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November Camping Advice Requested

PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:40 pm
by craigce
I will be visiting Yosemite 11/6 for a few days. Plan to hike up Yosemite Falls to North Dome, camp, and hike out Snow Creek Trail next day. I gather night temps are 20 degrees? Are there any particular concerns in the event of snow? I don't have snow shoes or crampons. I hear the trail is very well marked, no risk of getting lost? It's my first time out there (from New York area) and camping alone so I would really appreciate the great experience of forum members. I am driving from SF and contemplating flying home from Fresno. Trail suggestions in case there is snow prior to arrival or just better ideas are appreciated. Thanks in advance! Craig

PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 8:03 am
by hikehigh
What is your experience level? Have you ever backpacked in winter conditions? There could be several feet of snow by then.

I wouldn't head out into the back country in several feet of snow without snowshoes and/or crampons and excellent navigation skills.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 3:02 pm
by AlmostThere
That's a pretty rugged trail, and aside from increasing chances of snow there probably won't be a lot of water. Unless you're good at navigating without the trail and you have good durable winter gear, this is better for late spring/early summer. Your particular concerns would be slick potentially icy rock, and having to posthole through the snow - which is very slow and tiring, more so if it's very deep.

Of course, you might go out and not get any snow at all... but the fact that you have not been there, are going alone, and winter weather is closer all the time, all adds up to more risk. If I were you I would choose a coastal destination, such as Point Reyes, Henry Coe State Park, or Big Basin, and risk poison oak instead of snow. It will still be cold but the worst it will throw at you would be rain. The Skyline to Sea trail might be just the ticket.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 5:35 pm
by craigce
Thank you very much for your advice.
I spoke with the wilderness desk a couple times and they said they rarely get significant snow that early. I was thinking I would not go up if there was snow (hike lower altitudes or day hike staying at Camp 4) and, if there was snow during the hike, I would return the way I came rather than go forward into unfamiliar territory.
I have crampons and have camped in 20s with light snow, but not alone; I thought even at this time of year there would be other hikers.
I enjoy the aerobic activity and felt the hike was well within my physical capabilities (3,300ft ascents to ridge camping in New Hampshire), repeated 4 - 5,000ft ascents in the saw tooth mountains south of Machu Picchu (without heavy pack). I will look at the alternates you've suggested also (is there a great loop hike you would recommend?)
Thanks very much! Craig

Thanks for your advice

PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:29 pm
by craigce
I had a great hike with no glitches thanks to you forum members!
Happy trails!

PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:41 am
by Wickett
Thanks for the update, glad it worked out for you!