On Monday, Sept. 19, clouds moved in quickly behind Sawtooth and Mineral peaks in the Mineral King area of Sequoia National Park (photo above).
This time of year, weather in the Sierra can change rapidly from a warm, cloudless day to a white-out snowstorm. In past years, early-season storms have regularly caught backcountry travelers, hunters, and day-hikers by surprise, and the result can be deadly if unprepared.
However, with the earliest storms of the season, a snow-covered trail won’t remain obscured for long as the storms don’t normally linger, so by being prepared with extra layers of warm clothing and additional food, a change in weather won’t become a life-threatening emergency.
SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK
September 20— In an apparent vandalism, two windows of a Park Service backhoe were broken in Potwisha Campground’s overflow parking lot. An investigation is ongoing.
September 21— A 60-year-old female had an angulated ankle fracture a few hundred yards downstream from Buckeye Campground along the Kaweah River. A crew assembled and carried her out to a waiting ambulance. She was transported to the hospital.
September 21— A 73-year-old male who began hiking at Mount Whitney failed to check in with his family as scheduled from Vermilion Valley Resort in Sierra National Forest. He was reported as four days overdue. The resort confirmed he had arrived shortly thereafter and was in good health.
KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARK
September 24— A 52-year-old man near Twin Lakes reported to family through a satellite device that he was experiencing knee pain. Ignoring advice to stop and rest, he attempted to self-evacuate over Sawmill Pass. Within hours, he activated the emergency feature of his device stating that he could no longer walk. He was evacuated by helicopter.
September 25— Rangers received a report from a concerned parent regarding a 22-year-old female who had missed several days of work and was thought to be camping in Grant Grove. Attempts to locate her were unsuccessful.