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

 

February
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
Winter
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

 

February
2019

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

TRAILHEAD

Summit City Canyon
Summit City Canyon from Mount Reba.

UNMAINTAINED TAHOE TO YOSEMITE TRAIL
Above we see the full length of the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail's unmaintained route through Summit City Canyon in the Mokelumne Wilderness laid out at our feet. Note The Sisters in the upper Right hand corner, and Horse Canyon cutting deeply into Summit City Canyon in the upper-middle-left of the image. At the middle-bottom of the image above we can see the stony course of the bottom-end of Summit Creek just above where it enters the North Mokelumne River.

That point is just above where the North Mokelumne Rive begins its passage through its very narrow steep and sheer granite gorge (you gotta read this) just above where it runs past the Enchanted Forest. Below the Enchanted Forest the river runs through an even steeper and deeper cut of the river canyon from the Enchanted Forest to Camp Irene. Camp Irene is where we began this climb to our South up the NW flank of Mount Reba where we get this fantastic view of Summit City Creek's awesome canyon. We can actually see the river-bed rocks cascading down towards Camp Irene in the shot above. See 'em? That's bottom of Summit City Creek just above where it enters the North Mokelumne River.
Below that point we find the steep, deep, and narrow section where the catastrophic Spring Thaw of 1997 pushed up a massive log jam in this bottle-neck of a canyon just above Camp Irene, causing massive destruction in and around the 75 foot deep pool of surging, grinding, smashing timber backed up behind it, which swept away all in its path below it when it finally snapped.

Devastation swept across the landscape and down the river valley which can still be seen and felt today. Less and less each year.

This year's massive rains, snowpack, and thaw activity will further heal those "wounds."

 

UPDATE
Feb 22 2017
This year's vast snowpack may rip the Sierra & most of California a "new one" if present precip trends continue into the rising heat of the Spring Thaw.

Labeled Image

Trail Guide          Map          Miles and Elevations

 

End of January

 

February 2019

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

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

 

 

 

PRECAUTIONS AND OPPORTUNITY
Some backpackers are observing patterns and trajectory of Winter storms and temps to find Hiking Windows into the
Winter Wonderland.

Others are watching the snow activity/pack to determine when the trails will clear enough to begin their Pacific Crest Trail or John Muir Trail backpacking trips.

2018 UPDATE
Weak Snows on the Mountains!

 

 

2018
FULL WINTER CONDITIONS

2018:
WINTER COLD

The Fall Gear has long been stowed or complimented by the heavy Gear of Winter.

 

What's Going On?
See
November 28 of 2017 Report:
FULL WINTER GEAR REQUIRED

 

 

WINTER of 2018

 

 


All
High Sierra Weather Info

 



Latest Daily Snow Depth Summary

Daily Sierra Snowpack % of Normal pdf

Daily Snow-Water & Percent of Average

 

All Precipitation-Snow Data

All Snow Surveys

SWC & Snow Depth

 

 

 

 

Summer of 2018 Backpacking Plans?
Yosemite-Hoover-Desolation
&
John Muir Trail Hikers:

 

Time to
Order Next Year's Permits!

Reserved permits for June 2018 now available from Yosemite, Hoover, and Desolation Wilderness Areas. In other words, Yosemite, Desolation, and Hoover Wilderness Areas all offer advanced reservations about six months ahead of your desired hiking dates.

This means now is the time to get your JMT permit application, along with other popular hikes, into the Man.

Feb 18
Last year, during 2017, at this point in time I was estimating a powerful, potentially catastrophic Spring Thaw.

We had snow along the Sierra Crest through the whole Summer. Again, each year's thaw depends on the Winter snowpack against the profile of Spring temps and precip.

 


All Permits

Yosemite Permits         Desolation Wilderness

 

 

All Snow Information

December
Road News & Status Links

29 JAN

 

XXX & XXX

 

 

LAST MONTH

NEXT WEEK

 

30 JAN

 

 

REALTIME
High Sierra Crestline
Reporting Stations

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

 


31 JAN

 

 

Winter Storm Warnings

All Sierra Forecast Zones

All Precip 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018
Snowpack:

Percent of Average for
January 31.
(Change since Jan 26.)

