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Current Conditions in High Sierra
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Casey Bowden
(clbowden) - MLife

Locale: Berkeley Hills
Current Conditions in High Sierra on 06/28/2006 08:36:45 MDT Print View

Help. I'm hoping to do a 9-day south to north JMT hike starting July 8th but am unable to find up-to-date snowpack information. All of the national park and national forest websites only have data from May. I need to decide today. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

On a related note, does anyone know if the PCT thru-hikers have past through the High Sierra yet?

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
sierra Conditions on 06/28/2006 13:23:18 MDT Print View

Because of a server crash, the PCT_List forum is down for a few weeks so there's no current who's where up-dates readily available. Just before it went down last week, the first thruhikers had reached Mammoth Lakes (Red's Meadow).

For JMT weather reports, see

Kaiser Pass is open, and Vermillion Valley Resort opened June 09. You might call Bill Richardson at Vermillion Valley Resort for current conditions and hiker up-dates. 559-259-4000 or use the forum

nathan matthews
(nathanm) - F

Locale: Bay Area
conditions in yosemite on 06/28/2006 20:58:57 MDT Print View

I did a weird mostly out-and-back in Yosemite last week (mild injury to hiking partner cancelled our loop).

When I set out on the 17th from Taniya lake, there was tons of snow. We couldn't see the trail, and when we got onto north-facing slopes above 8500' we were marching up and down 12' - 20' snow drifts, although snow crust was pretty solid and we rarely post-holed.

When we got to Cathedral Creek and then to lower elevations in the Tuolomne valley, stream crossings were pretty rough at the beginning of the week. (We spent the night by Cathedral Creek waiting for it to fall).

We came out at Tuolumne meadows a little less than a week ago. There were patches of snow above 8500 feet, but we didn't cross any more fields of snow or snow drifts. Stream crossings were all very tame, but it was my first time on the trail, so I don't know what's normal up there.

Hope that helps.


Locale: South West US
Re: Current Conditions in High Sierra on 06/28/2006 23:12:16 MDT Print View


Try calling the nearby ranger stations. They usually have a pretty good idea of the current snow conditions.

Near Mt. Whitney last week monday the snow wasn't a problem until a little over 11,000 ft.


Al Shaver
(Al_T.Tude) - F - M

Locale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
See this on 06/28/2006 23:29:34 MDT Print View

Check this site out:

Bill Law
(williamlaw) - M

Locale: SF Bay Area
conditions in Kaiser Wilderness 6/24-25 on 07/07/2006 13:05:21 MDT Print View

I was up there to climb Kaiser Pk two weekends ago. Conditions there are probably similar to the middle section of the JMT.

Patches of snow began above 8000'. Trails on North/East slopes had some snow coverage above 8500', solid above 9000'. Similar conditions in shadier sections of South/West slopes, at about +500' elevation. Exposed S/W slopes clear all the way to above 10K'. It was hot and snow was melting fast.

Stream crossings were no problem; may require some wading across rather than the usual rock-hopping.

Snow was easily traversed (I think I post-holed one time). I climbed a steep north-facing slope at the top of Kaiser Ridge and the snow was ideal for kicking steps.

Few mosquitoes.

One other thing: lakes at 8600 were free of ice, upstream at 9000' was half iced over. Lakes at 9700' were just puddles on top of solid ice.


Nathan Moody
(atomick) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Cali Snowpack Data: Get Yr Nerd On on 07/08/2006 12:40:10 MDT Print View

You can read the data from the California Dept. of Water Resources' snow sensors here...not the same as trail conditions, but it'll give you an idea of not only how much snow exists in certain areas, but how fast it's been melting. Usually accurate to within 24 hours.

Too late for your trip but maybe others will find it useful.