Update for March 12, 2020

March 13, 2020 Posted by: Laura and Rob Pilewski
Sharp peaks protrude from a snowy mountain landscape
Nelson Lake on March 6, 2020
New snow:  1 inch
Total settled snow depth: 19 inches (at 8,600 feet)
High temperature: 47°F (March 6)
Low temperature:   6°F (March 8)


Ski Conditions and Weather

It was another dry and windy week in the central Sierra. The recent storm that came off of the Pacific went too far south to provide the much-needed moisture to this area. Snow coverage continues to shrink and the south-facing aspects are becoming more bare with each passing sunny day. There are still ample opportunities for ski touring and conditions are quite good. However, pay attention to the forecast as winter may return to the mountains. Come prepared.  

The east side of Tioga Pass is presently bare pavement from the locked gate to Tioga Pass. But, coverage is very dynamic given the winds and upcoming forecast. Tioga Road is closed to vehicles, snowmobiles, and bicycles inside the park (west of Tioga Pass).

Avalanche and Snowpack Conditions

For the avalanche advisory for this area of the Sierra Nevada go to https://www.esavalanche.org/ for the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center.

Presently the avalanche hazard in the Tuolumne Meadows area is low. There may be isolated pockets of wind slab. Hard and potentially hazardous (i.e., slide-for-life) snow surfaces exist at the higher elevations. Ice-axe and crampons are recommended.

General Info

For those visiting the Tuolumne Meadows Ski Hut from the east (only) permits are self-issued at the Ski Hut. For those entering from other areas, please see Yosemite’s website: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildpermits.htm (#3: Do I need a wilderness permit during winter?) or you may contact the wilderness office at 209/372-0740. There is no phone service in Tuolumne Meadows. We can be contacted regarding winter travel to Tuolumne Meadows via email, but we may be delayed in responding if we are on patrol.

Last updated: March 13, 2020

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