Yosemite National Park Friday, March 30th, 2018

March 30, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Daily Report - Yosemite National Park

Friday, March 30th, 2018


Yosemite National Park Zone Forecast
Sunny. Highs 61 to 71 at 5000 feet...54 to 62 at 8000 feet.

Tonight: Mostly clear. Lows 35 to 45 at 5000 feet...27 to 37 at 8000 feet.

Tomorrow: Mostly sunny. Highs 61 to 71 at 5000 feet...54 to 62 at 8000 feet.


Additional Point Forecast Weather Links:

Yosemite Valley  |  Wawona  |  Tuolumne Meadows  |  Glacier Point |  Big Oak Flat  |  Hetch Hetchy  |  El Portal  |  Mariposa | Badger Pass






Glacier Point Road Closure

This Sunday evening, April 1st, at 7pm, the gate at Chinquapin will be closed and locked. There will no longer be public access.  Roads crews will begin snow removal operations on the Glacier Point Road beyond Badger Pass.  Administrative Access will be authorized only between Chinquapin and Badger.  Recreational activities such as bicycling will not be allowed on the road during this time.  (E. Scott)



Yosemite Valley Parking and Road Work

Final paving on Northside Drive between Bank 3-Way (Sentinel Dr.) and Camp 4 is scheduled for April 16th through April 18th. The park plans to close this road segment and enact temporary 2-way detours on Northside Dr. and Southside Dr. to complete paving within this time frame. Visitors may park at the Yosemite Falls and Yosemite Village parking lots. Contractors will pave the Yosemite Falls and Camp 4 Parking Areas after completing Northside Dr.


Due to weather delays, the Yosemite Falls Parking Area will remain closed through most of April. Next week contractors will also finish building the curbs at the Curry 4-Way intersection (near Half Dome Village). There will be a flagger and short delays at the intersection.  (L. Acree)






Campground Updates

North Pines opened on Monday, March 26. Lower Pines opens this Friday, March 30. Both campgrounds are fully booked. 


Camp 4 will return to Ranger Registration on Monday, April 2nd. The last night for self-registration will be the night of Sunday, April 1st. Anyone hoping to stay in Camp 4 beginning the night of April 2nd will need to line up at the Camp 4 kiosk on Monday morning. Available campsites will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.


For current campground status, call 372-0266 and please give this number out to visitors.  (E. Bissmeyer/S. Montroy)



Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Conditions Update for March 28, 2018



New snow: 33 inches

Total settled snow depth: 44 inches (at 8,600 feet)

Total “Miracle March” snowfall:  123 inches (at 8,600 feet)

High temperature: 44°F (March 27)

Low temperature:  -2°F (March 24)


Ski Conditions and Weather: Spring has arrived to Tuolumne Meadows. This week, the weather held (in chronological order):  rain, heavy snow, thundersnow, southwest wind, northeast wind and, now, sun. The low-density snow that fell at the end of the storm made for some fine, but ephemeral, powder ski conditions. The last two days, a significant upslope wind event has changed these conditions in the alpine terrain dramatically, redistributing snow from lee to windward slopes.


The colder temperatures of last week are now being followed by a warming trend that is forecast through the beginning of April. Spring skiing anyone? It will take at least a few more days of melt/freeze cycles to set up the snowpack into more of a spring-like one (isothermic). The skiing should be improving as the warm days and cold nights act to turn the snow surface into what is referred to as corn snow. This will occur on south aspects first, followed by east-west-north. This is all subject to change with variations in temperatures, cloud cover, wind, and new precipitation.


The alpine zone will probably take longer to transition. In the meantime, expect a mixed bag of sastrugi, breakable crusts, and firm to icy conditions in places. Ice axe and crampons are recommended in those areas.


The Tioga Road is 100% snow covered from Crane Flat from the west to approximately the 9,000-foot line east of Tioga Pass.


Avalanche and Snowpack Conditions: For the avalanche advisory for this area of the Sierra Nevada go to www.esavalanche.org for the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center.


It was like an avalanche laboratory in the Yosemite high country this week, as we observed many different types of avalanches with the varied weather events. The most significant avalanching occurred during the atmospheric river, when a large amount of water (snow and rain=load) fell over a short period of time and stressed the snowpack beyond its strength. This was complicated by the fact that the heavy snow fell on low-density snow from earlier in the month. Some of these “storm slab” avalanches stepped down into existing weak layers buried deeper in the snowpack and caused deep slab avalanches. The largest of these occurred in the Tuolumne Meadows area at tree line on steep north facing slopes. Wind slab avalanches were observed on lee slopes where the wind had deposited dense snow in alpine terrain. These wind slab avalanches have been forming over the last couple of days, as well, even though it has not snowed in three days. Tuesday at tree line, we observed a natural wind slab avalanche on the west slope of Mt.Dana that was caused by these winds.


