SMC Blog

Continued avalanche hazard along the PCT/JMT – in June!

2019 is turning out to be a very… different year. Above average snowfall, late snowfalls, high water runoff, delayed runoff; and now an avalanche hazard to take into consideration. On June 4th we had our annual staff training up in Rock Creek Canyon and found evidence of recent avalanche activity. The type of avalanches we [...]

Snow and more Snow

This is turning into a very atypical spring in the Sierra Nevada with extensive periods of snow and rain. Mammoth Mountain is reporting 29 inches of snow for May which is an all time recorded record, beating the last high in 2015. The ski area is now proposing to stay open until August. This has [...]

Update on Runoff in the Sierra

The Department of Water Resources has updated the predictions for run off. The maximum runoff dates have been pushed back and later due to cooler temperatures in the Sierra and unsettled weather with small storms moving through and frequent thunderstorm activity that seems to be ongoing. Kern River at Isabella, May 17 PCT mile approx. [...]

AIARE Pro 1 Avalanche Course: A Guide’s Experience

Since our regional avalanche forecasting center, Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center (or ESAC), started issuing its advisories on the first of January, we have seen “considerable” to “high” danger ratings more than fifty percent of the time, with more than a dozen days so far receiving the latter rating. For some, this might seem unusual for [...]

Kalymnos

It was late one night in July of this year, I was messaging a few friends and tossing around an idea for this year’s off season “retreat”.  Some may say that my job is a retreat or a sort of vacation already. I now have numerous arguments against such claims, but this story is not [...]

The Titan

The book, 50 Classic Climbs of North America, came out in the early 1980 and was then, and still is now, a collection of the great climbs from a classic era. Some of the climbs are not so great and there are climbs that are better, but these all have history behind them and are [...]

Mount Patriach – Kauhurangi National Park New Zealand

I (Sp) am back in New Zealand for a few weeks and filling it with some hiking, climbing and enjoying the country.The great thing about NZ "tramping" is that there are lots of tracks, fantastic views and a great hut system. The bad thing is that there are lots of biting sandflies, rain and nothing [...]

Hokitka on West Coast in New Zealand- Jan. 2013

The Wet West Coast West side of the South Island has always had a reputation. Annual rainfall here can be up to almost 60 feet of water. The forest is rainforest and often a battle to get through. Rivers come up and people are stranded for days. A bridge on the main highway washed out [...]

Boundary Peak 9.2.12

Boundary Peak is the high point of Nevada and we get a number of people who are doing all of the high points of the 50 states wanting to do it. This was the case with Jayme and Don Holcomb. This was a warm up before Whitney, but with no good  trail and the dry [...]

Mt. Emerson 13, 225′ July 4, 2012

Some of the Sierra Mountain Center team went out on July 4, 2012 to check out Mt. Emerson 13,225'.  There are several different approaches.  We decided to climb the SE Face.  Short approach for this fun alpine route on solid rock.  Leaving the Piute Pass trail before Loch Leven Lakes-  Route climb the [...]

Clarence King and Gardiner Basin Ski Tour

Seems like this year spring comes and goes, with a day of spring followed by a day of winter. But it is ski tour season so Sp and Chris set off with John Miller, His son Rob, Pascal Poignard, Chrixx Finne and Dan Silverberg on May 6th from Keasarge Pass. Our route took us over [...]

Snowskills with SMC

A lot of people think that winter is the time to learn ice axe and crampon skills. Not so; when the snow is deep and soft ice axe and crampons will not add a lot of safety and security and it is better to be on skis. But now that we have hard snow, cold [...]

Mini Mountain Camp June 27-29

Dave Meyers put together a custom trip with his sons Grant and Nick after climbing Whitney via the Trail Route a little earlier. The boys were tired after all of that exertion and after a day of rock climbing at Benton Crags Nick decided that his body and feet were sore so SP, SMC's 2010 [...]

Middle Palisade, Norman Clyde and the Thumb with Robert Miller

The South Fork of Big Pine Creek is far less used than the North Fork, which gives access to North Palisade, Starlight and Thunderbolt peaks. But the approach up the south fork is shorter, has fewer people and great climbing. So SP and Robert Miller from Albuquerque spent six days there climbing peaks. First up [...]

New Routes with Matt Compton

Think that the Sierra Nevada is climbed out? We have spent enough time out there to know that this is no where close to the truth and there are many routes that we have had our eyes on for years. So when Matt Compton called a while ago wanting to do some new routes and [...]

Match Maker for Climbing Partners

Looking for a cheap date? Post your dates and destinations here to see if there are others out there looking for the same trip to reduce your expenses for a guided climb. Just click COMMENTS below.

Whitney East Face with Joe and Candy 6/14-16/07

            Over the years we have done a lot of trips with Joe Maher and Candy McNulty from Reno. each time Joe pushes Candy a little more and she comes through with style and aplomb. We did the Venusian Arete on Temple Crag a couple of weeks ago and this time it was [...]