Monday, December 28, 2015


Days grow longer at last, and we are having a real winter again. Healthy snowfall on Christmas Eve brought joy to skiers, firefighters and sugar pines. Snowline dropped to almost 2000' and the Merced is running at about twice normal flow.
A group of 3 river otters has been seen at least twice in the past couple months in El Portal. Clark's nutcracker and pileated woodpecker at Crane Flat yesterday. White-throated swifts flew over El Portal today, despite overcast, 40F, and no evidence of their flying insect food.

Summer-volume visitation filled the Valley over the holiday weekend. Snow occupying parking spaces made traffic even more challenging than it is in summer. People chaining up in the uphill lane at Cascades on 140 backed up cars, and the sheer numbers of cars squeezing into Arch Rock entrance snaked down more than a mile. It's great that so many people want to see Yosemite in winter, but I find it sad that sitting in traffic will be their memory of a park visit.