Given the warm sunny days forecasted, the attention will now be towards wet avalanches. Visitors should be prepared for changing conditions, and use caution when travelling on or under steep slopes during rapid warming events especially if it doesn’t freeze at night.


Wildlife: This morning one can hear the drumming of two hairy woodpeckers, one nearby and the other farther away. (According to author and bird expert, Sibley, normally one cannot distinguish between the woodpeckers’ drumming patterns due to the difference in substrate, distance, and similar drumming patterns of species; however one of this pair was seen). We were not able to discern whether they were male or female birds since, unlike many other singing ones, both play active roles in this form of communication.


General Information: The Tuolumne Meadows Ski Hut is open. There is firewood and 8 bunks that are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no phone service in Tuolumne Meadows at this time. We can be contacted regarding winter travel to Tuolumne Meadows via email, but we may be delayed in responding if we are on patrol. For permit information: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildpermits.htm. or you may contact the wilderness office at 209/372-0740. Come prepared, and please make good decisions while traveling in the wilderness this winter!  (L. Pilewski)



Yosemite Engineering Equipment Operator

This position is located in the Division of Resources Management and Science, Vegetation and Ecological Restoration in Yosemite National Park.  The incumbent operates heavy equipment to support vegetation and ecological restoration projects. 

Opening Date: 3/28/2018   Closing Date: 4/06/2018


If you have any questions about this position, please contact Todd Newburger by email at todd_newburger@nps.gov (T. Newburger)



Yosemite Conservancy Employment Opportunity

Yosemite Conservancy is now accepting applications for a year-round Wilderness Reservation Assistant position in Yosemite Valley. Reservation Assistants are responsible for processing backpacking permit requests by fax and phone and occasionally patrol wilderness areas. Applicants must be familiar with Yosemite’s backcountry trails and capable of processing a large volume of paperwork in an efficient and organized manner. Additionally, this position supports Ostrander Ski Hut reservations and the Bear Canister Rental program, and oversees retail sales and cash handling. The position begins late April or early May, with a pay rate of $14/hr. Vacation, 401k, and medical insurance available. Company housing is not available and the position is subject to 5-10 week furlough in Oct/Nov. To be considered, please submit your resume and cover letter (speak to your experience in Yosemite) to Laurie Stowe, lstowe@yosemiteconservancy.org  (L. Stowe)



Yosemite Conservancy Provides $12.5 Million to Yosemite National Park - Yosemite News Release March 26, 2018

Yosemite National Park, March 26, 2018 – Yosemite Conservancy is providing $12.5 million in support to Yosemite National Park to improve the Bridalveil Fall visitor experience, rebuild a section of the trail around Tenaya Lake and collect data using 3-D aerial mapping to improve resource management parkwide, among 36 projects funded in 2018.


“We want everyone’s visit to Yosemite to be inspiring, just like the park itself, today and for future generations. Our grants focus on protecting and preserving the park and enhancing the visitor experience,” said Yosemite Conservancy President Frank Dean.


Projects funded by donors to the Conservancy include trail and habitat restoration, wildlife management and education programs, among others. In 2018 funding will go towards a major project to restore Bridalveil Fall involving improvements to trails, viewpoints and traffic circulation, and habitat protection at the 620-foot waterfall in Yosemite Valley. Another grant will help scientists use data from airborne laser scanning to produce a 3-D map of Yosemite to learn about and help manage forest health, drought impacts and rockfall hazards. Support also will help complete the trail loop around Tenaya Lake, Yosemite’s high country “jewel.”


“Conservancy contributions catalyze important work in the park, such as projects to repair popular trails and restore meadows; make roads safer for bears; and preserve vast historical collections,” said Yosemite National Park Superintendent Mike Reynolds. “That work occurs because of the generosity of Conservancy donors and the dedicated employees of Yosemite National Park.”


With grant funding, park aquatic biologists will be releasing native red-legged frogs, and wheelchair athletes will use adaptive equipment to scale rock walls, thanks to the No Limits program. On the slopes of Yosemite’s highest peaks, glacier researchers will study the park’s retreating ice fields. In Lyell Canyon, crews will be rehabilitating a critical wetland and rebuilding portions of the John Muir Trail.


Other grants fund the “Ask a Climber” station, where thousands of visitors each year learn about the vertical wilderness and the adventurers who explore and steward it. Youth in Yosemite Programs will help young people learn about and give back to the park while earning their Junior Ranger badges, embarking on their first backpacking trip or exploring careers with public lands experts.


