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

 

April
2019

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Previous Years
2018

2017

THIS YEAR
News, Views, & Issues
2018
High Sierra
News
Spring
of
2018
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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2019
High Sierra
Backpacking Calendar

2019 INDEX

January         February         March         April         May         June

July         August         September         October         November         December

 

April
2019

Last Week of March

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

TRAILHEAD

Last Year

 

April Snowstorm climbs the East Sierra
over
Carson Falls

Sitting below the Pacific Crest Trail on the Eastern Edge of Carson Iceberg Wilderness-Stanislaus National Forest

East Carson River just below PCT under April Snow.

Looking back, Northwest by the compass, as we climb South up into the East Carson River up towards the PCT under a light Snow in April of 2000. The PCT runs the ridge in the background. We'll get up there soon. At the position above we are climbing up to Carson Falls on our way following the East Carson River a bit short of nine miles up to the PCT. Entry was through Rodriquez Flat, above the town of Walker on Highway 395.

Trail Forum            Map           Miles and Elevations (PCT)

End of March

 

April 2019

January       February     March       April       May       June     July     August     September       October       November       December

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

"Open"
Spring Conditions
in
2019 ?

Typically,
Access Depends on Conditions.
Conditions on the ground, NOT a date on the calendar determines our gear and skills requirements.

Spring has been clearing mountain trails earlier and earlier over the the last twenty-five years, and especially the last seven years.

 

2018

A Weak Snow Pack as of April 1

 

Spring of 2018

 

Danger
We've seen a long trend of earlier and earlier Spring Openings of Sierra Crest Trails, creating expectations of early openings. This year was following trend until our wet March, bringing a quarter of normal snowpack up to half.

Though this still bodes well for early starts on the PCT & JMT, the die is not yet cast.

Warm Torrential Tropical Rains could yet scour the snow from the Sierra Crest, while a cold version of Tropical Rains could still deposit many more feet along the Sierra Crest and Flanks.

Both would be "tail" events, with the most likely outcome being a quick Spring Thaw under warm conditions, and an earlier than "average" opening of Sierra Crest Trails.

 

 

2017
"Open"
Spring Conditions?

NOT 2017:
HUGE PACK ON THE CREST


The 2017 Spring Thaw was Under
WINTER SNOW CONDITIONS

 

 

2016
A slightly below average snowpack


26 MARCH

 

 

LAST MONTH

NEXT WEEK

 

TOP

 

 

 

More
High Sierra
Backpacker Information

Guide Trailhead

Guide Index

High Sierra Magazine

HIGH SIERRA TRAILS FORUMS

HIGH SIERRA TOPICS FORUMS

GEAR FORUMS

GEAR LIST

27 MARCH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018
Snow Depths & Temp

2018
Snowpack:

Percent of Average for
March 27
+/- change since
March 23

N Sierra: 48%
(+4%)

Cen. Sierra: 65%
(=%)

S Sierra: 56%
(-1%)

Ca State: 58%
(+2%)

Last
March 23
March 22
March 20
March 14, 2018
March 5, 2018
March 1, 2018
Feb 24, 2018

Statewide Summary of Snow Water Content PDF

2017
Current Snowpack:
Percent of Average for
March 27.

N Sierra: 145%

Cen. Sierra: 174%

S Sierra: 166%

 

Ca State: 163%

Statewide Summary of Snow Water Content PDF

Last Reading:
March 1

 

28 MARCH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE SNOWPACK

GRAPHICS

Date-Adjustable High Sierra Snowpack Status

 

GRAPHICS

NOAA-NOHRSC
The High Sierra
12-7-18

 

REPORTING
STATIONS

NEW
Temp & Snow Tables
by Watershed and Highway Corridor

 

Also See
All High Sierra Snowpack Data

29 MARCH

 

 

 

 

 

SEE THE LATEST
HIGH SIERRA NEWS

 

 

NEW
Temp & Snow Tables by Watershed and Highway Corridor

 

Also See
All High Sierra Snowpack Data.

