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Re: Backpacking in Spring

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Backpacking in Spring
March 22, 2009 12:39PM
Hi, I'm making my first trip to Yosemite this year in late April - early May. I have a business trip in Fresno that gets out about noon on Saturday. I have Saturday, Sunday, and Monday night for a backpacking trip. My return flight is the next Wednesday.

I'm having a really difficult time trying design my trip, because I'm not familiar with the area and the weather. I understand that I can't backpack the higher elevations this time of year and that Tioga and Glacier Point roads will be closed.

I thought about using a trailhead out of the valley and hiking into higher elevations, but I'm still concerned about doing that. I'm considering, Yosemite Falls, Happy Isles to a bit of the John Muir, and possible Half Dome. But I want to make sure I can find places to camp.

Any suggestions / recommendations would be appreciated.

Thanks,
greentub

Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 22, 2009 01:21PM
Your options for backpacking will be somewhat limited at that time of year. You will encounter snow in the upper elevations as you hike out of the valley, especially in shady spots or northern exposures. Creeks and rivers will also be flowing high and fast which is good for the waterfalls but can sometimes make for some muddy hiking with very cold creek crossings. You could hike toward Half Dome and stay at Little Yosemite Valley, but you will need a permit and your won't be able to climb Half Dome (safely) because the cables won't be up by then. It is difficult to predict the snowpack for that time of year because it is so dependent on variable spring temperatures and snowfall. Depending on the snowpack, one idea might be to hike up the John Muir Trail and then go up Clouds Rest (no cables required) although that could be treacherous if there is still snow/ice. Another idea would be to hike up the Yosemite Falls trail and hike toward Eagle Peak followed by El Capitan. Should provide nice waterfall views and usually doesn't hold too much snow late in spring. If there is just too much snow, I won't feel too sorry for you if you have to settle for bumming around in Yosemite Valley with the waterfalls going full blast, though... smiling smiley
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 22, 2009 01:55PM
Green,
Ryan is right on with all his warnings. The most likely doable hike out of the valley with for-sure camping is up the falls to Eagle Peak. There may be some snow between Eagle Peak and El Cap though. Another hike out of the valley is up the Snow Creek trail and then take your chances as to the snow at the top. Even if there is too much snow to go anywhere from the top of the Snow Creek trail it's still a great area to hang out but since you have three days these two options might have a boring middle day.

Take a good look at going into the Hetch Hetchy area. Go east along the shore to the Rancheria Creek camping area, pitch, and knock off a day hike either to Tiltill Valley or up towards Rancheria Mountain before hiking out the third day.

Another great three day trip would be to go up the switchbacks out of Hetch Hetchy toward Miguel Meadow with Lake Eleanor being the target. The elevation of the HH to Eleanor trip is just about at 5K'. Snow should not be problem. The same with Rancheria.

The entrance kiosk at Hetch Hetchy is open until 5pm right now but I think it is open until 7pm in April. There is a backpackers campground at the dam so you could stay there on the day you arrive from Fresno after picking up your wilderness permit at the HH entrance.

Where do you have to be Wednesday? This could have an influence on advice.





Old Dude
Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 23, 2009 07:55PM
We fly out Wednesday. I haven't purchased our plane tickets yet, but will probably shoot for Wednesday morning. We fly to TN, so it's a pretty long flight (plus we lose two hours). I understand the best place to fly out from Yosemite is Fresno (FAT), true?
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 23, 2009 09:05PM
greentub wrote:

> We fly out Wednesday. I haven't purchased our plane tickets
> yet, but will probably shoot for Wednesday morning. We fly to
> TN, so it's a pretty long flight (plus we lose two hours). I
> understand the best place to fly out from Yosemite is Fresno
> (FAT), true?

First - I don't quite get your timeframe. Late April to Early May doesn't make sense for Sat-Mon since May 2 is a Saturday. Perhaps it was just a general comment?

Fresno-Yosemite Airport is more or less a small airport with limited scheduled flights to a few major regional hubs. It also seems to be a bit pricier than the Bay Area airports, although I suppose you wouldn't be spending more time or (gas) money driving. In any case, I tried using Expedia to look up a flight from Fresno to Memphis on Wed, May 6, and I got a variety of 1/2 stop flights of varying lengths. Some were really early in the morning, although I did see reasonably priced flights leaving at 2 PM and arriving at 10 PM.

