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Desolation Wilderness snow pack

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  • Ned Tibbits
    Just a quick post now that we re back from Mountain Education s last Snow Basics Course in Desolation Wilderness for 2014: There is more snow in there than
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 13, 2014
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      Just a quick post now that we're back from Mountain Education's last Snow Basics Course in Desolation Wilderness for 2014:
      There is more snow in there than three weeks ago!
      On 3/22 we dug snow evaluation pits to the ground at the 7500 foot level and found 5 feet of snow. A few "small" storms blew through since and now despite the hot, springtime conditions, we discovered 6 feet of snow in the same place! Now, it is melting/consolidating fast in the heat of day (it got to 85 degrees in my tent during the day!), but at least in Desolation, there is still plenty of snow. Although, over the 3 days we were in the Echo-Aloha Lakes area on the PCT, the snowpack consolidated down 1 foot!
      Caution to all who want to continue to ski in over Echo Lake: the perimeter ice is getting thin, so either ski into Desolation over the west side of the lake or hike on the PCT along the east side!
      West-facing aspects below 7,000 feet are nearly dry while the east-facing ones at the same elevation still hold 3-5 feet of snow. The road into Echo Chalet is not yet open from the Sno-Park (although some people have tried to drive over the snowed-in road and got stuck!) to Echo Lakes, but give it two or three weeks of this spring-like weather and it will be!
      I’ll stick my neck out and say that the mountains are going to open up one month ahead of “normal” this year. This means that the normal amount of snow that we’d see in Desolation on June 1st, we will see on May 1st.
      Ned Tibbits, Director
      Mountain Education
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