 

Date-Adjustable High Sierra Snowpack Status

 

Also See
All Snowpck Data on Weather Page

 

 

30 MARCH

 

SAFETY FIRST
Cayenne's First Aid Approach

 

 

 

 

Informative
"Normal" Vs. Now

Forcasts & Reality
vs.
Averages

 

 

 

All High Sierra
ZONE
FORECASTS

 

All High Sierra
POINT
FORECASTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST MONTH

NEXT WEEK

 

TOP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST MONTH

NEXT WEEK

 

TOP

 

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

31 MARCH

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

TOP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018
Snow Depths & Temp

2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

SUMMER
Backpackers

Time again to begin observing Winter transitioning into Spring

SPRING
Backpackers

Time to begin tracking the weather to find and get in this year's last snow trips before the Spring Thaw begins in Earnest.

 

 

 

 

SEE THE LATEST
HIGH SIERRA NEWS

 

 

NEW
Temp & Snow Tables by Watershed and Highway Corridor

Scroll down to see the...

 

Also See
All High Sierra Snowpack Data.

 

Date-Adjustable High Sierra Snowpack Status

 

2

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018
Snow Depths & Temp

2018
Snowpack

Percent of Average for
April 3
+/- change since
March 27

N Sierra: 41%
(-7%)

Cen. Sierra: 59%
(-6%)

S Sierra: 49%
(-7%)

Ca State: 51%
(-7%)

Last
March 27
March 23
March 22
March 20
March 14, 2018
March 5, 2018
March 1, 2018
Feb 24, 2018

Statewide Summary of Snow Water Content PDF

4

 

 

 

 

 

More
High Sierra
Backpacker Information

Guide Trailhead

Guide Index

High Sierra Magazine

HIGH SIERRA TRAILS FORUMS

HIGH SIERRA TOPICS FORUMS

GEAR FORUMS

GEAR LIST

5

 

 

THE SNOWPACK

GRAPHICS

Date-Adjustable High Sierra Snowpack Status

 

GRAPHICS

NOAA-NOHRSC
The High Sierra
12-7-18

 

REPORTING
STATIONS

NEW
Temp & Snow Tables
by Watershed and Highway Corridor

 

Also See
All High Sierra Snowpack Data

6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018
Snow Depths & Temp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

TOP

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

7

 

SPRING THAW

RIVER INFORMATION


RESERVOIRS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018

Review Second Week of April

2018
Snow Depths & Temp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017

8

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

 

 

TOP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


2017
Snow & Temps

9

 

Moutain Safety

Trail News

General News

 

 

 

More
High Sierra
Backpacker Information

Guide Trailhead

Guide Index

High Sierra Magazine

HIGH SIERRA TRAILS FORUMS

HIGH SIERRA TOPICS FORUMS

GEAR FORUMS

GEAR LIST

 

 

SEE THE LATEST
HIGH SIERRA NEWS

 

 

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018
Snow Depths & Temp

2018
Snowpack

Percent of Average for
April 10
+/- change since
April 3

N Sierra: 36%
(-5%)

Cen. Sierra: 51%
(-8%)

S Sierra: 39%
(-10%)

Ca State: 43%
(-8%)

Last
March 27
March 23
March 22
March 20
March 14, 2018
March 5, 2018
March 1, 2018
Feb 24, 2018

 

2017
Snow & Temps

 

 

11

 

Quantitative Precipitation Forecasts:
RAIN FORECASTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE SNOWPACK

GRAPHICS

Date-Adjustable High Sierra Snowpack Status

 

GRAPHICS

NOAA-NOHRSC
The High Sierra
12-7-18

 

REPORTING
STATIONS

NEW
Temp & Snow Tables
by Watershed and Highway Corridor

 

Also See
All High Sierra Snowpack Data

 

12

 

 

Let's look at the
Big Picture

The Pacific Ocean

Set this for 14 days
&
Display Loop Below

 

All
High Sierra Weather And the factors creating it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018
Snow Depths & Temp

2018
Snowpack

Percent of Average for
April 12
+/- change since
April 10

N Sierra: 35%
(-1%)

