Killer Sunset at The Sisters near Carson Pass
Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney: Crown Jewel of the Pacific Crest Trail
Need a Map? Lost Al near Lost Keys Lake
Emigrant Wilderness under Tropical Thunderstorm, September.
Round Top Lake
Whitebarks and Grizzly Peak in Emigrant Wilderness under Tropical Clouds during September 2013
Lost Keys Lake
 

Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney
Trail Guide, Magazine, & High Sierra Backpacker's Trails and Topics Forums


HIGH SIERRA BACKPACKER'S
Calendar

 

July
2018

 

Important Seasonal Happenings, Transitions, Events, & Dates
for
High Sierra Backpackers

 

Road Conditions, Resupply, Seasonal Transition Concerns, Permit Dates, Weather, Water, and Mosquitoes

 

 

 

Last Year
2017

 

THIS YEAR
News, Views, & Issues
JULY
2018
High Sierra
News
JULY
2018
Backpacker
Alerts
2018
Natural Meltdown
High Sierra
Backpacking
TOPICS
High Sierra
Backpacking
TRAILS
High Sierra
Backpacking
FITNESS
High Sierra
Backpacking
SKILLS

High Sierra
RESUPPLY
High Sierra
PERMITS
High Sierra
WEATHER
High Sierra
Trail
GUIDE
INDEX
High Sierra
Trail
MAPS
INDEX
High Sierra
Trail
MILES
INDEX
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2018
High Sierra
Backpacking Calendar

January         February         March         April         May         June

July         August         September         October         November         December

 

 

July
2018

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

TRAILHEAD

Last Year

 

July 2018
Volunteer and Double Peaks

East Carson River just below PCT under April Snow.
Descending towards Bensen Lake we observe the massive climb following our descent when we continue South from Bensen. This is one of the hardest sections of the whole Tahoe to Whitney hike.

North Yosemite Backcountry
Trail Guide
           Map           Miles and Elevations

July 2018

Top of Page

January       February       March       April       May       June     July     August     September       October       November       December
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

 

 

JULY 2018

 

Backpackers
Shift to Summer Gear well under way. Be ready for last bursts of Spring Weather.
Ignore the Calendar.
Gear up for the Conditions on the Ground, not a Date on the Calendar.

High Sierra Backpacker Weather

ON THE TRAIL
2015 REPORTS

July 2015
Current chances of experiencing
SEVERE WEATHER are INCREASED.

 

26

 

27

 

LAST MONTH

NEXT WEEK

TOP


28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016
Hot and Clear

2015 REPORTS:
Vast Tropical Flows

29

 

SPRING THAW

RIVER INFORMATION


RESERVOIRS

Watersheds and Selected Network of Crestline Sensors

 

 

Selected
Weather Resources

 

Surface Low Pressure Tracks

 

Radar

 

Visible Satellites

 

Water Vapor Satellites

 

MAPS

 

Sierra Forecasts

 

Western US Forecasts

 

Precip Animation & Charts

 

Graphical Precip Forecast

 

All Sierra Snow Info

 

Sierra Sensor Networks

 

Watersheds and Selected Network of Crestline Sensors

 

High Sierra Highways

 

All Weather Information

 

 

 

TOP


30

 

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017

WARNINGS
through
Fourth of July:

Fording Hazard

Snow travel Hazard

 

2

 

 

LAST MONTH

NEXT WEEK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016
Hot and Clear

3

 

REALTIME
High Sierra Crestline
Reporting Stations

Rubicon
7618 feet

Echo Peak
7652 feet

Carson Pass
8388 feet

Ebbetts Pass
8660 feet

Leavitt Lake
9602 feet

Marine Base
6748 feet East Flank

Deadman Creek
9250 feet

Tuolumne Meadows
8600 feet

Tioga Pass/Dana
9798 feet

Gem Pass
10750 feet

Mammoth Pass
9500 feet


South Lake Cabin
9580 feet

Big Pine Sawmill
10200 feet

Bishop Pass
11972 feet

Charlotte Lake
10398 feet

Upr Tyndall Creek
11441 feet

 

All High Sierra
Reporting Stations

4

Independence Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOP

5

 

Clear
Big High Building

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Snowpack & Temps

6

2018
HEATWAVE WEATHER HAZARD WARNINGS

Looks Hot for the Next Five Days...

T-Storms
Wednesday?

