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Thread: Tioga Pass to Open on 6/18!

  1. #1
    Preston Birdwell
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    Tioga Pass to Open on 6/18!

    From our local Sonora News...

    "Yosemite Valley, CA-- Tioga Pass Road at Yosemite National Park will open for the season this weekend.

    The Highway 120 road will open this Saturday at 8:00 am., allowing visitors to enter through the park's east gate.

    Park officials say that due to heavy winter snow and a cool spring, there is still several feet of snow in the Tuolumne Meadows area. Hiking opportunities are extremely limited and visitors are urged to use extreme caution in the area. Ice is also prevalent throughout the area and stream crossings are treacherous.

    All campgrounds along the Tioga Road are closed. All commercial services, including the gas station, store, and village grill, are also closed. There are currently no anticipated opening dates for any of these facilities."

    --P
    Preston-Columbia CA

    "If you want nice fresh oats, you have to pay a fair price. If you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse; that comes a little cheaper."

  2. #2
    Leon Aslan SocalAstro's Avatar
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    Re: Tioga Pass to Open on 6/18!

    Thanks for posting this Preston. Does this apply to the campground outside the park boundary as well? We were looking at staying at the Aspen campground but will wait till it's open for sure :-)

    Cheers,
    Leon

    Quote Originally Posted by Preston View Post
    From our local Sonora News...

    "Yosemite Valley, CA-- Tioga Pass Road at Yosemite National Park will open for the season this weekend.

    The Highway 120 road will open this Saturday at 8:00 am., allowing visitors to enter through the park's east gate.

    Park officials say that due to heavy winter snow and a cool spring, there is still several feet of snow in the Tuolumne Meadows area. Hiking opportunities are extremely limited and visitors are urged to use extreme caution in the area. Ice is also prevalent throughout the area and stream crossings are treacherous.

    All campgrounds along the Tioga Road are closed. All commercial services, including the gas station, store, and village grill, are also closed. There are currently no anticipated opening dates for any of these facilities."

    --P

  3. #3
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Tioga Pass to Open on 6/18!

    Translation = less people and beautiful photographic conditions; go before things "improve". Thanks, Preston.

  4. #4
    tgtaylor's Avatar
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    Re: Tioga Pass to Open on 6/18!

    The Merced will probably exceed flood stage early tomorrow morning:

    http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwisweb/gr...00065&period=7

    The first PCT hikers are nearing Yosemite from the south. Here's the latest on their progress:

    --------

    6/14/2011
    Don’t Panic and Wing-it are likely hikers #5-6 in the northbound wave. I talked to them today, June 14th, from Mammoth Lakes. They have some interesting and potentially helpful information to pass along. As you read this, know that the conditions they faced are likely much different from those that you will face. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be easier, but it will be different. Note that Don’t Panic and Wing-it have already hike the PCT, CDT and AT (Wing-it missed some miles on the PCT so they’re doing the whole trail again). They are super fit and strong hikers who averaged 29 miles per day from the border, often walk 30+ miles per day and don’t take many days off.
    They left the Kennedy Meadows area on June 2nd, and arrived at VVR on the 10th (where they zeroed). They left VVR on the 12th and arrived at Mammoth Lakes on the 13th. “It’s been wild. It’s nothing I’ve ever experienced.” Wing-it said. While there were decent steps across Forester, the chute was “hard snow and ice that our ice-axes couldn’t penetrate”. They felt that their Microspikes were essential but wished they had real crampons. An impassible cornice blocked Mather Pass and they did a near vertical rock climb on the left side of the pass to bypass it.
    It seems like runoff hadn’t peaked yet. They crossed Evolution Creek at the appropriate crossing, upstream of the PCT at the meadow crossing. Bear Creek was their hardest crossing. They crossed it at the PCT, in tandem technique, it was swift and reached Don’t Panic’s upper thigh (he’s 6’2’’).
    They never had to camp on snow, but only achieved this through a lot of hard work. Generally, it was all snow walking from south of Crabtree Meadows to Woods Creek. They report 8-10 feet of snow in the valleys and that it “won’t melt anytime soon”. In a few weeks, “it won’t be any easier because the snow is like a series of ramps that you need to walk up and down”.
    “Snow makes it an incredible amount of work. It’s discouraging to hike the hardest you’ve ever hiked for only 13 miles of progress.” “We did things that not a lot of average thru-hikers could do. We hiked Pinchot and Mather Passes in the same day to avoid camping in snow. It was about 20 miles on snow.”
    “This is not hiking the trail. It’s more a winter ice endurance event. The experience doesn’t relate to thruhiking. For people who aren’t into that, it won’t be fun at all.” They also made sure to emphasize that the Sierra is “beautiful!”
    Please be prepared if you’re heading into the Sierra. A fall on snow, a slip in a creek or running out of food because of slower miles and exhaustion are all real possibilities.
    VVR is open. The road to Red’s Meadow was just starting to be plowed on June 13th (there was ten feet of snow), so Red’s is unlikely to open any time soon. Tuolumne Meadows is still closed and will be closed for a long time. Don’t Panic and Wing-it plan to resupply at Kennedy Meadows North. The store at Echo Lakes is closed, the road has not been plowed and it is possible that it won’t open until early July. The box that they sent there is being held in nearby Twin Bridges, CA.
    Written by Trail Information Specialist, Jack Haskel.

    -------

    Thomas

  5. #5
    Cordless Bungee Jumper Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Re: Tioga Pass to Open on 6/18!

    Preston,

    Thank you for starting this thread.

    Steve
    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  6. #6
    Preston Birdwell
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    Re: Tioga Pass to Open on 6/18!

    Leon,

    I don't have any info on the Lee Vining Creek (Aspen CG) area. You might want to call the USFS at Lee Vining or Bridgeport.

    I will likely head up to Sonora Pass in the coming week. It will interesting to see what it looks like up there.

    --P
    Preston-Columbia CA

    "If you want nice fresh oats, you have to pay a fair price. If you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse; that comes a little cheaper."

  7. #7
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Tioga Pass to Open on 6/18!

    Wow, sure does sound reminscent of our more youthful days, doesn't it? Last year I
    managed to log in only about six or seven miles a day under those conditions carrying a view camera and winter-style gear, and did manage to get dunked in ice
    water a couple of times in June. Let us know what Sonora Pass area look like. I'm
    getting itchy, but have to babysit the cats a couple of weeks while my wife is visiting
    her mom. Got a mid-level backpacker I need to teach some advanced skills before
    we head out over any high passes later in the season.

  8. #8

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    Re: Tioga Pass to Open on 6/18!

    Sonora Pass was looking awesome on May 31st, with 6+ feet of snow...

  9. #9
    Leon Aslan SocalAstro's Avatar
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    Re: Tioga Pass to Open on 6/18!

    Quote Originally Posted by Preston View Post
    Leon,

    I don't have any info on the Lee Vining Creek (Aspen CG) area. You might want to call the USFS at Lee Vining or Bridgeport.

    I will likely head up to Sonora Pass in the coming week. It will interesting to see what it looks like up there.

    --P
    Thanks Preston,

    I'll give them a call. I might be up there in a few days to test some new gear :-)

    Cheers,
    Leon

  10. #10
    tgtaylor's Avatar
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    Re: Tioga Pass to Open on 6/18!

    I have camped there several times when it was closed without any problems but I'm not a trouble maker.

    Here's another report from the PCT:

    http://postholer.com/journal/viewJou...entry_id=23540

    Thomas
    Last edited by tgtaylor; 16-Jun-2011 at 09:47. Reason: To add PCT link.

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