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Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Update - February 29, 2012

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avatar Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Update - February 29, 2012
March 01, 2012 07:26PM
Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Update - February 29, 2012
Weather: (February 22 through February 29)
High temp: 54°F (February 22)
Low temp: -4°F (February 28)
New Snow: 10 inches
Total settled snow depth: 24 inches as of February 29

Skiing Conditions and Weather: At the time of this writing, it is snowing hard and conditions are improving on all aspects. There was a three day warm spell this week that settled and firmed up the snow surface on all but the North facing slopes. South facing slopes are mostly snow free below 9000’ and only patchy snow above this elevation. There are still good touring conditions above 8000’ in all drainages. There are good turns to be had above tree line, primarily on North aspects, but also on select East and West facing slopes. The snowpack is still shallow, however, and skiers need to be cautious of rocks and other obstacles that still exist just below the snow surface.

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. Recent storm activity has been cold, with low density snow falling on a mostly consolidated, settled snowpack. High winds were forecasted for this present storm which could produce wind slabs above tree line. Backcountry travelers should be cautious of this when on slopes greater than 30 degrees, primarily on North and East aspects.

Wildlife: Flocks of Red Crossbills and Dark-eyed Junco have been flying among the Lodge pole pine. Brown Creeper and Mountain Chickadee occasionally tag along. A Peregrine Falcon visited us on Mt. Hoffman this week perhaps escaping the heat of Yosemite Valley. And, as usual, Snow Shoe Hare and coyote tracks abound.

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.
Re: Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Update - February 29, 2012
March 01, 2012 09:26PM
Thank you. I'm living vicariously!
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