Cen. Sierra: 47%
(-4%)

S Sierra: 36%
(-3%)

Ca State: 41%
(-2%)

Last
March 27
March 23
March 22
March 20
March 14, 2018
March 5, 2018
March 1, 2018
Feb 24, 2018

Statewide Summary of Snow Water Content PDF

 

13

 

SPRING THAW

RIVER INFORMATION


RESERVOIRS

 

 

HAZARDS

 

 

2017

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

 

 

TOP

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Snow & Temps

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE SNOWPACK

GRAPHICS

Date-Adjustable High Sierra Snowpack Status

 

GRAPHICS

NOAA-NOHRSC
The High Sierra
12-7-18

 

REPORTING
STATIONS

NEW
Temp & Snow Tables
by Watershed and Highway Corridor

 

Also See
All High Sierra Snowpack Data

 

 

 

 

2018

Review Third Week of April

 

 

2017

15

 

Want to Watch?

The
High Sierra
Weather Page

 

All Satellite Views

All Radar Views

All Snow-Precip Forecasts

 

All High Sierra
ZONE FORECASTS

 

 

SEE THE LATEST
HIGH SIERRA NEWS

 

 

NEW
Temp & Snow Tables by Watershed and Highway Corridor

Scroll down to see the...

 

Also See
All High Sierra Snowpack Data.

 

Date-Adjustable High Sierra Snowpack Status

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Snow & Temps

16

 

 

HAZARDS

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

TOP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018
Snow Depths & Temp

2018
Snowpack

Percent of Average for
April 16
+/- change since
April 12

N Sierra: 37%
(+2%)

Cen. Sierra: 47%
(=%)

S Sierra: 35%
(-1%)

Ca State: 41%
(=%)

Last
April 12
March 27
March 23
March 22
March 20
March 14, 2018
March 5, 2018
March 1, 2018
Feb 24, 2018

Statewide Summary of Snow Water Content PDF

 

 

17

 

 


Current Surface Lows
&
7-Day Freezing Temps

 

 

 

Let's look at the
Big Picture

The Pacific Ocean Weather Map

Set this for "14 days,"
&
"Display Loop Below."

 

US Weather Map

 

All
High Sierra Weather
Tracking
the factors creating it

 

Trail Guide
Trailhead

High Sierra Forums
The Backpacker's Blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Snow & Temps

 

 

2016
Hot Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

TOP

 

18

 

 

 

 

 

(KM PACK STATION)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018
Snow Depths & Temp

2018
Snowpack

Percent of Average for
April 18
+/- change since
April 16

N Sierra: 37%
(-%)

Cen. Sierra: 51%
(+4%)

S Sierra: 37%
(-2%)

Ca State: 44%
(+3%)

Last
April 16
April 12
March 27
March 23
March 22
March 20
March 14, 2018
March 5, 2018
March 1, 2018
Feb 24, 2018

Statewide Summary of Snow Water Content PDF

19

 

 

Review
October of 2017
against
October of 2016

 

 

 

 

 

Let's look at the
Big Picture

The Pacific Ocean

Set this for 14 days
&
Display Loop Below

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Snow & Temps

20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

TOP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
COLD WARNING
Weak Front through last night, clear, High building.

 

2017
Current Snowpack

VAST
Percent of Average for
April 1.

N Sierra: 182%

Cen. Sierra: 197%

S Sierra: 182%

Ca State: 189%

Compare against previous years.

