The important April 1 snow survey results are in…well most of the stations have reported their findings to the State of California’s CDEC. What are the results? For the Kern River watershed, the snow pack sits at 49% of normal. A nice jump up from last months norm, but not enough to hit at or close to our average snow pack conditions.
What will this mean for the summer backpacking season? Potentially one could see dryer conditions, lower flows in perennial creeks, lower lake levels, and a higher risk of wildfire danger. Users will need to plan their water stops accordingly and share information (hopefully share it with GTW.org!). If the wildfire danger is elevated to certain levels, as we have seen in the past, this could eliminate camp fires for wilderness users. Stove use has been allowed even in fire restrictions. It is not certain when and if this will happen, but the past years of drought show a continual use of fire restrictions applied to the National Forests and Parks up and down the Sierra Nevada mountains.