You might even consider flying out of Oakland or San Francisco if you're leaving Yosemite on Tuesday. It's maybe 90 minutes longer (barring bad traffic) to Oakland than Fresno, where there are more flight options and generally lower prices. I could recommend a good restaurant if you're going to be in the Bay Area.

Do you have a specific TN airport you're arriving at?



Post Edited (03-23-09 21:49)
Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 24, 2009 07:17AM
Sorry for the confusion. I have to do some work in Fresno the end of April. I'll be in Yosemite the first weekend in May.
Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 24, 2009 07:18AM
And yes, I am looking for suggestions as to the best airport to fly out of. And yes, I'd love to hear your restaurant recommendation.
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 24, 2009 08:57AM
greentub wrote:

> And yes, I am looking for suggestions as to the best airport to
> fly out of. And yes, I'd love to hear your restaurant
> recommendation.

If you're going from Fresno - Erna's Elderberry House in Oakhurst just off of Highway 41. I only mention this by reputation. It is pricey, but it's a destination restaurant located between Fresno and Yosemite.

http://www.elderberryhouse.com

If you're going to be in the Bay Area for an evening, depends on what you like and where you're staying. I've always had a good meal at Chez Panisse Cafe in Berkeley. There are also some really good pizza places in the area. Of course San Francisco would boggle the mind with choices.

Fresno-Yosemite Airport shouldn't be too bad. Fresno doesn't suffer from too many traffic jams - at least the weekdays I drove from Yosemite to Kings Canyon or vice versa. I think the big deal may be whether or not you get the right times or the right airline. You might be stuck with bag fees (I take it you're bringing a backpack) depending on which airline you're flying. I'd just note that Southwest now has a web special at $99 one way, but they don't fly to any of the Central Valley airports. If you're doing business in Fresno, then flying into Fresno makes a lot of sense.

In your timeframe carrying around a bear canister will be mandatory for overnight trips. Factor in a Garcia Model 812 canister weighing almost 3 lbs and 9" diameter, 12" length. They rent these for $5 for your entire trip (up to 14 days) at any of the wilderness permit stations, and they won't run out. If you've got your own acceptable canister (BearVault, Bear Keg, BareBoxer, Bearikade) that should do too. The Garcia seems to be ubiquitous though.



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

Have fun. I'm rather jealous.



Post Edited (03-24-09 10:33)
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 24, 2009 06:34PM
greentub,

You "may" find the best airfare rates into San Jose airport which is not too bad a drive if approaching Yosemite from the west. I checked out Fresno from Raleigh and everything seemed to cost nearly twice as much into Fresno.

Reno became my choice, not because it was cheaper than San Jose but because it's so much closer to the Tuolumne Meadows area whose trailheads will be my soul destination this year.

Jim
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 24, 2009 06:42PM
greentub,

There is a lot to be said for szalkowski's suggestion regarding day hikes on your first visit and save the backpacking for when you have more time. You could get in a lot of milage on the Yosemite roads that are open plus day hikes to get a lay of the land. One exception is that it's highly unlikely Tioga Road to the higher country will be open yet.

Jim
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 24, 2009 08:19PM
tomdisco wrote:

> greentub,
>
> You "may" find the best airfare rates into San Jose airport
> which is not too bad a drive if approaching Yosemite from the
> west. I checked out Fresno from Raleigh and everything seemed
> to cost nearly twice as much into Fresno.

Oakland might be a little bit closer. Still - I'm thinking if the original plan is to fly in for business in Fresno, then driving from the Bay Area, Modesto, Bakersfield, etc might be counterproductive. Los Angeles area airports are even further away. Fresno-Yosemite Airport is great if you're flying directly from/to one of the regional hubs like DFW, SeaTac, Denver, Phoenix, etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fresno_Yosemite_International_Airport#Domestic

> Reno became my choice, not because it was cheaper than San Jose
> but because it's so much closer to the Tuolumne Meadows area
> whose trailheads will be my soul destination this year.

Of course Tioga Road will be closed. Anyone know if tire chains might be needed in early May?
Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 24, 2009 07:19AM
... We're flying back to Nashville (BNA).
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
April 01, 2009 03:21PM
greentub wrote:

> ... We're flying back to Nashville (BNA).

Probably a little bit too late for you, but starting May 9 Southwest is starting nonstop flights between Nashville and Oakland. It's only once per day though.
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 22, 2009 02:36PM
It all starts here:

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

You shouldn't have a problem getting a first-come first served permit anywhere. I don't believe that reservations are taken anyways unless you have a trip beginning May 1 or later.

avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 22, 2009 02:57PM


greentub wrote:

> Hi, I'm making my first trip to Yosemite this year in late
> April - early May. .............
>
> Any suggestions / recommendations would be appreciated.

