Mountain Safety: Significant Fall Snowfall, Second Trans-Sierra Highway Closure of 2017

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 05 October 2017



Second Trans-Sierra Highway Closure of 2017

On the 3rd

It's a Sierra surprise; snowstorm closes Sonora Pass,
Union Democrat, October 4, 2017.


Closed evening of Tuesday the 4th until Noon on Thursday the 5th,
Pass reopens, sunny days ahead,
Union Democrat, October 5.


First Closure of 2017
September 20


These "unexpected" outbursts of early, "mini," yet powerful, snowstorms obscure the trails, make travel more difficult in ration to their depth, and can bring spells of bitter cold with a high probality of getting wet and cold.

Thus the progression of Fall increases our need to have the ability to navigate without trails, to physically deal with the added difficulty of snow travel, and having already packed the extra layers necessary to deal with Fall's "unexpected" weather.

The unknown profile of our emerging Fall into Winter weather reality guides the logic behind the Sept 17th "Fall Considerations" Mountain Safety Note, and the Sept 15 Note about the, "Fall Gear Change" being upon us. 

This "stormlet" is a classic example of an early-season "surprise" High Sierra Fall storm. This should be an object lesson to all prospective Fall and Spring backpackers. This is typical of the "unexpected" weather we must anticipate experiencing, and be ready for, during the instability of Fall & Spring in the High Sierra.



Sonora Pass Highway

Tioga Pass Highway

Yosemite Tioga Road report

All Caltrans Reporting Tools

Road News


Watch the Storm
Accumulation between October 3 & 4
Date-adjustable Snow Tool


All Snow Tools


Snow Sensors

Hwy 108

Sonora Pass

Deadman Creek

Hwy 120

Tuolumne Meadows

Tioga Pass-Dana Meadow


Snow Tools

All Snow Sensors

All Snow Data 


High Sierra Mountain Safety News

High Sierra Hazard Status



October 2017 High Sierra Trail News 


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