World class snowfall in the Sierra Nevada, 1969

TitleWorld class snowfall in the Sierra Nevada, 1969
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2000
AuthorsPowell, D. R.
Conference Name68th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 68th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 2000
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationPort Angeles, Washington
KeywordsKern River Watershed, Record snowfall

On a State of California snow survey in the Upper Kern River Basin in the Sierra Nevada, 366 cm (144 in, 12 ft) of snow fell in 48 hours, February 22-24, 1969, at the Big Whitney Meadow cabin, 3,048 m (10,000 ft) elevation. This was the maximum intensity snowstorm in my over 30 years experience of field snow surveying in the Sierra Nevada, Afghanistan, and Chile, and ranks with 48-hour totals recorded anywhere in the world.Some major results -constant shoveling of doorway and roof with my being buried in a slide off the roof, the difficulty of measuring the adjacent Big Whitney Meadow snow course after this massive accumulation, the extreme difficulty of ski travel through this new snow, the encounters with the United States Air Force planes searching for two lost fliers, the arrival at the car at the road-head to find the rear wheels stolen.