Given the time of year for a solo first trip to Yosemite, you might give some thought to an alternative program. The valley should be incredible about that time (dogwood in bloom, if I remember correctly).
Have you considered staying at Camp Curry (tent cabins) and day hiking from the valley? You would not need so much equipment, could tolerate some sping showers without them ruining the trip and the Valley doesn't get massively crowded until Memorial Day.
The cost would be something like $30-40/ night for the tent cabin as there looks like some program that reduces the cost if the temperature gets real cold at night (Temp-Rate-Ture, check the Curry website). In fact, if it is below 0 degrees F. apparently they pay you!
You could cook in the picnic areas.
Wawona is generally warmer than the Valley and may have some better options that time of year.

You did say any suggestions welcome!





The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 22, 2009 06:56PM
be sure to have bear proof canisters on your hike!
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 22, 2009 07:36PM
Folks,

One area I don't hear anybody ever talking about much are the trails east of Chilnuala Fall out Wawona off Route 41. There's an interesting loop that goes around Buena Vista Peak that passes by several lakes. This might be O.K. for a 3-day hike prior to snow melt at higher elevations. Further east of that loop past the Buck Camp ranger station are a couple more smaller loops between Moraine Mountain and Chain Lakes. Even the trail books tend to ignore this portion of Yosemite.

Any of you regulars ever spent much time in that corner of the park? Is this an area worthy of more frequent visits? I would appreciate you sharing hiking experiences in that local.

Jim
Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 22, 2009 08:53PM
tomdisco wrote:

> One area I don't hear anybody ever talking about much are the
> trails east of Chilnuala Fall out Wawona off Route 41. There's
> an interesting loop that goes around Buena Vista Peak that
> passes by several lakes. This might be O.K. for a 3-day hike
> prior to snow melt at higher elevations. Further east of that
> loop past the Buck Camp ranger station are a couple more
> smaller loops between Moraine Mountain and Chain Lakes. Even
> the trail books tend to ignore this portion of Yosemite.
>
> Any of you regulars ever spent much time in that corner of the
> park? Is this an area worthy of more frequent visits? I would
> appreciate you sharing hiking experiences in that local.


Jim, this has been on my 'short list' for day hikes at least, for some time. I've planned a couple of times to wind up a trip by 2-3 nights at Wawona campground so I could do some exploring there. Unfortunately, I so far haven't had any nights left to do it...they all seem to get used up before I get to Wawona 8^). One of these days...





Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 22, 2009 07:39PM
Forrestranger: be sure to have bear proof canisters on your hike!

Is this an issue at all for day hiking? One of the pleasures of not carrying as much equipment is the luxury of better foodstuffs. I love to carry salami, french bread et al, when I X-country ski, but I have wondered if this would be asking for trouble in Yosemite.

B
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 22, 2009 09:30PM
Bee wrote:

> Forrestranger: be sure to have bear proof canisters on your
> hike!
>
> Is this an issue at all for day hiking? One of the pleasures of
> not carrying as much equipment is the luxury of better
> foodstuffs. I love to carry salami, french bread et al, when I
> X-country ski, but I have wondered if this would be asking for
> trouble in Yosemite.

The benefit of the bear canister is that when it's in plain sight a bear is likely to just give up before trying, because experience tells them it's not likely to be successful. Some might bat it around to see if the locking mechanism is secure, then give up. Some of the younger bears might try a little bit longer. In your pack it's just going to take up more space.

As long as whatever you're carrying is "under your control" I don't see an issue. That's what the NPS emphasizes anywhere there are bears (or other animals) - front country, backcountry, backpacking, picnicking, camping, etc. Just don't give an opportunity for the critters to get your food, and you should be OK.

However - bears are known to utilize the "sneak attack". A coworker of mine calls the most egregious bears the "juvenile delinquents". I talked to a ranger at Grand Teton who told me of the bear that snuck up and tried to carry away his cooler while he was trying to load it into a bear box while camping in Yosemite. He scared it away and it let go. I was spending my last night after my backpacking trip in the Valley backpackers campground when a bear snuck up on a kid getting ready to put his stuff away. The bear hauled away his pack. I don't think he did anything wrong, but the bear used the darkness and was looking for anyone to turn his/her back to seize the opportunity.

avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 22, 2009 08:24PM
Bee,
Leave your bear can at home for dayhikes. Just don't leave your food lying around and you'll be fine...

