Sierra Snowpack? | High Sierra Topix  

Sierra Snowpack?

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar

Sierra Snowpack?

Postby msshea » Sun Jun 18, 2006 10:20 am

Hi Folks,
I just found this site and this is my first post. I'm from Boston and I usually spend two+ weeks in the mountains around the beginning of July for lots of photography—only day trips because I have too much gear to lug. Last year was pretty poor pickin's for high meadow flowers because of the heavy snowpack. I'm wondering if anyone has a sense of snow conditions this year vis-a-vis last year or where I can look on the web. The National Weather Service site is pretty unintelligable. I've called various Forest Service and Ranger stations in past years, but they haven't been very knowledgable, i.e. three years ago they told me Blue Canyon, near the Sonora Pass, was still socked in. I gave it a try anyway. There was a field of gorgeous blue flowers and hardly a speck of white anywhere!
Thanks,
Merrill



User avatar
msshea
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 9:42 am
Location: Boston, MA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby mountainLight » Mon Jun 19, 2006 9:25 am

Hey Msshea, Welcome. You might check some of the trip reports in the photography section as there have been some posts of early snow conditions. Also where in the Sierra were you planning to go, that might help us narrow it down a bit.
User avatar
mountainLight
Founding Member
 
Posts: 99
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 10:03 pm
Location: SF Bay Area
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby SSSdave » Mon Jun 19, 2006 11:12 am

Beginning of July will be too early for Sierra alpine areas most years. This year there was a lot of snow but it has been melting fast since late April. However there was enough snow that the middle elevations at 7k to 10k took time to melt out. Until the ground became snow free, the summer clock didn't start to run for vegetation. And timberline and alpine elevations above 10k are accordingly more impacted. Thus the first half of July one can expect areas below 8k to generally look relatively normal while those above that elevation will increasingly be a bit delayed. Of course there are other facets like slope exposure, average winter precipitation, latitude, vegetation/tree cover, and geology that factor in.

If you visit Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite at 8.5k, the first week of July, you ought to find shooting star and some owl's clover in the turfy meadow and it may peak before mid July. At Dana Meadows near 9.5k the grasses are still likely to be mostly brown with a few snow patches about. If you visited the forested meadows at White Wolf just below 8k there would be modest numbers of wildflowers while at Gin Flat a bit below 7k or Crane Flat at 6.5k wildflowers would be nearing peak. Likewise the same situation in the Eastern Sierra though elevations would tend to be higher since there was less snow and it melted out sooner. Unfortunately most of the more interesting destinations from the Eastern Sierra are at higher elevations. Those that would have wildflowers would be down in the sagebrush areas like up McGee Creek. Generally I'd advise those who wish to visit the Sierra Nevada's more popular timberline country destinations during the peak wildflower blooms to plan their trips for the last week of July through the first week of August. ...David
User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1965
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Location: Silicon Valley
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby SSSdave » Tue Jun 20, 2006 10:22 am

Latest report pretty much as expected:

http://www.highsierratopix.com/communit ... .php?t=692
User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1965
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Location: Silicon Valley
Experience: N/A


Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: MSNbot Media [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 13 guests