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Hiker Shuttle Bus on Sept 19??

PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:34 am
by mhinch
Maybe I missed it before, but now the Hiker Shuttle Schedule seems to imply that
it stops running on Sept 10??? Five of us need to get from the Valley (end of our 5 day
one way trip) back to our car at TM. I hope there is *some* method of doing
that!! Ideas?

Re: Hiker Shuttle Bus on Sept 19??

PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:37 am
by AlmostThere
Hitchhiking. Since there's no cell service, no Uber, etc.

When I do thrus, I always figure out how to get to the trailhead rather than get back to the car. I tolerate complexities much better when I'm not tired and wanting a shower and burger. YARTS is weekend service -- if your start date is on a weekend, do that instead.

Re: Hiker Shuttle Bus on Sept 19??

PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:42 am
by Justin-T
+1 on leaving the car in the valley and finding a way (looks like hitching will be the only way) to get to TM on the first morning. You'll enjoy the 5 days more without the uncertainty of how long it will take you to make it back to the car on the last day.

Re: Hiker Shuttle Bus on Sept 19??

PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:26 pm
by Phil
I'm of the opposite mindset- I prefer to get a move on and deal with getting back to the car when the trip is over.

Here's my logic in your situation:

One way or another it's going to come down to hitchhiking or begging a ride face to face from someone at one of the trailhead parking lots in the Valley. You have 5 people that need to get to your entry trailhead. That's problematic from the standpoint of the room that most people that would otherwise be willing/able to pick you up are going to have available, as in, good luck with that. So, if you leave the car at your entry trailhead, all 5 of you are set. After the trip, only one of you needs to go back and get the car (don't forget the keys). Much, much higher likelihood of getting a ride faster and more easily with only one person, especially if you also leave your pack with your group.

And, even if the YARTs weekend schedule does work out for you, just one person shuttling back to the car as necessary cuts your bus fare by 80%.

Re: Hiker Shuttle Bus on Sept 19??

PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:53 pm
by AlmostThere
I guess your perspective changes when you've had one of those days, gotten delayed, and ended up with an expensive motel room in Mammoth when you miss the last shuttle and have to hike a few more hours back to town.... Having a car at the end means when traffic dies down on the road, you aren't hitchhiking all night or illegally boondocking at some trailhead.

Re: Hiker Shuttle Bus on Sept 19??

PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:46 pm
by Phil
Oh yeah, timing is everything. If it looks like it's not going to work out on the timing, depending on where I am, I'll either hang up higher for the night or hit the backpacker's camp and deal with it in the morning.

I guess a third alternative would be a hybrid of the two schools of thought. Dump the other four people at the trailhead or the TM store, one person drive the car back to the Valley, park, hitch a ride back up. I don't think I've ever waited for a ride for more than about half an hour or so when hitchhiking alone. Two people, it slows down, and then it usually ends up that someone will stop and tell us they can only fit one of us. Five people, and pickings are going to get slim with just the types of vehicles that can even handle that capacity, regardless of good intentions.

Re: Hiker Shuttle Bus on Sept 19??

PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:07 pm
by mhinch
I would *definitely* rather have the car at the destination. The hassle factor is
almost always more than what I would like to endure. In this case however, the
timing and logistics are pretty much forcing us to do it the other way around.

However, a new thought is emerging: make it a loop instead of one way. The
short version of this is that Day 4 will be JMT Junction (above LYV) to the top
of Half Dome the to Clouds Rest (we have in mind, based on other info here, doing
half this off trail via Quarter Domes). That seems doable, especially since we
intend to be at Half Dome early to avoid any lines, etc. The challenge is
Day 5: Clouds Rest to Tuolumne Meadows - almost equal via Sunrise or via
Tenaya Lake. Thoughts on that approach? (BTW - I assume the TM bus follows
the same schedule as the shuttle and will be done by approx Sept 10?)

Re: Hiker Shuttle Bus on Sept 19??

PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:14 pm
by Phil
That'll work, but you'll have to make sure you have the water on the cross country return from HD. There's a spring on the trail up to HD, but it's lower than what your route might otherwise be. There may also be some water in the creek coming down from Quarter Domes, but that's a risky bet if you don't know if it's flowing for sure or not. Up that high, if neither of those sources pan out, your next water is about 1.5 miles north of Cloud's Rest. That could get really painful and dangerous, real fast. I guess you could haul water from Sunrise Creek on the way up to HD and stash a bunch of Nalgenes part way up for the return trip too if nothing else looks like it's going to pan out.

Take the higher route past Cathedral Lakes on the way back to TM. It's a nicer hike and mostly moderate downhill.