Last week, George Tate reported 9.5 inches of snow in Pine Cove. But far more fell higher up the mountain. Two intrepid mountaineers — Lee Arnson and Jon King — trudged through and on nearly 2 feet of snow in Saddle Junction.
Arnson, who has done a snow survey for 18 years, measured 24 inches at Saddle Junction and about 26 inches throughout Tahquitz Valley. This was on top of a 2-inch icy base from the earlier snow and rain storms.
In 2014, he found snow at about the same depth. “Typically the survey is done at the end of February, but this year we’re two weeks later,” he said. “The snow was mostly light and fluffy; not much water content.”
King, who used snowshoes from Humber Park to the Saddle, encountered 8 inches at Humber. The normal 45-minute walk to the Saddle required twice that time in the snow, King said.
As King began his return, he and Arnson crossed trails in Saddle Junction.