Daily Report – Yosemite National Park Wednesday, January 17, 2024

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Daily Report – Yosemite National Park

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Daily Report - Yosemite National Park Wednesday, January 17, 2024
Daily Report – Yosemite National Park
Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Yosemite National Park Zone Forecast

Today: Partly sunny early in the morning then clearing. Patchy fog early in the morning. Chance of snow and rain early in the morning, then chance of snow late in the morning. Highs 30 to 42. Southwest winds 5 to 15 mph. Gusts up to 65 mph decreasing to 45 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation 40 percent.

Tonight: Colder. Partly cloudy. Near steady temperature in the mid 20s. Northeast winds up to 10 mph. Gusts up to 35 mph decreasing to 25 mph after midnight
Tomorrow: Not as cool. Partly sunny. Highs 38 to 50. Northeast winds 5 to 10 mph.

Additional Point Forecast Weather Links:

Yosemite Valley | Wawona | Tuolumne Meadows | Glacier Point | Big Oak Flat | Hetch Hetchy | El Portal | Mariposa | Badger Pass



Pile Burning Continuing

Yosemite fire will be burning piles in Wawona along Forest Drive beginning Wednesday, January 17. There are no plans to burn in the park over the coming weekend. As a reminder, the Yosemite Observer Dashboard has information on weather, fires, air quality and more! (N. Phillipe)


Yosemite Nordic Holiday January 21

There are only 4 days left until the Yosemite Nordic Holiday comes to Badger Pass, and race organizers say the Nordic skiing conditions are great! The recent series of storms have done well for the snowpack, adding new layers to the base. Glacier Point Road is looking good and operations have already groomed out to Glacier Point three times. NOAA is calling for a chance of precip toward the middle of this week with another system moving in just in time for race day! We’ll continue to provide updates on the course conditions in the coming days, so stay tuned! In the meantime, sign up for the Yosemite Nordic Holiday Race, Jan. 21 at Badger Pass Nordic Center in majestic Yosemite National Park. #farwestfarbest

Register at http://farwestnordic.org/yosemite-nordic-holiday/
Score lodging discounts at both Yosemite View Lodge and Yosemite Cedar Lodge using the code SKIYOSEMITE15 at time of booking.
Yosemite View Lodge: https://yosemiteresorts.com/yosemite-view-lodge/
Yosemite Cedar Lodge: https://yosemiteresorts.com/cedar-lodge/ (C. Falkenstein)

MLK Day of Service Community Clothing & Item Drive

From January 15 to January 29, we will be holding the annual MLK Day of Service Clothing & Item Drive. All items will be donated to the Stockton Shelter for the Homeless and St. Mary’s Community Services. Please make sure all donated items are washed and in good condition. Please try to donate some of the requested items, including blankets, sweaters, jackets, socks, sleeping bags, winter hats, and warm winter clothing. For questions, email yose_dei@nps.gov. Donations can be dropped off at the following locations:
EP Warehouse VIP Office – Any time!
Yosemite Valley Library – Tues & Wed: 10:30am-5:00pm
Wawona Library – Tues & Thurs: 12:00pm – 5:00pm, or Sat: 9:00am – 2:00pm
El Portal Library – Tues & Thurs: 10:00am – 6:00pm



Volunteer Opportunities with Education and Community Engagement!

Are you dedicated to molding young minds and miss the field experience while working in an office? Consider the opportunity to volunteer a day, either facilitating or coordinating day-of logistics for 4th-grade field trips with our Education and Community Engagement Team!

      - NPS or Partner Employee with supervisor approval
      - Familiarity with the Yosemite Valley area
      - Enthusiastic about youth engagement

Field Trip Dates (March – April):
Tuesdays: 3/5, 3/12, 3/19, 3/26, 4/9, 4/16
Thursdays: 3/28, 4/18
Fridays: 3/1, 3/8, 3/15, 3/22, 4/12

If you’re keen on participating or learning more, please email Sophia_basswerner@nps.gov. (S. Bass Werner)

Yosemite Rockfall Year in Review 2023

2023 was a very active year for rockfalls in Yosemite, with a large number of rockfalls and debris flows, as well as unusual events not seen in more typical years. The winter of 2022-2023 was very wet and cold, with low snow levels. As a result, wintertime rockfall activity was higher than normal and skewed toward lower elevations where rain dominated. Roads were closed on multiple occasions, with 35 rockfalls and debris flows affecting the El Portal, Big Oak Flat, and Wawona roads.

