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Tuolumne Meadows and Lembert Dome during a summer storm, Yosemite National Park

The Moon is Waxing Gibbous (99% of Full)



Re: Snowshoes Schmoshoes...

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avatar Snowshoes Schmoshoes...
November 17, 2008 07:34AM
This was Saturday...
Ok, so there was alot more snow than what I thought there would be...
Anywhere from 6 inches to 2 feet all the way from Tenaya Lake to
Sunrise High Sierra Camp.

avatar Re: Snowshoes Schmoshoes...
November 17, 2008 12:10PM
So did you follow the original route plan?

Old Dude
avatar Re: Snowshoes Schmoshoes...
November 17, 2008 04:15PM

Up Snow Creek to Olmsted to Tenaya Lake to Cathedral Lakes TH.
(jumped on the road close to Olmsted and walked road to Sunrise TH)
1st night camped about 1/2 between Tenaya and TM.

Took JMT from Cathedral Lakes TH down to Nevda Falls. and then Mist
to Valley Floor.
2nd night camped south of Sunrise HSC at 9700 ft.

2nd day was difficult at best. Almost full snow because of the north
facing slopes and elevation.

Didn't see anyone until LYV. Some footprints at Sunrise TH and
then nothing until footprints at Sunrise HSC.

Waterfalls were flowing nicely due to the hotter weather lately.

It was soooooo nice out. Maybe got down to 35 by morning.

smiling smiley
Re: Snowshoes Schmoshoes...
November 18, 2008 08:48AM
Sounds like a great trip, and a treat to be able to do it in mid-November; you covered a lot of ground, but I'm confused...Up Snow creek from the valley, then you camped past Tenaya Lake. Then down the JMT to the valley, and (this is where I'm confused) then back up the same day to your camp south of Sunrise?

I didn't think there was much snow up there yet, but your photo tells the story.

Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
avatar Re: Snowshoes Schmoshoes...
November 17, 2008 05:01PM
You should post the link to your pictures.

Old Dude
avatar Re: Snowshoes Schmoshoes...
November 18, 2008 07:15AM
You can put it if you really want. It seems everyone is already hibernating..
Re: Snowshoes Schmoshoes...
November 18, 2008 07:39AM
Nice photo! I'm surprised it's not totally washed out with all that bright ice on a great sunny day.
avatar Re: Snowshoes Schmoshoes...
November 18, 2008 09:53AM
3 Days:

To be more explicit:
Day 1: Drive to Happy Isles->Snow Creek->Olmsted->Tenaya Lake->camp
Day 2: camp->Cathedral Lakes->Sunrise HSC->camp
Day 3: camp->Nevada->Vernal->Happy Isles->Drive Home smiling smiley

There is alot of snow on the north facing slopes. Alot more than what I expected...

Here's a bunch more if you want to peek:


smiling smiley

Post Edited (11-18-08 15:42)

Everything I know I learned from Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Snowshoes Schmoshoes...
December 20, 2008 10:40PM
I need to get there during the winter some time. Less people, less haze, more beauty (so it seems).
Re: Snowshoes Schmoshoes...
December 22, 2008 07:28AM
Great photos. I especially liked the Cathedral Peak snapshots (if that's what some of those are). Looks like a great trip. Can't wait to go myself. I'm guessing from the subject title of this post that you didn't wear snowshoes. At what point, when winter camping, are snowshoes required? What kind of footwear did you have on (leather boots, sorels)? I ask because whenever I go to winter camping websites they strongly recommend snowshoes. But from personnel accounts that I see, like yours, if the snow isn't 2 plus feet deep, than waterproofed leather boots and high gaiters work fine. I've never worn them, but I imagine that the mileage goes down a bit when wearing snowshoes.

Also, from looking at the map, and from personal accounts, the snow creek trail from the valley is the toughest in the park. As a matter of fact, a gentleman from the Czech Republic that I met near el capitan told me that years earlier he did that trail with his wife. She wasn't happy, and shortly afterwards they got divorced. Anyway, do you have any idea how much weight you were carrying? That's got to be a tough trail for a heavier winter pack.

Do you use a liquid stove or a cannister stove? Again strong recommendations for liquid stoves, but it appears manufacturers are providing the ability to invert remote cannister setups to get around the cold weather issue.

Sorry for all the questions, but no better way to get useful info than from people who actually get out there in the snow.
avatar Re: Snowshoes Schmoshoes...
December 22, 2008 02:03PM
On established winter trails showshoes or skies are the proper thing to do as you don't want to make holes in the tracks by going boots only. These holes can cause trouble for shoers and skiers. If you are out in the back country you can do whatever you want. I have found that snowshoes are best worn if you are experiencing any postholeing. If the snow has a strong crust like before about 10AM then you can usually walk on it without breaking through.

