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[Yosemite]

Hiking Panorama trail on Nov 28th - Need Guidance

Hiking, backpacking, running, biking, climbing, rafting, and other human-powered activities in Yosemite National Park

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Hiking Panorama trail on Nov 28th - Need Guidance

Postby subbiah.an@gmail.com » Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:10 pm

Hello, I am visiting SFO for the week of thanks giving. Planning to camp and hike Yosemite on Nov 28 and Nov 29th. Already reserved a camping site in Upper Pines for 2 nights. On Nov 28th, I am planning to do the 8 mile route to Panorama trail and return using the 4 mile trail back through Glacier point. Is it possible to finish the entire stretch in the same day? What time should I start if i am to do this safely? This is my first visit to Yosemite. I have done some hiking here and there but cannot be called experienced hiker. Also would it okay to hike alone? Pls recommend if I can find/ join some local group to hike along?

I have never hiked in snow before. Checked in Weather.com and doesn't seem to be snowing on Nov 28th and Nov 29th. Am I missing something here?

Regarding my condition for hiking: I am a Runner. I have done 3 half marathons, 2 tough mudder races and two 25K Trail races this year besides a few 5K's and 10k's. So yes, I am a active person but still wondering about hiking alone in a unknown place.

Thanks! Happy Thanksgiving!
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Re: Hiking Panorama trail on Nov 28th - Need Guidance

Postby Phil » Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:25 pm

Hi,

You have to understand that, while you may be in good shape, hiking in the snow is a completely different thing than running marathons, etc. Whether it's snowing during your hike or not, there's likely going to be enough snow already on the ground to where you essentially have no trail visible to follow, and more is forecast for this weekend I believe. Without winter navigational skills, you're asking for trouble. It doesn't take much to become disoriented and completely lose your bearings. You're not going too far out, but you're going into the wilderness as an inexperienced hiker, in the snow up to 7200 feet, and in an unfamiliar place, on top of the fact that some of the areas on your route are very dangerous when icy, such as most of the Four Mile Trail past Glacier Point. It's also a really bad, bad idea to go out alone in winter conditions just about anywhere. Glacier Point Road is also now closed for the season, so there will be very few, if any, other people around. You may have great conditions, but maybe you won't. You may end up strolling through just a few inconveniently spotty sections of snow or you may be miserably cutting trail in snow up to your thighs every step of the way, or you may need snowshoes and/or traction devices of some kind, both of which will slow you down considerably. There are too many variables involved to advise you with any certainty as to what they'll be exactly. If it can be bad, know that ahead of time, and be completely ready to deal with it.

Caveats completely aside, and to answer your questions, yes, you can do it in a day, leave as early as possible, but just don't be foolish. I'm sorry, I really do hate to be the harbinger of doom and despair, but people die doing exactly what you're asking about a whole lot closer to help than you're going to be, and that concerns me enough to tell that to you honestly. If in doubt in the least, ask the rangers their opinion when you get there, pay close attention to your survival instincts, what you see, the weather, and don't go out alone, no matter what you decide to do.
Last edited by Phil on Fri Nov 20, 2015 5:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hiking Panorama trail on Nov 28th - Need Guidance

Postby subbiah.an@gmail.com » Fri Nov 20, 2015 5:44 am

Phil,
My sincere thanks for your guidance. This is what I was looking for. May be I will postpone my trip to next summer. I like adventures but not blind ones. Since I am going to be there in SFO for 1 week, any suggestion for any other adventure that I can try? Thanks for your time.


Thanks
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Re: Hiking Panorama trail on Nov 28th - Need Guidance

Postby Phil » Fri Nov 20, 2015 6:09 am

Hi Subbiah,

I hated to do that to you, but Yosemite in winter is nothing to be taken lightly. It is well worth planning a second trip for later in the year, if for no other reason than to be able to enjoy the trail and views without putting yourself in danger and having to fight for it.

So you want another adventure? Do you mean in Yosemite, or will something closer to SF do?

Just across the Golden Gate bridge is the GGNRA. http://www.nps.gov/goga/index.htm

Another a little farther north is Mt Tamalpais State Park. http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=471

A little farther up still is Point Reyes National Seashore. http://www.nps.gov/pore/index.htm

All three of these places have huge networks of day hiking trails, a few nice campgrounds, no snow, beautiful scenery, and don't require 5 hour drives to get to. You'll have a good time.
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Re: Hiking Panorama trail on Nov 28th - Need Guidance

Postby balzaccom » Fri Nov 20, 2015 9:24 am

If you like big vistas, you could also climb Mt. St. Helena in Napa County, Mt Diablo, or Mt Hamilton in the East Bay. On a clear day, you can see the Sierra from there...
Check out our website and blog at: http://sites.google.com/site/backpackthesierra/home
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Re: Hiking Panorama trail on Nov 28th - Need Guidance

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Nov 23, 2015 10:08 am

The Four Mile Trail closes in winter anyway, as does the Mist Trail. Ice and snow aren't safe without proper gear.

Big Sur would be a fabulous place to be in winter - the fog on the coast is diminished in winter. Driving down highway 1 is absolutely gorgeous. Stop in Monterey and hike some of the many preserves there, hike in Limekiln, Pfeiffer Burns, and for a real tough peak hike, Cone Peak from the Vicente trailhead at Kirk Creek Campground.
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