Winter 20121-2022 Gallery

Early Snow, Mariposa Grove New Year… and nothing until April

We had a promising start to winter with a couple of feet of snow in early December and then about three feet just after Christmas.

For several years, we have known that you could camp in the upper reaches of the Mariposa Grove (above the Clothespin Tree) in winter. But whenever we had time, there was no good snow and when the snow was good, we didn’t have time. This year we finally made it happen and spent New Year’s Eve in the Mariposa Grove.

Then it all dried up. Instead of shoveling, Tom was taking allergy medication because of the heavy pollen. By April 1, the snow survey crews were reporting 41% of normal snowpack. It turns out we did a poor job of documenting the melt off, so the one picture taken while climbing will have to stand in for three months without precipitation.

Fortunately, we finished with an unusually snowy April with over two feet of snow, most of it falling in a single late-April storm. It was enough to get in one last ski. We’ll see soon how that impacts the May 1 snowpack, but we’re hoping the cold weather and additional snow will help us claw back a bit from that low April 1 snowpack.

Tom snapped the last photo up at the Yosemite West guardrail at the end of the storm on his way back from plowing after one of the smaller storms.