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California Trails

The Ups and Downs of California's Lingering Snowpack

Great for summer skiers, not so great for PCT thru-hikers.

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The central Sierra’s unusually high snowpack this year–195 percent of normal–has some outdoorsy types cheering and others muttering under their breath. Summer skiers are hitting the still-open slopes at resorts like Mammoth Mountain and Squaw Valley in swimsuits, but Pacific Crest Trail thru-hikers must contend with treacherous snow slopes and raging rivers, turning the trail into “a long-distance mountaineering endeavor.”