Ed, I can imagine how deep and inconsistent the snow must be on the upper portions of Skyline right now. This seems like a really large contingent of SAR's and law enforcement teams.
I'm wondering if these folks, (maybe just one?), came up from the bottom, or attempted to down-climb from Long Valley?
I'm also wondering if these folks will be cited for not heeding the closure?

I've been on the upper section when the drifts were so high & deep, it was exhausting to make any forward progress, became very exhausted & cold, and landed up going straight up on of the chutes, (which become very steep & technical. My hands were so cold when I finished, I could not remove my cramp-ons.
That must have been a terribly long, freezing night to spend in the deep snow in dangerous terrain.

Since a couple SAR's folks were injured, (hope they make a speedy recovery), I'd imagine law enforcement may take some action against the climber(s).
And, as things warm & melt, eventually, the ice will accumulate & the risk will stay high for quite a while.
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