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[Yosemite]

Mostly aborted trip conditions report- Pt 1

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

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Re: Mostly aborted trip conditions report- Pt 1

Postby mebgardner » Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:20 pm

I used to live in Merced. That's a day hike for me, too, even now, but it was over a weekend to get there, n back.

Glad to meet you someday.
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Re: Mostly aborted trip conditions report- Pt 1

Postby Phil » Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:37 pm

Bachus wrote:Thanks for sharing the update from Sunrise to Clouds Rest. We were planning on through hiking from Sunrise to CR to LYV mid next week.

Would you know or be able to find out if your friends were able to make it to the trail junction (ie skip CR) which would allow us to follow the trail to the south of CR following Sunrise Creek and meeting up with the JMT near LYV? (Sounds like it’s time to start contingency planning)


You didn't say when you're planning to go, but if AT's experienced friends that knew the route had problems, I would think that's definitely a good gauge.

I went out with two thing in mind:

1. I wanted to get out and start my season earlier than I might normally for personal reasons.
2. Because I sit here and write about what I only know from past experiences, and thought it would be much more beneficial if I was there and could give current advice on a real-time basis.

So many people here asking questions are specifically asking about that area that, even though that wasn't my destination, I made special note of what I saw. Besides the north aspect of CR, I saw that most open granite in the high-country up there was snow-free from Tenaya Peak to CR, but all the forested areas still had enough coverage that it could be an issue. Upper Sunrise Lake is at ~9400, CR is at ~9900. I was at ~9300, and I was "in" enough snow that it could've very easily turned out badly if I didn't know the trail, didn't know how to navigate in those conditions, or was averse to wandering around and re-finding my way no matter what it took. Honestly, that's not for most people that simply want to hike and have a good time doing it. We had somewhat of an emergency situation, and it's not as though this one trip is a one-and-done. We could afford to write it off, because we'll go out again...soon. Then we'll be back for another trail, another time...many times. If you're not in the same boat, and you're going out soon for a one big trip of the year, you might want to consider that and change gears before you get there.

That said, as much as I love it, and as beautiful as it is, overall, if you remove Sunrise Lakes and Cloud's Rest from your plan because of conditions, it really isn't much more than mediocre hiking up there and getting between point A and B if the two major destinations that are what you're there to see in the first place aren't something you can get to.

Find ErinJ86 here. She was just up there last week. Send her a PM, or better yet, ask her to write up a report on what she found.
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Re: Mostly aborted trip conditions report- Pt 1

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:43 pm

Remember too that conditions are changing rapidly, and can vary wildly.

I think there are plenty of great things to do -- switching to Hetch Hetchy, for example, would mean some high creeks and wet wading meadows, and probably LOTS of mosquitoes, but very little snow.

At this point I'm packing around a headnet and DEET regularly, and anticipating....
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Re: Mostly aborted trip conditions report- Pt 1

Postby Phil » Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:48 pm

Bachus:

Sorry, missed that you were going next week. Hmmmm, you might want to rethink that.

GCT comes to mind. The gate at White wolf is still closed, but you might be able to either get in from Glen Aulin on a pass-thru or try it with a walk-up permit.
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Re: Mostly aborted trip conditions report- Pt 1

Postby Phil » Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:56 pm

AlmostThere wrote:Remember too that conditions are changing rapidly, and can vary wildly.


It snowed on Mt Hoffman down to about 9500 ft on Saturday night/Sunday morning, and I could've sworn I heard some flakes on the tent at about 3 am.

AlmostThere wrote:At this point I'm packing around a headnet and DEET regularly, and anticipating....


The DEET and head nets didn't come out once. Four mosquitoes at Sunrise....killed 'em all. Definitely an upside, but I would NEVER go out this time of year without them.
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Re: Mostly aborted trip conditions report- Pt 1

Postby Bachus » Tue Jun 14, 2016 1:11 pm

Thanks for all of the insight and advice.

Our “current” plan :( was to start next Tues around noon at the Sunrise Lakes trailhead (this is what our wilderness permit is for) hike/camp to the middle Sunrise Lake, Day 2 hike to Clouds Rest and the down to Little Yosemite Valley to camp. Day 3 was to summit Half Dome, back through LYV and then down on the Mist Trail to exit at Happy Isle trailhead.

Looks like we’ve got quite the predicament now.
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Re: Mostly aborted trip conditions report- Pt 1

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Jun 14, 2016 1:25 pm

A walk in permit for somewhere else is more probable midweek -- you could give the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne a try, or go for Happy Isles and do a loop from there. Go past LYV toward Merced Lake, looping back up the trail toward Clouds Rest, then down to HD if you can get that permit too, and on down to LYV and out.
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Re: Mostly aborted trip conditions report- Pt 1

Postby drewgol » Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:15 pm

so we are going to attempt, cathedral lakes > sunrise > cr > lyv & halfdome down to happy isles starting tomorrow! with the conditions, do you think we could get to CR from the southern trail off the JMT which goes through that burn area (or pinnacles area?)? or from the southern junction of JMT and CR? thanks!
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Re: Mostly aborted trip conditions report- Pt 1

Postby Phil » Tue Jun 14, 2016 4:21 pm

How experienced are you and your group? I would say go for it. If you don't see any/much snow headed up to Cathedral Lakes (9600), keep going. If you then get up to Cathedral Pass (9700) and it's clear enough, go some more. With altitudes and aspects that aren't too far off from all but CR on your route, you should have a pretty good indication of what lies ahead. If you can't or don't want to go further anywhere along the trail, turn around and find something else to explore where you can.

