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[Yosemite]

Round track at Yosemite - help is needed!

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

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Re: Round track at Yosemite - help is needed!

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:49 am

You don't need to reserve permit at all. In the winter they are all walk in.

Here's the thing -- in winter it gets cold. You should not build a campfire ring, only use ones already there, and will not be able to have a fire anyway if there is snow - the rules in winter are different than in summer. It's going to be cold and you're probably looking at some amount of precipitation along the way. You could very likely easily get a campsite in the valley floor and day hike all over the place and see awesome things just the same. More awesome things than you will see on a backpacking trip.

I usually recommend to first timers in Yosemite that they do just that, experience the park without the added complication of planning a backpacking trip. You're going to miss a lot if you go backpacking. Winter is the best time to go to avoid crowds.

Just food for thought.
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Re: Round track at Yosemite - help is needed!

Postby Serj » Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:10 am

OK, that's definitely an option as well, and I think the decision has to be done at place according to the conditions. Maybe it will be a sunny week and I want to have an option :)
As far as I understood from web, winter starts officially in November, so October still require permits.
Now one thing I got lost in....
If I leave my car at Upper Pines Camp, enter lets say Happy Isles, hiking South Rim and exit Pohono, can I walk back along Valley to my car using roads? No problem with that?
In this case, I have to specify in permit form: enter Happy Isles, exit Pohono?

What is the name of that Trail, you said I can get down to valley from north rim? The old one? Can you please take a look at the form, so I can choose the right one.
http://www.yosemiteconservancy.org/site ... .30.15.pdf

And last question so far: from the 3 options I might be granted with the permit for only one of them according to choice gradation or can maybe have permit for two or three, so can decide at place where to go?
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Re: Round track at Yosemite - help is needed!

Postby Phil » Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:43 pm

You can reserve a permit now- September for the month of October, but you really don't need to, because the demand drops off significantly. For a walk-up permit in October, you'll have to go to the Valley or Big Oak Flat wilderness offices. Permits, be they reserved, walk-up, or self-serve, are required year round.

To clarify, when you make a reservation, the three choices- #1,2,3, aren't all granted. If choice #1 isn't available, they give you #2....You only get one, and that is the only permit you get unless you reapply or get a new one with a walk-up.

If Glacier Point Rd closes because of snow, so does the Pohono Trail.

The trail down from the North Rim that AlmostThere was referring to is the Yosemite Falls Trail. It's also a good access point from the Valley to the North Rim, but it immediately climbs ~1000m.

Our guess about what the weather and trail conditions in October will be are as good as yours. There's no way to know until then. You could get here and have it be dry and sunny, or there could be several feet of snow on the ground. The difference is that we know from experience not to count on it one way or another, and to be ready to change plans immediately, get through it with skills and equipment, or to just call off the trip completely. I know that's a tough way to go about planning such a major trip from so far away, but that's basically all there is to do short of waiting until next spring or coming earlier this season.
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Re: Round track at Yosemite - help is needed!

Postby Serj » Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:55 pm

OK, Phil, thank you!
I think I will try to reserve, but as you and AlmostThere say, will be able to reapply at place or making day hiking, seeing the conditions and talking to rangers there.
So the only open question for me is getting from Pohono trail back to upper pines. Can walk on car roads? How people get back finishing there?
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Re: Round track at Yosemite - help is needed!

Postby Phil » Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:27 pm

You won't be allowed to park your car at Upper Pines Campground. Instead, you'll leave it parked at either Half Dome Village (Curry Village) or at the backpacker's parking lot just up the road from there. It's also important to know that you can't park at Upper Pines while using the backpacker's camp...you have 15 minutes or so, then it'll have to be moved to either one of the two parking areas.

Walking the road isn't really ideal anywhere, but yes, the exit at the Pohono Trail below Tunnel View parallels the road and makes its way down to a parking area and then Bridalveil Falls. From there you can walk trails along the road back to Curry Village and your car, hop a shuttle, or cross the river and meadow in a few places and go over towards Yosemite Village.

Here's a Valley trail map: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/ ... hikes1.pdf
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Re: Round track at Yosemite - help is needed!

