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Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Update - February 15, 2012

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avatar Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Update - February 15, 2012
February 16, 2012 02:09PM
Weather: (February 8 through February 15)
High temp: 51°F (February 9)
Low temp: 4°F (February 14)
New Snow: 13 inches
Total settled snow depth: 24 inches as of February

Skiing Conditions and Weather: Winter is finally paying us a visit. Both recent storms have dropped some light, fluffy powder. The skiing has been fantastic. Trail breaking isn't difficult in the light snow, but can be once the temperatures change so bring plenty of skin & ski wax!

Avalanche and Snowpack Conditions: For the latest avalanche advisory for this area go to http://www.esavalanche.org 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.

The new snow that fell this week was cold and dry with only 0.6" of water in 13" of snow. Not much wind below tree line resulted in a uniform snow cover and no slab conditions. Above tree line the snow is more wind affected and pockets of wind slab are possible. We observed some collapsing on a North facing, wind loaded slope. This slope had old snow on it from November and the collapsing took place on the old faceted snow near the ground. These pockets of old snow are very isolated on the shadiest of north facing slopes and, generally speaking, are not widespread enough to pose much of a hazard.

Wildlife: A Pine Marten was seen sniffing around the Tuolumne Lodge area. While skiing in variable conditions earlier this week on Gaylor Peak, two Golden Eagles loomed overhead, perhaps thinking they would soon find their prey! Not to fear now that there's powder…

Questions: Please note that power and phones are out for the season. Contact the Wilderness Office at 209/372-0740 with any questions or concerns. Be prepared for winter conditions, finally! -- Laura & Rob Pilewski, the Tuolumne Meadows winter rangers
avatar Re: Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Update - February 15, 2012
February 16, 2012 05:26PM
Thanks winter rangers. Power and phones out AGAIN for the season...
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