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Vogelsang bound July 27

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Vogelsang bound July 27

Postby gdbartz » Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:14 pm

Anyone been up to Vogelsang yet this season? Headed there via Lyell Canyon. Looking for advice for a novice, first-timer with teenager. Concerned about snow and bugs and the unknown. :roll:
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Re: Vogelsang bound July 27

Postby Phil » Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:43 am

No, I have not been up there this season.

Via Lyell Canyon, it's flat to slightly uphill, but it's easy. From the TM trailhead it's about 6+ miles to Ireland Creek. That's a nice area for campsites if you walk around. Might be a perfect place for you guys to stop the first night and save the slog up and over to Vogelsang for the morning when it's cooler. Yeah, from there up to the Ireland Lake spur is kind of not the funnest, but there's plenty of water and it's mostly in the shade. Beyond that a long walk across the meadow and you're right in the Vogelsang backpacker's camping area.

As a beginner, just pace yourself and stay hydrated. Also be really diligent about food storage from the get-go. Expect mosquitoes around swampy areas or water, so invest in a headnet and a little more repellent than you think. I wouldn't expect snow to be a problem even at 10k the end of this month. Walk through it, over it, around it if you come to it. Check the weather forecast before you go, and always carry at least a rain jacket and pack cover for afternoon thunderstorms if the forecast calls for them, which is usually the summertime norm as you get toward the Crest. If altitude starts messing with you, turn around and get lower if it's bad. Don't overpack. Don't pet rodents.
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Re: Vogelsang bound July 27

Postby sergioL » Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:47 pm

This is one of the best treks ever!
Here's the latest conditions from the Yosemite NPS website:
"Lyell Canyon, Rafferty Creek, Echo Creek, Fletcher Creek Expect very wet feet! Creeks are flowing abundantly and there are multiple flooded sections of 100 ft or more. Otherwise trails have patchy snow in and around Vogelsang, Fletcher Lake and Evelyn Lakes. Vogelsang Pass still has a large snowfield, making navigation difficult"

We were there during a drier year and even then there were lots of mosquitoes. The high sierra camp at Vogelsang is closed, so no need to camp close but absolutely gorgeous area. Ireland and Evelyn lakes are nice since you're coming up that way as mentioned with other great tips in the other posted reply.

We are going up Rafferty Creek first week of August on the way to Merced Lake and on to the valley so keeping an eye on any changes.
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Re: Vogelsang bound July 27

Postby gdbartz » Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:10 pm

Thank you Sergio and Phil. Great tips.

REI guys mentioning to consider mini-spikes but would rather save the $ and weight. I may avoid the Vogelsang pass if it's got that much snow.

What do the experts do about wet feet...just bring extra socks?

Thanks again. Will post report when we return.

Greg
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Re: Vogelsang bound July 27

Postby AlmostThere » Sat Jul 20, 2019 2:35 pm

Wet feet are not the bogey man people want to make them out to be... wet, hot feet subjected to a lot of friction result in blisters. Which is why I avoid goretex, but that's another issue... shoes or boots that fit aren't going to cause you issues if you have wet feet. In fact, if they did, I would have blisters every day of my life, as my feet still sweat despite not having Goretex wrapped around them all the time. There have been times that I have been on a route with multiple creek crossings that were a blessing; feels so good to wet down when it's really hot.

You should do all right with trekking poles over the patchy late season snow. It'll be mushy in the afternoons. You just slog through if you can't avoid it. Take dry socks and dry base layer to sleep in at night. As long as you can change out of wet stuff at the end of the day you avoid trench foot.
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Re: Vogelsang bound July 27

Postby Phil » Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:29 pm

One of the other things about Goretex boots is that they really don't keep working if you're constantly going through water and muck.

Sure, an extra pair of socks is almost always a good and necessary thing. Changing out your socks, be they wet or not, is always a boost in a lot of ways. Fresh socks instead of yesterday's or even slightly damp because they're not quite dry, I think that's pretty self-explanatory.

If you're going through water and muck and want to keep your feet dry, and I'm surprised that AT didn't mention it, wear neoprene kayaking socks. 3-5mm, and either worn with a thin silk or synthetic liner to absorb sweat or over your hiking socks (Merino wool!...warm even when wet) . REI has them, but if you're going to buy them, bring your boots for fitting.
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Re: Vogelsang bound July 27

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:13 am

Phil wrote:If you're going through water and muck and want to keep your feet dry, and I'm surprised that AT didn't mention it, wear neoprene kayaking socks. 3-5mm, and either worn with a thin silk or synthetic liner to absorb sweat or over your hiking socks (Merino wool!...warm even when wet) . REI has them, but if you're going to buy them, bring your boots for fitting.


I have a pair of Seal Skins that seal over the sock - they keep the sock and foot dry even when the water rises above the top of the sock. But I only bother to take them when the creeks are very freezing cold, early in the melt. Right now I just wade and enjoy.... the last few hikes it's been pretty hot.
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Re: Vogelsang bound July 27

Postby gdbartz » Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:52 pm

Good stuff... very excited. Thanks all...will post upon return.
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Re: Vogelsang bound July 27

Postby gdbartz » Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:52 pm

Back from Yosemite trip for 4 nights and wanted to post a report in case any interested parties:

1. WOW - what a trip. I would say once in a lifetime, but I am headed back next year! Phenomenal weather, light on the bugs, light crowds due to closed HSC's and the most beautiful scenery one could imagine.
2. Took Lyell Canyon to Ireland Lake Junction. Several fly fisherman, gorgeous meadows and not too muddy or buggy. Tried my hand with spinning pole and lost one or two pan sized trout. Found awesome campsite about 9600 feet on the Ireland Lake Junction trail.
3. Vogelsang was a ghost town. Loved it. Wonderful meadows on the way there.
4. Camped at Vogelsang Lake which was breezy but not bad... cowboy camped to see stars during New Moon. Big Buck was a nice surprise visitor in the AM.
5. Hiked over the Vogelsang pass and was awestruck at the views looking south. The cascades from Bernice and Gallison Lakes into the meadows below were amazing. Thankful I was hiking down that side... poor folks hiking up were gassed. But the whole Lewis Creek canyon (if that's what it's called) was a real treat.
6. Had lunch at the Merced Ranger station...thank you very much. No one there, but enjoyed the patio chairs and table and a "formal" lunch. LOL
7. Merced HSC also deserted. Only saw 9 or 10 hikers on Day 2 and Day 3 and no horses or mules. I think we were lucky.
8. Camped just west of Echo Valley above the river. Fantastic spot.... wore bug nets sometimes, but I ended up with maybe 1-2 bites. Daughter was worse off however.
9. Lost Valley all burned out and kind of eery but recovering. Lots of Birch saplings as high as 12 foot and a few pines. Can see how this will be beautiful again. Saw some fresh bear scat but never any bears. Only 1-2 berry bushes that we saw.
10. Reward was Nevada Falls and the Valley (and beer and pizza).

Thanks for all the advice. Bugs and temperature were not a problem. Having some clean dry socks was a blessing. Hope you can get out there soon.

(Have not figured out how to add pictures here... if anyone knows the trick, please let me know and I will upload some)

Best,
Greg
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