Home A - Z FAQ Bookstore Art Prints Online Library Discussion Forum Muir Weather Maps Lodging About Search
CalHotels.US--online reservations now CalHotels.US Lowest Hotel Rates Guaranteed. Click Here For Yours!
Hotel photos, maps, reviews, & discount rates.

U.S. Hotels in California (Yosemite, L. A., San Francisco ), AL, AK, AR, AS, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, FM, GA, GU, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OK, NV, MH, MP, NM, NC, ND, OH, OR, PA, PR, PW, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, VI WA, WV, WI, WY

[Yosemite]

Backpacking in June-July 2017 - how it will be

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

Moderators: Wickett, dan

Re: Backpacking in June-July 2017 - how it will be

Postby Pianogirl » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:20 am

I wanted to give a quick trip report since I got so much help on this forum.

We had a great trip, but a couple of very, very tricky days. We didn't get half dome permits, bummer. We even tried for the lottery several months ago. In hindsight, I'm not sure I would have been up for it anyway, and my husband has already done it. We were in the backcountry 6 nights and didn't see any bears, then as we drove through the park after the trip, we saw a bear right by the road. Go figure.

We hiked up to clouds rest, no real problems there. As we neared the top, there was a patch of snow and my husband took a picture LOL. We had NO IDEA what was yet to come. As we started down the other side of clouds rest on our way to sunrise creek, we ran across a lot more snow. It was constantly blocking the trail, so we had to go through it or around. We kept losing and finding the trail. Then we got into some boulder fields, and between that and the snow, we got off trail again. Luckily we joined up with another group and found our way out, camping at the sunrise lakes junction (we didn't go to the lakes.)

The snow the next day was unbelievable! As we started down the hill from the junction on our way to Tenaya Lake, we hit major snow. The snow was in 5-10 foot drifts, and the trail was mostly nonexistent. We were told this area is normally switchbacks, but we just followed the footprints, which went all over the place. I was shocked at how many people were coming up the trail in nothing but shorts and sneakers. I was carrying a 30 pound backpack, so I slipped and fell on the snow several times trying to get down the mountain (I did have hiking poles thankfully.) When we got to Tenaya, the trail was flooded and we walked across with water up to my hips. My husband said the water came within an inch of my backpack, so thankfully it didn't get wet. We had packed our Tevas in preparation for this, so our hiking boots stayed dry.

The rest of the trip went fairly smooth. We skipped Polly domes and May lake area completely. I wasn't interested in getting into more snow. The trail down Yosemite falls was extremely difficult. My husband had warned me and boy was he right. I have bad knees anyway, so it was really slow going. That was another trail that absolutely shocked me- so many folks traveling up with either no water or an 8 oz. bottle that was empty. I wonder how many people collapse going up that trail in the heat?

We had a good trip, but I was surprised how much more difficult this trip was compared to the Teton Crest trail in Grand Tetons. The heat in Yosemite was definitely a contributing factor to that. There were more sustained uphill climbs as well, and of course the snow really slowed us down. I ran across an article when we got home, apparently the day after we hiked sunrise creek, a ranger found 3 separate parties that were completely lost. After struggling to get through that snowy section, I can see why. Thanks everyone for the help, you were spot on with your details!
Pianogirl
Regular
Regular
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:32 am

Re: Backpacking in June-July 2017 - how it will be

Postby Phil » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:56 am

Very cool! Glad you two made the most of it and had a good time.

Yes, some people never cease to amaze in how they dress for the conditions and what they take with them. Anything out of the valley, you see that all the time.

Just a cautionary note for others when it comes to following tracks in snow: Don't. Sometimes those tracks will lead you in the right direction. Sometimes those tracks are made by people that are more lost and clueless than you could ever imagine being. If you know where you're going, can see where you're going, or have a good compass heading to follow, fine, if not, take some extra time to figure it out for yourself.
Phil
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 896
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:02 am
Location: Healdsburg, Ca

Re: Backpacking in June-July 2017 - how it will be

Postby Longnok » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:12 am

Great intel on the "backside" of Cloud's Rest! I'll be there next Monday out of Tenaya. There are plenty of folks dressed to the hilt in the backcountry wearing burly boots that don't have a clue. Oh, and I'll be one of the "shorts and sneakers" hikers. What you don't know is what is in my daypack and experience level... :D
Longnok
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:59 pm

Re: Backpacking in June-July 2017 - how it will be

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:17 am

Longnok wrote:Great intel on the "backside" of Cloud's Rest! I'll be there next Monday out of Tenaya. There are plenty of folks dressed to the hilt in the backcountry wearing burly boots that don't have a clue. Oh, and I'll be one of the "shorts and sneakers" hikers. What you don't know is what is in my daypack and experience level... :D


That's okay, your type gets rescued just as often as any other type. The mountains don't care.... Neither do SAR teams, we rescue everyone regardless of how you got there and what happened.
AlmostThere
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1697
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:57 pm
Location: Central Valley California

Re: Backpacking in June-July 2017 - how it will be

Postby Phil » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:29 am

Longnok wrote: There are plenty of folks dressed to the hilt in the backcountry wearing burly boots that don't have a clue.


