Wednesday, January 14, 2015

June-uary Again

The autumn's nice sequence of storms has faded to a string of mild, dry weeks. Snow is patchy at 6000' and Badger Pass (or might we be changing it to Munroe Meadow?) Ski Area has just enough snow coverage for a little longer. The storms we had Oct-Dec had high snow lines and our snowpack is less than half of average. The Merced River is also running at about half of average flow. Yosemite Falls is looking good, but the watershed is now burning through what should be March-May runoff. The snow cone beneath Upper Falls is modest and shrinking. The Sierra's drought continues.

Waterfall buttercup is blooming profusely in its usual spots in the lower Merced Canyon. Parts of Scorpio and the Summer Triangle are visible in the pre-dawn skies over the Valley walls. Much media attention is being paid to climbers on the Dawn Wall these days as an extra tricky ascent of El Cap is about to conclude after 2.5 weeks.

The media had also been reporting on the ownership of the names of the park's commercial operations like Curry Village, Wawona Hotel, Yosemite Lodge, etc. It would seem odd to have to buy these names back or to change them. Alas, they're just hotels; they're not Yosemite. Though traditional, the labels on ephemeral infrastructure shouldn't matter too much in the long run. No one worries about the Stoneman House, Camp Lost Arrow or The Cosmopolitan any more and "The Ahwahnee" will not last forever. The real and enduring beauty of these mountains is a gift that can never be taken away.

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