Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
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For the first time since the Flood of 1997, Yosemite National Park is closed. The park, which is usually open 24/7 every day of the year is now temporarily closed for up to 6 days as a massive snowfall and landslide overwhelmed both man and machine. Power is by candlelight and generators. If 3 feet of snow on Valley Roads was not enough, the main power line running up the Merced canyon has been damaged near the Ferguson slide. This in on Hwy 140 about 6 miles south of El Portal. A rock slide broke a transmission pole and the only way to get a replacementin is by helicopter. Engineers for the county are evaluating the situation. Repairs could take at east 5 days depending on soil condition and the impact of the next line of storms arriving soon. 2-3 more feet of snow are forecast above 4,000 feet. The Hwy 120 route tops out about 6,000 feet. Not a good idea. Even the Hwy 140 “All Weather Road” is getting hit. The approach roads into the park are closed and even chains may not help.
For people registered for the Annual “Spring Forum” this weekend, Yosemite Conservancy will announce Wed at 11 am if it is cancelled. The Merced River Plan (MRP) Recreation Workshop scheduled for March 25, 2011, has been postponed. This weather does not help with the targeted May 27 installation of the cables. It’s going to take a long time to melt this snowpack and when it does we may have another giant flood.
Looks like a good weekend to clean the house and read Lafayette Bunnell’s book: “Discovery of the Yosemite and the Indian War of 1851, Which Led to That Event.”
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas. Just like the ones I used to know. Where the treetops glisten, and children listen to hear sleigh bells in the snow.” – Bing Crosby
*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com