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[Yosemite]

Northern Yosemite Valley week long trip planning:

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

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Northern Yosemite Valley week long trip planning:

Postby wmclemore01 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:08 pm

Reaching out to see if some of the regulars can provide some insight on how possible my trip planning is.

A little insight -
• First this is advance planning for submitting for permits this winter for hopes of late July or early August next year.
• Skill level is an interesting question – This year my brother and I did do the Grand Canyon to Phantom Ranch and Havasupai falls and last year did the TX Big Bend
outer Mtn Loop. The thing is we are both older guys and take our time but seem to continue to pull off some good trips.
• First thoughts are for a 7 day backcountry trip but we have someone meeting us with resupply about half way to help in lightening our loads.
• Light packs – Osprey Expos 48 and BV450 hoping for around 23 / 25 pounds each.

Trip itinerary thoughts –
• Two full days to acclimate before starting the hike in the backcountry. Playing around Yosemite valley being tourists and eating everything in sight.
• Day 1 - Depart Tamarack Creek TH 8.1 miles 2697 feet to around El Capitan Junction.
• Day 2 – 8.6 miles 2439 feet to around Top of Lehamite Falls.
• Day 3 – 7.7 miles 2195 feet to around Snow Creek Footbridge
• Day 4 – 10 miles, 3486 feet re-caching supplies at Sunrise Lake Trailhead continuing to around Sunrise Lake (this day is going to leave a mark :roll: ). Would plan on
starting around daybreak and taking our time.
• Day 5 – 7.2 miles, 1368 to around Clouds Rest Junction
• Day 6 – 5.7 miles, 2308 If we are able to get permits and do Half dome, than back to around Clouds Rest Junction again
• Day 7 – 5.6 miles, 721 back out through happy Isles

Link to planned route –
http://www.traillon.com/routes/9mYADO2

So, how crazy would this be for two older guys that work to stay in shape and backpack light? :shock:

I really appreciate anyone taking the time to provide any local insight

Thanks in advance and hope to see you next year. :D
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Re: Northern Yosemite Valley week long trip planning:

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:58 pm

You can only submit five months in advance, so you have plenty of time to plan and research.

If your trip plans include a stop at the Tuolumne Meadows store, there is a store and a hiker box - no need for "someone" to resupply you. You could do the High Sierra Camps loop - no need to pay for the camps, which are posh but expensive, there are backpacker camps at each for those who get a permit and do it on their own, and you can also buy just dinner if you reserve in advance.

To further lighten the load consider renting (by mail) the Wild Ideas canisters -- much lighter for the volume.

All the high sierra camps are a day's hike apart. The route goes through some of the best high country scenery out there.
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Re: Northern Yosemite Valley week long trip planning:

Postby Phil » Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:15 am

wmclemore01 wrote:Trip itinerary thoughts –
• Two full days to acclimate before starting the hike in the backcountry. Playing around Yosemite valley being tourists and eating everything in sight.
• Day 1 - Depart Tamarack Creek TH 8.1 miles 2697 feet to around El Capitan Junction.
• Day 2 – 8.6 miles 2439 feet to around Top of Lehamite Falls.
• Day 3 – 7.7 miles 2195 feet to around Snow Creek Footbridge


Those first two days aren't going to do a thing for helping you acclimate. The Valley is only at about 4500 ft, and you really need to be at about 8000+ to make a difference. However, days 1-3 will.
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Re: Northern Yosemite Valley week long trip planning:

Postby WanderingJim » Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:46 am

Phil wrote:
wmclemore01 wrote:Those first two days aren't going to do a thing for helping you acclimate. The Valley is only at about 4500 ft, and you really need to be at about 8000+ to make a difference. However, days 1-3 will.


Agreed. A little more altitude would be useful.

Maybe hike up to Vernal and Nevada Falls or spend some time hiking around Glacier Point/Sentinel Dome.
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Re: Northern Yosemite Valley week long trip planning:

Postby wmclemore01 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:18 am

Thank for the replys

First thoughts are to spend the two nights at Tamarack Flat Campground around 6320.

Hoping for a little insight / recommendations into the daily distances and elevation changes if anyone is familiar with the route.
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Re: Northern Yosemite Valley week long trip planning:

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:20 am

If acclimation is your goal, 8000+ should be where you stay. Tuolumne Meadows campground is at about 9k.

