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[pct-l] El Nino

At 08:01 AM 3/21/1998 -0800, Blisterfree wrote:
>>A genuine lack of discussion of this very real snow dilemma indicates
>>maybe all interested parties online have jumped ship, and are awaiting a
>>more favorable year to thru-hike this trail. 

Well, I have waited to see if someone with more knowledge on this subject
than me (which is not a tough requirement!) would jump in, but I haven't
seen much on this point so here goes:

El Nino is WARM RAIN.

WARM RAIN kills snow.  I expect the trail to be exceptionally clear of snow
exceptionally early this year.  This is a GREAT year to plan to do the
trail.  Don't worry about how much snow falls, worry about how fast it
disappears.   You may have a clear trail in mid-June.  Stay tuned and watch
those snow station reports.  If you hear reports of massive flooding in
April and May you will know this scenario is right on track.   

I know that in many areas warm rain doesn't do much, but in the steep
Sierras it causes slides and avalanches that move the snow to lower
elevations where it melts over a few days.  You cannot use general info
about flatter areas to predict what will happen in steep areas.  Notice
that even mid-winter shots of Whitney show extensive snow-free areas
because they are so steep (nearly vertical).  You must allow for grade in
analyzing snow pack behavior.
Dave Gomberg	mailto:gomberg@wcf.com
FormMaestro  <http://www.wcf.com>
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