Sierra damaged by windstorm

Thunderous wind blew across much of the Sierra on Nov 30. causing widespread damage. These unusually strong northern winds gusted to more than 180 mph. They stayed higher than 120 mph for more than three hours, toppling thousands of trees. We expect to find significant numbers of downed trees on the PCT next summer.

The U.S. Forest Service reports that front country sites from Red’s Meadow to Whitney Portal were battered. The known damage is greatest at Red’s Meadow, where as many as 10,000 trees are down. Reports are scarce from the crest. One PCTA staffer surveyed some Yosemite tread and found significant, but not startling blow down. The damage appears to be region-wide, with pockets of concentration.

Once the snow melts, it’s likely to take a long time to clear and repair roads and campgrounds, not to mention the PCT. Some locations may be temporarily closed. Trail users should be aware that there might be trees with weakened root systems or that have only partially fallen. Those could fall later, so pick your routes and your campsites carefully.

We’d like to take this time to remind you of our extensive volunteer program that includes crosscut and chainsaw training and certification. Join a volunteer project or attend one of our Trail Skills Colleges. It is volunteers like you that make this work possible.

Author: Jack "Found" Haskel

As the Trail Information Manager, Jack works to connect people to the PCT. He's involved with a wide variety of projects that help the trail, the trail's users and the community that surrounds the experience. He has thru-hiked (Pacific Crest Trail in 2006; Colorado Trail in 2008; Continental Divide Trail in 2010) and is an obsessed weekend warrior.