Attempted to use new MSR Lightning Axis snowshoes to go to top of Racehorse Mtn this morning. Had no idea what road and snow conditions to expect. The road north of Racehorse Creek is drivable to the junction near the bridge at 2298 feet elevation. No downed trees over the road. There are long patches of snow on the road above 2500'. All-WD Subaru with regular tires was OK in 1-2" inch slush on road when creeping along.
Parked near junction and started 'shoeing. Snow about 3 feet deep at bridge. Awful, wet mashed potatoes snow. Sunk into about mid-calf on small snowshoes. Turned around about 45 minutes later at the 2800 foot level after mixed rain and snow started to fall and didn't look like it'd let up. Breaking trail on snowshoes alone in that wet, heavy snow (slush) was sweaty, uncomfortable work but I don't know if XC skis would be any better. I know I can't turn a touring ski in 3-4 feet of unconsolidated mashed potato snow.
It's not winter anymore but it's not spring either.
I will return when the snowline is higher to drive to, visibility is better and snow is corn and doesn't sink as deep. If you want to get in on a spring trip to Racehorse, send a p.m. Also check out the zoomed in bird's eye angle view of Racehorse on Bing.com Maps. It's in spring so there's snow and it shows an amazing amount of detail!
-------------- "I aint jokin woman, I got to ramble...We gonna go walkin through the park every day." - Led Zeppelin
We were there just over a year ago (Apr 3, 2010) and my Camry (sans studded tires) was sliding around by 2,100 feet and the Subaru we were with managed to get up to 2,800 feet... and then come back to pick us up at 2,100 and deliver us higher.
Clearly, lots more snow this year.
I don't have any plans to head up there in the near future, but I have been considering a visit to the nearby epic landslide from a couple years ago. Might find a fossil or two before the spring undergrowth gets in the way.
Thanks for the TR and conditions report - going to go check out the birds eye view.
-------------- "Ill habits gather unseen degrees, as brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas." ~John Dryden
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