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Trip report

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avatar Trip report
August 29, 2011 10:36AM
Just returned home to NC after annual Yosemite trip. This year I started out with a day trip 8/17 to Gaylor Lakes/Granite Lakes, including a climb up the mountain immedietly behind Upper Granite Lake which is part of the White Mountain ridge. Later that day I finally met Len Szalkowski and his son, Stephen, who would become my backpacking partners the next day. They entered Murphy Creek that day. On 8/18 I entered on the Glen Aulin trail and we met above the HSC. From there we planned a 7-day/6-night hike to Virginia Canyon, Matterhorn Canyon, Benson Pass, Smedburg Lake, Rodgers Lake, Rodgers Canyon, Pate Valley, and return up the Grand Canyon. We actually finished it in 6-days/5-nights. The last day we got up at 4:00 AM at Return Creek and were on the trail by 5:45 AM so we could climb out of the canyon without the sun beating on us. We parted company at the same trail junction and 2 days later I did a day hike at Saddlebag Lake up to the top of Secret Pass by way of the shelf that comes out next to North Peak.

I want to take this moment to say what a pleasure it was to get to know Len and his son and spend 6 days with them on the trails. Our hiking abilitities were pretty comparabile and we enjoyed each other's company immensely. This web site provided the opportunity for total strangers to become aquainted and eventually embark upon a major backpacking trip. As bill-e-g told me several months ago, "kinda cool". Thank you, eeek.

I was suppossed to fly home Saturday but AA cancelled my flights to Raleigh due to the hurricane, rescheduling for Sunday. Got home 1:15 AM this morning!

As for the trip itself, as usual in Yosemite it required far more physical effort than I expected, having opportunity to do this only once per year. We make no apologies to bill-e-g for cancelling side trips to the summit of Volunteer Peak and Table Lake. When we saw the terrain involved on top of Volunteer we said, "no way". Rodgers Lake looked so much more appealing at that point. On the following day we said the heck with Table Lake due to its 5-mile round trip downhill--then back uphill nature. I get no Table Lake t-shirt! Just the downhill to Pate Valley was exhausting in the heat. If anybody here is ever planning to do this circle route or something simmilar I urge you not to pass up the Rodgers Lake trail. Rodgers Lake is one of the most ruggedly beautiful lakes in the park with great camping sites. We had it all to ourselves.

At a later date I will post access to pictures and I know Len will be doing the same.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/07/2012 12:49PM by tomdisco.
avatar Re: Preliminary trip report
August 29, 2011 01:49PM
We're glad you had a great time.
Rodgers Lake and Rodgers Meadow is, yet another, special place for me.
First time through The Old Dude was told we had to stay at Smedberg... so we stayed there instead of
Rodgers... coming over the crest heading south and seeing Rodgers... is pretty dramatic.
Somehow Smedberg didn't live up compared to Rodgers.

Kinda figured you may nix Volunteer... and I owe the ranger lady for keeping the Marmut riff raff away
from my beloved Loch Tablae. I figured I'd end keep up my end of the bargain before you anway.

Now where to next year?



Picasa Pictures
avatar Re: Preliminary trip report
August 29, 2011 05:24PM
Quote
chick-on
... and I owe the ranger lady for keeping the Marmuts away from my beloved Loch Tablae.


She dissuaded us from going there when it appeared that it would be necessary to stamp "BIG CLUCKS" on our Wilderness Permit in order to legitimately access the location.
(ThankfullyUnpoultryly Yours)
The Marmots



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/29/2011 05:30PM by szalkowski.
avatar Re: Preliminary trip report
August 29, 2011 06:11PM
Quote
chick-on
We're glad you had a great time.
Rodgers Lake and Rodgers Meadow is, yet another, special place for me.
First time through The Old Dude was told we had to stay at Smedberg... so we stayed there instead of
Rodgers... coming over the crest heading south and seeing Rodgers... is pretty dramatic.
Somehow Smedberg didn't live up compared to Rodgers.

Kinda figured you may nix Volunteer... and I owe the ranger lady for keeping the Marmut riff raff away
from my beloved Loch Tablae. I figured I'd end keep up my end of the bargain before you anway.

Now where to next year?

