Dan's Outside

I go, I see, I do, I walk, I think, I like…

May 22 Opening for Sonora Pass?

Sierra Journal reports that the opening of Sonora Pass is scheduled for May 22. This is significant for a number of reasons, including the following:

  • The availability of the Sonora Pass route considerably reduces the time/distance that SF Bay Area folks must drive to get to the eastern Sierra.
  • This suggests that other routes like Ebbetts and Monitor Pass will also be open at that time.
  • Tioga Pass often seems to open within about a week of the opening of Sonora. If that happens this time we could guess that Tioga might open before the end of May.

I’m ready!

(Although it is not a “pass,” the Glacier Point Road opened early this week.)


May 7, 2009 - Posted by | Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. I want to go back to the Eastern Sierra so bad I can’t stand it! The last time I was there I tried to scout out some of the locations next to Bishop on the Department of Water and Power land where Galen Rowell took some of his famous photographs and found some spots I am just dying to photograph at sunrise, especially in the fall. But I have to wait. I don’t have the money or time off right now anyway but it is just driving me nuts not being able to go there. I love the Eastern Sierra!

    Comment by cynthialeeder | May 7, 2009

  2. A problem I keep having when I do manage to get there is that I am not getting the light I want. I get up before the dawn and I go out to this site or that and the sun keeps coming up flat as an old ironing board or flat and harsh as an old fluorescent lamp. I guess even Galen Rowell must have encountered that more often than not but he at least had the opportunity to come back to the scene again and again until he got want he wanted. For me its the occasional luck of the draw and I keep striking out!

    Comment by cynthialeeder | May 7, 2009

  3. Hi Cynthia:

    It is disappointing when you go all the way up there and don’t get the light you wanted – trust me, we’ve all been there! I’m sure that living in a place like that helps a lot – in some ways that you would expect and in some others also. Certainly, if you are already there you don’t have to trust the timing of your visit as much. In addition, once you know an area really well you learn how to change plans and look for something different that might be more appropriate for the existing conditions. Of course, that last idea can help even those of us who find ourselves visiting a place just a few times per year. If we go looking for grand landscapes and we get fog, the best thing to do is mentally switch gears and start looking for closer subjects that look interesting in fog, and so on.

    Take care,


    Comment by Dan Mitchell | May 10, 2009

  4. Oh, also… I hear that Ebbetts Pass did open – so one more route to the east side is available.

    Comment by Dan Mitchell | May 10, 2009

  5. Hi Dan,
    Yes, it is disappointing, but then I should probably take that as an opportunity to scout out locations as well as a challenge to find what is there. Sometimes I can be surprised! I do have some plans though for this summer as I joined up with a little group planning to backpack a couple of sections of the PCT in July, including Tuolumne Meadows to Reds Meadows. I am trying to figure out how to fit a camera and tripod into my gear for that as I bet there will be great photo opps on that! And then come hell or high water, I am going to go to Bishop again in the Fall and I can’t wait!

    Comment by cynthialeeder | May 10, 2009

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