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[Yosemite]

latest on Tioga Rd opening

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

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latest on Tioga Rd opening

Postby Phil » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:46 am

First it was snow (and really, it still is), but even though it appears that the plowing is complete, it's now flooding on the road and utilities being inoperational. With there still being a lot of snow to melt, and another heat wave expected this week, it looks like it might be a while yet before the conditions are safe and functional enough for the NPS to give it the all-clear. There is still no announcement of an expected opening date.

Even if the road opens by the 4th of July, think for a minute about enough water running across the road in places to keep it closed when everything they've been doing since the middle of April has been about getting that road open, then stop to consider what the rivers and streams will be like. It's not too far a reach to figure out that if your car can't safely drive across some spots on the road, you may very likely want to think again before you try to walk across that creek.

The holiday weekend is supposed to be about a celebration and having a good time, not about becoming a statistic. Sadly, some will.

https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/tioga.htm
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Re: latest on Tioga Rd opening

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:16 am

I'm being inundated on many fronts with requests for help in finding a backpacking trip for the weekend -- I have people texting, emailing, etc because they know I've been hiking and backpacking already all year. EVERYONE is trying to get out there. They all want someplace where there's not high water or lots of people.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

If you want someplace like that, stay home til the following weekend. Let the crowds go out, get frustrated, get crowded, get hot, get wet, turn around, go home. Check the status of everything -- if the melt's still going in two weeks, wait another week. And another if you have to. Then go. It will be much, much safer, not as crowded, and you'll be happier with the experience.
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Re: latest on Tioga Rd opening

Postby Phil » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:27 am

Weighted, all things considered, I'll take churning cauldrons of white water hell over a trip to Yosemite during the 4th of July holiday. In past years, it's been a relief to know that we were leaving at the same time everyone else was just arriving.

Given that Tioga Rd is open to South Fork bridge, I can't even imagine how insane the first-come, first-served campground at Tamarack Flat will be. Fistfights and resorting to sleeping in the car on the shoulder of the road won't be out of the question.

YOSAR's radios are going to be solid chatter. That poor dispatcher...bring a lunch.
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Re: latest on Tioga Rd opening

Postby Justin-T » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:52 pm

Given that the previous thread on this got moved I'll add a note here. Since I did my analysis looking at previous years of April 1 snowpack vs opening date, they changed the official snowpack for April 1 for 2017 from 143% to 177%. If I plug that % into my graph it comes up with a new prediction of July 1, which is this Saturday...
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Re: latest on Tioga Rd opening

Postby Dave_Ayers » Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:30 pm

And they've announced the opening to be 6/29 and 8 a.m., so your model was quite close!
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Re: latest on Tioga Rd opening

Postby Justin-T » Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:26 pm

Dave_Ayers wrote:And they've announced the opening to be 6/29 and 8 a.m., so your model was quite close!

:twisted:
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Re: latest on Tioga Rd opening

Postby Justin-T » Sun Jul 02, 2017 12:19 pm

Some photos from along the road a few days ago, posted on the Sierra News Online website. Perhaps a little LESS snow than I was expecting to see.

http://sierranewsonline.com/tioga-road-opens-and-i-am-there/
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Re: latest on Tioga Rd opening

Postby WanderingJim » Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:45 pm

Justin-T wrote:Some photos from along the road a few days ago, posted on the Sierra News Online website. Perhaps a little LESS snow than I was expecting to see.

http://sierranewsonline.com/tioga-road-opens-and-i-am-there/


Yes, doesn't look as bad as I thought it would too. I had thought about driving up there after doing my El Cap to Yosemite Falls hike, but really need a good burger. :)

I assume the two weeks of very hot weather we had in June melted quite a bit, leading to the quicker than expected opening and the lower than expected snow in Tuloumne meadows.
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Re: latest on Tioga Rd opening

Postby Phil » Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:56 pm

I don't want to come across as downplaying lingering conditions and thereby approaching them lightly, being caught by surprise, but I've generally found over the years that when it comes to snowpack, they tend to overstate what's really on the ground. I've always attributed this to reports that aren't timely, and leaning toward caution out of a necessity the take people of all abilities and experience levels into account.
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Re: latest on Tioga Rd opening

Postby jgaffney » Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:44 pm

I've been trying to make a reservation for the backpacker's bus from the valley to Tuolumne Meadows for mid-August, but the operators tell me that the bus schedule hasn't been released yet. I now call every other day. My plan is to arrive in the valley on the Amtrac bus, spend the night in the backpacker's campground, ride the bus to the Cathedral Lake trailhead in the morning, then hike back down to the valley, tagging Half Dome on the way by. If I can't get a bus ride, my plan explodes.
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Re: latest on Tioga Rd opening

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:48 pm

If you can't navigate in snowfields, the bus won't matter much anyway. People are being rescued from wandering around in snow by rangers.

ETA: Ah, mid-August. You know I would just be patient and settle for calling every few days, they'll post it soon.

Hitchhiking happens too... there's also YARTS.
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Re: latest on Tioga Rd opening

Postby Phil » Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:51 pm

We do try to get shuttles when we can, but we've always had good luck with hitching. If you have two or more people in your group, just send one, sans pack. Results may vary, and you definitely can't set your watch by it, but as long as you look semi-normal and unmenacing, it usually works out pretty well.
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