Jim,
I dunno about early spring in the South. Up to the top of Chilnualna, yes.
But all the lakes are well above 8000 ft.
In the south east of the Illiouette Creek you are mostly in the forest.
The areas I think are incredibly picturesque are:
- Beuna Vista Lake
- Royal Arch Lake
- Givens Meadow (great views of it from Givens Lake)
- Turner Meadow
- Breeze Lake / Fernandez Pass
- Chain Lakes (but I haven't been on the spur trail to these lakes
I was really pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the trail from Chain Lakes
outlet to Buck Camp.
I wasn't expecting as much granite outcroppings or the beauty of the
river in that area.
and
The view from Buena Vista Crest is also spectacular.

If you want pictures I can throw something together.

Not sure exactly when Sky Ranch road opens up (Quartz Mtn TH)
but you can get pretty close to Chain Lakes at Chiquito Pass.

Early you need to be aware that there are no bridges across any
streams in that area so you may want to plan appropriately.



Post Edited (03-23-09 06:36)



Everything I know I learned from Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 23, 2009 06:21PM
Dale,

Thanks for the offer but you don't need to dig up pictures of the area. I'm going to add it to my list of places I'd like to go but it will not be any time soon. I did notice the altitudes are somewhat comparable to Tulomne Meadows so that means they could easily have snow till early June.

There just seems to be a great disparity between popularity of different areas of the park. The valley gets heavy traffic for obvious reasons. Second to that is Tuolumne Meadows and trails served from that area, primarily due to car access and numerous trail options. I guess Hetch Hetchy comes next. After that the south and north ends of the park seem to get little attention. At least the north end has trails covered in trail books. The south end seems to stop at Chilnuala as far as book publishing goes. This may not be all bad. Sounds like these areas may have lots to offer for those who enjoy some solitude.

Jim

avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 22, 2009 08:44PM
my bad... i read wrong, i thought he was hiking and sleeping overnight.
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 22, 2009 08:52PM
Forrestranger: >my bad... i read wrong, i thought he was hiking and sleeping overnight.<

You were correct; he is talking about overnight. I just took the opportunity to ask the question "while we are on the topic of bears.." Its a question that I wanted to ask at some point, but didnt want to sound paranoid..

B
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 22, 2009 09:22PM
Kings Canyon is more fun...
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 22, 2009 09:39PM
YPW: the bear used the darkness and was looking for anyone to turn his/her back to seize the opportunity.

Geez; I heard that the bears were persistant, but this is uncanny! It sounds like I need to tighten up the ship when I camp/backpack, because i have a tendancy to "set the table" and have things a bit spread out. I have developed sloppy habits from spending too much time in the desert (but you'll never see me waste a drop of water..)

B
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 23, 2009 06:21AM
Bee wrote:

> YPW: the bear used the darkness and was looking for anyone to
> turn his/her back to seize the opportunity.
>
> Geez; I heard that the bears were persistant, but this is
> uncanny! It sounds like I need to tighten up the ship when I
> camp/backpack, because i have a tendancy to "set the table" and
> have things a bit spread out.

I don't want to dredge up all the old bear postings from this list, but from prior posts the series on the Bear and the BirdFeeder very illustrative and worth posting again for those new to the Black Bear concept :










The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 23, 2009 05:47AM
>Kings Canyon is more fun...

I really want to know where you've have been in Kings Canyon.
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 23, 2009 06:29AM
Why the heck are we talking bears again?

(the post is "Backpacking in Spring"winking smiley
(but I must admit I love the bird feeder pictures)
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 23, 2009 08:32PM
Jim,
There are so many spectacular things to see out of TM and they are pretty
darn close to the Trailhead. Just map out to Glen Aulin, Cathedral Lakes,
Lyell Canyon, Vogelsang, Young Lakes.
Pretty much all less than 6 miles. This is the amount that I would
classify the vast majority backpack to (6 miles to repeat myself).
6 miles and they are there. Map out to Buena Vista Lake and it's a haul
for the average joe. Plus it's alot of forest ...
If the Chiquito Pass / Quartz Mtn THs weren't there I'd bet you
alot of money Chain Lakes would get very very little traffic.
Anyway, it's all good. I hope you are able to enjoy it someday.

greentub,
I second / third , going up Yose Falls. You can just camp up there
and then dayhike to El Cap and back on 1 day. and the other day
dayhike to North Dome and Indian Arch...
You may hit snow b/t Falls and Eagle Peak and north of North Dome..
I wouldn't doubt the rest of the trails you would be on will be not too
much an issue.
But we'll see what mother has in store for us from now til then...



