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Your thoughts on Summer 2010 Sierra water?

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Re: Your thoughts on Summer 2010 Sierra water?

Postby markskor » Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:13 pm

Getting back to the water question -

Just got back 4 days YNP - 2 days Valley and 2 days almost fishing Cherry Lake,
Observations/ impressions Yosemite particular order of importance.

- High water in the Valley crested Tuesday; all the falls are magnificent and total drenching on the Mist trail –indeed something to experience.
- Backpacker camp was 1/3 flooded…the last little bridge (coming in from Stables) was underwater in sections. After 5:00 PM you had to come in from the Ahwahnee (1/2 mile) or Mirror Lake (1 mile), or wade waist deep.
- Out of 50 backpackers met there over 2 nights, maybe 5 were Americans…a lot of German, French, and Israeli…some fun South American guys too.
- The little Mexican Food stand at Curry, next to Mountain Shop, does a great job with dinner, but Curry Cafeteria breakfast, (now $12.50) sort of sucked as compared to last year.
- Still 8 feet of snow where the Tuolumne Store usually stands.
- No PCT’s yet over Donahue.
- Degnon’s Deli is under construction with the addition of an elevator.
- The little trinket shop next to Degnon’s, the one always crowded with cheap bear bric-a-brac now is unexpectedly almost “bare” of most merchandise. (Sorry!)
- The trail up to Merced Lake…last 2 miles underwater – waist deep and full-on rushing…turned back at least 3 parties that I heard of. As the river fluctuates greatly hour by hour, reports early morning access still possible.
- Trail from south to Clouds Rest open with the summit block still under snow…5+ feet snow above 9000 ft.
- Cables on Half Dome still not up.
- HSC’s still expect to open but no hard dates - yet.
- North Dome Trail possible mostly but a lot of snow around the arch still remains…Snow Creek trail OK but muddy.
- There is water everywhere
- Mosquitoes not that bad – yet!
- Gas prices at Crane Flat - $3.29 regular
- Yosemite Valley Art classes @ $5/day…I took two.
- Fishing…since everything high is still ice - We were supposedly all dialed in for Cherry Lake (4800 feet and 20 miles in from 120 entrance), looking for the big browns… trolling with down-riggers. Our own Ozark Flip brought in his small boat with depth finder/everything… pretty tricked out rig. We launched the boat, made the turn out of the inlet north, right into the teeth of the wind. Got wet and scary quick…there will be other days.
- Flip stated, “Some days you are the dog and some days you are the hydrant."
BTW, Flip has a way with words...lots of laughs and stories ...and cold power! Plus, he can cook!
Thanks Flip!

To sum it up about water, right now Yosemite is the big dog and we are all hydrants...waiting?
Mountainman who swims with trout

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Re: Your thoughts on Summer 2010 Sierra water?

Postby kpeter » Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:38 pm

Just looked at the 4 snow gauges I have been monitoring, and this is what they have done in the last 7 days.

Bishop Pass (11,200) is 36" down from 41". Only 5 inches in a week?
Charlotte Lake (10,400) is 5.5" down from 18". Going fast.
Ostrander Lake (8,200) is 13.5" down from 27". Going fast.
Slide Canyon (9,200) is 29" down from 39".

The melt is going well but the 2nd week in June did not keep up the torrid pace set at the end of the 1st week of June. Bishop Pass in particular is going slow, most other places are losing 1-2 inches a day. I'm heading in at Beehive Meadows later this week and will tell you what I find. I'm expecting things under 8000 feet to be pretty clear, other than shaded areas and northern exposures. But I will find out!
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Re: Your thoughts on Summer 2010 Sierra water?

Postby kpeter » Sun Jun 20, 2010 6:43 pm

As of June 19, Charlotte and Ostrander gauges are more or less snow free.

Slide Canyon at 9200 is at 18", down from 29" five days ago.
Bishop Pass at 11200 is at 29", down from 36" five days ago.

Yesterday I hiked over Morraine Ridge Trail into Jack Main Canyon. At 8000 feet there was snow in shade and on north faces, but was otherwise clear.

Water. In the Hetch Hetchy area the very worst of the snowmelt has passed and the streams are becoming somewhat more reasonable. 10 days ago the Park Service medivacd a hiker out who was swept away in waist deep water trying to approach the bridge at the Vernon Lake outlet. Now dozens are crossing it on the circuit and not even getting their feet wet. The lake looks to me to be about 2-3 feet above its normal height. Some low lying campsites are underwater. Needless to say, Falls Creek is still extremely impressive and is completely unfordable and uncrossable anywhere except on that bridge--from Jack Main to Vernon and below Vernon. I have seen "rivers" with a lot less water than that "creek".

Recently they opened up the overflow at the Dam and there is a huge waterfall over the cliffs under the day use parking.

Trail conditions are so-so. I had to wade to get down the staircase from the top of Morraine Ridge to Jack Main. Snowmelt had turned the trail into a stream for part of the way. Lots of mud on lots of trails. And the Park service has not yet cleared any of the deadfall from the trails.
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