Yosemite Conservancy inspires people to support projects and programs that preserve Yosemite National Park and enrich the visitor experience. Thanks to generous donors, the Conservancy has provided $119 million in grants to the park to restore trails and habitat, protect wildlife, provide educational programs, and more. The Conservancy’s guided adventures, volunteer opportunities, wilderness services and bookstores help visitors of all ages to connect with Yosemite. Learn more at yosemiteconservancy.org or 1-415-434-1782.  (S. Gediman)



House for Rent

3 bedroom/3 bath house for rent on Campbell Way in Mariposa. New wood floor, new bathroom tile, fireplace, back deck with view of town, very large yard with plenty of room to garden. Adjacent to open space, trails to Stockton Reservoir. 2 minute walk to the Yarts stop, 3 minutes walk to Pony Expresso and High Country Health Food & Cafe! Washer/dryer. Parking on site. Month to month lease. $1800/month, plus utilities. Please email johnfriedrich101@gmail.com with interest.  (J. Friedrich)



Yosemite Medical Clinic Temporary Change in Operating Hours

Effective April 1st, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays the Clinic will open at noon (instead of 9 AM).  This change is temporary.


New schedule, effective April 1:

Monday, Thursday, and Friday: 9 AM to 5 PM

Tuesday and Wednesday:  12 Noon to 5 PM


For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 372-4637.  As usual, ambulance response will be available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week by calling 911.  (C. Griffin)



How To Succeed With Volunteers-In-Parks Training May 8-9

Do you work regularly with volunteers - as a supervisor, colleague, or perhaps you yourself are the volunteer? Join the Volunteer Program for a 2-day training on volunteer motivations, philosophy, and all the nuts and bolts of paperwork and procedures. Tentative location in Yosemite Valley. All are welcome. Please RSVP to yose_volunteers@nps.gov.  (S. Kintner)



Earth Day Volunteer Recognition Call for Nominations

April 15th-21st is National Volunteer Week! On the 21st, in conjuncture with Yosemite's Earth Day celebration, the Volunteer Office will be recognizing these wonderful individuals on stage with a gift of appreciation. If you have a volunteer you would like to have recognized, please email their name, a brief description of their work, and some personal words of thanks to connor_timpone@partner.nps.gov. (C. Timpone)



Women's History Month -  Enid Michael, 1920–1942

Each week during the month of March, organizers of the Women’s Leadership Symposium highlight a famous woman from Yosemite's History. 


In 1920, a strong-willed woman with unparalleled botanical and biological understanding, by the name of Enid became the first female ranger-naturalist in Yosemite, and among the first in the National Park Service. During her time in Yosemite, Enid Michael produced the largest body of writing currently published on Yosemite by one author (in the form of early Yosemite Nature Notes articles), and cataloged the wildflowers of Yosemite’s meadows with great care. But beyond that, time and again, she posed subtle but steadfast resistance against park leaders and concessioners, arguing against those who wished to convert the meadows in the park to "lawns" or publish inaccurate information. Her strong will, her unwillingness to waver on beliefs, and her hardheadedness eventually led to her dismissal, but the superintendent at the time (who appreciated her vivid personality and exceptional knowledge) brought her back to work for the park for eight more years, for a total service of 22 years of seasonal work.


Her motivation? “ . . . the future generations need the flowers.” –Enid Michael  (E. Wold)



Apartment for Rent

1 bedroom/1 bath apartment for rent on E. Whitlock Rd. on the Mariposa/Midpines border. It is the first floor of a two floor house. Lovely front porch that looks over a large fenced in yard, wooded area with Manzanita grove in the back of the house. Personal parking and garage for tenant. One year lease. $800/month includes all utilities. Please email hbromberg09@gmail.com with interest.  (H. Bromberg)






El Portal Road Delays Update 3/28

Crews have re-mobilized to finish working on the storm damage repairs from last year.  Delays will continue up to Memorial Day weekend. Crews will be working on the El Portal Road between the western Park boundary (Yosemite View Lodge) and the Big Oak Flat Intersection. There will be single lane traffic control with flaggers and pilot car operations, so please use caution when traveling thru the construction zone. This work is scheduled to be completed by Memorial Day weekend. The following delays should be anticipated while traveling the El Portal Road between the western park boundary and the Big Oak Flat Intersection:


Monday thru Friday

6am to 8am –  Traffic delays up to 15 minutes

8am to 3:30pm -- Traffic delays up to 30 minutes

3:30pm to 5:30pm -- Traffic delays up to 15 minutes  (M. Pieper)



Museum/District Building Electrical Rehab Project

This project will rehabilitate the electrical system in the Museum/District Building by installing grounding in the existing electrical circuits. The Contractor mobilized on Monday, December 18th and the project is expected to run for 6 months. The 8 parking stalls to the west of the building between the sidewalk on the south and the south end of the fence to the north will become the Contractor's staging areas.  (K. White)




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