A Wintery Week in Yosemite

Discussion about winter adventure sports in the Sierra Nevada mountains including but not limited to; winter backpacking and camping, mountaineering, downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, etc.
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Harlen
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Re: A Wintery Week in Yosemite

Post by Harlen » Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:03 pm

Even though it's what I expect this year it's a little heartbreaking to see how dry it is up there in February.
Hey Longri, et al, what do you think about the snow situation now?! We were hopeful that this week's repeated snowfall events, on top of the very nice snow storm I was in on Thursday (2/22), just might set up a very nice layer of solid corn if the freeze-thaw cycles come into effect. If it stays really cold and windy, a lot of that new snow will just be blown off into leeward corners, but didn't NOAA predict warming temps late this week? Here's the word from Maverick:
I'm sure after this in-coming storm (Wed - Sat), we will receive over a foot of new white stuff in that area. :nod:
Always good to be hopeful eh? One bonus of the low-snow situation when I arrived was that there was just about zero avalanche risk, so conditions were good for winter mountaineering. I was warned to bring "points" along for the slick, icy ridges... to avoid the "slide for life" scenario. Now we have a fair amount of unconsolidated new snow sitting on those icy slopes, so a variety of avalanche, and other climbing difficulties will be present. My point is that in these darn, low snow years, opportunities for winter mountaineering can come along.
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It is certainly still wintery looking and feeling up there, and I had a blast touring and climbing around!

I don't know if you can edit thread titles
Thanks Longri, I was able to change that problem- an oversight that was, for once, easy to fix.
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longri
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Re: A Wintery Week in Yosemite

Post by longri » Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:38 pm

Harlen wrote:Hey Longri, et al, what do you think about the snow situation now?! We were hopeful that this week's repeated snowfall events, on top of the very nice snow storm I was in on Thursday (2/22), just might set up a very nice layer of solid corn if the freeze-thaw cycles come into effect. If it stays really cold and windy, a lot of that new snow will just be blown off into leeward corners, but didn't NOAA predict warming temps late this week? Here's the word from Maverick:
I'm sure after this in-coming storm (Wed - Sat), we will receive over a foot of new white stuff in that area. :nod:
You want a prediction?

It looks like we're going to get significant snowfall, perhaps 2-3 feet in Tuolumne. We'll see. It doesn't appear to be warming up the end of this week though. Maybe the beginning of next week although the forecast shows a chance of snow on Wednesday.

When it will corn up I can't say. I've skied corn at 10,000 feet in January and bogged in muck and crust in late March. It just depends.

I'm kind of put off by the drier conditions and the warmer weather that's been melting off the lower elevations early in recent years. It doesn't feel right to me. It is what it is, it's just different than it used to be not all that many years ago. Even last year, the big year, was too warm.

But if you want to ski bad enough the conditions are secondary. Just go.


Two years ago was a normal year in terms of snowfall. Here's what the ski hut looked like in mid-February of 2016 next a photo from your recent trip:

Image

Image

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Harlen
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Re: A Wintery Week in Yosemite

Post by Harlen » Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:11 pm

I'm kind of put off by the drier conditions and the warmer weather that's been melting off the lower elevations early in recent years. It doesn't feel right to me. It is what it is, it's just different than it used to be not all that many years ago. Even last year, the big year, was too warm.
Interesting points Longri, I'm afraid we have entered a "Brave New Heraclitian World," where indeed, the only constant- is change.

Copeg, thanks for the idea, and Psychokid, for the recommendation. I was able to find only the Zojirushi thermos, I've got it, and it looks great.
I looks really beautiful up there. Any plans on getting back after the incoming big storm blows through?
And Hobbes, I absolutely will be going back in. The deep new snow makes touring pretty arduous, and the avie risk is still high, but areas like Badger Ridge are avalanche free areas- as long as you stay away from incredible edges, such as Taft Point's, and the edges around Dewey and Glacier Points. I just found out though, that Badger Pass will not open- is this correct?! So now, while waiting for the high country to solidify, we are considering other areas, like in from Echo Pass to Lake Aloha, and around Carson Pass again? SNOOOW, Longri, Paul, TomH, TahoeJeff, et. al., what areas up around the Main Divide might be nice, and safe? Thanks for any advice, the Harlens.