 

Statewide Summary of Snow Water Content PDF

Cal Coop Snow Survey

Last Readings:

April 1

March 27

March 1

 

2016:
Hot
THE BLOB RETURNS
NW US

 

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018
Review Fourth Week of April

 

 

2018
Snow Depths & Temp

 

2017

22

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

TOP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

2017
Snow & Temps

23

 

 

 

 

The
High Sierra
Weather Page

 

HAZARDS

 

All
Satellite
Views

 

All
Radar
Views

 

All
Snow-Precip Forecasts

 

All High Sierra
ZONE
FORECASTS

 

All High Sierra
POINT
FORECASTS

 

 

SEE THE LATEST
HIGH SIERRA NEWS

 

 

NEW
Temp & Snow Tables by Watershed and Highway Corridor

Date-Adjustable High Sierra Snowpack Status

 

Also See
All Snowpck Data on Weather Page

24

 

See
Current High Sierra Trail and Terrain News

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

TOP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Snow & Temps

25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018
Snow Depths & Temp

2018
Snowpack

Percent of Average for
April 25
+/- change since
April 18

N Sierra: 22%
(-15%)

Cen. Sierra: 46%
(-5%)

S Sierra: 28%
(-9%)

Ca State: 37%
(+7%)

Last
April 18
April 16
April 12
March 27
March 23
March 22
March 20
March 14, 2018
March 5, 2018
March 1, 2018
Feb 24, 2018

Statewide Summary of Snow Water Content PDF

 

26

 

 

Seven Day
Freezing Temperature Probability

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Snow & Temps

 

 

 

 

 

 

27

 

THE SNOWPACK

GRAPHICS

Date-Adjustable High Sierra Snowpack Status

 

GRAPHICS

NOAA-NOHRSC
The High Sierra
12-7-18

 

REPORTING
STATIONS

NEW
Temp & Snow Tables
by Watershed and Highway Corridor

 

Also See
All High Sierra Snowpack Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

TOP

 

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

28

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT MONTH

 

TOP

 

 

LATEST
HIGH SIERRA
TRAIL NEWS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018

Review Last Week of April

 

 

29

 

 

MORE
HIGH SIERRA
Backpacker

RESOURCES

Sierra Highways

CalTrans
Trans-Sierra Highways

 

 

 

Trail Guide Index

 

 

 

HIGH SIERRA
Backpacker
NEWS

October
High Sierra
Trail, Terrain,
&
Weather News

 

Current
HIGH SIERRA
Mountain Safety Incidents

 

 

 

 

2018
Snow Depths & Temp

2018
Snowpack

Percent of Average for
April 29
+/- change since
April 25

N Sierra: 30%
(+8%)

Cen. Sierra: 44%
(-2%)

S Sierra: 31%
(+3%)

Ca State: 37%
(=%)

Last
April 25
April 18
April 16
April 12
March 27
March 23
March 22
March 20
March 14, 2018
March 5, 2018
March 1, 2018
Feb 24, 2018

Statewide Summary of Snow Water Content PDF

 

 

 

Top of Calendar

 

 

 

30

 

 

2017

 

 

 

THE SNOWPACK

GRAPHICS

Date-Adjustable High Sierra Snowpack Status

 

GRAPHICS

NOAA-NOHRSC
The High Sierra
12-7-18

 

REPORTING
STATIONS

NEW
Temp & Snow Tables
by Watershed and Highway Corridor

 

Also See
All High Sierra Snowpack Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Snow & Temps

1 MAY

May Day
May Day Note

 

Seven Day
Freezing Temperature Probability

 

 

 

Review
April of 2017
against
April of 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT MONTH

 

 

 

 

 

2018
Snowpack

Percent of Average for
May 1
+/- change since
April 29

 

Ca State: 27%
(-10%)

 

Last
April 29
April 25
April 18
April 16
April 12
March 27
March 23
March 22
March 20
March 14, 2018
March 5, 2018
March 1, 2018
Feb 24, 2018

Statewide Summary of Snow Water Content PDF

 

May 7
Snow Report

 

 

 

2017
Snow & Temps

2 MAY

 

NEXT MONTH

 

 

TOP

 

 

 

 

 

 

TWISTED SEASONS
Hottest & Driest Year, then the Wettest Ever, over Three Years

 

 

 

REALTIME
High Sierra Crestline
Reporting Stations

(Compare with the 15th)

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

 

 

 

2017
Heat Wave

3 MAY

 

 

 

 

 

NEW
Temp & Snow Tables by Watershed and Highway Corridor

 

Also See
All High Sierra Snowpack Data.

