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[Yosemite]

Benson Lake Cut Through

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

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Benson Lake Cut Through

Postby johnstream » Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:22 am

For those of you who have visited the "riviera", what is the likelihood of taking the shoreline around the south and using the SSE exit of Piute creek to join up with the trail to the south @ Pleasant Valley?

My goal is to finish a loop from TM -> Glen Aulin-> Benson -> and back home through the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne in 5 days. I figure skipping Rancheria Creek and coming down the trail would save me roughly a day or so.

Thoughts?
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Postby bill-e-g » Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:41 pm

Not sure what you mean by "skipping Rancheria Creek".

Are you hiking the PCT to Benson?
Are you going back to TM or going out Hetch Hetchy?
I assume you are going up and over Rancerhia Mountain and out HH
because otherwise I'm not sure how much time you are really going
to save.

Anyway, I've been to Benson a few times and hiked completely around
the lake, scaled "Navaho Peak", and also climbed the two "knobs/boobies" at
the outlet. What you talk about is on my to do list only I want to hike to
Benson.

From Table Lake I've also been to Irwin Bright.

Anyway... Looking at Satellite Imagery I think that it is do-able.
But it may be very very hard. I would give yourself one full day to get
to Table Lake. And I wouldn't suggest you do it unless you are
very experienced! You also need to be slightly nuts (like myself).
Take a long hard look at Google Earth Imagery to get a feel of the terrain.
Also, I'd also suggest that you only do it after Piute Creek has subsided
so that IF you have to walk in the creek you can.

The trip from TM to Benson on PCT and then down to Pate Valley and
up GC of Tuoulmne is approx 65 miles. If you are in great shape you
should be able to do this in 5 days. (I did 90 miles.. Roads End to
Whitney and back in 5 days this year :) ) Again, you better be in
great shape and LOVE to climb!

Once you get off the trail your pace may bonk to almost nothing.
So... IMO if you want to save time... stay on the trail... if you want to
mark that route off your map... save a day for it.

Enjoy!

I ramble alot... sorry about that...
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Postby bill-e-g » Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:26 am

Me again... sorry...

Just for the record I'd really recommend that you give yourself 7 days
for Glen Aulin->Cold Canyon->Matterhorn->Smedberg->Benson->Pate->GC Tuolumne->Glen Aulin.

If your goal is to hit Benson first and foremost you want to at least
consider coming from Twin Lakes.
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Postby johnstream » Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:13 am

Thanks for the reply. You are correct.
TM->GA->PCT->Smedberg->Benson->Pate->GC TM->GA->TM

My goal isn't to necessarily get to Benson, it is more to find a good 5-7 day loop. Benson was a spot I heard about and there happened to be a way to combine both of them into 1 trip.

We're planning the trip in late Aug or early Sept. We're trying to avoid mosquitoes, people, high water, and snow. I am making the assumption that the streams will be passable at that time of year in the event we need to hike through Piute Creek.

If I could post a picture (I'm a newb), I would show you how I'd like to cut Seavey Pass and the climb around Bear Valley out of the trip. I figure exiting Benson and continuing NW up the trail would add at least a day or two to the trip.

If I need to prep my wife for a 7 day excursion as opposed to a 5 day, I can do that, I'm just going to need every bit of the 9 month lead time to make that happen :)

FYI...the guy I'm planning on hiking with and I have both hiked throughout the west, pacific NW and Yosemite and are very familiar with our limitations. I'll always solicit the advice of someone who has been there just to get second opinion on what we think is possible and what actually is possible.
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Postby bill-e-g » Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:54 pm

Ok. If you just want 5 dayer... then I'd suggest you plan on:
TM->GA->Cold->Matt->Smedberg->Rodgers->Pate->GCT->GA->TM

Then if you have time you can add Benson...

In your reply you mention Seavey and Bear Valley... Guess I need
a picture cause I doubt you can hit all that along with Pleasant Valley->Pate in 5 days even if you cut stuff.

By the way... the cross country from Bear to Piute Mountain and back
to trail (south of the BV lakes) is easy... From Benson outlet to
Pleasant may be very unpleasant... I did Puite about a month ago... :)
By easy I mean that it is pretty open, you're not running into cliffs
that you need to go around, and you're not bush wacking.

I tried posting pictures here before and it failed miserably.
Maybe just try posting a link if you have one or you can try to
email me the picture and I can comment if you like.

You can do a number of loops in Yosemite ... but the one you have
in mind is very nice. Once you get beyond Glen Aulin you will
see very few people regardless of when you go.
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