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Re: Somewhere to sleep near Tenaya ... tomorrow

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Somewhere to sleep near Tenaya ... tomorrow
May 24, 2012 08:39PM
Hey gang,

My friend sprung a last-minute trip to Matthes Lake on me about an hour ago. We would arrive tomorrow (Friday) night, and want to sleep near the Tenaya permit office so that we can try to get in line early without having to drive too far in the wee hours. I initially thought of the campsites in the Saddlebag area, but unfortunately they are still closed.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to where we can situate and sleep three dudes on Friday night that is close to the Tenaya permit office? I don't mind paying for a campsite, but I suspect rolling into Yosemite on a Memorial Day Weekend Friday at 9PM doesn't bode well for finding campsite vacancies, so I'm at a loss. I also don't mind finding a dark corner somewhere and sleeping in the bushes, but I'm not sure if overnight parking is allowed on 120 yet, and I know that sets the stage for some really bad karma. Legal is best. I defer to the gurus!

In exchange, you'll get a nice juicy trip report on Tuesday. smiling smiley
Re: Somewhere to sleep near Tenaya ... tomorrow
May 24, 2012 09:02PM
Mono Vista RV park in Lee Vining has tent sites. 30-40 min drive to TM from there. Not sure where Tenaya permit station is.
Re: Somewhere to sleep near Tenaya ... tomorrow
May 24, 2012 09:10PM
u can sleep in your car on the side of the road near the whoa nellie deli...
avatar Re: Somewhere to sleep near Tenaya ... tomorrow
May 24, 2012 09:14PM
Do you mean Tuolumne Meadows permit office?

Which trailhead are you planning? Cathedral Lake would certainly call for being in line as early as possible, last year I went to Matthes via Nelson but I think the climb up the granite between Echo Cr. and Matthes would not be good w/ a wet weak snowpack, the hike around that would be a bit longer.
Re: Somewhere to sleep near Tenaya ... tomorrow
May 24, 2012 09:47PM
There are also some forst service campgrounds up Lee Vining Canyon a few miles from Lee Vining up Tioga Pass Rd. The first one as you go up the canyon is the largest. I have stayed there several times and have always been able to get a site even on weekends.It's about 30 miles from Tuolumne Meadows. Have fun.
Re: Somewhere to sleep near Tenaya ... tomorrow
May 24, 2012 10:08PM
Too much Topo gazing ... yep, I meant, Tuolumne Meadows permit station. Confused Thanks for the tips!

My buddies are planning to do mountain climbing stuff on Matthes Crest, provided the weather clears up on Sunday, so that's the intended destination. Not sure what our permit-picking strategy is. I'm planning to do sitting on my ass, day-hiking stuff, so I'm complacent no matter where we go. Probably we'd shoot for a Cathedral Lakes permit, and then a Sunrise permit. Maybe even Rafferty Creek, if they will buy that. Depends on how backed up the permit office is when we get there, but yeah, we're going to aim to get there early in the morning. But not crazy early. Nothing is worth waking up too early, IMHO.
avatar Re: Somewhere to sleep near Tenaya ... tomorrow
May 24, 2012 10:44PM
According to today's Daily Report, the Tuolumne Meadows Service Station is open and accepting credit cards, so the phones to TM & its Wilderness Center should be up and running now.

That means you should be able to obtain your permit at any of the the other WC's. They will phone TM to confirm space is available. You can find a list of the other locations and their hours here:

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildcond.htm

I don't know where you are coming from, but if you are heading up from the westside, you can bivy outside of the park there. On 120, for instance, you are minutes from the office

If you are headed up to Matthes Crest, Budd Creek is a good trailhead. You can camp anywhere past Budd Lake. If you call in tomorrow, you might be able to reserve a permit as it's not listed as sold-out here:

http://www.yosemiteconservancystore.com/DSN/wwwyosemiteassociationorg/Content/Webcam/original/rptfulltrailheaddates.htm

Which means walk-ups shouldn't be a problem, either.
avatar Re: Somewhere to sleep near Tenaya ... tomorrow
May 25, 2012 06:29AM
By anywhere past Budd Lake he means once you are past the crest.
If you are in Budd Lake basin... that's a big no no...

Almost assuredly they are going Budd Lake and up and over and drop down
to Matthes and camp at Matthes Lake. Seems a vast majority go Cath Pass
to Echo Lake... so much so there's a darn trail worn now...

Anyway,
It sure as heck won't look like it did on June 20th of 2010:
https://picasaweb.google.com/yosemie.chick.on/Matthes

Kudos to them for getting permits since they are climbing...



Picasa Pictures
Re: Somewhere to sleep near Tenaya ... tomorrow
June 04, 2012 01:22AM
Quote
jishaq
My friend sprung a last-minute trip to Matthes Lake on me about an hour ago ... In exchange, you'll get a nice juicy trip report on Tuesday. smiling smiley

Well, so we didn't end up in Yosemite, but I promised a trip report and everybody likes pictures! A frantic Thursday morning of ignoring work, grokking the web, scrolling around in Topo!, and calling permit offices, and we ended up much further south. Here are the options we enumerated in the course of about an hour.

