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[Yosemite]

Mid-October weather prep?

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

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Mid-October weather prep?

Postby doub1jack » Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:51 am

Hey all. I've got a 5 day solo loop planned for about a week from now (Oct 17th). I'm going to be leaving from Yosemite Valley, up Merced River, and (weather willing) over Red Peak Pass at 11,000' and back down the Illilouette drainage. I'm coming out from Vermont though, and would love to get some local opinions on packing for the weather.

What would you all wear & bring for temps this time of year?
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Re: Mid-October weather prep?

Postby Phil » Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:54 am

The first thing I would do is make absolutely sure I had an accurate weather forecast.

Layered clothing, hat, gloves, zero degree bag, a couple extra days of food, navigational equipment and the strong ability to use them if I needed to. Hope for the best, plan for the worst. Plan on nights into the 20s, and daytime temps 50-60s...if it stays nice. Red Peak is gorgeous, but I've been up there in October, and it has turned and can turn quickly, making it a gorgeous place to be at the wrong time. If it's not all going right, and you question the conditions and your ability or preparedness at all, don't mess with it, turn around and get lower.
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Re: Mid-October weather prep?

Postby doub1jack » Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:52 pm

Good to hear. That's about what I was expecting.

My understanding is that "normal" for this time of year is low of 20s at night, high of ~55 for the day, with snow not being common until later in the season. Naturally, I'll also prepare for non-normal weather too. I'm planning on bringing a ~10 deg sleeping bag, a light backpacking tent. After 6-8pm I'm expecting the temperature to start to drop to temperatures that will be more comfortable in a sleeping bag than outside one, and probably stay chilly until ~9-10am.

For ideal conditions during the day I'm expecting to be hiking in a t-shirt or light longsleeve shirt and thin nylon long pants, without need of insulating or windproof layers. I'll bring a rain jacket & pants more for wind proofing than for rain (which I don't expect much of), and plenty of warm layers, a warm hat and gloves. I'm not really expecting snow, but am prepared to cross up to 6-12 inches of snow over Red Peak Pass. Your point about a map & compass is a good one since there's always a possibility of snow concealing the established trail. And of course, if for some reason I can't cross the pass, then I'll just double back and enjoy a return trip down the valley again.

I'm not really worrying about any wildlife problems (beyond typical food protection measures), or any environmental issues other than chilly late-summer weather. Sound about right?
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Re: Mid-October weather prep?

Postby Phil » Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:01 pm

Yep, you pretty much got it. You know shoulder season though...a few extra pounds of the right gear, just in case. You're from Vermont, so I'm sure you know how to stay warm and manage your core temp. No animal worries as long as you keep your food tight and in the can. I guess the only other thing would be to tell you to watch the altitude and bring your poles for the ascent up to the pass- the switchbacks are loose and a really good place to twist an ankle, and you can really feel 11k if you're not ready for it or prone to AMS symptoms.
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Re: Mid-October weather prep?

Postby doub1jack » Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:09 pm

Ok, great. Sounds pretty manageable. Thanks Phil.
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