Postby Serj » Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:42 am

I was able to find small trails along car roads only using freshly installed Oruxmaps.... They are completely missing on any other maps, including the one hard copy I've ordered from US.
Oruxmaps also has the old big oak flat trail marked as should be.
Anyway, I've sent my application form (although using fax you never know if was successful :) ) and waiting for reply. Will update when get it.
So far, thank you all very much for your help!
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Re: Round track at Yosemite - help is needed!

Postby Phil » Tue Jul 19, 2016 2:57 pm

Serj,

This is the 1:63,360 scale map I generally recommend. If you need a wider area that covers the entire park, there's also a 1:125,000 scale version.

http://tomharrisonmaps.com/shop/yosemite-high-country/
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Re: Round track at Yosemite - help is needed!

Postby Serj » Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:57 pm

Nice, thank you!
By the way, my request was approved, got a permission to go towards sunset high sierra camp and than back to Merced lake (shorter version of my first track).
My companion will submit another permit for South rim, so this way we will have two booked options and will be able to decide on site.
I took a look at bear canister instructions, but one major detail is missing in all descriptions - how you store this canister at night? I mean, what, just put on a ground? Can't bears or any other friends just take it away or roll it somehow and you will never find it anymore?
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Re: Round track at Yosemite - help is needed!

Postby balzaccom » Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:20 am

The basic requirements are that you place it away from your camp, 50-100 meters, downwind. And do not place it on the edge of a cliff or near water, because a bear can knock it around a bit and you want to find it in the morning.

We usually wedge ours in tree roots or rocks so that it is harder for the bear to move...but most bears gave learned that these cans aren't food sources...so they pretty much leave them alone.

The most important thing is that you use it religiously. Don't leave food OR ANYTHING THAT MIGHT SMELL LIKE FOOD TO A BEAR unguarded. Hold it in your hand or put it in the bear can and close the can..

Sunrise has had a few bear incidents this summer...
Check out our website and blog at: http://sites.google.com/site/backpackthesierra/home
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Re: Round track at Yosemite - help is needed!

Postby Serj » Wed Jul 20, 2016 6:27 am

When you say incidents, you mean bears attack people or steal food?
Are some cases of attack with serious consequences reported?
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Re: Round track at Yosemite - help is needed!

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Jul 20, 2016 6:58 am

Bears only hurt people who sleep with food or other smelly items in the tent. No bear deaths recorded in California - it's not Alaska.
Incidents in Yosemite are all food related - bear tries to get food, or someone lets bear get too close. Person startles bear, bear defends itself, person gets swatted.

Look big, stand tall, yell, and the bear goes away. Do not ever run from a bear. Do not let them get any food, trash, lip balm, anything.
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Re: Round track at Yosemite - help is needed!

Postby Phil » Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:28 am

Here's a video of what a fairly typical black bear assault on a canister looks like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn7oayAaf4k

They'll beat it up quite a bit, roll it around, stomp it, bite it, claw it, but they're not going to take it very far away. You do, as Balzaccom points out, want to make sure they can't roll it off a cliff or into water though. Besides that and making sure that everything that goes in your mouth or on your skin is in the can, including garbage, the next few things to keep in mind are: 1) make sure the canister is locked properly, 2) don't have an open canister or food out of arm's reach, 3) make sure you don't leave wrappers or other garbage and scented items (candy, lip balm, etc) in your pockets or pack overnight, 4) wash your dishes.

There's a little more to it than that, but those are some of the biggest mistakes people make that lead to bear encounters.
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Re: Round track at Yosemite - help is needed!

Postby Serj » Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:05 pm

Funny and scary video, have to say!
This canister probably damn stinky at mornings. J
What about clothes you cook in? Can stay in tent?
Can bears come when you cook some nicely smelling roast beef or whatever?
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Re: Round track at Yosemite - help is needed!

Postby Serj » Fri Jul 22, 2016 2:58 am

OK, guys, seems that this topic has exhausted itself...
Thank you all again for help!!! It was super useful!
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Re: Round track at Yosemite - help is needed!

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:52 am

I think you will find that dehydrated or freeze dried meals and snacks like nuts or dried fruit will be easier than trying to pack fresh food. Very hard to keep roast beef from spoiling.
The majority of the backpackers here do not cook but boil water to rehydrate things - boiling is all many stoves are good for. Since you cannot have a fire at certain elevations a stove is better.
http://sierrawild.gov/bears/how-pack-bear-can
https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice ... sters.html

I never worry about clothes unless I actually spill food on them.
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