My suggestion of the HSC loop was made with elevation and distance in mind... it's a loop designed to combine great high country with moderate daily hiking. The camps have shelter and bed and meal plans for those who wish to hike with only a day pack, rather than a backpack. People backpack it with their own permit and buy the meal plan sometimes.
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Re: Northern Yosemite Valley week long trip planning:

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:29 am

http://www.visitcalifornia.com/attracti ... erra-camps

It's typically a five day moderate loop. Your side trips to Clouds Rest and Half Dome could easily be worked in there, with a slight alteration to the route.

The loop can also be hiked and camp in between the HSCs if you don't want to be near the "tent city" where the not-backpackers are staying.
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Re: Northern Yosemite Valley week long trip planning:

Postby wmclemore01 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:25 am

Thank for your replies and the recommended HSCL route. I took a little time reviewing the HSCL loop for comparisons to my original route.
I have not hiked Yosemite so I appreciate your insights and please forgive my basic questions.

From what I can see the HSCL for 5 days is close to 46.3 miles and about a total of 9190 feet incline.

http://www.traillon.com/routes/1EwHq0F

The Northern Yosemite route I originally highlighted was 7 days 49.4 miles and about a total of 14,650 feet incline.

http://www.traillon.com/routes/9mYADO2

Right off I notice the 5500 feet incline savings, but can you share some additional insight why you recommended this route?

Again I appreciate anyone taking their time to provide some thoughts and I recognize the value of local knowledge.
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Re: Northern Yosemite Valley week long trip planning:

Postby Phil » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:37 pm

The HSC loop is designed with several benefits in mind; People that want to get out, but don't want to haul everything they need in packs. To highlight a very scenic route and destinations that cover some of the best that the park has to offer. Tradition. Quite doable daily distances between the camps for the average hiker that's in at least fairly decent shape. A hybrid trip that falls somewhere in between a "wilderness experience", a hotel, and an all-inclusive tour package.

Yep, you'll be climbing a lot. It's the nature of the beast, but I wouldn't get too caught up in it or you'll drive yourself nuts splitting hairs on whether this or that is higher, longer, steeper...Instead, think of it as what you want to see vs what it takes to get there...hard day, easy day...

Which leads to my next point. I can appreciate your route in that it skirts the entire North rim of the valley and exits Happy Isles, taking in all of it, but, honestly, that's what some of us would consider an early season alternative to something we would rather be doing if it weren't for snow, closed roads, fires, broken bridges, mosquitoes... Very logical though. I can totally relate. But with as much time and opportunity to plan as you have, there are hikes that are far more worthwhile for the effort involved, and will get you into places where most backpackers that never leave the "core area" ever even consider going. Yours is a nice hike, but it's well "inside the box". Seven days out will take you lots of very remote and remarkable places.
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Re: Northern Yosemite Valley week long trip planning:

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:11 pm

With seven days, I go high. If snow permits. It's where the crowds are not. If it's another dry year the route you plan will be low enough to be hotter than I prefer, and extremely crowded with day hikers. I appreciate that you want to see the valley scenery but do that in a day, and backpack high if you can, if quality backpacking is the goal.

If it's not snowed in still, there will be mosquitoes, by the way, and potentially high water in the streams making crossings difficult. Water kills people every year. You'll want to have water crossing strategy well in hand.
http://www.outdoors.org/articles/amc-ou ... ing-water/
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Re: Northern Yosemite Valley week long trip planning:

Postby wmclemore01 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:22 pm

Thank for taking the time to draft such an informative response.

I appreciate the idea of staying in the high country during the late summer months. I have always held a sweet spot for the headwaters and higher elevations and all the points you outlined resonate with me.

At this point I think I will do some more in-depth research and see if I can take advantage of some of the points you highlighted as well as passing by some of the area I find interesting. Once I have a new draft itinerary I will forward to the group for thoughts.

Thank again for taking the time to share your local insight.
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Re: Northern Yosemite Valley week long trip planning:

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:28 pm

Late summer is September. This year, August is midsummer - snow kept me from completing a loop trip last week. One of the things to keep an eye on is the snow pack and how it looks - 250% of average made this year very challenging.
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