N Sierra: 29%
(+2%)

Cen. Sierra: 35%
(+0%)

S Sierra: 21%
(-3%)

Ca State: 30%
(+0%)

Last
Jan 26, 2018

Statewide Summary of Snow Water Content PDF

Next
February 24

1

 

 

 

 

Informative
"Normal" Vs. Now

Forcasts & Reality
vs.
Averages

 

 

 

All High Sierra
ZONE
FORECASTS

 

All High Sierra
POINT
FORECASTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


2018
Snow Depths & Temps

2

 

 

All High Sierra
Reporting Stations

 

All Snow and Rain Precipitation Forecasts,
&
Snow Depth and/or
Inches of Water


 

 

Informative
"Normal" Vs. Now

Forcasts & Reality
vs.
Averages

 

Winds? Weather?

NorCal Graphics

SoCal & SW US

 

Precipitation

Quantitative Precipitation Forecasts:
RAIN FORECASTS

 

 

Let's look at the
Big Picture

The Pacific Ocean

Set this for 14 days
&
Display Loop Below

 

US Weather Map

 

All Maps

 

All
High Sierra Weather
And the factors creating it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST MONTH

NEXT WEEK

 

Top

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 3
Report
Winter of 2018

 

2018
Snowpack:

Percent of Average for
February 3.
(Change since Jan 31.)

N Sierra: 27%
(-2%)

Cen. Sierra: 30%
(-5%)

S Sierra: 25%
(+4%)

Ca State: 27%
(-3%)

Last
Jan 31, 2018

Statewide Summary of Snow Water Content PDF

 

 

2017
Current Snowpack:
Percent of Average for
February 3.

N Sierra: 145%

Cen. Sierra: 174%

S Sierra: 198%

 

Ca State: 171%

Statewide Summary of Snow Water Content PDF

 

4

 

All Forecasts

 

View of Sierra on December 4 by the...

MODIS
SIERRA SATELLITE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018

DROUGHT CONDITIONS EMERGE IN MID-WINTER

United States Drought Monitor: West

High Sierra Weather Page
Drought & Flood

 

5

 

 

 

All Snow Information

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

 

 

2016
5
RECORD
AND
NEAR RECORD
HIGH TEMPS

Great
Northeast Pacific Highs
deflecting weak storms OUT OF THE SW around the Sierra.

 

6

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018
Snow Depths & Temps

 

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Snow & Temp Report

8

 

 

All Snow Information

 

All High Sierra
Reporting Stations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
No information about a 2017 ADZPCTKO

2017
PM:
Big Tropical Flow out of
SW hits the Coast of Ca.

PM:
Raining across
Sierra Crest
Most stations above freezing to 40 degrees

ALL STORMS THIS SEASON HAVE COME OUT OF THE WEST & SOUTHWEST: Warm Storms...

Oroville Dam Crisis News

 

9

 

All Sierra Forecast Zones

All Precip Forecasts

 

The Sierra
on
December 9
by...

MODIS
SIERRA SATELLITE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016
Record Level Temps

High Heat and Humidity...

Plum and Cherry trees blossoming at Sea Level.

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

Top

 

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018
Snow Depths & Temps

 

11

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

Top

 

 

 

 

12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018
Snow Depths & Temps

 

2018
Snowpack:

Percent of Average for
February 12.
(Change since Feb 3.)

N Sierra: 17%
(-10%)

Cen. Sierra: 24%
(-7%)

S Sierra: 17%
(-10%)

Ca State: 17%
(-13%)

 

 

13

14

15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Snow & Temp Report

16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015 CHANGE POINT

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

Top

 

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

17

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

Top

18

 

 

 

 

2018
Snow Depths & Temps

2017
Snow & Temp Report

19

 

 

 

 

 


2017

Yosemite Natural Firefall

History of,...

History
Tourist Fire Version

 

 

20

 

 

 

 

2018
Snow Depths & Temps

21

 

 

 

 

News of Note
Feb 2017:
Record Precip

Record Snopack

State fully saturated

Oroville Dam Crisis

 

 

 

 

22

 

 

 

 

2018
Snow Depths & Temps

23

 

 

 

 

2018
Snow Depths & Temps

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

Top

 

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

24

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT MONTH

 

Top

 

 

 

 

2018
Snowpack:

Percent of Average for
February 22.
(Change since Feb 12.)

