Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Winter is On
Extra cold temperatures (low 20's in Yosemite Valley) follow the recent heavy snows. The webcams this morning show you blue skies with snow on ridgetops as far west of the park as you can see. In the Valley the outside wall of Dave's house is 28F and there's a bit of dry spindrift in the air. The high country is well and truly coated with a healthy season's snowpack base layer.
The Four Mile Trail, Mist Trail/Ice Cut, and Glacier Point and Tioga Roads (to cars, not skiers) are officially closed for the season. The ice rink is open and the ski area opens on 17 December.
Yosemite's Christmas Bird Count -the 79th annual- happens on Sunday 19 December. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested in participating. The low snowline will have birds shifting downslope and concentrating in pockets of accessible habitat. If these conditions remain for 3 more weeks, we should have good numbers this year. Another storm this weekend suggests it'll be wintery for at least a little while yet. Don't forget: this is the number one place on the planet for wintering white-headed woodpeckers.
The day before, Saturday 18 December, there are still spaces available on the Conservancy's "Moonlight Snowshoe" Outdoor Adventures course. We'll meet up at Badger Pass at 3 p.m., give you snowshoes, and head out to watch the sunset and moonrise over a unique landscape of bright white and deep black. What a weekend that'd make: an evening snowshoe trek then a day of birding.
We have a lot to be thankful for in this astounding place. Happy Thanksgiving to all.