View Full Version : ice axe

01-31-2010, 23:13
Just curious if i really need an ice axe during an early July sobo hike of the JMT? thoughts please!

01-31-2010, 23:46
No! Definitely not needed!

02-01-2010, 00:28
No! Definitely not needed!

Thanks. I thought not, but it's good to know for sure. How hard is the ground on the JMT for digging cat holes? I thought between hard ground and staying away from so many water sources that it may be difficult in places...i guess my question here is will a standard plastic trowel work?

02-01-2010, 15:13
No! Definitely not needed!

It has nothing to do with the month, but with the snow level and weather conditions in spring.

Have a looksee at this - North of Muir Pass July 10, 2006


South of Mather, July 08

We are currently above normal with the snow pack for 2010, and if things keep going like they have been, these 2006 conditions may be back in 2010. You can't make a call on any of this until about mid June, since just a lot of clouds in June alone can slow down the snow melt by weeks. Last year had less than normal snow, however, June wa so cold and cloudy that snow levels in July were similar to early June for a year with a 80% snowpack. If we get 125% this year, and have a cold June, you'll see more snow than in those pictures above.

Now, you could say that no matter how much snow, it isn't going to require an ice axe in July, but I guess that is up to the individual who has to cross these things.