Tioga Pass Update

Road crews are patching potholes, cleaning ditches and road side debris and forestry is wrapping up immediate hazard tree work that needs to be done. The Avalanche Team performed one final blast on Olmsted to primarily charcoal the upper section.
Yesterday we were able to work each end of Olmsted to narrow this area down to about 100 yards wide and you can now see each vehicle pass through the zone from each end. The west bound lane is still acting as the toe of the snow remaining on the slope so we are not able to remove at this time. The area is finally beginning to melt out but it needs to reduce in volume/depth before we can change to just a no stopping zone. We are hoping that by early next week we will see dramatic difference in snow levels with the water running off the slope.
Though it has been reduced in size it is still unstable due to the heat and water running under the snowpack and could result in a wet slab release that will impact the road.
Tony with Mono County will be coming up tomorrow afternoon and Bob Brantley will be showing him Olmsted and what efforts we have been doing to reduce snow in this area.
B&G and Utilities has been working daily this week in TM and sounds like they are making good progress.
We are hoping next week is the big push of melt and we can get the avalanche areas safe to get full opening crews up there to push facilities open. I also have a draft of a vehicle access-shuttle plan in the Supt office in case we can get the road safe but the snow is preventing us from stationing our emergency services people or getting water or services turned on…we could try to use this to at least let cars through on a limited hours basis if possible.
I would guess we are still looking at melting out all next week but the warmer temps are improving things.
Michael Reynolds
Superintendent
Yosemite National Park