Friday, April 25, 2008

Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Update

From the NPS

April 24, 2008
Weather: (April 16 to April 23)
High temp: 59° (April 18)
Low temp: 6° (April 21)
New Snow: 3” (April 22)
Total settled snow depth: 23” as of April 24
Ski Conditions and Weather: It has been a cool and windy week at Tuolumne. A series of storms have passed us by to the north, bringing many prolongedepisodes of high winds and cold temperatures. We did get a few inches of new snow on Tuesday, but most of that blew away in the high winds the next day. The snow has been firm to icy in the mornings, softening somewhat in the afternoons. The Tuolumne River and most of its tributaries are now free of ice, in most spots the only way across is to use the summer trail bridges. The latest snow conditions report from the east side is that the Tioga Road (Highway 120) has been plowed from the road closure gate outside of Lee Vining up to the lower end of Tioga Lake. If all goes according to plan, Caltrans will have the road cleared and open to the public up to the park boundary at Tioga Pass for the opening day of fishing season on April 26. On our west side, skiers coming up the Snow Creek trail report that the snow line begins just above the summer trail bridge, which is about 1/2 mile above the top of the switchbacks; everything below that level has melted out. The latest report from the west end of the Tioga Road is that plow crews have cleared the first 12 miles of road east from Crane Flat.

Avalanche and Snowpack Conditions: For the latest avalanche advisory for this area go to for the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center and click on advisory. The ESAC site is updated several times a week and more often during weather events.

Wildlife: Birds seen in the past week include Mallard, Common Merganser, Killdeer, Northern Flicker, Williamson’s Sapsucker, Hairy Woodpecker, Black-backed Woodpecker, Violet-green Swallow, Steller’s Jay, Clark’s Nutcracker, Common Raven, Mountain Chickadee, Brown Creeper, White-breasted Nuthatch, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Townsend’s Solitaire, American Robin, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Dark-eyed Junco, White-crowned Sparrow, and Brewer’s Blackbird. We are still seeing quite a few Painted Lady butterflies migrating through the meadows during the afternoons. Animal tracks seen in the past week include Coyote, Pine Marten, Chickaree, Mice/Vole, and Hare. No sign of any bears up here yet.

Questions: If you have any ski related or weather questions feel free to call 209-372-0450 between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm. If we are out skiing, leave a message and a phone number so we can return your call. Please don’t call us with questions about road conditions, as we live 20 miles from the nearest plowed road and don’t do any driving this time of year. For current park road conditions call 209-372-0200. (Jeff and Kathi, the Tuolumne winter rangers)

Labels: , ,

Tioga Road and Glacier Point Plowing Update 4/24/08

It's that time of year again when us photographers living west of the Sierra Nevada eagerly await the plowing of the passes that allow us easy access to the beautiful Eastern Sierra and the high country. On the Glacier Point Road, initial plowing to Glacier Point is complete, but additional plowing (widening), road work, and hazard tree work must be completed before the road can be safely opened to the public.

Work continues on the Tioga Road:

Update on Tioga road Opening 4/24/08.
Tioga Road opening operations continued yesterday.
Tioga Road progress for April 23, 2008:
Starting Location: 11.3 miles from Crane Flat Gate
Ending Location: 15 miles from Crane Flat Gate (Mc Swain Summit)
Distance plowed today: 3.7miles
Average Snow depth: 6 ft.

Visit the NPS website for the most current information.

Labels: , ,