Daily Report - Yosemite National Park
Thursday, March 29th, 2018
Yosemite National Park Zone Forecast
Today: Sunny. Highs 62 to 68 at 5000 feet...51 to 57 at 8000 feet.
Tonight: Mostly clear. Lows 34 to 44 at 5000 feet...26 to 34 at 8000 feet.
Tomorrow: Sunny. Highs 64 to 70 at 5000 feet...55 to 60 at 8000 feet.
Additional Point Forecast Weather Links:
NEW AND HAPPENING TODAY
El Portal Road Delays Update 3/28
Crews have re-mobilized to finish working on the storm damage repairs from last year. Delays will start today, March 29th and 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 complete 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)
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org (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@
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.
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 email@example.com. (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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com wi
CONSTRUCTION & TRAFFIC DELAYS
Yosemite Valley Parking and Road Work
Parking and road work is ramping up in Yosemite Valley. The first project is final paving at the Yosemite Falls Parking Area (west of Yosemite Lodge). Please direct vehicles to park at Yosemite Village or Half Dome Village as the Yosemite Falls parking lot will close. RVs may park along Stoneman Meadow or Half Dome Village. Commercial tour buses may continue to park at the Yosemite Falls parking area. Work at the Yosemite Falls Parking area is estimated to finish by the end of March. (L. Acree)
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)