Current Snow from the Valley up to Tuolumne Meadows

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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Harlen
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Re: Current Snow from the Valley up to Tuolumne Meadows

Post by Harlen » Sun Dec 08, 2019 11:30 pm

C9, that's a very interesting video clip you gave us. Strange scary route to begin with, and then it breaks! Small slab, but a sketchy, textbook "terrain trap" to the right. Does it look to you like the guy is heading back up and out of it?
I wouldn't have been there in the first place for a couple good reasons. :(
The Tahoe skiers I follow have either been cursing the wet manky snow below 8000', or setting off wind slabs above 9000.
https://www.instagram.com/p/B5wKuXMpggB ... q2d70dbqwx

C9h13no3 also writes:
I'm in Lake Louise right now,
Good luck with your weather too; we look forward to seeing and hearing about your trip.








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bobby49
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Re: Current Snow from the Valley up to Tuolumne Meadows

Post by bobby49 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 12:21 am

rlown wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 7:20 pm
Go in from the East entrance?
Back in the old days, the Tioga Pass Resort was open in winter. We would meet at the bottom of the Tioga Pass Road (east end) at the gate. The TPR staff would pick us up in a 4WD vehicle and haul us up to the snow line, which was typically around 9000 feet. We would put on skis with skins and move cautiously through some avalanche zones to TPR, while the staff brought our packs up by snow machine. We would stay overnight at TPR. Then early in the morning, we donned our packs and skied up over the pass and down to the skier's hut at Tuolumne Meadows. We would spend two nights there and then reverse course.

Ahh. Those were the good old days.

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Re: Current Snow from the Valley up to Tuolumne Meadows

Post by rlown » Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:41 am

Bingo! Wish TPR was still open. Supposedly opens in 2020.
On our trip, we didn't feel at risk from avalanche; Doesn't mean it wasn't there but the wind would have triggered it.

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Re: Current Snow from the Valley up to Tuolumne Meadows

Post by Wandering Daisy » Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:21 pm

C9- in Lake Louise? Lucky you!! I have been there a few times.

The most memorable: Day before New Years in 1970-71 three of us dirt-bag climbers drove up to Lake Louise with just enough gas to get back, $5 our combined resources, climbed one of the local peaks (Edith?), found that the Alpine Club hut was full, so we sneaked into the Banff School of Fine Arts (which had an upstairs hotel for artists) and found an abandoned room, the owners obviously gone off to an all-night New Years Eve party and locked the door. Rappelled out the window next morning, went up to Lake Louise lodge and ordered tea just to consume a quart of the free cream and then drove back to Spokane. All the while it was its typical frigid below 0 degree F weather.

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c9h13no3
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Re: Current Snow from the Valley up to Tuolumne Meadows

Post by c9h13no3 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:27 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:21 pm
C9- in Lake Louise? Lucky you!! I have been there a few times.

The most memorable: Day before New Years in 1970-71 three of us dirt-bag climbers drove up to Lake Louise with just enough gas to get back, $5 our combined resources, climbed one of the local peaks (Edith?), found that the Alpine Club hut was full, so we sneaked into the Banff School of Fine Arts (which had an upstairs hotel for artists) and found an abandoned room, the owners obviously gone off to an all-night New Years Eve party and locked the door. Rappelled out the window next morning, went up to Lake Louise lodge and ordered tea just to consume a quart of the free cream and then drove back to Spokane. All the while it was its typical frigid below 0 degree F weather.
O_o now that's a hell of a story!

I'm a cold weather wimp, after 3-4 hours at 0 F, I'm looking for a bowl of chilli & a warm place to eat it. Can't imagine how cold it must've been up on Edith Cavell on New Year's Day.

Canada has some spectacular mountains, more prominent mountains than the US in fact. Although I get the sense that they're crowded with both mosquitoes and tourists in the summer.

Thread is now officially derailed :D.

Oh right, snow. Bring your glop stopper, it's still California.
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Harlen
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Re: Current Snow from the Valley up to Tuolumne Meadows

Post by Harlen » Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:33 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:
C9- in Lake Louise? Lucky you!! I have been there a few times.

The most memorable: Day before New Years in 1970-71 three of us dirt-bag climbers... went up to Lake Louise lodge and ordered tea just to consume a quart of the free cream and then drove back to Spokane.
The old free cream survival trick, eh? I heard it like this: order a coffee, and then turn it into a thick soup by mixing in all the free sugar and milk, getting refill after refill till you couldn't take anymore! Myself, I'd rather cruise around looking for roadkill than ruin a cup of coffee! :\

Just spoke with Frank- we're all set for Thursday- a 6 AM Yosemite Valley start. Hoping to make it to the frozen beaches of Tenaya Lake- TM Hut the late the next day. Looks like a bit of weather coming in again Thursday night, then turning nice again Sunday, Monday, and ??

