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[Yosemite]

X country from Ostrander Lake to Illiloutte Creek trail

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

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X country from Ostrander Lake to Illiloutte Creek trail

Postby vpa » Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:24 pm

Hi all,

Yosemite first-timer here, planning a 5 day backpacking trip on the Red Peak pass loop starting and ending at Glacier Point. (GP - Illiloutte - Red Peak Pass - Merced River Valley). This will be in second week of august.

But decided to join some friends on a 1 night hike to Ostrander lake just before I start, so was wondering if instead of backtracking all the way to GP, can I just cross country hike from Ostrander Lake to the Illiloutte creek trail?

I was thinking X country from Ostrander to Edson Lake, join the buena vista creek trail for a bit and then some more Xcountry to cross the Illiloutte creek to join the trail towards Red Peak Pass. The terrain looks fairly benign on the USGS quads.

Anyone done this before? Any tips/suggestions?

Thanks!
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Re: X country from Ostrander Lake to Illiloutte Creek trail

Postby Grzldvt » Thu Jul 28, 2016 7:36 pm

Yes you can. From the hut head slightly northeast, you will end up at the end of a small lake/pond, from there you can easily drop down onto Mono Meadow trail and right to Illiloutte. Your option to head towards Lake Edson and hit the Buena Vista Trail works. I have done both The Mono Meadow seemed easier with a big pack on, less bushwhacking
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Re: X country from Ostrander Lake to Illiloutte Creek trail

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Jul 29, 2016 12:07 am

If you have a permit for one trailhead, on a particular day, and you go somewhere else before then, and just continue on your way, you will have no permit at all, and will risk a fine and ejection from the park. You need to pick up the permit you reserved the day before at the earliest, start at the right trailhead, on the day the permit is for - otherwise no legal permit.

Change the permit to the Ostrander trailhead for the day your friend's trip starts. Then you can do as you want.
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Re: X country from Ostrander Lake to Illiloutte Creek trail

Postby vpa » Fri Jul 29, 2016 6:57 am

Thanks for the info Grzldvt and AlmostThere!

So my friends have a permit (which includes me) for Ostrander from Saturday to Sunday. I have a separate 6-day permit starting from GP on Sunday.

We plan on picking up both permits on Saturday before starting out on Ostrander.

Do you think that would be okay? Or should I change my 6-day permit to also start from Ostrander on the Saturday?

Thanks!
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Re: X country from Ostrander Lake to Illiloutte Creek trail

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Jul 29, 2016 6:59 am

You have to pick up the permit the day of, or the day before, your trip. You have to come out of the first trip to get to the wilderness office - you can't get it early. If you're staring from the GP trailhead that is where you must start -- not somewhere in the wilderness.

This is why I am suggesting that you change the permit and start your trip with your friends, and continue onward as you clearly want to do. You can do that easily if there is space on the Ostrander trailhead.
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Re: X country from Ostrander Lake to Illiloutte Creek trail

Postby Phil » Fri Jul 29, 2016 8:06 am

You do know that in order to get that second permit, not only are you going to have to pick it up after 11am the day before, or prior to 10am the day of, you need to go all the way to the Valley or south entrance to do so? Also, technically, if the permit is in your name, you're the "trip leader", and you're the one that has to sign the permit.

You should just piggyback your 6 days off the Ostrander permit or make that your replacement entry trailhead for Red Peak as well. Swapping out your reservation for what you already have with a new walk-up permit isn't likely going to be a problem up there ( Ostrander Lake reservations for August are virtually wide open https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/ ... lheads.pdf ) and a diversion for a night up at Ostrander isn't going to affect your Red Peak trip in any measurable way. They care a lot about where and when you enter, but where and when you exit is primarily up to you. Adding days is no big deal.

If you really want to max out the elevation benefit of being at Ostrander already, you should hit the Buena Vista up higher and continue cross country over to Lower Merced Pass Lake, then pick up the trail over to Ottoway and Red Peak from there. It's not that much further than what you were basically planning originally in hitting the Illilouette, so why drop in elevation more than you have to when some creative route finding will get you to where you need to end up anyhow? All you really need to do is plot a course slightly E/NE in a straight line between the two points and follow your heading as terrain allows.
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Re: X country from Ostrander Lake to Illiloutte Creek trail

Postby balzaccom » Fri Jul 29, 2016 6:44 pm

Can I make a suggestion? You now have two permits for a total of about twelve people, and you are only going to use six of those spots. By doing that, you are preventing six other people from backpacking in that area on those dates.

Please let the rangers know that you will not be using all of those slots, so that others can also enjoy the wilderness.
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Re: X country from Ostrander Lake to Illiloutte Creek trail

Postby vpa » Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:21 pm

Thanks all for the suggestions and information!

Phil wrote:If you really want to max out the elevation benefit of being at Ostrander already, you should hit the Buena Vista up higher and continue cross country over to Lower Merced Pass Lake, then pick up the trail over to Ottoway and Red Peak from there.


I like this idea and will look into this, thanks Phil.

balzaccom wrote:You now have two permits for a total of about twelve people, and you are only going to use six of those spots. By doing that, you are preventing six other people from backpacking in that area on those dates.


I may be wrong but I think as of now I am only taking up 2 extra spots. I have a 5 day permit for 2 people starting on Sunday and a 2 day permit for 4 people starting on Saturday. 2 of us are on both these permits.

Regardless, I realize now that the more appropriate way of achieving this is to add on 4 days to the Ostrander permit as suggested by everyone here, and cancel the other 5 day permit, and I'll definitely inform the rangers to make that change.

Thanks everyone!
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