Update for April 19, 2016 (last update for the season)

April 19, 2016 Posted by: Rob and Laura Pilewski

New snow: 0 inches
Total settled snow depth: 22 inches (at 8,600 feet)
High temperature: 55 degrees F (April 17)
Low temperature: 12 degrees F (April 15)
Total Snowfall (November 1 - April 19):  293 inches
Total Precipitation (November 1 - April 19):  21.18 inches

Gaylor Lakes Basin on April 12, 2016

Ski Conditions and Weather

This is the last post of the 2015-2016 winter season. It was a dry week, with cold and windy conditions initially, followed by warm temperatures and calm winds. The snowpack is set up nicely for ideal spring ski conditions. Corn snow can be found on most aspects below 11,000 feet. Above that things are still pretty wintry on the north aspects. Snow coverage is good above 8600 feet and the ski touring is quite good. The Tioga Road has been plowed from the closed gate in Lee Vining Canyon to Tioga Pass. West of Tioga Pass the road is still mostly snow covered but road crews will be working on snow removal daily. Visitors are advised to keep clear of all snow removal operations for their own safety, and the safety of the road crews.

Avalanche and Snowpack Conditions

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

Overall, the avalanche hazard in the Tuolumne Meadows area is low. The primary avalanche concerns are for wet loose and wet slab avalanches on aspects receiving solar radiation as the days continue to get warmer. We did observe some wet slides this week when there was not a good freeze to the snow surface overnight. Wilderness travelers should pay close attention to the temperatures when traveling in avalanche terrain this time of year.


A pair of common mergansers has joined the pair of mallards along the Tuolumne River. The willows are starting to bud and the song sparrows are singing their spring mating songs.   


Contact the wilderness office at 209/372-0740 with any questions or concerns.

Happy Spring Skiing!
Laura and Rob Pilewski - Tuolumne Winter Rangers

Unicorn Peak and Tuolumne Meadows on April 16, 2016.

Last updated: April 22, 2016

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