San Jacinto Peak via Wellman Divide 30 March 2018

I had no intention to update yesterday’s trail report, but on a quick hike to San Jac Peak this morning via Devil’s Slide Trail and Wellman Divide, I was impressed by the amount of melting in just the past 24 hours at higher elevations on the east side.

The continuous thin ice above Wellman Divide (9700′) has become very patchy, and has largely disappeared between 9700′ and 9900′. The exposed slope from 10,100′ to 10,300′ is virtually clear of snow. Much of the Peak Trail snow to 10,500′ is now patchy or soft.

Conditions have changed enough that for hikers comfortable with some moderate snow/ice travel, spikes are no longer necessary for hiking San Jacinto Peak via the east side route. This is especially true for those attempting the Peak later in the day (e.g., from the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway) when the remaining snowy sections will be soft underfoot.

Note that the extended areas of snow described yesterday around Annie’s Junction and the 10,000′ area remain largely unchanged. Also, conditions on the west side remain challenging and still require microspikes.

Conditions will continue to get easier with mild temperatures (especially overnight) forecast for the next week at least. At San Jacinto Peak early this morning, the temperature was above freezing, even with a slight windchill.

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