 

Date-Adjustable High Sierra Snowpack Status

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018

Highway 108 Open, May 3, 12:00 Noon

 

 

 

 

 

4 MAY

 

 

MORE
HIGH SIERRA
Backpacker
RESOURCES

 

The
High Sierra
Weather Page

 

HAZARDS

 

All
High Sierra Satellite
Views

 

All
High Sierra Radar
Views

 

All
Snow-Precip
High Sierra Forecasts

 

All High Sierra
ZONE
FORECASTS

 

All High Sierra
POINT
FORECASTS

 

 

SEE THE LATEST
HIGH SIERRA NEWS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018

Highway 4
Open, May 4, 12:00 Noon

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Snow & Temps

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT MONTH

 

TOP

Top of Page

 

End of March

All of May

 

2019

 

January       February     March       April       May       June

July     August     September       October       November       December

2014 Calendar          2015 Calendar

2016 Calendar         2017 Calendar

2018 Calendar

Conditions Vs. Plans
Is there a huge snowpack?
None?


Have you Late Spring or Early Summer Hiking Plans?
Current conditions will tell you if your early season hiking plans are possible.

Let's compare:

APRIL 8 STATUS 2015
8% of Average Snowpack

APRIL 8 STATUS 2016
73% of Average Snowpack

APRIL 7 STATUS 2017
161% of Average Snowpack

APRIL 10 STATUS 2018
43% of Average Snowpack

 

 

APRIL 19 STATUS 2016
85% of Average Snowpack

APRIL 20 STATUS 2017
189% of Average Snowpack

2016
Things are very different this year than the past 5 years. Early heat this year may do more to close the trail than open it.
Rather than early dry conditions we may well face early and enduring early-season soggy conditions.

2017

IT'S ON

 

Ca Dept of Water Resources

 

High Sierra Backpacker Weather

 

SPRING THREATS ON FULL DISPLAY
BACKPACKER ALERT
April 1, 2017
The most important topic of this date is the massive snowpack on the Sierra Crest and the extreme danger it poses to PCT hikers. The dangers of High Altitude Snow Travel will soon be supplemented by very dangerous fording conditions when this snowpack begins to thaw.

These conditions require skills, gear, and fitness to assure any level of safe travel as of this date. Undercutting and safety along the banks of creeks emerging from snow cover is currently increasing, as will the difficulty of travel conditions increase as the pack softens under the increasing heat of Spring.

Extremely difficult travel conditions will soon shift from hard snow that defies traction to wet snow offering no foundation. We will shortly transition from barely clinging to the mountain-side to sinking up to our waists with each step. As Spring progresses cold mornings will bring the former condition, warm afternoons the latter.

The same temp shift driving the changing character of the snow pack will soon drive even the highest river fords to levels unsafe for fording, and make the major rivers raging torrents of destruction. These temp shifts change the character of the Sierra.

The snowpack itself will become sopping wet, saturating anything and anyone in contact with it. These are the times that hikers without sufficient insulation can find cold combining with exhaustion to degrade decision making as well as technical execution & style to create very dangerous situations. I see Wet, cold, and tired PCT hikers surrounded by a sea of deep, wet, energy-sucking snow divided by an endless series of raging torrents of typically tiny High Sierra creeks surging like rivers, each supercharged by Spring's mighty flows.

The trails will be flowing like creeks, when we get down to them. And they will lead to the mighty rivers, which will be downright scary, once this massive snow pack begins to melt in earnest.


STATUS NOTES

2017 OBSERVATIONS AND TRACKING

2017
WEATHER NOTE
of
April 19th

Note the pattern of a series of Highs & Lows I mentioned on the 15th has sustained itself through the 19th, & looks likely to contain one more wet pulse.
The pattern has seen Wet, Warm frontal/Lows followed by brief clear, cold Highs. Rapidly. This current cool High is giving way to another frontal Low, & it will warm into the 20th with that moisture as this pattern then breaks, followed by cooling with the clearing/High building from 21th to 24th.