Post Edited (03-23-09 20:45)



Everything I know I learned from Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 23, 2009 08:58PM
bill-e-g wrote:

> There are so many spectacular things to see out of TM and they
> are pretty darn close to the Trailhead.

But the trailhead is pretty darn far from the road in April.

Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 25, 2009 07:46AM
bill-e-g wrote:


>
> greentub,
> I second / third , going up Yose Falls. You can just camp up
> there
> and then dayhike to El Cap and back on 1 day. and the other
> day
> dayhike to North Dome and Indian Arch...
> You may hit snow b/t Falls and Eagle Peak and north of North
> Dome..
> I wouldn't doubt the rest of the trails you would be on will
> be not too
> much an issue.
> But we'll see what mother has in store for us from now til
> then...
>

I've said it before, I'll say it again...I hiked up Yose Falls to El Cap last May (first week), and it was ALL snow above the rim. It wasn't even a great snow year.



But if you make it, the reward is ok...I guess winking smiley





Post Edited (03-25-09 07:51)
Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 26, 2009 08:33AM
Nice pictures, cthenn. We're considering this loop:

Happy Isles to Nevada Falls, camping at Moraine Dome. Night 1.
Continuing on the Lost Valley trail to catch the John Muir (SW), camping at Little Yosemite Valley. Night 2.
Back out to Happy Isles

Any warnings about that?
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 26, 2009 09:42AM
greentub wrote:

> Nice pictures, cthenn. We're considering this loop:
>
> Happy Isles to Nevada Falls, camping at Moraine Dome. Night 1.
> Continuing on the Lost Valley trail to catch the John Muir
> (SW), camping at Little Yosemite Valley. Night 2.
> Back out to Happy Isles
>
> Any warnings about that?

Check trail conditions before you start. I'm pretty sure that in early May you're going to encounter snow. The Mist Trail isn't open yet, although there's a chance it may open by the time you get there. Melting snow can make stream crossings difficult.

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

You can probably get a reservation. The full trailheads reports doesn't make note of how many reservations are available, and they can be booked before the report is updated. I think what you would need is a Happy-Isles to Sunrise/Merced Lake (pass through). I think the pass through means that you can't stay at Little Yosemite Valley on your first night and have to get to at least Moraine Dome or to the junction of Half Dome/John Muir Trails.

http://www.yosemite.org/DSN/wwwyosemiteassociationorg/Content/rptFullTrailheadDates.pdf

Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 26, 2009 02:30PM
Great. Thanks for all of your help.

Now a logistical question. Can I fly with my MSR Whisperlite if I check it? I know I can't fly with fuel, but what about the canisters?
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 26, 2009 02:54PM
greentub wrote:

> Great. Thanks for all of your help.
>
> Now a logistical question. Can I fly with my MSR Whisperlite
> if I check it? I know I can't fly with fuel, but what about
> the canisters?

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1187.shtm
Quote

Camp Stoves - These can travel as carry-on or checked luggage only if they are empty of all fuel and cleaned so that there are no vapors or residue left. Simply emptying the fuel container will leave flammable vapors. We recommend that you ship the fuel containers to your destination ahead of time - passengers frequently have to leave them at the checkpoint because of fuel vapors.
Gas cartridge stoves are easy, since they'll air out without any residue within seconds of being disconnected. You can also find the common Lindahl valve cartidges at various stores in Fresno or in Yosemite. If you've got a gas cartridge stove, that would probably be easier to take on a plane.

You could probably just thoroughly clean, then air out you fuel bottles. It should be OK as long as it doesn't smell like fuel. You could use a fan overnight, and maybe even install a new cap just to be sure.

If you need to buy a fuel bottle and fuel, there's an REI store in Fresno.

http://www.rei.com/stores/112



Post Edited (03-26-09 14:57)
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 26, 2009 02:57PM
greentub,

The Whisperlite is O.K. but no canisters on the plane at all. I'm flying out in July and plan to stop at a Big 5 Sporting Goods store on the drive down from Reno for a couple canisters for my Whisperlite. I know I will not use all of the second canister, in fact probably very little of it. Guess I'll have to burn it off before discarding it because I can't take it home with me.

