As Memorial Day approaches, plow crews continue to work to clear the high roads into the Sierra.
Many roads to popular trailheads like Big Pine Creek and Sabrina are open, but the major summer thoroughfares like Tioga Pass and Sonora pass remain closed. Closer to home, crews with the Town of Mammoth Lakes are at work to clear the Lakes Basin roads. Public Works Director Ray Jarvis reports that once the crews start blowing snow it should only take a few days to clear the Lakes Basin, but the Forest Service likes to let the shoulders of the road melt out for a week or so before opening the roads. Jarvis says that crews usually have the roads cleared by May 20th. Despite the winter weather that insistently continues to arrive in the Eastern Sierra, the roads to the Lakes Basin should be ready to go by Memorial Day if not before.
On Tioga Pass, Park Service crews report good progress despite eight to nine feet of snow to plow through. At last word the plows from the west side had broken through to Olmstead Point, a known avalanche area just west of Tenaya Lake and Tuolumne Meadows. There is no estimated date for the Tioga road to open. Sonora Pass remains closed as well.