Snowpack

posted May 1, 2010, 4:52 PM by Paul Wagner   [ updated Jul 5, 2010, 10:28 PM ]
It's been a great year for weather in California.  For the first time in four years we have actually exceeded our annual rainfall/snowfall, and as a result it's looking as if the drought may be over---or at least ameliorated this year.
 
This is cause for a Grand Celebration.  In the Cadillac Desert, water is the ultimate luxury.
 

On the other hand, if you've been holding your breath, waiting to get up into the Sierra to go for a nice backpacking trip...you'd better bring your longjohns, and maybe your crampons.  There's a ton of snow up there.  150% of normal.  In feet, that means that at about 8,000 feet, there's about six feet of snow.

 

Last year, at the end of May, we went for a lovely trip up to Bear Lake in the Emigrant Wilderness.  That's about 8,000 feet, and while we saw snow on the ground, it was easy enough to find a dry spot to pitch the tent.  And I can't remember hiking through any snow patches on that trail.  It was wet, and at times muddy, but no snow. 
 
(Granite Lake, tucked into the north side of a mountain at 8,500 feet, was completely snowed in and iced over.)

But this year, I think we're going to have re-adjust our calendars.  It could very well be that in 2010, June is the new May, and July is the new June.  And for the higher elevations, we might not be able to really get in there until late August or September.

 
Which is a lovely time of year...but we want to go NOW!
 
 

 
 
 
 
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