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boyscout 6-7 day backpacking trip

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boyscout 6-7 day backpacking trip

Postby sculpin » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:42 pm

I'm planning a backpacking trip for our Boyscout troop this summer and am worried about permitting. Last year we packed in from Agnew Meadows, but I'd like to start in Yosemite this year.

I've identified a few possible routes - one starts at White Wolf, one at Tuolumne and one at Hetch Hetchy. I'm hoping for White Wolf. Would like to reserve for 12 people, but maybe 10.

Can anyone give me an idea of the likelihood of pulling this off in early August on a Saturday or Sunday start? I have no experience trying to get a permit in Yosemite.

Thank you!
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Re: boyscout 6-7 day backpacking trip

Postby balzaccom » Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:22 pm

Very tough to get that many people on a permit on a weekend. Too many other people want to do the same thing. if there is any way you could start on a weekday, your odds will go up .

Then again, Hetch-hetchy in August? I doubt many people will want that kind of heat and lower elevation in August. Are you thinking of Rancheria Falls, Tilltill Valley, and back through Vernon?
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Re: boyscout 6-7 day backpacking trip

Postby markskor » Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:36 pm

Another option -
Possible start at Saddlebag Lake (as no permit quotas) and over Shepherds Crest, back-way into into Yosemite. From Upper McCabe - Cold Canyon - Glen Aulin and into Tuolumne.
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Re: boyscout 6-7 day backpacking trip

Postby Phil » Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:24 am

Off hand, I'm not sure what the quotas are for the multiple trails coming out of White Wolf, but I think you're on the right track with the entry point. Generally WW is one of the few entry points wherein the demand tends to stay low throughout the season. You have two choices on how to do a relatively comfortable 6-7 day loop from there: drop down to Pate Valley > Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne > Glen Aulin > May Lake Trail > Ten Lakes > back to your starting point, or, you can completely reverse that and go the opposite way, taking in Ten Lakes first. Nice route, beautiful scenery for most of it.

That time of year, forget anything out of Hetch Hetchy if you don't want a bunch of heat injuries (Pate will be hot enough as it is), and forget anything out of Tuolumne with a group that size...aint gonna happen without divine intervention.

Permitting-wise, make your reservation early in the season, right when the dates open up, and yes, as everyone will tell you, weekday permits are always easier to come by. Know one thing though, over the years the two routes out of White Wolf that I mentioned are the places where I've seen the highest concentrations of Scouts in large groups on a regular basis, so if they can pull it off, you can too.
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Re: boyscout 6-7 day backpacking trip

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:06 am

The quota for White Wolf to Pate is 18. If you are the very first person to request and the ranger lets you hog the quota it works. But some of the campsites are not going to work along the section between Muir Gorge and GA.
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Re: boyscout 6-7 day backpacking trip

Postby Phil » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:19 am

AlmostThere wrote:But some of the campsites are not going to work along the section between Muir Gorge and GA.


Yep, that's a big factor too. To find sites big enough, you'll need to absolutely dominate the top of the hill at Morrison Creek, invade Pate Valley, and then make sure everyone is up for getting to at least the area around Waterwheel Falls for the next night. Past that, it's then the HSC campground at Glen Aulin, then a couple spots along the May Lake Trail that hopefully have water. All in all, you'll need to really be realistic about daily mileage and reasonable expectations, and, there's a good chance your numbers are going to require spreading out over multiple established sites in any given area.
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Re: boyscout 6-7 day backpacking trip

Postby dan » Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:03 pm

Postby sturdyoak2012 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:12 am

AlmostThere wrote:

Phil wrote:
One way for both of you to do it might be to split the group and stagger trailhead departure dates by a day. Maybe take the slower group out on day-one, give them an overnight rest not too far out, then have the second group rendezvous at that location, then everyone move together. I know you guys usually bring at least a couple/few adults, so two "trip leaders", two permits with the correct number of people on each. If you stay kosher, there's no rule that says you can't all walk together, as long as the paperwork is in order.




Yes, there are rules that say otherwise -- the general rule is that the groups hike and camp at least 1/4 mile apart. Some jurisdictions require more than 1/4 mile.

I asked about this one while getting a permit in a national forest. The rangers get really, really pissed when boy scout troops get two separate permits and hike huge groups through the wilderness.



Yes, this is (painfully) correct. One year, we had two crews of 12-15 people camping at the same lake @ Emigrant. It was pretty obvious that we were together, and a ranger came and fined us >100 dollars. That was my first trip four years ago, and I've definitely learned since...


Postby Phil » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:49 pm

sturdyoak2012 wrote:
Yes, this is (painfully) correct. One year, we had two crews of 12-15 people camping at the same lake @ Emigrant. It was pretty obvious that we were together, and a ranger came and fined us >100 dollars. That was my first trip four years ago, and I've definitely learned since...



Yeah, but Sculpin was originally talking about a single group of 10-12 people, still below that max of 15. You guys blew the lid off that and had a regular jamboree. It's too bad you found out about it the hard way, but for that many people, $100 is more like a bit of unforeseen per person overhead than a fine. You probably spent more on the post-trip pizza stop. But hey, just as here in my case, we all live and learn, and some lessons cost more than others.



Postby AlmostThere » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:10 pm
You are also, in Sierra National Forest, supposed to throw fish guts in the trees.

I don't make this stuff up, by the way.



Postby AlmostThere » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:36 pm
So here is my apology to Phil - I have been involved in several threads in a couple places lately about large groups and LNT, and I got my wires crossed, responding here as if you are talking about a much larger group.

Still, more than 5-6 is a large group when it comes to wilderness (some say 4 is ideal - one to stay with the injured person, two to go for help, no one is left alone which helps decrease the likelihood of panicked thinking taking over). If I were taking a group of 10-12, which I actually have done in the past, I would go to Big Basin State Park, Henry Coe State Park, Point Reyes hike in camps -- if your mind is set on Yosemite I would submit for a permit from a trailhead with a large quota and if denied I would call the wilderness office and talk to someone about recommendations. Doing the Skyline to Sea has become my go to for huge groups - they are happy to help facilitate it and it's a great place to get your feet wet if you are new to backpacking. Henry Coe's limit is I think 12 people. The terrain is open and beyond a certain radius of the park headquarters it's dispersed camping. Permits are dead stupid simple. Show up and pay the fees and fill out a form.
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