Last-minute overnight out of Virginia Lakes

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Stardew_Valley_88
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Re: Last-minute overnight out of Virginia Lakes

Post by Stardew_Valley_88 » Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:10 am

levi wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 12:06 pm
Yep, your recent report inspired my interest, Brian! So thank you. Our overnight packs will be relatively light, and the Virginia Lakes approach sounds moderate enough, if loose. At this point I'm a bit more concerned about wildfire smoke :(
Did you end up going to Burro? We did a trip to White Mountain Peak that weekend (8/21 to 8/23) because the air quality forecast looked halfway decent. Took a risk but it paid off because we had clean air on Saturday up at the trailhead and peak. However, when we drove down to Big Pine on Sunday the smoke was heavy in the lower areas. I had a long drive home that day and the entire Mono County area looked pretty smoky. :thumbsdown:








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Re: Last-minute overnight out of Virginia Lakes

Post by levi » Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:07 pm

Our judgment of the smoke that weekend was that it would've been too much around Burro. Looking at the smoke prediction tool (https://tools.airfire.org/websky/v2/run ... 00/#viewer), it seemed like we'd have had a few hours of clean air, then a few hours of hazy air, then a few hours of unhealthy smoke, in an unpleasant rotation.

This past weekend I ended up attempting a solo trip out of Tuolumne Meadows to Nelson Lake, thinking that the "smoke" hours looked limited and might not occur. I'm going to write up a trip report soon... I bailed after one night, having been woken up by smoke, and dealing with a chronic headache. I thought I had learned this lesson in prior seasons, to get out as much as possible early/mid season, at least I got a few trips in anyway. It seems like most trips for the next few weeks, if not months, will be super iffy at best in terms of air quality almost anywhere in the state :( but i'll have a few trips ready to execute should conditions improve.

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Re: Last-minute overnight out of Virginia Lakes

Post by Stardew_Valley_88 » Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:33 am

levi wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:07 pm
Our judgment of the smoke that weekend was that it would've been too much around Burro. Looking at the smoke prediction tool (https://tools.airfire.org/websky/v2/run ... 00/#viewer), it seemed like we'd have had a few hours of clean air, then a few hours of hazy air, then a few hours of unhealthy smoke, in an unpleasant rotation.

This past weekend I ended up attempting a solo trip out of Tuolumne Meadows to Nelson Lake, thinking that the "smoke" hours looked limited and might not occur. I'm going to write up a trip report soon... I bailed after one night, having been woken up by smoke, and dealing with a chronic headache. I thought I had learned this lesson in prior seasons, to get out as much as possible early/mid season, at least I got a few trips in anyway. It seems like most trips for the next few weeks, if not months, will be super iffy at best in terms of air quality almost anywhere in the state :( but i'll have a few trips ready to execute should conditions improve.
Good choice about Burro Lake. When I was driving north through that area on Sunday coming home from White Mountain Peak the smoke was bad. On the bright side, containment is improving on these fires. The two big "lightning complex" fires in NorCal are about 70% contained as of today, so the smoke should be better going forward unless more fires start.

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Re: Last-minute overnight out of Virginia Lakes

Post by Stardew_Valley_88 » Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:31 am

levi wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:07 pm
Our judgment of the smoke that weekend was that it would've been too much around Burro. Looking at the smoke prediction tool (https://tools.airfire.org/websky/v2/run ... 00/#viewer), it seemed like we'd have had a few hours of clean air, then a few hours of hazy air, then a few hours of unhealthy smoke, in an unpleasant rotation.

This past weekend I ended up attempting a solo trip out of Tuolumne Meadows to Nelson Lake, thinking that the "smoke" hours looked limited and might not occur. I'm going to write up a trip report soon... I bailed after one night, having been woken up by smoke, and dealing with a chronic headache. I thought I had learned this lesson in prior seasons, to get out as much as possible early/mid season, at least I got a few trips in anyway. It seems like most trips for the next few weeks, if not months, will be super iffy at best in terms of air quality almost anywhere in the state :( but i'll have a few trips ready to execute should conditions improve.
I'm curious if your smoke prediction tool has any insight to the Virginia Lakes area over the next few days (Wednesday to Friday). I have a light workload this week and was thinking of taking days off, but want to avoid unhealthy air. I'm not sure how to run a report for specific days using that tool.