 

Weather Warnings

70 on the Sierra Crest

 

Scorcing the Planet
Four Articles: LA & the Whole World Frying

 

 

All
Weather Information

 

 

LAST MONTH

NEXT WEEK

TOP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
WARNINGS
through
Mid-July

Heat Hazard

Fording Hazard

Snow travel Hazard

TRANSPO
Most 2017
Trans-Sierra Highways & Road NEWS

Very Late Openings

High Points:

June 21
Bishop Creek Shuttle runs

June 21
Lakes Basin Road open, Mammoth

June 28
Road to Spicer Open

Reds Road Closed

June 29
Tioga Pass Opens

June 30
Ebbetts Pass Opens

High Sierra Transportation Resources

7

2018
HEATWAVE

WEATHER
HAZARD
WARNING

&

RELATED DANGER
HAZARD
BEWARE THE
GREEN WATER

Blue-Green Algae
Safety Hazard

&

RELATED DANGER
HAZARD
BEWARE
FIRE & SMOKE

Eyes on the Skies!

 

 

Weather Warnings

 

T-Storms
Wednesday?

Lightening Probabilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
HEATWAVE WEATHER HAZARD WARNINGS

FLOOD
HAZARD WARNINGS

See each ZONE for specific warnings:

High Sierra
Zone Forecasts

HAZARD
WARNINGS & MAP

Heavy Lightening in South Sierra:
(3:40 PM)

special weather statement

On current radar
(FIERCE! 22:38 GMT)

Lightening Forecasts

 

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

8

GEORGES FIRE Whitney Portal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
WARNINGS
through
Mid-July

Heat Hazard

Fording Hazard

Snow travel Hazard

9

 

 

10

 

 

THAW

RIVER INFORMATION


RESERVOIRS

Watersheds and Selected Network of Crestline Sensors

 

 

Selected
Weather Resources

 

Surface Low Pressure Tracks

 

Radar

 

Visible Satellites

 

Water Vapor Satellites

 

MAPS

 

Sierra Forecasts

 

Western US Forecasts

 

Precip Animation & Charts

 

Graphical Precip Forecast

 

All Sierra Snow Info

 

Sierra Sensor Networks

 

Watersheds and Selected Network of Crestline Sensors

 

High Sierra Highways

 

All Weather Information

 

 

 

2017
Snowpack & Temps

 

 

2017
Our heat hazards have degraded into warnings, but it is still concerningly warm. Caution advised!

Backpacker Alert, Currently

Snow is rising above 10, 000 feet, but still thick above that point, and in protected aspects far below.

Snow Info

Terrain is still saturated. Reds Meadow Road still closed, the Tuolumne Store, Cafe, and Post Office are still closed, while the High Sierra Camps are not opening at all this year.

Trail News: July 10

We have gone from flood to drought-heat wave conditions in the snap of a finger.

Fire and Smoke now join snow terrain and dangerous fords as hazards we must be watching out for.

All Fire & Smoke Resources

11

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

TOP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Baja Ca Hurricane: see 2015 note of 14th.

2017
Heavy snow at high altitudes preserves the

SNOW TRAVEL HAZARD,
but now mostly limited to higher up the flanks & crest.

Continuing high runoff flows maintain the
FORDING HAZARD.

HOT TEMPS PERSIST,
and must be monitored.

FIRE & SMOKE
hazards are present & increasing.

MOSQUITOES are a THREAT.

Water & Snow Hazards are gradually narrowing as this unique season progresses, while Heat, Fire, and Skeeter threats are rapidly rising.

George & Sue
Married
2015
HAPPY ANNEVERSARY!

Ceremony at Burst Rock in Emigrant Wilderness, followed by a backpacking honeymoon into the Emigrant Backcountry.

And Tahoe afterwards...

 

12

 

 

 

 

 

 

MOSQUITOES

Mosquitoes rise when the snows melt.

Mosquitoes are typically THICK right now.

A dry year? Then less skeeters. A wet year? Then more.

2015 was a good model for dry years, being the driest on record.

2017 provides a good model for wet years, as it recorded the most snow ever measured.

 

2015 Calendar

2017 Calendar

2018
has come in at roughly 50% of a "normal" Winter's average snowpack, putting us smack-dab in the middle, between the extremes of
2015 & 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015 REPORTS:
Skeeters are thin. Early for thin...

13

FERGUSON FIRE
Yosemite Foothills

 

 

WEAK TROPICAL
T-STORMS & HUMIDITY

 

Lightening Probabilities

 

Sierra Forecasts

 

Western US Forecasts

 

All Weather Information

14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Heat Advisories.
Warm to Hot.

2016
Beautiful weather in the Sierra. Warm to Hot.

2015 REPORTS:
Remnants of Baja Ca Hurricane drawn North into LA, South Deserts, and bringing more tropical storms to Sierra Nevada:

LA Floods

Hwy 10 Closed by Flash Flood

 

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Heat Advisories.
Warm to Hot.

