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GCT in smoky September

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

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GCT in smoky September

Postby balzaccom » Sat Sep 18, 2021 3:34 pm

Since all the National Forests in the Sierra were closed for fire danger, I took a chance and managed to get a permit in Yosemite proper for a quick trip down the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne. I had four days' worth of food, and almost that much free time from home, so I started early on Wednesday morning to see how far I could get.

I started at the Murphy Creek Trailhead and was surprised to be at Glen Aulin before noon. The High Sierra Camp itself was closed, and the whole place was a bit eerie, but I did see plenty of hikers on their way from one HSC to the next...in this case, May Lake. Seems like everyone on the trail had the same idea.

That encouraged me to stick with my plan, and after lunch I headed down into the canyon, eventually running out of gas below Waterwheel Falls. For an old guy, eleven+ miles with a full pack was a full days' work. There were plenty of people where I camped, but all of them were day-hikers down from Glen Aulin. By the time I emerged from my afternoon nap they were all gone, and I had the place to myself for the rest of the night.

Lots of bear scat by the way---but no bears, sorry to say.

That night had blustery winds, and the next morning the canyon was filling with more smoke. I didn't like the idea of hiking further downhill, only to climb out in denser smoke the following day. So I started back up the canyon. Again, I was surprised to be in Glen Aulin before ten a.m., and from there it was an easy seven miles back out to the van through thickening smoke. Still, it sure beat sitting around the house wishing I were here.

The whole blog post about the trip is here: https://www.backpackthesierra.com/post/ ... rip-report

And the photo log is here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/q1RZ8ByVM93cAmZh6
Check our our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
Or just read a good mystery novel set in the Sierra; https://www.amazon.com/Danger-Falling-Rocks-Paul-Wagner/dp/0984884963
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Re: GCT in smoky September

Postby Phil » Tue Sep 21, 2021 6:22 pm

Hey, what's a California summer without tons of smoke anymore? At least you knew for sure you had a mask somewhat handy, right?
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