I've tried the Sorrels but found them too sloppy for my feet. Hiking boots with Goretex is the best bet I think. Have dry socks and maybe a camp bootie for the end of the day.

You should budget about one mile an hour snowshoeing.

The only reason I can imagine for going up the Snow Creek Trail in winter is to ski up to May Lake or ski out 120 to Tioga, Tuolumne Meadow, or Crane Flat. Just going up to the top of the trail to spend the night and then going back down doesn't seem to have much value add. A couple of years ago a friend and I took two days to get from the valley floor to 120 for our ski out to Crane Flat and at the end of the second day a young couple went past our campsite heading for May Lake. They had left the valley floor that morning and wern't stopping until May Lake. For some people Snow Creek Trail is just another leg.

The new bottled gas with the propane/butane mix seem to work very well in the cold. I am a recent convert to the mixed gas stove. I used white gas for years as my early experience with the bottled gas stoves was poor. When it got really cold the things wouldn't work.

Don't worry about asking too many questions. They make for high quality posts.

Old Dude
avatar Re: Snowshoes Schmoshoes...
December 28, 2008 01:40PM
Thank you so much for confirming my suspicions about using Sorrels with snowshoes before I found out the hard way. I work in the great outdoors for a living, and I have found that after a long day in my Sorrels, my hips experience fatigue from all of the sloshing around. Because I have extremely narrow feet, I have had no luck finding good (gortex or waterproofed) hiking boots, so I have had to settle for (successfully) using my Ariat riding boots for hiking. The only drawback is that they are classic leather boots, and even though I use the spray-on Spenco (15% silicone) water-proofing product, I am still nervous about a day of wet feet and misery if I try them out in the snow.


Post Edited (12-28-08 18:15)

The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.
avatar Re: Snowshoes Schmoshoes...
December 23, 2008 01:44AM
from_mars wrote:

> Also, from looking at the map, and from personal accounts, the
> snow creek trail from the valley is the toughest in the park.

If you want to notch things up a bit, try the Copper Creek Trail in Kings:
el. 5.1k at Roads End and 6.5 trail miles later the unnamed pass into Granite Basin crests at 10.4k.

Post Edited (12-23-08 01:46)

Voice of the Rocky Marmot Empire
Re: Snowshoes Schmoshoes...
December 22, 2008 02:15PM
Wow! Fabulous photos! Love that top one and your Cathedral Peak collection, but it is great to have them all. Nice to see the big falls coming back to life too. Winter in the high country is very special.

~ Bruce

Wilderness forever,
Bruce Jensen
Re: Snowshoes Schmoshoes...
December 23, 2008 07:06AM
Looks like a pretty hard climb, but must be quite a sight when you get to granite basin. Some friends took me to Kings Canyon this last labor day, and we hiked out of roads end the first day, but we just did an easy day hike to mist falls. We did the lakes trail to pear lake out near lodgepole the next day, and we were impressed with Kings Canyon-Sequoia nat. park. When it warms up we definitely plan to do Whitney, but backpacking out into granite basin looks pretty inviting as well. Probably a lot less people. Do you need wilderness permits there like Yosemite? I know you need them for Whitney.
Re: Snowshoes Schmoshoes...
December 24, 2008 09:25PM
Wow, beautiful pictures. I love the sierras in winter. Don't know if i would be brave enough for winter camping though.
We just got back from a trip to sequoia, did part of the pear lake/ panther gap trail. The next day we went up crescent meadow road all the way to the meadow. Had a great time but it's definitely time for some new snowshoes. Anybody have any recommendations?

Pictures here
avatar Re: Snowshoes Schmoshoes...
December 25, 2008 09:00AM
Merry Christmas everyone!

Thanks for the nice comments on the pics.
It was a really nice trip.

I was trying to be funny and make light about not using snowshoes.
I wore some gortex hiking shoes and low gaiters.
The forecast for the next few days was nothing but sun, 0% chance for precip.
This snow was from the first storm and it had already been very warm
for a couple weeks already. The snowplots showed maybe 3 or so
inches of snow in Tuolumne so I decided to do this trip.
(Main goal was to hike from Sunrise TH to the Cathedral TH on trail
since that trail is next to the road and the road was closed)

Even with those conditions I did run into alot more snow than I anticipated
and all told was probably in the snow for a good 16 miles.

There's been alot of discussion about snowshoes and winter camping
lately so I won't say too much more than the conditions were right for
this trip and I didn't have to camp IN the snow and it never even got below

Anyway, looking forward to some snowshoe trips this new year.

Wishing everyone a happy new year.
avatar Re: Snowshoes Schmoshoes...
December 25, 2008 12:53PM
avatar Re: Snowshoes Schmoshoes...
December 26, 2008 08:16PM
One of the better photos on the YNP web site. Usually they're kinda dull.

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