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Yosemite Flooding!!


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May 10, 2005

Yosemite Drapes Itself in Its Splendid Liquid Veils, and Preens


YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif., May 8 - It poured again on Sunday in the Yosemite Valley, but people were smiling in their ponchos and galoshes. It has been that kind of spring here: dreadful weather and delighted visitors.


With extraordinarily heavy snowfall in the higher elevations, and lots of rain elsewhere, the rivers and waterfalls in the Sierra Nevada are gushing. Hikers must hopscotch around muddy puddles, and much of the park remains closed because of impassible roads, but the Yosemite water show is at its best in years.


"There are places we've stood, where you can look around and see six waterfalls at once," said David Cosio of Watsonville, Calif., getting soaked from head to toe near Yosemite Falls with his wife, Linda, and three young sons. "We've been here before in May, but nothing like this."


Dan Gudgel, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford, Calif., said the unusually wet winter and spring had snapped a six-year dry spell in the Sierra Nevada. Though the dryness was not as severe as in the drought-stricken Northwest and Southwest, the annual precipitation over the period was about 80 percent of the average.


So far this year, Mr. Gudgel said, the Sierra snowpack is about 180 percent of the average, and the snow keeps falling. More than a foot was forecast for parts of the Sierra in the next few days, and some hikers this weekend to Nevada Fall, a popular destination about 2,000 feet above the valley floor, found enough snow from past storms for snowball fights.


"The Sierra has been extremely dry, so this is a welcome respite," Mr. Gudgel said. "I can't underscore that enough."


In nuts-and-bolts calculations, the wet weather means more reliable water supplies for the California farms and cities - the water is piped as far away as San Francisco, 160 miles to the west - that depend on the Sierra snowmelt to fill reservoirs and irrigation ditches. But for those who live and visit here, the benefits are beyond quantification.


Kathy Langley, concierge at the Ahwahnee Hotel and a resident of the park for 23 years, said she had been taking hikes up little-visited trails with great water vistas near places like Indian Creek and Sentinel Fall, one of the park's tallest, at 2,000 feet.


Aside from the abundance of water, Ms. Langley has been struck by the dogwood blossoms, which because of the cool weather have remained on the trees for weeks.


"A lot of our clientele comes every year at this time of the year," Ms. Langley said, "and they can't believe what they're seeing. We haven't even had two 80-degree days in a row yet, so everyone knows there is more to come."


How long it remains relatively cool will determine how long the spectacle lasts, Mr. Gudgel said. A sudden heat wave would melt the snow rapidly, creating a dazzling but brief show and probably some flooding. A slower melt would keep the waterfalls flowing well into the summer but might also keep parts of the park inaccessible to visitors.


For now, only one thing is certain, said Adrienne Freeman, a park ranger, "There's so much water, it's insane."

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I was there right after the big floods of either 97, or 98. It was impressive watching the water come down the various falls in the valley. WOW!!. Plus, the extent of the damage the flooding it caused back then. I feel sorry for anyone who planned trips to climb this week. How many cc.comers are down there right now?

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Maybe the Merced will take out Camp Curry and all those other fuckin eyesore tourist ghettos.


Maybe it'll dredge up the body of this guy


I stayed three weeks in the Valley in 99:


1. First day there Gambalie drowned. That night there was a drunken golf cart race in Camp 4 that got a few people thrown in the John Muir Inn cry.gif


2. Various unsolved beheadings and murders ongoing cry.gif


3. Glacier Point Apron collapses 45 minutes after we climbed the very route it obliterated cry.gif


4. When I got home I read in the paper that someone had been arrested for putting cameras in the MENS Camp Curry showers, which I had used most days during my stay cry.gif

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ok so 4 jumpers died but how many died jumping?

sorry for those planing on climbing but the yos fall looks awsome

plus j-tree should be good, bishop, the needles, redrocks, moab and indian creek? there are a ton of good spots. i think the yalley is just cleansing it self from all traffic and other such nonsence that literaly plugs it up 3/4's of the year

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