Jim
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 26, 2009 03:33PM
tomdisco wrote:

> greentub,
>
> The Whisperlite is O.K. but no canisters on the plane at all.
> I'm flying out in July and plan to stop at a Big 5 Sporting
> Goods store on the drive down from Reno for a couple canisters
> for my Whisperlite. I know I will not use all of the second
> canister, in fact probably very little of it. Guess I'll have
> to burn it off before discarding it because I can't take it
> home with me.

The Whisperlite is a liquid fuel stove that connects to a standard-opening fuel bottle. I thought that "fuel bottle" was the preferred description and they can be cleaned sufficiently such that they can be placed in checked luggage. Maybe place a note that it's been cleaned. In any case, I would think nearly anything (unused fuel, gas cartridges, bottles, etc) could be "disposed of" by asking around at the Valley backpackers campground if anyone wants it.

A few years back I was on vacation in Florida when a tropical storm hit Miami. I bought all sorts of stuff in preparation including Sterno. I wasn't sure what to do with it since I couldn't take it on the plane, so I just left it behind in my hotel room.

avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 26, 2009 04:24PM
greentub,

Correction: I'm using the Snowpeak Giga stove. Just ordered it from REI; not here yet; confused it with another stove I was looking at.

I thought I would hang onto my ancient old reliable Bleuet S-200 butane stove with the pierced canisters but decided I needed to cut down on weight everywhere possible.

Jim
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 26, 2009 04:31PM
tomdisco wrote:

> greentub,
>
> Correction: I'm using the Snowpeak Giga stove. Just ordered
> it from REI; not here yet; confused it with another stove I was
> looking at.

Got one myself. GS-100A in steel with the auto-igniter. I didn't see the benefit to spending $25 more for the titanium version to shave off 3/4 oz in weight.

I'm just wondering where I can get one of those Japanese-labelled canisters.





Post Edited (03-26-09 16:32)
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 23, 2009 09:52PM
>But the trailhead is pretty darn far from the road in April.
Um... ya....

I was just giving my 2 cents as to why the TM trails are used soooooooo much
as compared to the south trails.... (in response to Jim)

Of course and then there is everyone and their mother that wants to
camp on Clouds Rest these days...
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 24, 2009 06:43AM
Can't resist.
This is from Buena Vista Crest.
Some may say "ho hum". I say "scha... wing".



And no, he doesn't want to go here end of April. winking smiley

And HD is not a mirage (HD from Patterson post reference).
I love the photo b/c you can see sooo much of Yosemite.
Those are Hoover Lakes in the foreground. Mt. Clark to the right...
ah crap... now my togo list for this year is overflowing...



Post Edited (03-24-09 09:07)



Everything I know I learned from Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 24, 2009 09:12AM
>Have fun. I'm rather jealous.

Why? I thought you lived in the Bay Area... ???
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 24, 2009 10:10AM
joe_schmo wrote:

> >Have fun. I'm rather jealous.
>
> Why? I thought you lived in the Bay Area... ???

I'm jealous that the OP is backpacking in Yosemite.

Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 26, 2009 08:20AM
No. I live in Nashville.
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 24, 2009 11:27AM
Given your time restraints and as a first-time visitor to Yosemite, my recommendation would be that you just ensconce yourself in Camp 4 and play Valley Tourist for a couple days.

Forget backpacking and just do day hikes around the valley and Wawona.

On your next trip, shun the valley entirely and head to the high country for a real backpacking trip.

See the following (and the "External links" therein) for some info. on Camp 4:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_4_(Yosemite)



Post Edited (03-24-09 11:29)



THE YOSEMITE POST
Voice of the Rocky Marmot Empire
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 24, 2009 07:19PM
Tomdisco: You could get in a lot of milage on the Yosemite roads that are open plus day hikes to get a lay of the land

I, uh, totally agree with Jim. There are many excellent vistas to be seen from the day hikes, allowing for a feel of Yosemite without committing to one place,only.

B
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 25, 2009 08:08AM
>I've said it before, I'll say it again...I hiked up Yose Falls to El Cap last May (first week), and it was ALL snow above the rim. It wasn't even a great snow year.

Yes you did. Been there April 10th in '04.

Same scenario. Not all snow... just from Yose Falls to Eagle... after that
it was pretty clear to El Cap...

Anyway...

Since he's never been to yose IMHO he really needs to leave the tent at home.
Fly into Fresno.
Stay at Yosemite Lodge.
Dayhike, dayhike, dayhike...
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 25, 2009 08:36AM
bill-e-g wrote:


>
> Since he's never been to yose IMHO he really needs to leave the
> tent at home.
> Fly into Fresno.
> Stay at Yosemite Lodge.
> Dayhike, dayhike, dayhike...


