TR: Scouting Yosemite Area Conditions | High Sierra Topix  

TR: Scouting Yosemite Area Conditions

Discussion related to Sierra Nevada current and forecast conditions, as well as general precautions and safety information. Trail conditions, fire/smoke reports, mosquito reports, weather and snow conditions, stream crossing information, and more.
User avatar

TR: Scouting Yosemite Area Conditions

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:37 am

I took two days driving to check out the conditions in the high country. See the associated pictures below.
The Rim Fire
It was pretty bad, no doubts there. In my lifetime I have seen the area of the Cherry Tar Road entrance and the nearby bridge burned. From the auto turnout viewing area, you have a pretty good view of the burn area. Along 120 there is burn areas on both sides of the road. Once you pass into Yosemite (North), you see bands of burned area. The same holds true along about the first 1/3 of Tioga Road coming from the west. Evergreen Road to Hetch Hetchy (HH): The first part is OK, but as you near the meadows you see swaths of burned area. Loggers are busy clear-cutting some of the burned areas, including some huge old-growth un-burned trees. At the meadows, the area near the road are OK, but across the meadows to the left towards Akerson Mtn. (going towards HH), you can see big burned areas with a few swaths of un-burned trees. I did not go to HH beyond the meadows near Akerson Mtn.

Reservoirs:
The ones I saw were mostly empty. There is not much of a runoff this year. Mammoth Pool looked like it was down to nothing when in years past at the same time it was overflowing.

Snow:
I saw one patch of snow at 8000 feet on Tioga Road, and everywhere else I looked was dry. I did not see any significant snow until I got to the Tioga Pass area. What snow I saw was on the north slopes above 9000 feet, and even that was patchy. The snow I walked on was soft, not consolidated, and that was at 10,500 feet above Gaylor Lakes. Most all of the snow will be gone in a week or two.

Mosquitoes:
I camped at Rock Creek, 4000 feet south of Yosemite, and the mosquitoes were out and annoying (say 3-4). I believe the mosquitos will be mostly gone by July, a month early this year.

So, if you don't mind a few mosquitoes and moderately high water, the back-country is open for business for backpackers.

Don't forget to click on the pictures:
Attachments
Tiogax1.jpg
From above Gaylor Lakes, looking towards Mt Dana and Tioga Pass in a wide panorama:
TiogaPass2.jpg
Looking towards Mammoth Peak from Tioga Pass. Snow on the north slopes.
Gaylor2.jpg
Looking across one of the Gaylor lakes towards Granite Lakes. Everything here is above 10,400 feet.
Gaylor1.jpg
Looking north from Gaylor Lakes towards the Cathedral Range.
CathPeak2.jpg
The falls below Cathedral Lakes with Cathedral Peak behind.
fire.jpg
From the HWY 120 overlook: the trees in the far distance are burned or mostly burned:
Doyle W. Donehoo
Sierra Trails:
http://www.doylewdonehoo.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;



User avatar
DoyleWDonehoo
Founding Member
 
Posts: 480
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 2:06 pm
Location: San Jose, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: TR: Scouting Yosemite Area Conditions

Postby maiathebee » Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:41 am

Thanks for scouting! Very helpful :)
oh hey! you're reading my signature.
that's nice. want to check out my blog?
here it is: plutoniclove.com
User avatar
maiathebee
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 103
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:59 am
Location: Oakland, CA
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

User avatar

Re: TR: Scouting Yosemite Area Conditions

Postby maverick » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:15 pm

Thanks Doyle for posting this info and the pretty photos. Wondering which area
and when there will be a great wildflower showing in the burned areas. It usually
happens within 1-2 years after a fire. :-k
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8039
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: TR: Scouting Yosemite Area Conditions

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:33 pm

maverick wrote:Wondering which area and when there will be a great wildflower showing in the burned areas. It usually happens within 1-2 years after a fire. :-k


Actually it has already started. Yeah, I have noticed that after fires you see flowers you have never seen before, at least in that location. I don't know what the below flowers are either. See picture below.
Attachments
Flowers.jpg
Flowers in bloom next to the road in the burned area.
Doyle W. Donehoo
Sierra Trails:
http://www.doylewdonehoo.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
User avatar
DoyleWDonehoo
Founding Member
 
Posts: 480
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 2:06 pm
Location: San Jose, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: TR: Scouting Yosemite Area Conditions

Postby SSSdave » Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:47 am

Burned areas are more nutrient rich for all types of plants including trees, shrubs, and herbs. So if a following winter was wet then areas that had lots of flowers before a fire are likely to be significantly better after a fire for a few seasons. If a winter was dry like the last two, even all the fresh nutrients may not raise numbers of plants much because they will be water starved.

Wildflowers can only be impressive in burn areas where they were already impressive before fires. In other words driving along a road through burned forest, one will find considerable road side areas with few flowers and then some areas with modest numbers of flowers, and then some areas with lots of flowers. Just like when driving through unburned mature forests. Each year annuals that live a year, produce seeds, then wither adding to a seed bed. Perennials live several years and each winter add to seed beds though don't propagate by seeds as readily thus it is annual species that tend to be more impressive after fires and there can only be plants where the annuals left seeds. However seeds are often viable for years, some decades, and thus seed beds may gradually grow over several years as some seeds are added while others become too old and unviable.

Seeds generally tend to be resistant to fires but if a fire burns too hot many seeds may be unviable. Thus in forest areas where all the trees are reduced to piles of soot, even if there had been lots of wildflowers there likely won't be afterward. But most areas don't burn so intensely thus generally seeds will survive. Seeds of some plants are more resistant to fire than others and in fact some only germinate readily much like some trees if a fire occurred. Examples are some species of lupine (like those dominant about Foresta) and foothill poppies, ( the species dominant in the lower Merced Canyon). In Southern California semi-arid areas many species are adapted to these fire cycles and afterwards may provide much more impressive displays following spring blooms as this example in the hills of Riverside County in 2008:

http://www.davidsenesac.com/Gallery_B/08-C-38.jpg

Some shrubs in chaparral like chamise are full of hot burning oils that tend to kill competing species seeds by guaranteeing a fire burns intensely. They survive by sprouting from deep roots. For photographers, it is thus useful to know where wildflowers were abundant before a fire and then one may return to those same locales after a fire.

Note for those considering checking out the Rim fire zones for wildflowers, Stanislaus National Forest has put No Parking signs and warning messages up all along most of its roads. Already have received reports of them rousting visitors who stop in those areas.
User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1965
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Location: Silicon Valley
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: TR: Scouting Yosemite Area Conditions

Postby Grzldvt » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:42 pm

Thanks this is incredibly helpful, as we were thinking Parker Pass and Koip peak would be pretty clear by now. We usually go to Glen Aulin this time of year, but did not think the water was going to be anything special and settled on Mono/Parker. Looks like we need to rethink that based on your shots.
Steve
User avatar
Grzldvt
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 8:36 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: TR: Scouting Yosemite Area Conditions

Postby Shawn » Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:08 pm

Really nice photos Doyle. On Sunday I drove through the area and witnessed much of the same.
User avatar
Shawn
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 795
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 9:56 pm
Location: Paso Robles, Ca
Experience: Level 4 Explorer


Return to Conditions Reports and Information



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

cron