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Conditions in Carson Pass area?

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Conditions in Carson Pass area?

Postby msshea » Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:06 am

Hi,

I'm Boston-based, but every year I spend at least two weeks in the Sierras and surrounding country. For the past two summers (early to mid July) I've wandered around Carson Pass for a few days. I'm planning to go there again this July—sometime between the 11th and the 22nd. In past years, the higher elevations had some snow, but I came back with some nice flower shots. I'm wondering what conditions are like this year. Is spring coming early to the area (global warming), and what is the snowpack like?

Thanks for any info you might have!

Merrill



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Postby Timberline » Wed Jun 20, 2007 8:39 pm

I spent today at Carson Pass, curious myself to see current conditions especially after last year's wildflower extravaganza. Msshea, if your planned visit is aimed at photography, as it appears to be, expect no more than average conditions for the Pass area this year - - and maybe even less than that, depending on how much drier it gets between now and the time you get there.
There's lots of patchy snow still on the northeast slopes below Round Top and the Sisters, but much of the open area is drying fast. Now that the Valley is experiencing 90+ degrees almost daily, the high country is following suit, if only relatively. If current conditions continue, I would guess that the remaining snow may be gone by mid July or sooner. Some early blossoms have already faded, but real summer bloomers have yet to emerge - - lupines, paintbrush, corn lily, mules' ears, etc. But then its still Spring up there, albeit a drier one this year. Snowmelt and the natural springs emerging from the slopes along the trail leading to Winnemucca may keep things green and blossoming through July, but I don't envision anything like the abundance and palette of color we saw last year.
Still, Carson Pass remains one of the best flower gardens in the high Sierra in my book, so I hope you won't change any plans based on this report!
All trails are open, with only one small snowfield to cross between Winnemucca and Round Lakes; likely this will diminish and melt away from the trail in the next couple of weeks. Nice to see the freshets still cascading gustily from the snowfields and upper slopes so far. and the outlets of Winnemucca and Round Lakes are flowing gustily.
Come, and enjoy!
Let 'er Buck! Back in Oregon again!
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Postby msshea » Thu Jun 21, 2007 4:02 pm

Thanks so much, Timberline. You echo what I heard from someone else. Yep, last year was quite stunning! I'll probably give it another try in mid July and hope for the best. Hopefully, a few more clouds will float by to make sunsets more interesting. Last year, there was nary a cloud for the three days I was there.
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