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Central Yosemite National Park
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Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Central Yosemite National Park on 06/27/2010 20:29:18 MDT Print View

There has been a good deal of concern from backpackers about the unseasonable snow conditions. Let me report a bit based on the last three days. I had a start point at 8300 feet along the Tioga Road. It was dry. By 8500 feet, when I slipped into a north-facing hill, there was snow, and since I was off-trail it made navigation more difficult. By 9400 feet, the ground was covered about 80%. However, the weather is much warmer now, so it is beginning to melt fast. I predict that the snow volume will melt at about 50% per week now. By 10,000 feet, the snow was fairly steady and the 1-foot sun cups were a menace, even on the south-facing slopes. There didn't seem to be much wildlife out. I saw one black bear by the highway and then two chipmunks and one marmot in the hills. That will change very soon.


jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
re:central yosemite on 06/28/2010 10:16:00 MDT Print View

Thanks for this info. I was planning a trip over Vogelsang Pass and out to the Triple Divide last week, but postponed due to snow. It's those snow cups that'll kill you (figuratively). Looks like I'll go next week--should be golden by then, I hope! It's always hard to predict snow: I was at Merced Lake (7200)in Yos. and then climbed to almost 9000 over a month ago on south facing slopes, and everything was mostly snow free. Of course the rangers were telling everyone to bring snow shoes.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Streams Up on 06/28/2010 11:33:29 MDT Print View

Note that in connection to the snow melting, streams and rivers are much higher than normal, well into the foothills.

Expect much heavier water flow at stream crossings.

I was in the 5,000 ft range just west of Yosemite last week, and streams that are normally an easy walk-through were raging torrents.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
re: streams up on 06/28/2010 15:16:21 MDT Print View

Good point. The Lyell fork that I'm planning to cross next week has me nervous-it can be surprisingly treacherous.(No, not the one in Lyell canyon). I'm prepared to turn back.
Funny, someone posted pictures from Kennedy Meadows from last week and it was surpisingly snow free--even higher up. I think the brunt of this winter's storms often came in further south than usual, sometimes missing or glancing Tahoe while pounding Yosemite and Mammoth etc.