Looking for snow condition advice Mammoth-->Yosemite Valley

Questions and reports 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.
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kevin1956murray
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Looking for snow condition advice Mammoth-->Yosemite Valley

Post by kevin1956murray » Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:18 am

Next week I will be hiking from Devil's Postpile, over Granite Stairway, Hemlock Crossing, Isberg Pass, Merced Lake, back to Yosemite Valley.

Does anyone know the snow conditions at the high points along that path? I'm trying to know whether or not I should carry instep crampons.








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kevin1956murray
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:28 am
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Re: Looking for snow condition advice Mammoth-->Yosemite Valley

Post by kevin1956murray » Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:07 pm

Since I have now been there and back, in case anyone else plans on going that route, I can now answer the above question.

There was no snow over the trail at Isberg Pass (on 8/15/19). That correlates to what the satellite images showed in the sentinel-hub link just below these few paragraphs. There is a pile of snow within snowball making distance, and there is snow along the north side of the nearby peak, but not over the trail. (We did hear about snow at Red Peak, which hikers coming the other way had not liked.)

More significantly on the zigzag route from Mammoth Lakes to Yosemite Valley, passing through last year's Lions Fire area, we found that starting at the intersection with the trail heading north to Iron Lake, there is no physically detectable trail. We tried to use GPS overlaid to the dotted lines in the Caltopo maps, but could not find clear paths. I believe the fire combined with low traffic have obliterated or erased the trails. And the few people who have walked those spots lately get 'spread out' when more than 100 yards from the trail signs at the few intersections.

Particularly difficult was the path from Corral Meadow heading west over Cargyle Creek toward Earthquake Meadow. There is no visible path, and there are a lot of low hemlock type thorn bushes, with thorns that did not burn away in the fire. We made slow progress, chewing through our phone (GPS) batteries. Fortunately we regained the path near the crossing of Iron Creek, on the way down towards Hemlock Crossing.

So if anyone runs across this update and is planning on going Mammoth, Devil's Postpile, Fren Lake trailhead, Granite Stairway, Headquarters Meadow, Naked Lady Meadow, Hemlock Crossing, Bugg Meadow, Isberg Pass, Washburn Lake, Merced Lake to Yosemite Valley, be sure to bring plenty of battery capacity for the area where Lions Fire was, since even when right on the dotted line it did not seem possible to see where the path had been. Trudging through bushes and climbing over logs is slow progress.

Satellite link, with date option near the top: https://apps.sentinel-hub.com/sentinel- ... ates=false

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