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Tioga Pass and Big Pine Creek beta

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Tioga Pass and Big Pine Creek beta

Postby rams » Thu May 30, 2013 8:20 am

For those wondering about snowmelt conditions in the Tioga Pass area or Big Pine Creek (south fork), we headed up Memorial Day weekend for some hikes to Mt. Dana and Willow Lake between skiing Mammoth and scratching our heads at strange events at Mule Days. Mt. Dana was a mix of snow, talus, and use trail. As of last Saturday, it was difficult to have a completely snow-free hike but it was really fun coming back down. Saddlebag Lake looked melted out from the top of Dana but snow was still pretty extensive in its vicinity (ie, North Peak/20 Lakes Basin). Tuolumne Meadows was melted out but everything above it was snow-covered.

Here's some pics of Dana and the Tioga area:

dana west slope.jpg
upper portion of Dana's west slope

looking towards Saddlebag Lake

view from dana.jpg
towards Lyell

dana west slope2.jpg
lower slopes of Dana after we came back down

tioga sunset.jpg
UFO-looking sunset

As for Big Pine Creek, it's pretty dry except for one little strip of snow just before the overlook for Willow Lake (top of the switchbacks, hugging the big cliff). The stream crossing is shin-to-knee deep where we crossed though you could probably be close to waist-deep a few feet away. The basin around Willow Lake is pretty melted-out but the high slopes are still a bit snowy (not as much as Tioga, though). Here's pics:

The horizontal strip of snow under the big cliff is hiding the trail for a very short stretch.

creek crossing

overlooking Willow Lake

Have fun out there if you go!

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Re: Tioga Pass and Big Pine Creek beta

Postby maverick » Thu May 30, 2013 1:16 pm

Thanks Rams for the beta and great pictures, especially the lenticular clouds shot!
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Re: Tioga Pass and Big Pine Creek beta

Postby DAVELA » Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:00 am

awesome tr

thanks for the big pine info...
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