DSC01490.JPG
Can't wait! There are our friends: Altusky, Unicorn, Cockscomb, the Echos, and Cathedral. :thumbsup:
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c9h13no3
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Re: Current Snow from the Valley up to Tuolumne Meadows

Post by c9h13no3 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:52 am

I think more than snow conditions forecasting, I'm more interested in your route. Lots of avalanche terrain along the 120 corridor. My gut instinct just looking at the map is that I'd want to ski up to Sunrise Lakes and roughly take the JMT up to Tuolumne. Adds a mile and 1000 feet of gain, but I'd think the scenery would be better too.
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Re: Current Snow from the Valley up to Tuolumne Meadows

Post by rlown » Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:36 pm

Where does Bearzey stay when you can't take him along?

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Harlen
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Re: Current Snow from the Valley up to Tuolumne Meadows

Post by Harlen » Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:19 pm

C9 writes:
I think more than snow conditions forecasting, I'm more interested in your route. Lots of avalanche terrain along the 120 corridor. My gut instinct just looking at the map is that I'd want to ski up to Sunrise Lakes and roughly take the JMT up to Tuolumne. Adds a mile and 1000 feet of gain, but I'd think the scenery would be better too.
I have skied that Sunrise-JMT route before, and I agree with you that it is more scenic, and much preferred to the frozen road. The snow will not be deep enough on the steep Snow Creek Trail to be risky, so the only avalanche hazard areas are the area just north of Olmstead Pt., and the corridor from the upper half of Tenaya Lake, to about a mile up from Pywiack Dome. Most of those areas can be made safe by staying below the road in the forest or on the big lake. Right at Pywiack there are less options, but with luck we'll camp near Tenaya Lake, and pass over that sketchy place very early. If we see bad signs, we can try the route to lower Cathedral Lake, south of Pywiack Dome.
One benefit of skiing 120 is the straightforward route-finding if Thursday -Friday- Sat. crap out- as the forecast is beginning to warn of.

Rlown wrote:
Where does Bearzey stay when you can't take him along?
Bear is happy with Lizzie, the boys, and his best friend "Wolfie."

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Harlen
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Re: Current Snow from the Valley up to Tuolumne Meadows

Post by Harlen » Sat Dec 21, 2019 3:39 am

12 days ago I wrote:
Anyone want to give a best guess forecast for the snow surface conditions we will find from the Valley floor to Tuolumne Meadows on Thursday-Friday?

I'm guessing we'll cruise through patchy snow up the Snow Cr. Trail, and then, when we meet the road (@ ~8,400') around Olmstead Point, we will be breaking trail to a depth of 6-10", with never an inch of glide, cursing and suffering all the rest of the way to T. Meadows. I think we will barely make it to the hut (~22 miles) on the third day!
Just returned (Thursday 12/19), after 8 wonderful days on skis. We saw the change in the NOAA weather forecast, which moved the potential stormy weather forward to Thursday-Friday (12/11-12), so we raced off Wednesday late morning to get a jump on it. We just did sort of beat the storm, arriving at the Tuolumne Ski Hut in cold blowing snow late Friday. There were no ski tracks anywhere, but the trail-breaking was better than my dismal prediction above- just an average of 3-4" sinking in, but with zero glide, it was pretty hard work getting there. My fear of sinking really deep, pushing and carrying 6-10 inches of snow might have been a reality had we chosen to leave on our original entry day of Monday the 8th- too soon after the heavy snowfall that ended early Sunday the 7th.

Our first day in Tuolumne Meadows- Saturday- dawned absolutely clear, though it had snowed at least 5" overnight. It was 0º F that morning, and later on, the winter rangers told us that the next night- Sunday the 14th- got down to -8º F! We were in bunks over the woodstove by then, and very glad that we hadn't taken our other option- to wait out the brief storm, and head in on Saturday- which would have had us camping in the cold sink of Tenaya Lake on the coldest night yet!

Snowline began at 7,000', but on the way out, the level had lowered 500', and I was able to ski (barely!) down the hill from Snow Creek Hut, all the way to the top of the Snow Creek Trail switchbacks. It was a fun first ski trip, and I re-experienced the great challenge of regaining ones skis after falling into deep snow with a full pack on! I'll cobble together a Trip Report soon.

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