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[pct-l] Sierra Snow Analysis


We should know soon enough. Someone, no doubt, will try your advice and
hopefully report conditions. I advise a later date due to the facts that
Greg has a different definition of passable than I do. If you LIKE
postholing and raging river crossings, listen to Greg. If you wish to
conserve your energy for the remaining 2000 miles, listen to me.

My current advice is June 10. My rational is as follows:

Snow Sensor Analysis
1-The model that I have used for the last few years is that Forrester Pass
will be passable [In shape backpacker,with an ice axe but without
significant snow experience]two (2) weeks after the Upper Tyndall Creek snow
sensor shows zero snow. That snow sensor will hit zero tomorrow.
2- The other high passes [Glen through Donahue] should be passable
[definition as above] two weeks after the snow sensor at Bishop Pass and
Mammoth Pass hit zero. My best estimate is that will happen 14 days from now
given average snowmelt.

The reason for the two week delay is that these sensors are out in open
meadows whereas the passes are on shaded slopes.

Year Comparison Analysis
Last year the first person through the Sierra [Flyin Brian] traversed the
last week of May. The pack typically traverses the Sierra 7-14 days after
the leader. [We all know that Brian made it but most thruhikers don't have
Brians strength or skill. Brian hiked a good piece of the AT and part of the
CDT to warm up for the PCT].

1-Today, May 28, North of Donahue the snow level is 20% of the April 1
average. Last year it was zero percent. Given average snowmelt the snow
level will hit zero percent on June 7, 10 days later than last year.
2- Today, May 28 South of Donahue ths snow level is 10% of April 1 average.
Last year it was zero percent. Given average snowmelt the snow level will
hit zero on June 5, 8 days later than last year.


-----Original Message-----
From: Bighummel@aol.com [mailto:Bighummel@aol.com]
Sent: Thursday, May 23, 2002 4:21 PM
To: pct-l@backcountry.net
Subject: [pct-l] Sierra Snow

The snow survey sites for the Kern River show very little snow melting fast.

Further north, snow levels increase, however, they are all showing a 
resumption of the meltoff that was present prior to this last storm and 
should be at acceptable passing levels by the time that it would take to 
reach Forrester Pass walking from Kennedy Meadows.

I would gladly trade sloshing through low snow and crossing raging streams
I could enjoy the High Sierra without horrendous mosquitos and pesty bears, 
in exchange for terrible mosquitos north of Tahoe.  Tom wouldn't, but then, 
Tom usually hikes in the High Sierras much later in the season anyway!


Greg "Strider" Hummel

"Salvitur Ambulando"
(walking solves all things)
            St. Augustine

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