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Re: A Wintery Week in Yosemite

Post by CAMERONM » Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:52 pm

Great stuff, thanks.

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Re: A Wintery Week in Yosemite

Post by SNOOOOW » Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:54 pm

Harlen wrote:
So now, while waiting for the high country to solidify, we are considering other areas, like in from Echo Pass to Lake Aloha, and around Carson Pass again? SNOOOW, Longri, Paul, TomH, TahoeJeff, et. al., what areas up around the Main Divide might be nice, and safe? Thanks for any advice, the Harlens.
You know Harlen, your ski touring adventures are way more EPIC than my own. I typically will just skin up something and ski down and call it a day. I am sure with these much colder temps and the snow that came that the backcountry touring is way better. I will definitely be trying to get out to one of those areas that you mentioned but I have committed to working a S**t load until the end of April basically. Keep us posted on your next adventure!
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Harlen
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Re: A Wintery Week in Yosemite

Post by Harlen » Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:26 pm

... I typically will just skin up something and ski down and call it a day. I am sure with these much colder temps and the snow that came that the backcountry touring is way better... SNOOOW
Snooow, 2 things: first, do you think that all of the new snow has settled/hardened to the point where it really is good for touring? I have had enough trail-breaking for a season after that last retreat-slog fiasco down from Toulumne.

And second, since you do the wild downhill tele skiing, can you please tell me how one dies in a "tree-well disaster?" Did you read the post about the 2 folks who died at Mount Bachelor in Oregon? I asked the question there of Mike/old ranger, et. al., but so far there's been no response. Aren't you in the medical field SNOOOW?* You should be well-positioned to explain this to us. Thanks SNOOOW, Ian and Bear.


*(though a self-proclaimed "Professional Crastinator"??wtf?)

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Re: A Wintery Week in Yosemite

Post by SNOOOOW » Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:21 pm

Harlen wrote:
... I typically will just skin up something and ski down and call it a day. I am sure with these much colder temps and the snow that came that the backcountry touring is way better... SNOOOW
Snooow, 2 things: first, do you think that all of the new snow has settled/hardened to the point where it really is good for touring? I have had enough trail-breaking for a season after that last retreat-slog fiasco down from Toulumne.

And second, since you do the wild downhill tele skiing, can you please tell me how one dies in a "tree-well disaster?" Did you read the post about the 2 folks who died at Mount Bachelor in Oregon? I asked the question there of Mike/old ranger, et. al., but so far there's been no response. Aren't you in the medical field SNOOOW?* You should be well-positioned to explain this to us. Thanks SNOOOW, Ian and Bear.


*(though a self-proclaimed "Professional Crastinator"??wtf?)
I know there was quite a lot of snow that fell and breaking trail will be a must unless you are following a well worn skin track.
I did not read about the skier deaths but the problem with tree wells is that the snow around the tree can be softer and deeper and so people will fall and land face first and suffocate. Tree wells are responsible for something like 20% of all ski deaths, which I would imagine mostly happens during the big storms or just after it stops.
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Harlen
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Re: A Wintery Week in Yosemite

Post by Harlen » Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:40 pm

SNOOOW
Thanks Man.
Tree wells are responsible for something like 20% of all ski deaths.
So, I guess there is nothing solid to push off against with your arms or poles? Jeez, what a hell of a way to go?!

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Re: A Wintery Week in Yosemite

Post by Harlen » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:25 pm

I looks really beautiful up there. Any plans on getting back after the incoming big storm blows through?"

Ya Hobbes, I'm getting packed.
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Bear is dead keen to go!
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