Plan A: Drive to Mammoth Ski Resort. Hike thru Agnew Meadow to Ediza Lake. My friend and his climbing partner climb on Mt Ritter, and I sit around and day-hike.
Scrapped because: "thousands" of tree-downs have closed Agnew Meadow, Reds Meadow, and basically everything around there. Rangers issuing citations to anybody caught poking around. Glad I called.

Plan B: Drive to Big Pine, hike to Finger Lake. My friend and his climbing partner climb on Normal Clyde, and I sit around and day-hike.
Scrapped because: 20% chance of snow and bitter cold in that area = not so tasty climbing conditions & not so tasty camping conditions

Plan C: Drive to Tuolumne Meadows, hike to Matthes Lake. My friend and his climbing partner climb Matthes Crest. I sit around & day hike.
Scrapped because: Climbing partner flaked 30 minutes before we were going to leave. Apparently no climbing partner = no climbing.

Plan D: Drive to Mineral King because we've never been there. See what happens. <-- We ended up doing this

Thursday May 24th, 2012: Though it was Memorial Day weekend, the drive through Fresno and up to Mineral King was uneventful. We were about half way up Mineral King Road on Friday evening when the sun started to go down, so we headed 300 yards up a dirt road (that turned out to head to Oriole Lake) and camped in a dusty little turnoff.



It rained quite heavily for about an hour that night, then it was drizzly when we woke up at 6:30AM.

Friday May 25th, 2012: The rain had produced a visible snowline higher up.



It was drizzling, then sleeting, as we ascended toward the Mineral King ranger station. Snow on the road. More snow. About 6 inches of fresh powder when we got to the Mineral King Ranger Station (~7500 ft).



Most people camping at Cold Spring Campground looked like they really wanted to go home, except most of them were in sedans and didn't have chains so they were stuck car camping in winter conditions. The campground quickly turned into a ghost town.



Got our permit, hiked Monarch Lakes trailhead. 10-foot visibility, snowing constantly. Light, fluffy powder, not sierra cement - quite surprising. We spent most of our hike in snowshoes, side-stepping the trail.



We were the first people on the trail this season, as they had just opened up the ranger station that day. There was still a good bit of ice under the fresh powder. Camped below Monarch Lakes.



Saturday, May 26th, 2012: The storm had blown past and it was bluebird. Gorgeous. 100% visibility for the first time. About a foot of fresh powder, rapidly packing due to sun.



X/c up to Monarch Lakes.



Up and over a saddle behind Mineral Peak (this was really sketchy on snowshoes). Down to Crystal Lakes cirque; camp. I put up the rain-fly because ominous clouds kept blowing through, but no precip ever transpired.



Sunday, more blue-bird sun. Down the Crystal Lake trail back to our car. A different world, warm, all of the snow in the lower elevations had melted. Check out the before-and-after!

Before: Mineral Valley on Friday May 25th:


After: Mineral Valley on Sunday May 27th:


A great trip. Glad we brought snowshoes and secondary sleeping pads! For all pictures, please visit: Album on Picasa / Google+ Photos / whatever the hell they call it



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/04/2012 01:23AM by jishaq.
avatar Re: Somewhere to sleep near Tenaya ... tomorrow
June 04, 2012 02:44AM
Thanks for the pics & the trip report. How'd that Big Agnes tent do in the snow?
avatar Re: Somewhere to sleep near Tenaya ... tomorrow
June 04, 2012 12:03PM
Strangest pictures of Matthes I ever did see!grinning smiley
Re: Somewhere to sleep near Tenaya ... tomorrow
June 04, 2012 10:45PM
Quote
oakroscoe
How'd that Big Agnes tent do in the snow?

It's a copper spur 2. It did fine in the snow, but it wasn't mega windy. It would have been nice if I had remembered to bring snow stakes, but I was lucky enough to guy it down using smallish rocks. I did bring a second pad to insulate me from the snow -- this is absolutely crucial for snow camping to avoid freezing to death. I've snow-camped in other 3-season tents as well with no issues (again, always with 2 pads). I think the only thing a 4-season tent buys you is extremely good wind-shelter. I've never had the misfortune to expose my 3-season tents to a winter storm that had intense winds, but I suspect their rain flys would probably flap themselves apart, and then I'd be in a world of trouble.

My only complaint is that the tent is not long enough for me. I'm 6'5". Even when I'm diagonal, the toe of my sleeping bag touches the sidewall, and eventually gets a coat of ice on it, and it doesn't take long to wake up with frozen toes. But I have to say, the CS2 is the longest tent I could find; I ordinarily wouldn't drop that kind of cash on a tent, but it was the longest ultralite 2-man on the market at the time that came close to fitting me. I think since I bought it 5-6 years ago, tents might have gotten a little longer? Not sure.

So bottom line is, if you are 6'3" or less and no gale force winds, the tent is fine for snow camping. Just bring snow stakes and xtra pad!
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