 

 

 

2016
Beautiful weather in the Sierra. Warm to Hot.

 

 

2015 REPORTS:
It has been a "Tropical Summer," so far. This trend began in mid-May.

 

16

FERGUSON FIRE
Yosemite Foothills

 

HEAT ADVISORY
Valley-Foothills-Mountains

continuing
Warm to Hot

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

TOP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016
Hot and Clear

 

 

2015 REPORTS:
It has been a "Tropical Summer," so far. This trend began in mid-May.

 

17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Snowpack & Temps

 

 

2017
Heavy snow at high altitudes preserves the:

SNOW TRAVEL HAZARD,
but now mostly limited to higher up the flanks & crest.

Still lots of snow on parts of Sierra Crest, less on others.

High Altitude Trips are STILL SNOW TRIPS

Date-Adjustable High Sierra Snowpack Status

Amazing Sat Views

Continuing high runoff flows maintain the
FORDING HAZARD.

HOT TEMPS PERSIST,
and must be monitored.

FIRE & SMOKE
hazards are present & increasing.

MOSQUITOES are a THREAT.

Water & Snow Hazards are gradually narrowing as this unique season progresses, while Heat, Fire, and Skeeter threats are rapidly rising.

 

18

LAST

SNOW

References

See
All
High Sierra Snowpack Data Sources.

Date-Adjustable High Sierra Snowpack Status

 

Amazing Sat Views

ZONES
&
HAZARDS

High Sierra
Zone Forecasts

HAZARD
WARNINGS & MAP

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

TOP

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOP

19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
FULL SMOKE-FIRE ALERT

Detwiler Fire

Smoke inundates Tahoe-Carson-Reno areas, (alert)

All backpackers and visitors to the Sierra should check smoke and fire conditions. Smoke can be a real problem, even with no fire in near proximity.

Fire & Smoke

CalFire

Inciweb Fed

Smoke

All Recent Trail News

Heat threat dissapated
into warm temps-not cool, but warm. Heat to increase again this weekend, so be heat and fire aware.

Tropical Power Marching North

A unique configuration of factors has formed up a "storm generation machine" (news) in the waters off of Central America for the past couple of weeks. A line of storms aimed at Hawaii have been deflected, swatted away to the Southwest and disrupted by the rotation of the powerful, persistant High covering the NE Pacific.

Now these big tropical storms are marching far enough North that remnants of their massive moisture plumes could be swept East on prevailing winds, and across the Sierra during the next week-weeks.

This means that the chances of tropical thunderstorms and downpours are increasing.

Beware the Lightening

Best Sat View: IR SE Pacific

All
Satellite
Views

 

20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


2017
FULL SMOKE-FIRE ALERT

Detwiler Fire

 

21

 

 

continuing
Warm to Hot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Heat Hazard Rising

Heat Warnings in effect this weekend

Fire Hazard

Smoke Hazard

Fording Hazard

Snow Travel Hazard
(High Elevations)

See
Exact Line of High Sierra Snow Cover

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

22

 

Selected
Weather Resources

 

Surface Low Pressure Tracks

 

Radar

 

Visible Satellites

 

Water Vapor Satellites

 

MAPS

 

Sierra Forecasts

 

Western US Forecasts

 

Precip Animation & Charts

 

Graphical Precip Forecast

 

All Sierra Snow Info

 

Sierra Sensor Networks

 

Watersheds and Selected Network of Crestline Sensors

 

High Sierra Highways

 

All Weather Information

 

23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOP

24

FIRE-SMOKE-HEAT
-WARNINGS-

Until Further Notice

FERGUSON FIRE
Yosemite Foothills

 

Weather Warnings

 

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

TOP


25

 

26

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
A Warm Week

Heavy Tropical Forces

Weather Notes

 

 

27

 

Yosemite Delays opening Valley for five days, until August 3

Fire Information

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
"The New Normal"
The Drought Never Ended

 

28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Detwiler Fire being brought under control, Tahoe Basin Fire Resrtictions.

 

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

29

 

 

Serious Smoke
in
Yosemite, on the Sierra Crest, & Both Flanks:

Smoke
BlueSky Daily Run
(Must be reset for latest run)

Satellite
MODIS Sat View, the 26th

 

30

FIRE-SMOKE-HEAT
-WARNINGS-

Until Further Notice

 

FERGUSON FIRE NEWS & INFORMATION
Yosemite Foothills

 

Weather Warnings

 

Lightening Hazard
Predictions & Forecasts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Heat Hazard Rising

Heat Warnings in effect this week, building to Thursday peak.