Intense rain and saturated soils produced many debris flows. At 9 pm on January 9, a landslide originating from the canyon wall above Old El Portal quickly mobilized into a debris flow down a steep gully. Before the debris flow reached Old El Portal it was intercepted by a catch basin installed in the mid-1990s, trapping the debris and protecting structures downslope. With the catch basin full and the slope above still susceptible to landslides, an evacuation advisory was put in place during subsequent storms. On March 10, a rain-on-snow event in Yosemite Valley triggered wet snow avalanches that mobilized into debris flows near Yosemite Lodge and the NPS stables. Four days later, heavy rain triggered debris flows that buried the El Portal Road near Arch Rock and deposited boulders into the Merced River opposite Dog Rock. March 14 set a record for the greatest number of rockfalls and debris flows documented in a single day (15).

The most spectacular rockfall of 2023 occurred at 11:41 am on February 20 from the southeast face El Capitan. A single block of 1,595 cubic meters (4,746 tons) fell from the cliff along the path of Horsetail Fall, free-falling 325 meters (1,060 feet) before impacting the base of the cliff. Small rocks landed on Northside Drive, but fortunately the road was closed for the Horsetail Fall viewing event and there were no injuries. The Horsetail Fall viewing area was closed while geologists assessed the hazard.

Other large rockfalls in 2023 occurred at Glacier Point, LeConte Gully, Ahwiyah Point, and Snow Creek. In all, there were 72 rockfalls documented in 2023, with a cumulative volume of 18,730 cubic meters (55,740 tons), well above annual averages.

Two additional events in 2023 are worth mentioning. The first is a crack that appeared in the John Muir Trail between Clark Point and Nevada Fall in mid-May. The second is a crack that formed in the cliff west of Royal Arches and north of the Ahwahnee, adjacent to the climbing route “Super Slide”; this crack was first discovered in late August and continued to grow into September. Both new cracks have partially detached large rock slabs and are being closely monitored.

If you witness a rockfall of any size or encounter fresh rock debris, please contact park geologist Greg Stock at 209/768-1028 or by email at greg_stock@nps.gov, or contact Park Dispatch by dialing 911 within the park. Documented rockfalls are added to the park database (https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/03e5fb490eaf4bef92494923a99c4fa0/), enabling long-term evaluation of rockfall activity to improve public safety. (G. Stock)

Yosemite Structure Fire – Volunteers Needed

Have you ever considered becoming an emergency responder? This could be your chance! We are looking to boost our Structure Fire volunteer cadre in the park. You’re invited to an informal info session to learn what it takes to become a Structure Fire volunteer in the park and the rewards that come with helping your community. If you cannot attend an info session, please contact steve lyon, Yosemite Fire Safety Inspector, at slyon@nps.gov / 209.347.1353.

El Portal – Tuesday, January 23, 6 pm @ the Community Hall

Valley – Thursday, January 25, 6 pm @ the Carabiner

Wawona – Tuesday, January 30, 6 pm @ the Wawona Fire Station

(S. Lyon)



Dispatch Expansion Project

The Dispatch Expansion project is converting most of the El Portal Warehouse lobby into office space for the Emergency Communications (Dispatch) Center. The lobby elevator is off-limits except in case of emergency. The lobby stairs are still blocked off and the rest of the lobby area is closed unless you are involved with the project. Warehouse occupants and visitors need to use alternate means of ingress/egress until the re-construction of the stairs is finished. Do not enter through the RMS building unless you work there. To access the Dispatch office area, follow the signs in through the Trails area door just inside the fence/gate. Apologies for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience. Contact Nicole Belle Isle, Project Manager, for more information. (N. Belle Isle)


Y8 Fuel Station Down
The Y8 gas station is currently down. For gas needs in the meantime, please call the garage from 8 am – 5 pm, 7 days a week at 209-372-1060 to schedule a fill until further notice. We’ll update when the station is back up and running. (C. Layman)


Valley Shuttle Construction Impacts

Service stops 2, 4, 5, 14, 15, 18, and 19 are subject to intermittent closure, due to construction. Stops #1, 16, and 17 are the next closest stops that will remain available throughout construction. (C. Layman)


Valley Forestry Through March
Valley Forestry will be performing residential tree trimming and hazard removal in Old El Portal, Rancheria and Yosemite Valley through the end of March. Workers will be entering yards for tree inspection and trimming. Email Brian_See@nps.gov for more information or work requests. (B. See)

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