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Re: Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Update - February 22, 2012

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avatar Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Update - February 22, 2012
February 23, 2012 05:20PM
Weather: (February 15 through February 21)
High temp: 48°F (February 17)
Low temp: -2°F (February 19)
New Snow: 8 inches
Total settled snow depth: 20 inches as of February 21

Skiing Conditions and Weather: There were some high winds immediately after the last posting. So, ski conditions can vary quite a bit given aspect and altitude. Sheltered true north slopes still offer the softest option. For twenty inches, coverage is still quite good for sliding around this spectacular winter wilderness.

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. No natural avalanche activity has been seen in the Tuolumne backcountry area yet this season. However, attention should be given to north facing aspects that may still be holding pockets of depth hoar especially in rocky terrain. So far, only collapsing/settling has been felt with no visible propagation. Stability tests reveal a few layers that could cause a potential hazard in the future, if it ever snows again! East facing slopes do have a melt-freeze crust at approximately 60cm, with some faceting immediately above and below. Wind crusts form pockets above tree line on multiple aspects, primarily easterly. These are observations to keep in mind as the season progresses. At this point, the shallow snowpack, coupled with clear cold nights is shaping up to be more like a continental (versus maritime) snowpack. Stay tuned.

Wildlife: Lots of Snow Shoe Hare tracks have been seen in the soft snow as have their predators the weasel, Pine Marten, and Coyote. Flocks of Dark-eyed Junco have been flitting about the Lodge pole pine. On a couple of evenings, a Great Horned Owl has been heard hooting somewhere in the shadows of Lembert Dome.

Questions: Power and phones are out for the season. Contact the Wilderness Office at (209) 372-0740 with any questions or concerns. Bring your ski & skin wax! Laura & Rob Pilewski, the Tuolumne Meadows winter rangers.
avatar Re: Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Update - February 22, 2012
February 23, 2012 09:18PM
Awesome, a great horned owl!
Re: Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Update - February 22, 2012
February 27, 2012 10:35AM
It has been several years since I have stayed at the Tuolumne Hilton. Amongst the finest outings I, and later, my wife, have experienced. Really am looking forward to the possibility of a return sometime in early Spring. Now it is more difficult, age is intruding on reality, but a stepwise journey back would work if the Spring conditions are "normal". Ol' Blue Slide and its buddies are always under consideration as serious factors. Whatever does happen, the privilege of staying in the "Inn" are, in my experience, without parallel, I hope a number of XC types get in there and continue to enjoy the local and wonderful benefits. Thanks for being there, you Ranger types. It is not always easy, I can imagine; years later, you will appreciate even more what it is you are now doing.
Hope for a Miracle March--
Onward!!
Warren (XCSTSKI)
avatar Re: Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Update - February 22, 2012
February 27, 2012 10:45AM
Z snow up on da rim to Watkins 2 weekends ago was actually really nice.
Some beautiful powder... We need some major storms... it's starting to get ridiculous.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Update - February 22, 2012
February 27, 2012 06:04PM
Chick-on,
Your Twinkie is upside-down.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Update - February 22, 2012
February 27, 2012 06:33PM
Quit looking at my Twinkie!



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Update - February 22, 2012
February 27, 2012 08:00PM
Quote
chick-on
Quit looking at my Twinkie!

I smell a setup.
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