Last updated: March 16, 2017
New snow: none
Total settled snow depth: 119 inches (at 8,600 feet)
High temperature: 59°F (March 12)
Low temperature: 13°F (March 8)
Ski Conditions and Weather: Spring fever is in the air! With these unseasonably warm temperatures, the snow is settling fast. This is making for some wonderful, fast touring conditions. However, there are still aspects that hold zipper and wind crusts (both firm and breakable). Visitors should expect hard snow conditions early in the day, transitioning to more soft spring like snow as the day progresses.
Avalanche and Snowpack Conditions: For the avalanche advisory for this area of the Sierra Nevada go to www.esavalanche.org for the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center.
The warm temperatures and lack of new snow this week has led to mostly stable avalanche conditions. Visitors should be cautious during the heat of the day when traveling on or below slopes being warmed by the sun. Wet slides are still possible on these aspects.
Visitors to Tuolumne Meadows should be aware of the slide paths that cross the Tioga Road to the east and west. Anyone entering via Lee Vining Canyon should be prepared with an ice axe and crampons and good route selection skills. The road corridor above the Warren Fork is not recommended at this time due to a prolonged steep traverse above cliffs.
Wildlife: Pine siskins, red-breasted nuthatches, and brown creepers have been quite active this week. For a couple of weeks now, the Townsend’s solitaire, American robin and mountain chickadee have been singing their songs of spring.
Questions: The Tuolumne Meadows Ski Hut is open. There is firewood and 10 bunks that are available on a first come, first served basis. Power has been intermittent and there is NO phone service in Tuolumne Meadows this winter. We can be contacted via email, but we may be delayed in responding if we are on patrol. Contact the wilderness office at 209/372-0740 with any questions or concerns. Come prepared, and please make good decisions while travelling in the wilderness this winter.