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Re: Last-minute overnight out of Virginia Lakes

Post by c9h13no3 » Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:48 am

Stardew_Valley_88 wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:31 am
I'm curious if your smoke prediction tool has any insight to the Virginia Lakes area over the next few days (Wednesday to Friday). I have a light workload this week and was thinking of taking days off, but want to avoid unhealthy air. I'm not sure how to run a report for specific days using that tool.
Smoke predictions are notoriously fickle. Current models are pushing smoke from the fires in Napa to the east, but the fire & wind isn't intense enough to push the air quality that far east into the unhealthy zone. It'd be a real crap shoot. The air will be hazy either way, but it's possible that if you stay on the east side of the Sierra crest and stay low that the giant 12,000 ft mountain range will block the smoke long enough for things to be enjoyable. Course, it's also possible it's terrible. I think tomorrow will be okay, beyond that, hard to know for sure.

Smoke prediction tools:
https://gispub.epa.gov/airnow/
https://www.windy.com/
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Re: Last-minute overnight out of Virginia Lakes

Post by c9h13no3 » Wed Sep 30, 2020 12:37 pm

c9h13no3 wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:48 am
Stardew_Valley_88 wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:31 am
I'm curious if your smoke prediction tool has any insight to the Virginia Lakes area over the next few days (Wednesday to Friday). I have a light workload this week and was thinking of taking days off, but want to avoid unhealthy air. I'm not sure how to run a report for specific days using that tool.
Smoke predictions are notoriously fickle. Current models are pushing smoke from the fires in Napa to the east, but the fire & wind isn't intense enough to push the air quality that far east into the unhealthy zone. It'd be a real crap shoot. The air will be hazy either way, but it's possible that if you stay on the east side of the Sierra crest and stay low that the giant 12,000 ft mountain range will block the smoke long enough for things to be enjoyable. Course, it's also possible it's terrible. I think tomorrow will be okay, beyond that, hard to know for sure.

Smoke prediction tools:
https://gispub.epa.gov/airnow/
https://www.windy.com/
Hazy & low visibility air, AQI between 94 & 119, so call it moderately unhealthy. I suppose the forecast was about right. I'd post pone until the weekend, hope the winds shift. But it's not looking good in the near term.
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Re: Last-minute overnight out of Virginia Lakes

Post by Stardew_Valley_88 » Wed Sep 30, 2020 2:06 pm

c9h13no3 wrote:
Wed Sep 30, 2020 12:37 pm
c9h13no3 wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:48 am
Stardew_Valley_88 wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:31 am
I'm curious if your smoke prediction tool has any insight to the Virginia Lakes area over the next few days (Wednesday to Friday). I have a light workload this week and was thinking of taking days off, but want to avoid unhealthy air. I'm not sure how to run a report for specific days using that tool.
Smoke predictions are notoriously fickle. Current models are pushing smoke from the fires in Napa to the east, but the fire & wind isn't intense enough to push the air quality that far east into the unhealthy zone. It'd be a real crap shoot. The air will be hazy either way, but it's possible that if you stay on the east side of the Sierra crest and stay low that the giant 12,000 ft mountain range will block the smoke long enough for things to be enjoyable. Course, it's also possible it's terrible. I think tomorrow will be okay, beyond that, hard to know for sure.

Smoke prediction tools:
https://gispub.epa.gov/airnow/
https://www.windy.com/
Hazy & low visibility air, AQI between 94 & 119, so call it moderately unhealthy. I suppose the forecast was about right. I'd post pone until the weekend, hope the winds shift. But it's not looking good in the near term.
Thank you. That windy.com predictor is pretty handy and seems to be accurate enough. It showed things getting worse throughout the week and here we are. I was hoping to sneak away for a couple nights to climb some peaks near Virginia Lakes, but I missed my window last week and will have to wait. If there's a chance of prolonged exposure to unhealthy air, I don't want to spend 3 days entirely outside.

What initially raised my interest was a friend who went to Virginia Lakes last weekend. I didn't realize it was allowed because of the forest closures. But the cutoff for Inyo NF (which is closed) appears to be south of that canyon.

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Re: Last-minute overnight out of Virginia Lakes

Post by Enigmagic » Thu Oct 01, 2020 4:53 pm

Stardew_Valley_88 wrote:
Wed Sep 30, 2020 2:06 pm
What initially raised my interest was a friend who went to Virginia Lakes last weekend. I didn't realize it was allowed because of the forest closures. But the cutoff for Inyo NF (which is closed) appears to be south of that canyon.
The Humboldt-Toiyabe portion of Hoover was only closed for a week. This wasn't widely publicized. They also do same day walk up permits this year, unlike Inyo.

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