SNOW on Sub Dome

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

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       Word coming back from advanced scouts indicates that there is about 4 feet of snow covering Sub Dome and 7 feet on the last mile to it.  This is a fresh report. As we sit in our air-conditioned cars thinking it MUST be melting – we think why aren’t the cables UP??  Look at this photo. Our low orbiting satellite has picked up this image during pass 478Bravo as it screamed over Yosemite in its polar orbit at 140 miles above. 


     The MrHalfDome Geospatial Analysis Group (MGAG) has superimposed the route up Sub Dome for public release.  I cannot reveal any more information without White House approval. Suffice to say it will be well into June before the cables are up for civilian access.  If you have permits that will not be usable, I suggest a thin spread of crunchy peanut butter and a dab of honey before you eat them.

    The Tioga Road got another foot of snow so if you plan to come to the park from the east before Hwy 120 gets plowed over the pass (end of June?), you may have to go the LONG way and up Hwy 99 and in.

     I got an odd email from DNC, the Yosemite park operator, whose full name is Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts Special Places. Hmmm, the Special Places is a new one. The email promoted their Australian properties. I didn’t know I agreed to get ads from them when I reserved a tent cabin. If  you care, they now run these Aussie resorts: Lizard Island, Wilson Island and Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef; King’s Canyon in the Red Center of Australia; and El Questro in the East Kimberley region in Australia’s North.  I stayed at the Heron Island one decades ago. It’s a focused dive and reef walk site. At low tide you can walk out a mile!  Last century they dynamited deep holes to allow decent diving.

     I will be back in San Jose-by-the-sea on Saturday, then I head up to Yo Semite that afternoon. If you are ordering a nifty “I made it to the top” T-Shirt, let me know soon and I’ll get it in the mail en route to the park. To get the details, go <HERE>. I am running low on some sizes, so go quick like a bunny. PayPal works.       

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Nothing like a nighttime stroll to give you ideas.” –   J.K. Rowling

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch –


15 Responses to “SNOW on Sub Dome”

  1. Sönke Says:

    NPS website now confirms the cables won’t be up for Memorial Day weekend (which doesn’t come as a surprise).

  2. ScottS Says:

    Still counting on June 21st–keeping my fingers crossed! The missus won’t be happy if we’re denied HD! (I’m still trying to convice her that the odds of being able to get to Clouds Rest from Tenaya Lake are looking pretty much nil for the 3rd week in June…)

    I do have to say, though, that this is our first trip to Yosemite (we live in beautiful Wisconsin), and I have about 20 or 30 days worth of hikes I’d like to do in our five short days we’ll be out there! The choices are almost endless, so we’ll no doubt have a fantastic trip no matter what.

    Then again, Mr. HD, whatever secret government levers you can pull to make sure the cable are up when we’re out there would be greatly appreciated!!

  3. Mark F. Says:

    “2 Yosemite hikers die in separate mishaps”

    Be careful out there. Even experienced hikers need to pay attention to where their feet are stepping.

  4. Roberto Hernandez Says:

    Running down the upper falls trail… I would never run, what with all the lose rock and tree roots.

  5. Roberto Hernandez Says:

    When was this subdome picture taken? Even snowier than last year. No way cables will be up before mid-June! Is there good progress clearing Glacier Point Road? On a high note, I am sure all of Death Valley NP is open!

    • Sönke Says:

      The picture is from late April. However the snow heights have been reported from different sources as recent as a few days ago (e.g. some climbers have gone up Snake Dike and then descended the cable route (with biners and stuff)).

      There has been good plowing progress on Glacier Point Road and some progress on Tioga Road. Check out plowing reports here:

      As you can see from the plowing report there’s still “a bit” of snow near Glacier Point so it’s not too hard to imagine the recent HD reports are pretty accurate (especially since there has been new snow since).

      I’m sure Rick will look into the MGAG crystal ball once he has returned home and come up with a good prediction when the cables will be going up. 😉

      My guess it’ll be the late second half of June.

      I’m not sure if there’s still snow on top of Telescope Peak but chances are good Death Valley NP is open. 😉 Early May temps already broke 100°+F marks.

      • Roberto Hernandez Says:

        So, there must be more snow than last year? I will predict mid-June on cables. Hopefully, Tioga Road will have day usage by mid- June. How does this limited road usage work? They block off the Tioga pass entrance at night, but allow people to park for trail usage in the Tuolumne Meadows area?

      • Sönke Says:

        Yes, this year’s snowpack matched the second highest in the last 30 years. The May 1 snow surveys showed the water content in the snow in the Merced Drainage at 199% of average and the Tuolumne Drainage at 184% of average. I don’t have accurate data but Yosemite locals that these figures are among the highest they’ve ever heard of for May snow surveys.

        Hmm, since I live lightyears away from Yosemite I don’t have all the details available but I think when they allow limited access to Tioga Road they usually open the road at the Crane Flat entrance up the Yosemite Creek area (that’s where the plowing crews are now). Maybe one of the locals here has more info?!

        Rumour has it that Cal Trans crews have plowed highway 120 from Lee Vining up to the park boundary. But again…it’s a rumour and I don’t have a confirmed source for it.

        Therefore I don’t think there’ll be access to the Tuolumne Meadows are before the Tioga Pass will be officially open.

      • Roberto Hernandez Says:

        I see.. so, I would think that sometimes even when the Tioga entrance is closed, you could park nearby, and hike to Dana meadow, Mt Dana, etc…. especially if you have snowshoes.

  6. Mr. Clouds Rest Says:

    Promotions for Australia?…that’s the spirit Bruce. I think “Mr. Lizard Island” has a nice ring to it. Make some shirts; skeleton wallabee on a hike. it’ll drive the Sheilas crazy. Pass the Sheep Dip. I’m stuck on SubDome until mid June apparently. Bugger.

  7. Kelley W. Says:

    I have permits for June 24th. I am hoping we can get up there as we went last year and as we got to the top of the subdome…lightning storm! Denied!!! I was so devastated that we had gone that far and weren’t able to complete it that I cried right on the spot. Hopefully we get our chance this year. We also have permits for August, but I wanted to do a day hike in June and a night hike in August for my B-day! Looking forward to it. Come on snow…MELT!!!

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