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Re: Hetch Hetchy / Lake Vernon Loop???

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Hetch Hetchy / Lake Vernon Loop???
April 28, 2005 08:34PM
Hey all,
I'm hoping to backpack the Lake Vernon loop at Hetch Hetchy May 6-9. How's the snow? Should I bring crampons? Should I upgrade to snowshoes? Will I be able to find the trail??? Having only been to Yosemite once last August, I have no idea what to expect in a major snowfall season like we're having, so any help/advice will be much appreciated!!!
Thanks in advance.

Post Edited (04-28-05 20:49)
avatar Re: Hetch Hetchy / Lake Vernon Loop???
April 29, 2005 11:24AM
The snow is packed solid and starting to melt so you shouldn't need snowshoes. Bringing crampons might be usefull if you run into an icy section. I'd also bring an ice axe.

Re: Hetch Hetchy / Lake Vernon Loop???
April 29, 2005 09:20PM
Thanks, eeek.
Other than a decent map, that's the most useful info I've gotten!
Re: Hetch Hetchy / Lake Vernon Loop???
May 04, 2005 11:53AM
Hi awesomepossom,

We are planning to do the Lake Vernon loop backpack in two weeks - but are worried about the trail condition with all the snow this year. Would love to hear your impressions when you get back!

Hope you have a great trip!

Re: Hetch Hetchy / Lake Vernon Loop???
May 04, 2005 02:49PM
I'll definitely let you know! I'm wondering if my group will have to do some trail breaking. If so, hopefully we leave a good trail for you!
Re: Hetch Hetchy / Lake Vernon Loop???
May 11, 2005 05:13PM
Three words for you: Make other plans.
I wouldn't even begin to think of going up there for another month or two. Our easy 3 night trip turned into a 4 night fiasco. We lost the trail in the middle of day 2 and spent the rest of the time trying to find it again without luck. We actually spent an entire day holed up in our tents waiting out a snowstorm. I can't begin to tell you what we went through trying to find our way out of there. Postholing into many feet of snow, climbing over rocks, skirting around cliffs, plowing through brambles and crossing streams. The runoff from melting snow keeps everything soggy. We are fortunate that our group made it out without injury. Let me just say it's nice to be dry and warm again.
The only way to go successfully would require full-on mountaineering conditions. A four season winter tent, a synthetic 15 degree or warmer sleeping bag, lots of warm clothes, full rain gear, full winter boots, snowshoes (crampons were useless), a great map and a GPS pre-programmed with many detailed waypoints. (We found out later from the Main Ranger that the trail is hard to find and hike even in summer, so you can forget about it now!)
So stick to day-hikes at low elevations or go to Disney. Forget the Vernon Loop.
Re: Hetch Hetchy / Lake Vernon Loop???
May 12, 2005 01:37PM
AP, thanks a lot for the report. It sounds like you guys had it really rough - glad that you made it out successfully and safely! Yes, we are definitely changing plans for either Mendocino NF or Big Sur - sounds like Sierras will have to wait until July...

Thanks again, really appreciate it!
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