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Late Spring Hetch Hetchy Backpack

PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:27 pm
by pshea
Looking at a mid May along the north shore of Hetch Hetchy to Pleasant Valley and back along the southside of Hetch Hetchy via Smith Meadow. How doable is this in the second to third week of May? Another question, flying in from out of state are the places to rent backpacking stoves in the area considering airline regulations?

Re: Late Spring Hetch Hetchy Backpack

PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:49 pm
by dan
Hetch Hetchy Loop You'll be find the south side to Pate Valley and on the north side to Rancheria Mountain mostly clear most years. Rancheria Mountain is usually snow bound in May, as is Pleasant Valley. In a normal year it's clear by June. In a light snow year, it's clear by May.

The way it's looking so far, it's a light snow year, but a lot could happen in February.

Look at the Glacier Point webcam at
It's snowbound through May usually, but clears usually by early June or late May.

Stoves I don't know of any places that rent stoves. REI is in Fresno. There's a mountaineering shop in Curry Village in Yosemite Valley. I would just use one of of those pocket isobutane stoves that uses disposable cartridges (e.g., I have a Giga Power stove). It's the fuel container that worries airport officials, even if empty.

Alternate route

PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:52 am
by pshea
Would we have better luck going north to Jack Main Canyon and back via Tiltill Valley?

Jack Main Canyon is OK

PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 9:07 pm
by dan
Hmmm. It should be OK to the lower (South) end of Jack Main Canyon in a normal or low snow year.

After that, it may be snow-bound, but at least you're in a canyon and can follow Falls Creek. Wilmer Lake (misspelled Wilma Lake on most maps) is probably as far as you can get, if that far. The PCT heads up Jack Main Canyon from Wilmer Lake, but I doubt you can go farther north

In other words, I think your limit will be 7000-8000 feet, but it varies from year to year. So far it's a dry year, but it's too early to tell.

The south side of Hetch Hetchy, Smith Meadow and Harden Lake are lower, but not as scenic.