How to determine snow conditions of a hike?

General discussions on hiking in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest
Post Reply
AaronPDX
Posts: 51
Joined: August 11th, 2014, 10:09 pm

How to determine snow conditions of a hike?

Post by AaronPDX » April 24th, 2018, 10:09 am

I see this link for snow levels from the main OH page, but the page seems pretty cryptic to me:

http://www.or.nrcs.usda.gov/snow/maps/o ... temap.html

I just want to find what elevation will have snow, for a Salmon-Huckleberry hike. Any advice on how to find this info?

Thanks,
Aaron

User avatar
Bosterson
Posts: 1704
Joined: May 18th, 2009, 3:17 pm
Location: Portland

Re: How to determine snow conditions of a hike?

Post by Bosterson » April 24th, 2018, 10:41 am

Will hike off trail for fun.

RobFromRedland
Posts: 940
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: How to determine snow conditions of a hike?

Post by RobFromRedland » April 24th, 2018, 12:11 pm

At the end of the day, the only way you will know for sure is to go try it, or talk to someone who has done it this season. There have been many occasions when I thought I could get to a trailhead - all the snotels and snow depth models showed it should be accessible, but then on the way I hit a north facing slope and run into two feet of snow and have to turn around.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: WOW-What a ride!

AaronPDX
Posts: 51
Joined: August 11th, 2014, 10:09 pm

Re: How to determine snow conditions of a hike?

Post by AaronPDX » April 25th, 2018, 8:35 am

Thanks Bosterson! That's a much more helpful site.

And thanks Rob; that makes good sense...

User avatar
retired jerry
Posts: 12079
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: How to determine snow conditions of a hike?

Post by retired jerry » April 25th, 2018, 12:28 pm

I like http://adamschneider.net/hiking/snow_depth.html

Same as Nat's, except if you click "usgstopo" it overlays with usgstopo

User avatar
Bosterson
Posts: 1704
Joined: May 18th, 2009, 3:17 pm
Location: Portland

Re: How to determine snow conditions of a hike?

Post by Bosterson » April 25th, 2018, 12:43 pm

retired jerry wrote:
April 25th, 2018, 12:28 pm
I like http://adamschneider.net/hiking/snow_depth.html

Same as Nat's, except if you click "usgstopo" it overlays with usgstopo
Oh nice! I actually emailed Caltopo to ask if they could add that USGS snow layer as one of their preset overlays.

Good work Adam. :)
Will hike off trail for fun.

AaronPDX
Posts: 51
Joined: August 11th, 2014, 10:09 pm

Re: How to determine snow conditions of a hike?

Post by AaronPDX » April 25th, 2018, 7:27 pm

Cool stuff, Jerry (and Adam). Looks promising. Will play with this before my next hike!

User avatar
retired jerry
Posts: 12079
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: How to determine snow conditions of a hike?

Post by retired jerry » April 25th, 2018, 9:25 pm

One thing about those maps, is they give the average snow level over an area of about 1 mile square

If you want to know the snow level on a ridge, for example, it can be narrow so over the 1 square mile area there is about zero snow, but there's still a significant amount on the ridge. Or there can be snow on north facing slopes or in a narrow area on the lee side of a slope.

It'll give you an idea though

Post Reply