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Re: Yosemite Last Week

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Yosemite Last Week
May 13, 2013 10:46PM
I spent a few days in the Valley last week, big afternoon thunder & lightning storms, full falls, not too many people (until Friday evening), had a great time. Tioga Pass opened up Saturday morning & I was among the first to pass through. Very little snow was evident by the roadway. When I got to Olmsted Point I was very surprised by the lack of snow. I know they say it is the critical point on the road, and that this has been a low snow year, but there was no snow to be seen.
Very early Sunday morning I went up to Gaylor lakes, snow everywhere above 10,500’, with the lakes still frozen over. Just a beautiful day and then lunch in Lee Vining at Mono Cones.
Lastly, I took a little walk up the medial moraine in the valley. I came across at least a dozen trees with about a 2” cross section cut out of them, about 1/3 through the trunk. They were all Incense Cedar trees and most were on the Tenaya Creek side of the moraine, the cuts all on the uphill side of the trunk. The cuts appear to have been made a while back. Anyone know anything about this?











Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/15/2013 11:31PM by Old Dave.
avatar Re: Yosemite Last Week
May 14, 2013 07:25AM
Thanks for the photos.

From what little I know Olmsted gets all the press because it's Pt is so well known
and it has the right angle of the dangle for slabs of snow to come crashing down
and cause issues for the snow plows. So much so they started using charcoal
to quicken the melting off of the snow .. using dynamite to spread it.
There's a number of other Avalanche zones and other areas that hold snow much
longer due to tree cover and aspect.

Anywho. Something like that.

Not surprised there's no snow there... there was very little back in late Feb.
For fun:




Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Yosemite Last Week
May 14, 2013 01:15PM
Olmsted is where they had a death of a snowplow driver when an avalanche came down and buried him and the plow.

That was a bit of a wakeup call to the dangers during the yearly plow and they've been pretty paranoid ever since.

Avalanche danger high over Tioga
Re: Yosemite Last Week
May 15, 2013 05:07PM
Yeah, I was thinking that traverse looks a bit sketchy...
Re: Yosemite Last Week
May 15, 2013 11:39PM
I'm aware of the past problems at Olmstead and their valid concern about being there too early, but there was absolutely no snow anywhere near the point. I know it's been warm lately and the budget problems they are having, but it seems it could have opened a little earlier.
avatar Re: Yosemite Last Week
May 16, 2013 12:09AM
Quote
Old Dave

I'm aware of the past problems at Olmstead and their valid concern about being there too early, but there was absolutely no snow anywhere near the point. I know it's been warm lately and the budget problems they are having, but it seems it could have opened a little earlier.


Oh my goodness, May 11th wasn't early enough for you? Boy, you're really getting spoiled. I'm just happy when they open Tioga Road before the Memorial Day weekend.

Also, it's not that they only need to plow the snow. The Park Service (or its contractors) have to remove not only fallen trees that might have block the roadway but also weakened trees that might topple over during the summer months, before they open the road to the public at large. They also have to smooth out the asphalt in numerous places along Tioga Road since the asphalt tends to buckle over the winter months.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/16/2013 12:10AM by plawrence.
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