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[pct-l] To be early or not at Kennedy Meadows?
Tom is full of it as usual. The southern Sierra snow survey sites show NO
snow below about 9,000 feet of elevation including:
Chagoopa Plateau / 10,300' = 0"
Tunnel Guard Station / 8,900' = 0"
Casa Vieja Mdws / 8,300' = 0"
Upper Tyndall Creek at 11,400' shows 8.5" with a steep decline. As a matter
of fact all sites south of Yosemite that show any snow content exhibit such a
steep decline that within two weeks there shouldn't be any registered
anywhere, provided that a late storm doesn't reverse things.
North of Yosemite snow levels appear to be deeper as you go north.
What does this mean?
If you are comfortable and equiped to handle a little bit of snow and some
ice at passes you could enter the Sierra today! By the time that you get to
Yosemite, the snow levels there will have melted down to what the Southern
Sierra is showing now, i.e. no snow below 9,000'. Equipped with an ice axe
and in-step crampons I would enter the Sierras today (if I were hiking). The
risk of leaving Kennedy Mdws now is that you could encounter a late Spring
storm at high elevation. These storms are not typically very cold and as
such melt off quickly.
If you are not as comfortable or confident in your abilities, capabilities
and/or tolerance for such conditions, then wait two weeks, i.e. approximately
June 1st to leave Kennedy Mdws.
If you wait until the middle of June to enter the Sierra you will likely find
horrendous mosquitos, bears becoming active and extremely light snow and ice
In My Hummel Opinion,
Greg "Strider" Hummel