Well, I fear that any report I could give would be rendered obsolete by last Friday's weather. In any case...
I had planned to go from White Wolf (closed) May 22 to Tuolumne Meadows (three nights) to May 25, up the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River with my noob friend. As it turned out, we got a very late start. Two points of interest:
1) The main trail that starts down into the canyon (north of White Wolf): We had gone no further than one set of switchbacks when we ran into one of the most horrific dead-fall blockages I have ever seen. A group of massive huge trees were across the trail and as far up and down the slope as far as I could see. I spent about an hour exhausting myself (without a pack) trying to find a way around it. I found that if I went very high and traversed a steep slope, I could bypass it. No go. I did find the very faint rim connector trail that takes you to the eastern spur down into the canyon, but by that time I figured it was too late to attempt getting to the bottom of the canyon with a tired and slow noob and the possibility of further blockages. Just no time. So we stayed at Harden Lake for the night. The lake was fairly full, there were a few 'skeeters, and it was cold and windy. We just barely had time to set up and eat before nightfall.
2) The park has been busy removing the old road to Harden Lake, and the new trail adds a bit more uphill on its way to Harden Lake.
SO the next day we quickly got a ride to Tuolumne Meadows, got a new permit and hiked to McGee Lake for a two night stay and a tour of all of the major Tuolumne River falls, which were after all the purpose of the trip.
I got some satisfaction letting a few groups heading down river know about about the dead-fall blockage (When you get to the junction coming out of Pate Valley and the canyon, TAKE THE LEFT TURN AT THE JUNCTION!!).
Friday started out very cold (39 degrees by the time I left camp), got cloudy, and just as we got back to the TH it was snowing in earnest. And by the time we got to the pizza deck in the Valley, it was snowing a bit there too. An interesting trip.
So, in short, a few mosquitoes in the swampy areas, which were probably slammed by the recent snow (which probably will be gone in a day or two), not much snow to speak of below 9000 feet, but plenty above on the north slopes. See the pictures below.
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