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Re: Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Report

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avatar Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Report
February 02, 2012 05:21PM
Weather: (January 18 through February 1)
High temp: 52°F (January 8)
Low temp: 2°F (January 22)
New Snow: 40 inches
Total settled snow depth: 20 inches as of February 1

Due to power outages and snow surveys - this update covers the past two weeks.

Skiing Conditions and Weather: Finally, our first significant snowstorm! Just in time for the first winter snow (not dirt) survey for 2012. The winter rangers are finally skiing. Yippee! The trees below 8800' that were initially soaked in rain followed by snow, now offer some challenging ski conditions, as does the sun affected south facing exposures and wind affected pockets above tree line. But, sheltered northerly facing open forests still offer some pleasant surprises. The new snow has settled and makes for some fine touring opportunities. And, no matter what the conditions, just remember, we're finally skiing!


NPS Photo

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

The high density new snow, which fell at the beginning of the storm on January 19, essentially fell on bare ground making for a good base layer. The subsequent colder and lower density snow which fell on top of that has settled and bonded nicely to that base layer. Ski penetration is presently 3"-6", depending on aspect. There is a mostly supportable sun crust on southerly aspects, but no corn skiing…yet. The only avalanche activity that has been observed was immediately following the storm on south facing slopes in the Tenaya Lake area where the smooth granite slopes were unable to hold the snow once it was warmed by the sun. The debris fell just shy of the Tioga road and was not very deep. All of this south facing snow has since either melted or settled.

Wildlife: Lots of fellow snow-loving travelers' tracks were seen between Snow Flat and Tioga Pass: Coyote, Pine Marten, Chickaree, and Snow Shoe hare. Flocks of Red Cross-bills could be seen close-up while foraging on lower snow free branches during the storm and can still be heard flying from tree top to tree top now that the sun has come out. A Clark's Nutcracker just squawked outside my window to remind me that they are our resident neighbors as well.

Questions: Power and phones are frequently out of service. Contact the Wilderness Office at 209/372-0740 with any questions or concerns. Come prepared; don't count on electricity or phone service at the ski hut. Just one more storm, please! -- Laura & Rob Pilewski, the Tuolumne Meadows winter rangers.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/02/2012 05:25PM by eeek.
avatar Re: Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Report
February 03, 2012 07:40AM
Awesome! Great to finally see the report from Tuolumne. Guess I won't be ice skating on Tenaya Lake this weekend though...
Re: Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Report
February 03, 2012 05:06PM
Nice picture, but if you hadn't said it was current I would have guessed it was at least several years old.

It's seems strange to see pay phones again, but two of them is even stranger.
avatar Re: Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Report
February 04, 2012 12:06AM
Quote
DB1

It's seems strange to see pay phones again, but two of them is even stranger.

It's too bad, and a bit annoying, that pay phones have done such a disappearing act that it's now hard to find one when needed.

And that's the problem, pay phones are still needed (or would come in real handy) at times. Like when I forget to charge my mobile phone overnight and it's running very low on power. Or in locations where there's no cellular signal or places where there is cellular service, but the service is slammed because of too many users (like at a stadium or a major arena).


Re: Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Report
February 05, 2012 12:00AM
Quick FYI:

I believe there is a pay phone at the picnic area across from the Murphy Creek TH.
avatar Re: Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Report
February 05, 2012 12:38AM
There are several pay phones along Tioga Road. Another one is at a eastbound pullout in near the Porcupine Creek CG.
avatar Re: Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Report
February 05, 2012 01:28AM
beautiful photo smiling smiley i know of one payphone at chinquapin in front of the restrooms.
Re: Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Report
February 05, 2012 02:34PM
Where is that building?
avatar Re: Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Report
February 05, 2012 02:38PM
Quote
hotrod4x5
Where is that building?

Next to the store. In the summer it's the campground reservations office.
Re: Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Report
February 29, 2012 01:37PM
It is now Feb 29. Hopefully the new system panting through will leave something worthwhile for now, and for later in the year. Miracle March? Sure hope so. Must be a time of careful skiing in many areas in the high country with the light snow, and much wind. Up around Tahoe, looks like about an inch of water has come down, so far.
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