Weekly newspaper of Three Rivers, California, and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks

News

This photo of Cindy Qui was taken at Trail Crest just before she turned around on her hike and began her fateful trip back down the mountain.
  At noon on Tuesday, May 23, a two-day search ended when the body of Dongying “Cindy” Qui was located at the base of a frozen waterfall near Outpost Camp. Her body was discovered about a quarter-mile off trail.   “This is an incredibly tragic situation, and based on the extreme snow conditions in the backcountry, it could have happened to anyone,” said Inyo County Sheriff’s Corporal Nick Vaughn...
The melting remnants of a sizable avalanche that came down Empire Mountain, scattering snow and debris across the Mineral King Road. It’s located just down-canyon from the Sawtooth trailhead. (Click arrows for additional photos.)
  The 2017 snowpack with near-record water content, equivalent to 1983 at the highest elevations, has less accumulation downslope. While perceived as a remarkable turnaround from the lack of snow in 2015, this year featured the fifth consecutive winter where a below-average fraction of precipitation fell as snow. No extreme heatwaves are currently in the 15-day forecast but the gradual warming...
Generals Highway road construction is scheduled to begin in June, exact date to be announced.
  The first phase of a two-year project on the historic Generals Highway in Sequoia National Park will consist of a one-mile stretch of road just before entering Giant Forest. The roadwork and accompanying hour delays will begin this month although a firm date has not been announced by the National Park Service.   This first segment from 4,500 feet to 5,500 feet is considered the most difficult...
Aerial firefighters drop fire retardant to slow the progress of a fire.
  It’s not the first time a fire broke out in Three Rivers after a bird landed on a transmission line, caught fire, and fell to the brush below to spark a hillside fire. In fact, the blaze that occurred on Thursday, May 25, shortly before 7 p.m., was in the same locale where a turkey vulture sparked a blaze in 2015.   The scenario plays out like this. A bird lands on a transmission line that is...
The Lake Kaweah boat patrol unit of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office. From left to right: Deputy Tony Ellis, Deputy Frank Szick, Lt. Kevin Kemmerling, Deputy Derrick Hood, and Deputy Chris Franklin.
  A swiftly flowing river and huge visitor numbers combined for several emergency calls but no river-caused fatalities in the local vicinity. One traffic accident was also a near miss, but still resulted in a motorist being charged with DUI.   “It was a busy weekend and there were the usual number of parking violations, citations, and the rousting of trespassers who chose to ignore closed signs...
Snow is patchy on north-facing slopes at 7,500 feet elevation but... (click arrows for additional photo)
  After a record-setting precipitation season, it’s always a challenge getting park areas operational by the Memorial Day weekend, the traditional kickoff to the busy summer season. Add into the mix hazardous dead trees from five years of drought-stricken winters and that translates to only about two-thirds of Sequoia-Kings Canyon campsites that will be available  for the holiday period.  ...
The only way anyone should be near the Kaweah River currently is with professional whitewater guides on a commercial rafting trip.
  It’s not if the next river rescue will occur, but when. The latest swimmer to test fate was a teenage girl who was staying at Kaweah Park Resort with her family.   On Saturday, May 20, the young river-goer thought it okay to float past the beach at the popular Three Rivers campground on an inflatable raft. It didn’t take long for the turbulent rapids to throw the teen off the inflatable and...
Click arrows for additional photo of broom bush removal.
  On Tuesday, May 23, a National Park Service team was in the river channel near the Three Rivers Hideaway campground to eradicate the beautiful yet invasive broom bush, which is choking out native vegetation along the Kaweah River.
The Middle Fork of the Kaweah River as seen from the North Fork Drive bridge. The river is running swift and cold due to melting snow in the high country.
  After a scorcher of a work week that featured Kaweah Country’s first extended run of triple digits, daytime highs returned to a marine air-influenced pattern with temps around 80. Memorial Day will see a return to the low 90s but there will be another flirtation with the century mark in 7 to 10 days.   There is still a monster snowpack above 8,500 feet, set to cascade down and fill Lake Kaweah...
  Sunset Campground in the Grant Grove area of the Kings Canyon National Park, which is regularly closed during the winter, will remain closed beyond its traditional opening date. The campground was scheduled to open on May 24 but upon inspection it was determined that many trees in the vicinity — killed by a multi-year drought, beetle infestation, and the previous heavy winter — would create...

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