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[Yosemite]

Snow levels at the Sierra Passes

Hiking, backpacking, running, biking, climbing, rafting, and other human-powered activities in Yosemite National Park

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Snow levels at the Sierra Passes

Postby balzaccom » Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:27 pm

Check out this story. 50 foot snow drifts near Tioga Pass, 8 feet of snow at 8500 feet on Sonora Pass...

http://www.recordcourier.com/news/local ... ioga-pass/
Check out our website and blog at: http://sites.google.com/site/backpackthesierra/home
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Re: Snow levels at the Sierra Passes

Postby Phil » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:10 pm

A few weeks back was up on the TRT at 8600 ft above Spooner Summit. Yes, it was very deep. A couple weeks ago had a chance to fly directly over the center of Yosemite at a fairly low elevation. It's striking, even at 15,000 ft. I haven't seen anything like that in a long long time. I would bet that we may see residual snow pack on the higher passes for the better part of the summer. The road crews definitely have their work cut out for them this year.
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Re: Snow levels at the Sierra Passes

Postby Justin-T » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:06 am

We've got a permit for the first week of August to do a figure 8 loop starting at TM, up to Vogelsang and then around the Fletcher & Lewis Creek trails and back to TM. Given the 215% snowpack at >8500 feet should I be seriously planning for an alternate trip at lower elevations? I'm worried about snow-covered trails and dangerous creek crossings. I know there is no crystal ball as regards weather between now and then, but is this route likely to be clear of snow if we have average temps in May/June/July?
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Re: Snow levels at the Sierra Passes

Postby Dave_Ayers » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:42 pm

I think the 1st week of August will be great time to go to that area this year. I wouldn't worry too much about snow pack below 11,000 feet at that date and area and your high point at Vogelsang Pass is about 10,700. Maybe you have to walk on a few well trampled snowpatches is all. I don't recall any troublesome creek crossings in that area either. There is a footbridge over Lewis Creek near where it joins with Fletcher Creek. Maybe a little shallow wading at Florence Creek vs. the usual rock hopping.
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Re: Snow levels at the Sierra Passes

Postby Phil » Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:10 pm

And it's a +1 on Dave's comment. Early August should be fantastic.

Don't cancel or change plans. It might be more residual up higher, but it won't be impassable by any means. Your route's going to be fine...just better water, for longer. Right before you go, check trail conditions so if you need any extra gear like gaiters or extra (neoprene) socks, you know to have them. But your biggest concern is probably going to be the muck down between Merced Lake and the next trail junction at Echo Valley, and as Dave mentions, possibly still some slightly higher runoff at the bottom of Fletcher Creek.
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Re: Snow levels at the Sierra Passes

Postby Justin-T » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:33 am

Thanks, Dave and Phil, good to hear.

We won't be going all the way to Merced, just down the Fletcher side to the junction with Lewis trail side at 8200'. It will be interesting to see just how different it is to last year on the Fletcher side.
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