YOSEMITE (CBS13) — With elevations above 8,000 fee, he Tioga Pass in Yosemite National Park is usually covered with 10 to 15 feet of snow by now, but not this year.

Near the top of the pass is frozen Tenaya Lake and for the first time in more than 70 years, the ice is snow-free and exposed. Ice skaters, hockey players and even dogs have made the trek up the pass to enjoy this rare moment

tioga pass skating Winter Rarity: Ice Skating At Yosemites Tenaya Lake

There was even a “Tenaya Lake tailgate.” Barry and Margie Mallory enjoyed the majestic scenery in style: wine, apples and cheese.

The Aussies came.

“You wouldn’t see anything like it in Australia,” Laurie Stripeikis says.

The British were here too.

Then the Texans showed up — four sisters from Dallas who had never seen a frozen lake.

“Joyce you just lift up and walk,” one sister prods her sibling.

“Another Texan on ice. They just want to have one person fall on their ass.”

No shortage here. The ice is a little rough. Tyson Kaylor lives nearby and says the lake talks.

“The lake makes all these crazy noises like there’s whales under the water,” he says.

At dusk you can hear the sounds. The park service says it’s the ice moving, and it’s only heard when there’s no snow.

“The last time it was 1930,” Tom Crow reminds.

It might not last long, and history suggests it might not come around again anytime soon.


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