For 1st timer,
Yosemite Lodge (no) Curry Village (yes)
otherwise I agree ( see my prior post)





The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 25, 2009 09:55AM
bill-e-g wrote:

> >I've said it before, I'll say it again...I hiked up Yose Falls
> to El Cap last May (first week), and it was ALL snow above the
> rim. It wasn't even a great snow year.
>
> Yes you did. Been there April 10th in '04.
>
> Same scenario. Not all snow... just from Yose Falls to
> Eagle... after that
> it was pretty clear to El Cap...
>

So any thoughts on the snowmelt season? I know it's a bit early, but any indications when spring/summer should begin (high country)? I've seen the snowpack content data, but that gives me limited real-world indications.
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 25, 2009 10:05AM
Keep an eye on these snow sensors:

http://cdec.water.ca.gov/snow/current/snow/pillowplots/TuolumneMerced.html

When the water content gets down to about 6" to 12" you should be able to travel over it with no problems. Late in the year the snow will have compressed to about 50% density making for no postholing.





Old Dude
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 25, 2009 09:32AM
Doesn't one need to bring documentation stating that he is certifiably insane if he wishes to stay at Curry?
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 25, 2009 02:36PM
szalkowski wrote:

> Doesn't one need to bring documentation stating that he is
> certifiably insane if he wishes to stay at Curry?

No, just bring money.

avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 25, 2009 04:42PM
eeek wrote:

> szalkowski wrote:
>
> > Doesn't one need to bring documentation stating that he is
> > certifiably insane if he wishes to stay at Curry?
>
> No, just bring money.
>

Two bags of money for the Lodge, one bag for Curry. Bag and half for housekeeping.





The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 25, 2009 04:53PM
Frank Furter wrote:

> eeek wrote:
>
> > szalkowski wrote:
> >
> > > Doesn't one need to bring documentation stating that he is
> > > certifiably insane if he wishes to stay at Curry?
> >
> > No, just bring money.
> >
>
> Two bags of money for the Lodge, one bag for Curry. Bag and
> half for housekeeping.

And a semi full for the Ahwahnee!

avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 25, 2009 04:56PM
eeek wrote:

> szalkowski wrote:
>
> > Doesn't one need to bring documentation stating that he is
> > certifiably insane if he wishes to stay at Curry?
>
> No, just bring money.

Wow - I spent a total of $15 for "lodging" the last time I went backpacking in Yosemite. $5 for the wilderness permit reservation (I know it's more now) and $5 each night to stay in the Valley backpacker's campground.

It's the ancillary stuff that cost me a small fortune though, like the backpack, the sleeping bag, camp stove/cookware, bear canister, etc. And the Tioga Road shuttle (to drop me off at the trailhead) was $14. I think I spent more than all that combined on one meal at the Mountain Room.
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 25, 2009 05:30PM
y_p_w wrote:

>
>
> Wow - I spent a total of $15 for "lodging" the last time I went
> backpacking in Yosemite. $5 for the wilderness permit
> reservation (I know it's more now) and $5 each night to stay in
> the Valley backpacker's campground.
>
> It's the ancillary stuff that cost me a small fortune though,
> like the backpack, the sleeping bag, camp stove/cookware, bear
> canister, etc. And the Tioga Road shuttle (to drop me off at
> the trailhead) was $14. I think I spent more than all that
> combined on one meal at the Mountain Room.
Thats exactly it. Think if you were to fly across country to a park you had never been to before.
Firstly, you cannot bring your own stoves or fuel. Those must be rented or purchased or borrowed. Flying with packs is generally a big hassle because they tend to loose stuff and must be checked. Delta now charges for EVERY checked bag.

Once you arrive, if you get wet, you have to pack wet and/dirty equipment back home, you have to spend a heck of a lot of time getting oriented and getting permits ( in Glacier NP, you have to sit through a 3O minute film on bears; carry a shovel; and camp only in designated camps, etc etc). It seems like for the first trip (especially if you are flying out) a person is well advised to purchase some luxury for the visit. Certainly the Valley is not all of Yosemite, but a person could find a lot to do for a first visit just in the Valley. I have been to Yos many times over the last 40 years and could put together easily a week just in the Valley again. On the first visit-- do the "tourist" stuff, ride the shuttle, go to visitor center, sit in on some of the ranger campfires. All that is great stuff.