What kind of clue? That they enjoy the concept of proper traction and hate the concept of face plants?
Phil
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 896
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:02 am
Location: Healdsburg, Ca

Re: Backpacking in June-July 2017 - how it will be

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:19 am

Phil wrote:
Longnok wrote: There are plenty of folks dressed to the hilt in the backcountry wearing burly boots that don't have a clue.


What kind of clue? That they enjoy the concept of proper traction and hate the concept of face plants?


Experience gives you plenty of traction. You need more experience -- soon you'll be spiderman.

What experience gives some people is a huge sense of complacency, followed by consequences -- a fellow who wrote a guidebook on hiking Mt Whitney made the same rookie mistake as hundreds, if not thousands, of people -- hiked west instead of east from trail crest because he assumed going UP was the wrong way. You have to go up, then down. He knew it was a mistake that could be made and he made it anyway. And compounded it by then hiking up off the trail into a drainage on the wrong side of Whitney.

Had I the time, I could list out 70-somethings with a lifetime of backpacking experience who have been found deceased in the wilderness with all kinds of gear and experience. The mountains are forgiving, and happy to let you crawl around on them for decades, and then something happens. You make a choice. You make other choices. Sometimes you make good ones. Sometimes you make bad ones. Sometimes you pay the ultimate price, sometimes you don't. I won't pretend being on the trail for most of my life makes me immune, because that's another level of experience you can get the hard way....
AlmostThere
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1697
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:57 pm
Location: Central Valley California

Re: Backpacking in June-July 2017 - how it will be

Postby Phil » Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:46 pm

Something I read recently ( I think you know what that was) resonated with me. Paraphrasing: Those that quickly conform and adapt to the situation they face are the ones that stay out of trouble and survive. Those that expect the situation to adapt to THEIR arrogance and preconceived notions, don't. No, "the mountains don't care". Nature will show you just what you are with absolutely ZERO deference to your humanity, your experience level, or what gear you have in your daypack. Screw up bad enough, and your only claim to fame is that you become a statistic, you stink a little more than most other animals when your body rots, and maybe, if they find your body, you get a short blurb in the local newspaper, where people are going to either comment by saying, "How sad, RIP", or, 'What an idiot".
Phil
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 896
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:02 am
Location: Healdsburg, Ca

Re: Backpacking in June-July 2017 - how it will be

Postby ODS » Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:53 pm

Pianogirl -

Any comment on skeeters?
ODS
Regular
Regular
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:57 pm

Re: Backpacking in June-July 2017 - how it will be

Postby Pianogirl » Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:08 am

Oh right, I forgot to mention the mosquitoes! They were worse in some areas, but usually not too bad. We had headnets that we wore on and off. The worst spot was the boggy areas after we crossed Tenaya lake and we were taking the trail to snow creek. I've never seen them so vicious, and it hit fast. There were none, and then there were 60 on us in a second. We were quickly scrambling to coat ourselves in spray and the headnets. We used picardin and it worked well, but they did still swarm. They kept biting us through our shirts, so we sprayed them too! The second worse area was lehamite creek, we camped there.

About the following footprints in the snow... we did that initially, but once things got really sketchy, we used gps to always confirm where the trail was. I don't know if we could have managed without it in those snowy areas.
Pianogirl
Regular
Regular
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:32 am

Re: Backpacking in June-July 2017 - how it will be

Postby jms703 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:25 am

Any idea what the night time temperatures were during your trip?
jms703
Regular
Regular
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:54 am
Location: San Jose, CA

Re: Backpacking in June-July 2017 - how it will be

Postby wmaxwellclan » Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:42 pm

Ok, those JUNE posts were appropriately grim, but now that I'm getting close to leading a group (July 29 departure) on a six day Rafferty Creek-Merced Lake-Sunrise-TM loop, I'm seeking more recent info. Anyone with recent Yosemite High Sierra experience or photos want to tell their tale? I'm all ears.
wmaxwellclan
First-timer
First-timer
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:48 pm

Re: Backpacking in June-July 2017 - how it will be

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:53 pm

wmaxwellclan wrote:Ok, those JUNE posts were appropriately grim, but now that I'm getting close to leading a group (July 29 departure) on a six day Rafferty Creek-Merced Lake-Sunrise-TM loop, I'm seeking more recent info. Anyone with recent Yosemite High Sierra experience or photos want to tell their tale? I'm all ears.


The water isn't as high, but it's still flowing strong and cold and sometimes deep. There's still patchy snow that gets solid above 10k and especially on north facing slopes.

THe mosquitos are really a nightmare. You can expect that to continue into August.
AlmostThere
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1697
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:57 pm
Location: Central Valley California

Re: Backpacking in June-July 2017 - how it will be

Postby Pianogirl » Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:36 pm

We didn't have a thermometer, but we thought the night temps were in the 40s. My 35 degree bag was plenty warm. We stayed a night in hatch hetchy and it was HOT there.
Pianogirl
Regular
Regular
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:32 am

Re: Backpacking in June-July 2017 - how it will be

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:10 pm

Warm nights are atypical. I'll never go without being prepared for below freezing -- there's been plenty of reasons on past trips to continue that habit.
AlmostThere
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1697
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:57 pm
Location: Central Valley California

Previous

Return to Yosemite Hiking & Backpacking

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

cron