Last night, Mammoth got a bit of late season snow. It was a nice day until about 3pm when clouds rolled in, the wind picked up (it was already blowing), and it started to snow. It didn’t accumulate much, but the wind howled like a banshee and the low in Mammoth Lakes was 23F last night.
We weren’t quite sure what that weird May weather would equate on Tioga Pass, but we hoped for a few inches of new snow and fun conditions. Wrong.
We got up to Tioga Pass today around 10am today and it didn’t look like it had snowed at all up there. It looked like the wind had beaten up Ellery Bowl and that it had frozen very hard the previous night.
The wind was still cranking when we started hiking up around 11am. It was tearing across Ellery Bowl from the east and wafting snow off the mountain and into oblivion.
We hiked a very short ways before having to switch to booting up due to the very hard snow conditions. After getting about one third of the way up, we decided: A. the skiing wasn’t going to be fun; B. It was getting dangerous to hike up in ski boots due to the risk of falling and slide-for-lifing.
We skied down and the snow skied just like it looked: hard, bumpy, and bad.
We got back to the car with no regrets because we knew it was worth a look and we knew we were on our way to the hot springs east of Mammoth.
Conditions at the hot river were excellent and surf conditions were glassy. Deer and Egrets were plentiful this evening.
The forecast is looking like more cold temps up on Tioga Pass. Tomorrow and potentially more days may very well be just like today.
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