N Sierra: 17%
(=)

Cen. Sierra: 23%
(-1%)

S Sierra: 19%
(+2%)

Ca State: 19%
(+2%)

 

25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018
Snow Depths & Temps

 

26

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018
Snow Depths & Temps

27

28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018
Snow Depths & Temps

 

1 March

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018
Snow Depths & Temps

 

2 March

Backpackers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT MONTH

 

Top

 

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

Top of Page

End of Jan

 

2019

January        February       March      April       May      June

July     August     September       October      November      December

 

2014 Calendar          2015 Calendar

2016 Calendar          2017 Calendar

2018 Calendar

 

Classic Feb
NOTES

Short days and long cold nights are the bookends within which we plan our Winter backpacking trips.

High Sierra SNOW trips can be followed up by exciting trips into the moderate Winter Climate of Death Valley. Best time to see DV.

 

 

 

Seasonal NOTES:
December Tenth, 2015:
Intense tropical flows have so far been diverted around us by the same persistent ridge, the high pressure zone that's been gradually building, strengthening, and persisting over Winter in the Northwest and West Pac over the last fifteen years. Yup, that one. I am betting that each time this ridge breaks down from here on out we will have a good chance of North and Central California getting seriously hosed. The ridge persisting will continue the deluge that everyone from Portland Oregon, and points North, has been getting pounded with, so far this year.

The distribution of El Nino tropical moisture has been controlled by the balance of factors I discussed in the December Backpacker Alert.

Season's Greetings: Alex and all the members of Tahoe to Whitney hope you had a killer backpacking year, that you’ve seen amazing things and met incredible folks on the long trails between Lake Tahoe and Mount Whitney. Woo Hooo!

Now's the Time! November & December is the time to reserve permits in Desolation Wilderness or Yosemite National Park for next June. Half of each ‘s Wilderness Permits for these heavily used areas are available six months before the start date of the backpacking trip.

 

 

This 2017 High Sierra backpacking and backpacker's Calendar notes important hiking dates as our seasons progress to compare current and recent historical weather to determine the best gear for the conditions. We also track the expected against the actual dates our resupply locations and the trans Sierra highways that feed them open and close. We also include permit reservation timing reminder information for those who seek hard to get permits from Yosemite and Hoover Wilderness Areas.

The Seasonal Backpacker

Nature of season.

Seasonal hopes…

If so, our goals, our speed, and our expectations have fully shifted into Winter Mode.

Our changing inner perspective ideally matches external environmental changes.

May your perspective always complement your environment, and visa-versa.

 

2014 Calendar          2015 Calendar

2016 Calendar          2017 Calendar

2018 Calendar

 

The Classic Feb. Question
Piercing Cold this month or just “Normal" Cold?

2016 Answer:
Hot as heck 1st through the 15th. No Cold.

2017 Answer:
Vast Rain and Snowfall from tropical sources typically bring wet, heavy, snow to the Sierra that is subject to chances of of being subjected to rainfall across the Sierra Crest. So it has been during 2017.

Therefore this season could be catagorized as having "warm" Winter conditions, despite the occasional plunges in temps we've seen a couple of times this Winter.

Last year's warmth during Feb was Summer-like, having little resemblence to typical "Wintertime" temps and weather patterns. The Winter heat of 2015 was even more abberent.

This year we are having real Wintertime conditions for the first time since the Winter of 2010-2011, yet this year's temps strike me as being a bit "warm" for typical Winter conditions.

The Classic Feb. Question
Heavy Snow Storms or None at All?

2017 Answer:
Feb. 15 Report
We have gotten pounded with record precip & snow.

Early Implications

1> Not an early start year for PCT-JMT hikers.

2> Potentially dangerous fording and trail conditions Spring & early in Summer.

3> Moist conditions all Summer long feeding mosquitoes all Summer long.

 

2016 Answer:
Feb. 15 Report
No Storms of significance to 15th.
No real storms hitting the Sierra for over two weeks, snow looking funky, coming apart, but high humidity bringing light snow when temps drop...
Snowpack retreating.

2017 Answer:
Adding Complexity
La Nina.

Weakening as of Jan 25. Diminishing, maybe ending...

 

 

 

I am hoping my frostbite/heart is recovered enough to resume my annual Christmas-New Year Snow Camping Triangle at the end of 2016.

From Meyers to Round Lake to Showers Lake to Round Top Lake and back to Meyers is my traditional December 25 Christmas present to myself.

The terrain, the joy of navigation and route finding the snow-covered beauty of the High Sierra during Winter is a special experience well worth the efforts and hazards.

Happy Trails!

Tahoe to Whitney

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