Early snow on Mt Conness

3 Oct 1998 - by Anouchka Gaillard

A quick report on conditions I and a couple of friends found at Tuolumme Meadows last week-end. In short, the weather conditions were a lot better than expected. We got a campsite at Tuolumme Meadows (w/o reservation) on Friday night and it was quite cold (18F that night). The next day, it was sunny and cloudless so we headed off to attempt Conness from Saddlebag Lake at 8:15 AM. The creeks were filled with ice in different shapes and structures: it was beautiful. The climb to the pass between White Mountain and Conness was full of powdery snow. We were glad we had brought ice-axes along. Then from the pass, I remembered a report saying that dropping down and *not* following the ridge was the way to go. I am not sure that it is the best way. Any way we did drop down, and climbed back up to the pass elevation, in a miserable icy wind. By 12:45pm we were quite tired, cold, and still 1100 feet from the summit. Conness was surrounded by a cloud that never lifted... At this point we bagged the idea of getting to the top and started descending. The next day, we opted for the easy option: Lembert Dome (we made it!!!! ;-) ). By Sunday, there was no snow at Tioga Pass, and Dana was sprinkled with snow that did not form a blanket yet, from a third of its way up from the pass. Tuolumme Meadows campground closed that day.

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