Record Snow Levels in California

Posted by on April 1, 2011 in 2011 PCT Hiking Season | 0 comments

The good news is that the years-long California drought has officially ended. Gov. Jerry Brown on Wed. made it official, repealing a statewide drought declaration made in 2008.

More than 61 feet of snow has fallen in the Sierra high country so far this season. This is second only to the 1950-51 season, when 65 feet fell in the mountains. And more snow is possible in April, raising the prospect of an all-time record. Seasonal snow accumulatin records already were set at some ski resorts, including Squaw Valley, Lake Tahoe, and Heavenly Valley.

Snow is piled so high in some areas that it is causing some roofs to collapse. The water content–the key issue for a Pacific Crest Trail hiker–is 165% of normal. Of course, that means PCT hikers are going to be doing a lot of scanning the banks of streams looking for alternative places to ford.

Wow, I’m sure glad I did the PCT in 2009. The photograph in the PCT magazine (Pacific Crest Trail Communicator)of last year’s snow on Forrester’s Pass is dramatic. I wish the best of luck to all PCT hikers this coming year. They are going to have to play it exceptionally smart.

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