January 9, 2020
Snow Update: End of Section 5, beginning of Section 6
Update: Riders report that there is no way to get through the section from the Racetrack to Cerro Gordo or the easy bypass. Saline Valley road is impassible due to ice. The snow has been packed down to sheet ice by four wheel drives.
Hunter Mountain Pass is completely snowed and iced in as well. The only way to get to Lonepine from Beatty is through Stove Pipe Springs and around via the road.
Previous update Dec. 17, 2019: We received a report from riders that due to heavy snow in the Sierra Mountains, as of Friday Dec 8th, the “expert only” higher routes were impassable with more snow predicted.
The standard route Section 8 had traces of snow before Benton but was not a problem.
As of Dec 13th, 2019 Section 6 “North to South” the climb to Cerro Gordo was fine, the descent however was compact snow and ice, from summit to the valley floor. 6″ to 8” of snow in places, with compacted ice.
Note, that once you go over the rim “North to South” of the pass you are committed. Turning around to go back up is not possible. At the bottom just above the wash, there was evidence of bikes trying to climb up “South to North” and turning around at the base.
Mid descent there is a 50 yard section of ice that melted and re-froze, making it difficult to walk on, and VERY DIFFICULT to try and hold up a loaded bike. Probably not as much a problem with assistance, but for Solo riders be prepared.
Previous Report: A cold storm swept through California with snow levels dropping to as low as 2500 feet in elevation and is currently effecting much of the route. Snow depths in all but the higher elevations is thin and should melt off in the next few days. Another storm is set to enter the region this week, but is predicted to be warmer with higher snow levels. This storm should melt off existing snow, with the exception of the Hunter Mountain bypass of Lippincott pass, the backside of Cerro Gordo and most of section 7 Alternate’s higher elevations through Mazourka, Wyman and Silver Canyon.” These areas will most like see additional snowfall and increasing snow depths.
Daytime temps are moderate, but evening temps will get below freezing in many areas as storms roll through. Check local weather forecasts prior to your trip and have fun!