Fire Hazard

Smoke Hazard

Fording Hazard

Snow Travel Hazard
(High Elevations)

See
Exact Line of High Sierra Snow Cover

 

 

31

Valley Opening Delayed to 8-5

 

ROAD NEWS
June Lake Loop Closed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Snowpack & Temps

 


2017
Safety News
Fording Fatality on PCT.

Detwiler Fire 90% contained.

Trail News
July 31, 2017

2017
Heavy snow at high altitudes preserves the:

SNOW TRAVEL HAZARD,
but now mostly limited to higher up the flanks & crest.

Still lots of snow on parts of Sierra Crest, less on others.

High Altitude Trips are STILL SNOW TRIPS

Date-Adjustable High Sierra Snowpack Status

Amazing Sat Views

Continuing high runoff flows maintain the
FORDING HAZARD.

HOT TEMPS PERSIST,
and must be monitored.

FIRE & SMOKE
hazards are present & increasing.

MOSQUITOES are a THREAT.

Water & Snow Hazards are gradually narrowing as this unique season progresses, while Heat, Fire, and Skeeter threats are rapidly rising.

 

1

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT MONTH

TOP

 

2

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOP

4

2

Standard JULY NOTES:
I’ve seen years when the snowpack sticks through the Summer, and years where the snowpack clears by mid-June. The past four decades the average annual snowpack has radically declined and the date the snow clears has gotten earlier and earlier.

Independent of the long term trends our trip planning and gear selection are guided by careful observations of the character of each season’s weather. This year is no different.

2015 REPORTS:
Freak Tropical Weather blowing North bringing unsettled weather into the Sierra since late May, and certainly persisting through now, mid-July. The El Nino conditions in the East-Central Pacific are already epic by July 22, which is very early in the timing of a typical El Nino "season."

This indicates a high probability of our already tropically-unsettled weather being supercharged by a heavy El Nino building into Fall. We will see. This tropical weather has served to suppress what would have been a disastrous fire season, and has served to put the drought on "suspended animation," somewhat retarding its progress.

Last two times I saw El Ninos like this (over last 40+ years) California suffered epic Fall flooding. Epic.

2014 Calendar          2015 Calendar          2016 Calendar          2017 Calendar

 

The
Bookends

of
High Sierra Experience

JULY
2015

RECORD MINIMAL SNOW PACK

 

JULY
2017

MASSIVE, RECORD MAX SNOW PACK

 

 

Permits
Yosemite National Park and Desolation Wilderness accept reservations six months in advance for Summer backpacking dates.

June 2016 reservations are available in January, July in February, and so on.

Yosemite Permits

Desolation Wilderness

Hoover Wilderness

 

DANGERS
Monitor weather for afternoon Thunderstorms

Beware of dangerous fording conditions

Mosquito conditions are typically going Hog Wild during this time of year.
Not during 2015!
Mosquito Populations are still being depressed by the drought conditions, despite the Spring and Summer tropical rains.


2014 Calendar          2015 Calendar  

2016 Calendar

Mountain Safety

Thunderstorms?

As snow travel and fording dangers receede on the High Sierra terrain, the next danger grows in the skies.

July brings the peak of the Summer Thunderstorm Season in the High Sierra.
These are typically local weather, caused by heat waves in the San Joaquin Valley swept up the West Sierra Flank.

Hot wet air on a fast ride up the West Sierra flank to high elevations squeezes out what can be substantial daily rain and lightening activity lasting between 2 pm and sunset.

Don’t cross open ground under one of these storms. They are deadly. Lightening and Fording are the leading causes of High Sierra backpacker deaths.

More Lightening Information                  Lightening Prediction Tools

Typical Scene: Video

Story
Caught Out with Bubba & Dave

 

2015 HISTORY
This year's constant series of thunderstorms are tropically born, not local. These thunderstorms are the product of distant moisture-rich tropical air being driven North by air currents generated by the intense tropical thunderstorm activity that generated them in the first place. These moisture rich airs are then sucked across the Sierra by an aberrant series of stubborn unstable low pressure zones over California and the West Coast of the U.S.

Tahoe to Whitney

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2018
High Sierra
Backpacking Calendar

January         February         March         April         May         June

July         August         September         October         November         December

 

2014 Calendar          2015 Calendar

2016 Calendar          2017 Calendar

Trailhead
 
Contact
Alex Wierbinski

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Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney

Your guide to backpacking the Sierra Crest, including the Tahoe to Yosemite, Pacific Crest, and John Muir Trails

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© 2017 Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney: Crown Jewel of the Pacific Crest Trail