Not too sure about next year due to family issues regarding upcoming care of an elder.
Re: Preliminary trip report
September 06, 2011 02:22PM
Hey Tom,

Congrats on what sounded like a great trip! My son and I were up there at that same time! I know in past threads you mentioned pack weight and how you would have a tough time carrying less...just out of curiousity what was your pack weight this trip?
avatar Re: Preliminary trip report
September 08, 2011 11:27AM
My pack weigh staring out was about 32 lbs including two filled water bottles. Most of the time I discovered I could go without filling the spare bottle. Quite a bit of water around, especially with numerous stream crossings.

Regarding stream crossings, Virginia Creek was the one real challenge because we were all attempting to keep our feet as dry as possible. Due to slippery rocks all three of us failed miserably, Len got some moisture in his telephoto lens, and Len's son lost one of his trekking poles. Those poles don't float! Subsequent crossings proved much simpler. We also ceased trying to be so particular about getting our feet a little wet.Backpacker
Re: Preliminary trip report
September 06, 2011 11:40PM
Looking forward to pictures!
avatar Re: Trip report
February 07, 2012 12:11PM
Well, I finally got off my butt and uploaded some of the better photos from my trip in August. The link below accesses the slideshow.

Yosemite 2011 trip report photos



Edited 7 time(s). Last edit at 02/07/2012 12:50PM by tomdisco.
avatar Re: Trip report
February 07, 2012 03:07PM
Thanks for posting the photos. They're lovely. Nice also seeing some photos of Len enjoying himself in the backcountry one last time with you and his son.
avatar Re: Trip report
May 18, 2012 07:30AM
Re: Trip report
July 08, 2012 08:29PM
ENjoyed the photos! I will be doing a similar trip later this month. Seeing your pics raised the excitement level.
avatar Re: Trip report
July 09, 2012 07:23AM
Quote
Frank
ENjoyed the photos! I will be doing a similar trip later this month. Seeing your pics raised the excitement level.

Frank,

Long time--no hear from you. Either I've been dropped from the private discussion group or nobody's been posting there. Anyway, have you laid out your itinerary? I'm curious exactly where you are headed.

Jim
avatar Re: Trip report
July 09, 2012 07:37AM
Quote
tomdisco
Quote
Frank
ENjoyed the photos! I will be doing a similar trip later this month. Seeing your pics raised the excitement level.

Frank,

Long time--no hear from you. Either I've been dropped from the private discussion group or nobody's been posting there. Anyway, have you laid out your itinerary? I'm curious exactly where you are headed.

Jim

Frank,

It's been brought to my attention I'm confusing you with another Frank. Sorry about that. Anyway, still interested in your route.

Jim
avatar Re: Trip report
July 09, 2012 07:40AM
avatar Re: Trip report
July 09, 2012 08:11AM
Quote
chick-on
Jim,
It's here:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,55477

Thanks, much appreciated.
avatar Re: Trip report
July 09, 2012 09:23AM
Jim, we're practically neighbors. Where abouts in Raleigh? My sons and i are heading out for 5 nites in August on a backpack trip.

Randy
avatar Re: Trip report
July 10, 2012 07:31AM
BigR,

I've answered my location via private message.

As for the chick-on question, here goes. There are two posters who are one and the same entity. The primary is bill-e-g, short for billy goat. Bill-e-g is apparently the most avid and frequent hiker in all of Yosemite. It's his religion. His is frequently accompanied by Mrs. bill-e-g who is camera shy. On occasion he is also accompanied by who we affectionately refer to as Old Dude. Anyway, everywhere he goes he carries a stuffed chicken named chick-on who appears in many of his photos, especially near summits. Then he began posting under the name chick-on to give his hiking avatar a livelier presence. Over the last couple of years chick-on has made more posts than bill-e-g so it appears the stuffed chicken has taken on the dominant personality. If this continues, bill-e-g may be in danger of becoming extinct while the chick-on takes over. Soon we expect to see photos of a large yellow chicken sporting a backpack with a small stuffed human sticking out the top! The only thing that might prevent this from happening is that chick-on is used to being carried everywhere and is basically very lazy. He may not want the job of carrying the load. Just saying.

Bill-e-g, did I get it right? Of course, the chick-on will probably be the one replying.

Jim
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