2020-2021 Snowpack

Nick

Spiral out.
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What's going on in the west?!

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WasatchWill

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Jul 23, 2013
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Well, if the old Farmer's Almanac is to be believed for this year, most of Utah and the rest of the west will see quite a contrast from last summer in that it should be much more wet this year. So that'd be nice at least. But seriously...Climate change. It be real. People and the powers that be can debate all they want about how much human industrial activity has contributed and expedited it over recent decades, but in the bigger picture, glaciers have largely been melting since the last great ice age...and with how things are trending these days, I fear we humans are going to have to keep learning a lot more about adaptation in the coming decades, one way or another. Also...sucks it's looking like I won't be getting to float Muddy this spring.

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JulieKT

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Sep 7, 2014
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Still mostly very dry down here in southern Utah. We have gotten some snow, and holy moly it is definitely c-c-c-cold right now, but it's just mostly very danged dry. There is some snow on the Henrys and the Boulder, but when you face north toward Thousand Lake and all the redrock cliffs, there's almost no snow visible. I remember three years ago we also had an incredibly snowless winter, but the following summer ended up having a decent amount of rain. Certainly hoping we get rain this year, since we had virtually none last year, but we shall see if it happens or not. Climate change is really a serious issue at this point.
 

LarryBoy

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Jan 4, 2015
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Much of the lower Colorado Basin hasn't seen measurable rainfall in something like 8 months. Things are... not ideal.
 

Kmatjhwy

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Sep 23, 2016
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Now personally I have been here in and out of Jackson Hole for 40 years and have been hiking all over the West since 1978. Yes this is a La Nina year. But historically usually La Nina's bring good amounts of snowfall not less. Now have seen some winters in Jackson by this time of year the slopes around town were half barren of snow. And then at the end of March, they had to cancel the snowmobile hill climb here in town for the lack of snow. But have also seen winters where the snow kept on coming and coming and then coming some more. Actually the recent past 10 years or so have seen a good proportion of those winters here locally for NW Wyoming having good snowpacks. I have seen drought years before and which were far far far worse then this year, and we made it thru the summer in good shape. Sometimes a good wet spring and summer can change everything.

Consider this ... Do think this was back in 2007 but might be wrong. It had been a low snowpack winter with spring coming early in the mountains. Hiked back to the Thorofare that summer. But the spring was wet with abundant rain. The flowers that summer were great and everywhere on account of the spring rains.

Then come the year of 2008, it had been a winter of a tremendous huge snowpack, with tons of snow. The spring came but it was more dry and not very rainy. The summer came and it was a long dry and hot summer, even in the high country. The flowers started off great considering the huge snowpack. But as the dry summer went on, the flowers withered and the trails just became huge piles of dust. Again was back in the Thorofare that summer.

Have seen the seasons come and go, am 64 now. Sometimes good snow winters and then drought snow winters, sometimes everything green and nice in the summer and then the drought summers. But that is the way it has always been. And this will be the way in the years to come also. And that Thorofare is still there wild and nice. Now those high mountains is still there with the wilds at the end of the road where the trails begin. So do think the mountains wilds will continue. In truth these mountainscapes will be here existing long after we humans have gone and walk this Earth no more, with the way we Humans are going at present.

So Maybe an early spring ... Then get out and Enjoy!

Wishing Everyone the Best!
 
Last edited:

regehr

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Mar 28, 2012
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Much of the lower Colorado Basin hasn't seen measurable rainfall in something like 8 months. Things are... not ideal.
unless things change, it's getting to the point where spring backpacks are maybe in doubt. gonna make doubly sure to be carrying enough water to make it back to a known-good source this spring.

was sure not happy to get to Boulder Creek last fall and find it bone dry.... this unfortunate trend may be continuing. yay for car camping?
 

Bob

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Mar 3, 2013
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This is the lowest snowpack I ever experienced in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. And last summer was already super hot and dry.
I fear the worst for this summer.
La Nina sucks big time
There had been worse..... One winter when my daughter worked at old faithful.... Snow coaches couldn't travel the loop for tours for half the winter......

And remember 1988.. burn most of yellowstone cause it was so dry.
 

LarryBoy

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unless things change, it's getting to the point where spring backpacks are maybe in doubt. gonna make doubly sure to be carrying enough water to make it back to a known-good source this spring.

was sure not happy to get to Boulder Creek last fall and find it bone dry.... this unfortunate trend may be continuing. yay for car camping?
Dang, that's bad!
 

regehr

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Dang, that's bad!
it was running below where (ironically!) Dry Hollow comes in. luckily we persevered to that point, we nearly bailed on what turned out to be a very nice backpack!

I gotta say, though, that one of the Allen books makes Boulder Creek seem like a really pleasant walk when really it's a pretty gnarly brush thrash.
 

LarryBoy

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it was running below where (ironically!) Dry Hollow comes in. luckily we persevered to that point, we nearly bailed on what turned out to be a very nice backpack!

I gotta say, though, that one of the Allen books makes Boulder Creek seem like a really pleasant walk when really it's a pretty gnarly brush thrash.
I actually haven't been in Boulder Creek personally (shameful!), but it's definitely something that changes over time. A specific example is Courthouse Wash in Arches - a couple of decades it was apparently a super pleasant walk, whereas it's a brushy mess now (at least in places). I guess there haven't been any flash floods in that particular canyon in recent years to clear out the undergrowth. I'm sure you've seen canyons change over the years as well!

In the Escalante, the same thing is true in Twentyfive Mile Wash, which Allen makes sound like a picnic when it's pretty overgrown in spots. Given the quality of his info otherwise, I'm tempted to believe that he wasn't wrong when he wrote it, it's just changed since then.
 

regehr

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In the Escalante, the same thing is true in Twentyfive Mile Wash, which Allen makes sound like a picnic when it's pretty overgrown in spots. Given the quality of his info otherwise, I'm tempted to believe that he wasn't wrong when he wrote it, it's just changed since then.
yeah I have no reason to doubt the guy, but those books are like 20 years old now. another example is he says there's nice camping at the boulder/deer creek confluence and all we saw was near-impenetrable brush at that specific site.

so yeah definitely go there but, you know, don't plan for big mileage days :)
 

LarryBoy

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yeah I have no reason to doubt the guy, but those books are like 20 years old now. another example is he says there's nice camping at the boulder/deer creek confluence and all we saw was near-impenetrable brush at that specific site.

so yeah definitely go there but, you know, don't plan for big mileage days :)

I was hiking through a dry corner of Idaho last year and needed to find reliable water sources. Before the trip, I found a passing mention of a particular spring - the only one for thirty miles in either direction - in an academic journal article from 1988 - something about the "obscure scorpion plant". That was my version of "good information". Of course, when I got there, the spring was looooong gone. :(
 
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