Last weekend I took a quick tour of the Sierra, or at least a part of it. Normally I do a first backpack of the season about now, but things did not work out, so I did some dayhiking. It was just as well, because I came down with a bad cold, so I am glad I am not three days in and sick.
The first stop was to the beautiful southern Sierra to the Lloyd Meadow TH and a hike to Jerkey Meadow to get a photo of the south side of Farewell Gap near Mineral King. I topped out near 7000 feet with no snow in sight, though there may be some in the deep shade. What I did notice was that there was far more snow on the Gap and the Great Western Divide than last year, and last year was a very wet year. I don't think the snow is a whole lot lower than last year, but I think there is more of it. Certainly there was a lot lower snow on the GWD.
Next stop was Scenic Byway (Minarets Road) out of North Fork in the San Joaquin River valley. I got further than I expected, beyond Mammoth Pool Road, but the road was blocked by snow just beyond Arch Rock near the Graveyard Meadow turnoff and Reconnaissance Meadow, short of 6500 feet.
Looking from Mile High Curve viewpoint, it is plain to see that most of the High Sierra is still under a deep blanket of snow. Looking down on Mommoth Pool, for the first time in early season, I saw that the Res was not just full but overflowing. And the runoff is just getting started. As a matter of fact, I belive the longest largest most spectacular cascade in the Sierra is now the Mommoth Pool spillway. Its unbelievable.
The plowing of Tioga road is only up to Yosemite Creek. Highways 4 and 108 are still closed. The good news is that Kings Canyon is open. Grab your snowshoes and head to Granite Basin, Sphinx Creek or above Deer Cove. It would be great!
Lots of snow out there. Lots of cabin fever to suffer.
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Thanks for the report!
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison
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