April 10th, 2015
The popular Mammoth Lakes Basin and Twin Lakes area could open to vehicles by end of April, weather permitting, according to Inyo National Forest authorities, who will meet with Town of Mammoth Lakes and other Basin stakeholders today to work out the details. The dry winter has left much of the Eastern Sierra recreation areas, even the high elevation sites like the Lakes Basin which sits at about 9,000 feet, free of snow. However, another storm like this week's wintery storm could still delay that target opening date, officials said.
On the morning of Wednesday, April 8, at approximately 10 a.m., the Mono County Sheriffâ€™s Office received a call regarding a stranded backpacker near Glass Creek. A male backpacker, 43, from Ramona, Calif., began a two week backpack trip. The backpacker started his trip at Dead Man Creek and was hiking to Yost Lake. On day four of the trip, while near Glass Creek, the backpacker twisted his ankle and camped at his location to recover. During this time, a storm moved into the Eastern Sierra and the area received 18â€ť to 2.5 feet of fresh new snow over the dry landscape.
The first winter storm of the year dropped about 14 inches of powder at the 8,200 foot level in Mammoth and 18 to 24 inches on Mammoth Mountain, including the crest, according to Mammoth weather forecaster Howard Sheckter, Wednesday, April 8. Another storm is possible next week, Sheckter said.
A winter storm is expected to last into the evening Tuesday, April 7, and drop as much as a foot above 8,000 feet elevation. By 5 p.m in Mammoth, at about 8,000 feet elevation, the snow was about six inches deep. The storm caused some problems to drivers headed up and down the road to Mammoth Mountain Ski Area today according to Mammoth Lakes Police, forcing the closure of the road to Main Lodge for several hours due to vehicles off the roadway, vehicles blocking the road in front of tow trucks and other weather-related accidents. The road is now open, as of 4 p.m. April 7.
Dave McCoy takes a reading on the snowpack depth, circa 1940s.
A winter-like spring storm system will push into the Eastern Sierra early Tuesday with the heaviest snow expected during the daytime hours but also with snow continuing into the night and into Wednesday morning, according to the National Weather Service, which posted a "Winter Weather Advisory' beginning at 5 a.m. Tuesday, April 7 (http://tinyurl.com/pommzxv). Four to eight inches of snow is expected at the lower elevations with as much as one foot expected above 8,000 feet on the Sierra crest.
The Mammoth Community Water Districtâ€™s (MCWD) Board of Directors voted to raise the Districtâ€™s water shortage conditions from Level 2 to Level 3 at a special meeting on April 1.
The Level 3 restrictions will go in to effect on April 10. The meeting was convened following the mechanical failure of two of the Water Districtâ€™s groundwater production wells and a record low snowpack water content measurement on Mammoth Pass, which found that conditions were 98 percent below normal conditions, the lowest April 1 reading ever recorded since 1931.
It was cold start today, but it has been followed by milder temperatures this afternoon and into Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.
Spring Expo, Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra, April 4
Head over to Mammoth Mountain Ski Area from 8:30a.m. to 2 p.m. between Chair 1 and Chair 11 at the big expo tent and try out a mono-ski, bi-ski or ski-bike and help raise money for DSES at the same time. For more info, call DSES at 760-934-0791 or go to www. SpringExpo.com
Ezakimak! April 4
A dismal snowpack, measured at one inch of precipitation on Mammoth Pass on March 30 instead of the average for that date of about 42 inches of water, and equally low in the rest of the Sierra, triggered Governor Jerry Brown today, April 1, to issue an executive order requiring all water districts to cut back on water use by 25 percent.
Lower Rock Creek trail is one of the best hikes/mountain bikes of the early spring season. The trail begins about a mile south of Toms Place and roughly parallels Lower Rock Creek Road for about eight miles to the community of Paradise, before the trail ends at the a parking area at an old resort. You can do several loop hikes since the trail crosses the road every few miles. The trail is considered to be one of the best mountain bike trails in the Eastern Sierra.
Length: 1-8 miles one way
Difficulty: Easy to moderately strenuous
The Mammoth Community Water District board of directors will consider increasing water use restrictions tonight, April 1 at a special water district meeting. The meeting is at 4:30 p.m. in the conference room at the district facility located one mile east of Old Mammoth Road on Meridian Boulevard, just off Highway 203. The meeting is open to the public. For more information on what the proposed Level Three water restrictions will mean, go to http://www.mcwd.dst.ca.us/ and look under "Conservation" then go to the link to the "Water Conservation Ordinance" item.
The Mammoth Community Water District and representatives from the local air pollution control district, as well as other entities involved in an ongoing legal dispute over a proposed geothermal plant, will be in court today before Judge Stan Eller to argue their case regarding a proposed, new, 33-megawatt geothermal power plant.