Or, if you do happen to get up to Long Meadow just before Sunrise HSC, you can always cut across and head down Echo Creek to the Merced River and hit Happy Isles from there. It's nice. As a matter of fact, if it wasn't for you wanting to do the whole CR/HD thing (like everybody else), that's the route I would be going. It's not way out, but it's better wilderness, beautiful, and with less people.
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Re: Mostly aborted trip conditions report- Pt 1

Postby Phil » Tue Jun 14, 2016 4:27 pm

And Bachus, you go should go for it too. Even if you fail, it's still an adventure worth having, and there's always Plan B for the quick and nimble. Sometimes nature wins, sometime you do. But wouldn't it be fun to find out how the dice land?
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Re: Mostly aborted trip conditions report- Pt 1

Postby Grzldvt » Wed Jun 15, 2016 2:25 am

Wow!!! What an adventure. We came in Sunday to the proper Glen Aulin, then LeConte Falls, the out. Went up to May Lake and was surprised at the amount of snow still left. I did May the Friday before Memorial Day, but bailed due to lightning and thunder.
Kept my eyes open for you, but now know why we did not cross paths
Steve
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Re: Mostly aborted trip conditions report- Pt 1

Postby Phil » Wed Jun 15, 2016 9:25 am

Hey Steve,

Yeah, there was a lot of snow. It was doable though, but with everything going on with the kid, my choices in how to handle the situation went to nil.

I was looking forward to meeting up with you guys, but what bummed me out the most was not getting a read on the snow cover past the Murphy Creek junction. You saw what was above that. Was it about the same? I need to get his situation sorted out, and then do it all over again next week...successfully this time!
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Re: Mostly aborted trip conditions report- Pt 1

Postby robow8 » Wed Jun 15, 2016 5:53 pm

Phil wrote:Thank you. It will be.

He was in agony and completely focused on the pain and lack of dexterity. It was hard to watch, and impossible to alleviate. We had his core temp handled while hiking, but it didn't help. We've seen occasional moments where it hit him just a little and left us wondering, but this was by far the worst yet.

As a sufferer, do you have any solutions medically, or advice on the best gloves that can keep his fingers warm and dry, but still allow him to manipulate small objects?

My girlfriend has severe Raynauds, and I've watched her fingers go almost completely black when the temps are only in the 50s. She just suffers through it. It's frightening. She's told me that she's heard that adding cayenne pepper to your food is supposed to help by increasing your blood flow and metabolic rate, but she has no taste for it.

Whatever other thoughts you can share would be very much appreciated!


I don't have any medical solutions, sorry. I'm a runner, and I wear gloves even when it's in the 50s. For backpacking, I have several pairs of gloves, many of which I can layer. Some are water resistant, some are wool, others are fleece of different weights. If I need to do something that requires dexterity, I'll take my gloves off and do it as quickly as possible, then put the gloves back on. If my hands get cold, I'll do what I need to to get warm: gloves, warmer gloves, beanie, more torso layers. Sometimes it takes some time for my hands to recover. And, I usually have a pack or two of disposable hand warmers.

I love spicy food. Cayenne, Tobasco, Sriracha, jalapeños. Yes please!

Hope some of this might help. Good luck!
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Re: Mostly aborted trip conditions report- Pt 1

Postby Phil » Wed Jun 15, 2016 6:41 pm

I'm going to get him some cayenne pepper capsules, and we've got all these Sriracha packets we stole from Starbucks that seem to go good with all foods freeze dried. Spicy foods are not something he shies away from. It's kind of crazy what he can eat and not spontaneously combust.

I'm going to have him try some fleece liners under neoprene for a glove setup and see how that works out.

The actual "medical" solutions sound a little Frankenstein, and I don't think we're there at this point, and hopefully we never are.

Thanks for the advice.
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Re: Mostly aborted trip conditions report- Pt 1

Postby Grzldvt » Sat Jun 18, 2016 11:42 pm

Phil wrote:Hey Steve,

Yeah, there was a lot of snow. It was doable though, but with everything going on with the kid, my choices in how to handle the situation went to nil.

I was looking forward to meeting up with you guys, but what bummed me out the most was not getting a read on the snow cover past the Murphy Creek junction. You saw what was above that. Was it about the same? I need to get his situation sorted out, and then do it all over again next week...successfully this time!

The snow heading up to May was pretty heavy that Friday. It was my intimate knowledge of going up there over 20 years that got me to the point where I was able to start up the switchbacks. I figured the snow level was pretty heavy, but thought a lot had melted during the week. I was blown away by how much was there when we went up on Tuesday afternoon.
My son suffers from serious altitude sickness and the last HSC trip he was in rough shape at May Lake. We used hard candy and Excedrin to ease the discomfort, while not perfect it helped him out. Wasn't until we hit the Merced camp did he get comfortable.
The dexterity issue is something I have not dealt with... BUT you might want to take a look at this product - http://www.teamhotshot.com/ While not exactly pinpointing your issue, the product may help. I was a beta tester for them and it almost worked for me. Failed miserably when I ran Big Sur International Marathon, but seemed to make a difference when I ran the DeCelle Tahoe Relays, last Saturday. They sent me a ton of product. I am more than willing to share with you, to see if it helps.
I am in South San Jose, but willing to travel on a Sunday to meet you.
Steve
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