The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 25, 2009 06:54PM
Frank Furter wrote:
> first trip (especially if you are flying out) a person is well
> advised to purchase some luxury for the visit. Certainly the
> Valley is not all of Yosemite, but a person could find a lot to
> do for a first visit just in the Valley. I have been to Yos
> many times over the last 40 years and could put together easily
> a week just in the Valley again. On the first visit-- do the
> "tourist" stuff, ride the shuttle, go to visitor center, sit in
> on some of the ranger campfires. All that is great stuff.
>

For summer or late spring though, you pretty much have to reserve the Lodge or cabins a year ahead; off season isn't so bad, at times.

I never run out of stuff to do there; there are plenty of hikes that are vastly different at different times of year.

As many times as I've been there, staying at the Pines campgrounds, I nearly always go to the Lodge for the food court ($5-6 or maybe $10 for a good hot meal if you don't buy drinks). And the evening presentations at the Lodge are often pretty interesting...they've been getting a lot of new ones from rangers etc., so it's not all "Curry Memories" 8^P.





Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 25, 2009 09:39PM
Frank Furter wrote:

> Thats exactly it. Think if you were to fly across country to a
> park you had never been to before.
> Firstly, you cannot bring your own stoves or fuel. Those must
> be rented or purchased or borrowed. Flying with packs is
> generally a big hassle because they tend to loose stuff and
> must be checked. Delta now charges for EVERY checked bag.

You can bring a stove. At least a gas stove is OK as long as you don't bring fuel cartridges. Not sure about multifuel or liquid stoves, but I'd think they would be OK as long as they've been properly aired out and don't have any fuel residue.

It's OK to take a filled Zippo lighter on a plane in checked baggage. It's up to two per bag and has to be in an approved hermetically sealed container. Zippo has basically a plastic jar with a positive seal and a foam insert that holds up to two lighters. They still have their older Zippo Cargo Case made for them by a company called Otterbox.



Here's an interesting take on what to do with liquid fuel bottles on commercial flights:

http://www.climber.org/gear/EmptyPackages.html

Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 25, 2009 08:50PM
When I fly for a backpacking trip I put my entire backpack inside of a heavy duty nylon canvas duffel bag and check it. This keeps the straps and stuff from catching, protects the pack, and keeps me from losing stuff. I fly with my stove and everything else that I need. I just stop off at REI in Fresno and grab some fuel, then I'm good to go...
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 25, 2009 09:33PM
Ryno98 wrote:

> When I fly for a backpacking trip I put my entire backpack
> inside of a heavy duty nylon canvas duffel bag and check it.
> This keeps the straps and stuff from catching, protects the
> pack, and keeps me from losing stuff. I fly with my stove and
> everything else that I need. I just stop off at REI in Fresno
> and grab some fuel, then I'm good to go...

Good ideas. I was thinking of the "Svea-like" or coleman white gas stoves not the canister propane or butane units. Shows my age. I am fairly certain that flammable liguids within a stove cannot be transported even in luggage.





The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 26, 2009 09:48AM
Not sure exactly why you are so gung ho on backpacking when you haven't been
to Yosemite before.

However, as you wish...

ok, so also ... no idea what your experience is or whatnot...

But...

Day 2 is more than I would recommend for anyone even in good conditions.
Factor in that you may hit snow on the upper trail b/c there is plenty of
forest cover and it may be quite painful.

Again, I don't know your pain threshold and what your experience is.

I can tell you that the wife and I did the same route on April 6 in '07 in
3 days no problem so ... it can be done... (we stayed above Echo Valley
and on Quarter Domes)
Just, as we mentioned before, it really depends on what comes up and
how much snow sticks... 07 and 08 were pretty pathetic snow yrs...
06 I wouldn't have even considered this trip...

I'll say it again... seriously consider just dayhiking... there is just so much
to explore w/o a pack ...

Regardless... have a great trip
avatar Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 26, 2009 10:42AM
joe_schmo wrote:

> I'll say it again... seriously consider just dayhiking... there
> is just so much
> to explore w/o a pack ...

Or just a small pack.

Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 31, 2009 12:34PM
Thanks, Joe. I'm considering your points.
Re: Backpacking in Spring
March 26, 2009 09:51AM
>The Mist Trail isn't open yet

Yeah, it depends soooo much.

In '06 it was open on April 6.. (we took it all the way up to Nev Falls)
(took the JMT down from Silver Apron though)
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