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Pacific Crest Trail Snow 2019

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Pacific Crest Trail Snow 2019

Postby postholer » Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:30 pm

April 1st has come and gone and the postholer snow report is complete.

It has truly been an interesting year.

It was the 2nd snowiest year in the last 15 years for the sierra, just edging out 2011 for the second place honor. You'll find complete graphs for various trail sections and commentary as well.

Enjoy!
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Re: Pacific Crest Trail Snow 2019

Postby ajhm99 » Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:14 am

Interesting and very helpful report. The one thing I was wondering was (if only for comparison) what the % trail snow number was for 2017 - and what the SEI estimate was. I know what you've got here is several levels more granular and probably way better data but as a total layman who struggles even with swe those are the two numbers I immediately go to when I pull the website up. I'm guessing its a bit lower, but not by much this year. I'd be interested to know. Put it down to watching too many youtube videos of 2017 and being a brit - we don't really *do* snow over here. 10cm is alot. And enough to bring the country grinding to a halt judging by the chaos in Devon last month...

Either way, the conclusion you reach - you can assume snow into the end of June and beyond, and flipping will not be an option - is pretty much where I've landed after a lot of reading. Sadly, given flights, visas, flat etc adjusting my start date's out. I'm figuring I either walk slow (it's a key personal skill) and aim to get to Kennedy meadows at the end of June rather than the middle, or get "holed up in some trail town spending your hard earned hiking dollars." Actually, I was thinking of going to Vegas. I vaguely remember you hung a right at Lone Pine, crossed death valley and it wasn't far down the road. Surprisingly, the hotels turned out to pretty cheap. They try and stiff you for "resort tax" but otherwise, not a bad deal. And maybe Ill make my hard earned hiking dollars back....

More seriously, two questions. Significant residual snow is a challenge but it's the river crossings that give me real pause - I think that's what killed people in 2017. Can we expect similar - or was that specific to that year? - I read somewhere that there was a very warm period in the spring / early summer which exacerbated the crossings 2 years ago. I'd be interested to know what the best predictor for river crossings is and any thoughts you have about that issue this year.

Second, you mention in passing that skipping around to the lower elevation areas of the trail will still be possible - but logistically, a pain. I need to go and look at the trail notes again and do some proper research but any immediate thoughts as to where to look? If there's an obvious stretch that might be doable to "fill in" the wait, it might be doable if you got some hikers together and hired a car. But if it's bits here and there, I suspect it's not just going to be a pain but feel slightly pointless.

Anyway, thanks for all of the work on this - really great website and top info.
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Re: Pacific Crest Trail Snow 2019

Postby postholer » Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:25 am

ajhm99 wrote:The one thing I was wondering was (if only for comparison) what the % trail snow number was for 2017 - and what the SEI estimate was.


In 2017 the SEI estimate was maxed out, end of June. However, the aggressive melt negated that.

And so it is this year. We have to wait for the melt. It could be another 2017 or it could be a 2011.

Coming from overseas makes it especially tough. Vegas. Hmmm. Stay away! :D
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Re: Pacific Crest Trail Snow 2019

Postby ajhm99 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:03 am

It's all in the melt. That should be a thing. Slow melt, slide off the mountain. Big melt, drown in the creek. :shock: Vegas starting to look good. Don't worry, I won't gamble. Well, maybe just some slots....
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