Then some heat will build in from the 22nd, unless this series of Highs-Lows come back...

FULL NOTE-COMMENTS

 

 

APRIL 9 ANALYSIS
As of April 9 extreme Spring Snow travel conditions are reasonably predictable through July, barring any extreme heating or tropical rain activity. Both extreme heating and tropical rains are very possible, if not likely.

We will have some warm ups, we will have some downpours.

As of this day the pack has not softened appreciably, nor has the Spring Thaw begun to gut the pack. We are still facing classic cold Spring conditions, which are the easiest phase of Spring Snow Travel.

This will change rapidly.

A soft snowpack is very difficult to travel across, though a soft snowpack is a lot harder to fall off of. The danger of falling off the mountain will shortly be replaced by grasping, sucking snow that draws you down into it, and refuses to let go. It tries to work you to death, rather than toss you off the mountain... Very difficult...

When the snow gets soft the trails will be flowing like creeks, the creeks like rivers, and the rivers unpassable, once this snowpack gets to that level of saturation. Everything will get saturated, wet, and cold. Eveything.

Your gear better keep you warm when wet.

Thus this current "cold" part of the Spring Thaw is actually the best and easiest terrain for rapid movement, if the Spring Traveler is properly and throughly equipped, in fine physical condition, and capable of snow navigation without trail, sign, or ranger to guide.
We can still stay dry and on top of the snow.

These deep cold Spring conditions are not ideal conditions for lightly geared hikers, nor will they be for quite some time. Deep Cold and hard snow will first turn soft, and the transition from Dry to Wet cold is very dangerous.

Warm wet snow is much more dangerous than cold dry snow.

The key PCT questions will come in a series,
"When will the Thaw begin to soften and the snow become wet enough to make soft-snow passage very difficult and fording very dangerous?"

That time is approaching right now, as I write this on the 9th.

Then the next question will be, "when will enough of the Thaw pass to allow safe passage of key fords?"

We are Watching.

 

 

 

 

 

2016 OBSERVATIONS AND TRACKING

Snowpack Tracker

WHEN WILL THE SIERRA OPEN in 2016?

TRACKING 2016 CONDITIONS

It is TIME
Consult with Resupply Location Information to assure resupply buckets are mailed in a timely fashion.
Some will go early, some will be mailed later...

 

High Sierra Backpacker Resupply

 

2017

Epic.

NEWS
Let's Ski through July

 

2016
The potential for warm rains scouring the crest of snow long before the traditional date of the end of freezing temps, which was on May 26 2015.

The end of Freezing Temps may arrive in April or early May this Year, as indicated by trends.

The tropical storm of April 7 to 10 has brought above-freezing overnight temps to the North Sierra on April 9, which is just plumb crazy.

FREEZER FORECAST

 

 

 

The Past Prologues the Future

2014 Calendar          2015 Calendar       

   2016 Calendar          2017 Calendar

2018 Calendar

2015 REPORT
APRIL 2015
ASSESMENT
Earliest Trans-Sierra Highway Openings on Record?

YUP.

RESUPPLY TIPS
Always use plastic buckets to ship your resupply:
Any container a mouse can chew through or water can penetrate is at risk.

Think about what you'd like, as well as what you need in your resupply bucket.
A bottle of fine wine or quality whiskey is a nice thing on a cold Sierra night at the resupply with the bros...

 

BACKGROUND
The trajectory of the cold, rain, and snows of January provide both excellent backpacking experiences and establish the terms, a baseline for this year’s transition into Spring Conditions.

Regular storm activity laid atop a deep pack of Winter snows wrapped in cold temps indicate a long Winter into Spring transition.

Light snows and irregular storm activity sprinkled on a thin snow pack under high temperatures indicates an early and rapid transitions into Spring and Summer conditions.

 

Tahoe to Whitney

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2019

January         February         March         April         May         June

July         August         September         October         November         December

2014 Calendar          2015 Calendar

2016 Calendar          2017 Calendar

2018 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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© 2018 Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney: Crown Jewel of the Pacific Crest Trail