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Half Dome from the Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park

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Re: Endless switchbacks

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avatar Endless switchbacks
April 19, 2009 01:43PM
Which set of endless switchbacks appears to be the most strenuous in the park, Yosemite Falls, Snow Creek, Head of Pate Valley, Red Peak?

Jim
avatar Re: Endless switchbacks
April 19, 2009 01:48PM
The one I'm currently trudging up always seems the longest. winking smiley
avatar Re: Endless switchbacks
April 19, 2009 02:23PM
The switchbacks on Yosemite Falls are varied through woods and on cliffs and stuff, and I think the variety made it mentally a bit easier. Also, they start pretty close to the beginning of the hike so you still have a lot of energy. The most brutal portion of a hike I've ever been on was probably the wooded section of the Half Dome hike that occurs before the steps. Long, uphill, repetitive, and far into the hike so you're already tired.
avatar Re: Endless switchbacks
April 19, 2009 03:02PM
All endless switchbacks should have a sign posted at each end and in the middle stating:
"These Switchbacks Are Endless"
so that you know that they are endless before you get to the end.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/19/2009 03:22PM by szalkowski.
avatar Re: Endless switchbacks
April 19, 2009 03:14PM
Quote
szalkowski
All endless switchbacks should have a sign posted at each end stating:
"These Switchbacks Are Endless"
so that you know that they are endless before you get to the other end.
Once you get to the end, are you then back at the beginning? How would you know?



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Endless switchbacks
April 19, 2009 03:41PM
Quote
Frank Furter

Once you get to the end, are you then back at the beginning? How would you know?

1. Yes. It is referred to as an Umklapp Process in Solid State Physics:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umklapp_process

2. You wouldn't - but it doesn't matter because they are equivalent.
avatar Re: Endless switchbacks
April 19, 2009 03:45PM
The switchbacks that seemed to be the longest and most repetitive to me are on Snow Creek from Mirror Lake up to the North Rim. That also includes all the passes on the JMT.
Re: Endless switchbacks
April 19, 2009 03:55PM
Can't answer because I haven't been on all of them, but I sort of enjoy the Upper Yosemite falls ones, even coming back down doesn't seem bad (maybe because you know you're at the end). I'd take those over Snow Creek trail any day.

It all varies. I don't mind the part of the Half Dome hike that Daniel mentioned (except for last year when it was about 87 degrees),

but I do remember the first time we did Half Dome. Coming back, I kept looking for that "Half Dome 2 miles" sign, and finally my son asked what happened to the 2 mile sign. I told him we had missed seeing it, because we'd obviously gone a lot farther than that. About 15 minutes later, there it was...

The next year I expected that, so was looking forward to a LONG time before that sign showed up, and when it seemed like we were about a mile down the trail, the 2 mile sign showed up. Pleasant surprise 8^).

Last year the end of the JMT was embellished with endless horse droppings through the switchbacks, which added to the already-seemingly-endless nature of that part of the trail.



Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
avatar Re: Endless switchbacks
April 19, 2009 03:58PM
From the junction just south of Table Lake down to Pate Valley, from Rancheria Mountain down to Rancheria Creek, the trail just east of Tiltill Creek down to Tiltill Valley, and then there is the incredible set of stairs from Moraine Ridge down to Jack Main Canyon. The hottest most miserable trail with switchbacks is the one up from Hetch Hetchy toward Beehive Meadow in July and August.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Endless switchbacks
April 19, 2009 06:09PM
Quote

From the junction just south of Table Lake down to Pate Valley, from Rancheria Mountain down to Rancheria Creek,[/]

Mike, sometime back when there was even more snow, you mentioned a winter hike to Rancheria Falls. I would like to do a hike next weekend that will not entail too much snow -- is the Rancheria Falls hike a reasonable choice? did you start your hike from OD? Let me know if there are any considerations (outside of snakes, spiders, annoying people..etc)

B
avatar Re: Endless switchbacks
April 19, 2009 09:46PM
Since the Hetch Hetchy is about the only back country area open at this time the Rancheria area is a zoo. Friday when we went in there were about eight cars in the backpackers parking lot. When we came out Sunday morning there were about thirty cars in the lot. We only saw one group at Gravel Pit lake and no evidence of any more than that on the trail from HH to Miguel Meadow. Everyone seems to have gone to Rancheria. As Billy stated Beehive is 90%+ under snow and Laurel Lake is still frozen over so I doubt anyone went there.

Next weekend will probably be a zoo at Rancheria also. So go up the switchbacks and head west towards Miguel Meadow. It is actually the old Eleanor Road that was used to build the dam at Lake Eleanor so it's an easy trail to follow and most of it is at around 5K'. Plenty of water this weekend. There is a ranger station at Miguel Meadow with a spring just south of the cabin. Plenty of camp sites near the cabin. Gravel Pit Lake which is about 0.5 miles off the trail to the north is a good camping site. Usually some wild life and not too likely to be occupied. If you are up to a 12 miler then you could go from HH out the Lake Eleanor campground which is across the dam and about 1 mile east on the north side of the lake or you could go to the ranger cabin at the outlet of Frog Creek. They have bear boxes there with fire pits and even an NPS BBQ pit on a stand. Might be fishermen there though. The Eleanor Road is a very good hiking area.



Old Dude



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/20/2009 04:02PM by mrcondron.
avatar Re: Endless switchbacks
April 19, 2009 11:33PM
Quote

mrcondron: Since the Hetch Hetchy is about the only back country area open at this time the Rancheria area is a zoo.

This DEFINITELY rates as the most useful post of the night! Thank you very much; I would have been SOOO disappointed and overwhelmed by the thunderous masses of humanity all converging on "my" space. Taxes killed me and what I need is some quiet, not a cacophony. My original plan was to wait a bit before hitting the backcountry, perhaps I should be patient...(however, I HAVE been looking at Eleanor as a possibility since I decided that the HH area is not the blighted hole that I had once subscribed to believing (thanks to all the reading and follow-up on eeek's The yosemite thread)

QB
avatar Re: Endless switchbacks
April 19, 2009 11:43PM
This is the perfect time. Not too hot yet, just ever so cool afternoon breezes that force one to lay down for a snooze, no bugs, water most everywhere, few people beyond 6-7 miles, fewer still will go up the switchbacks out of HH especially since Beehive Meadow is under snow and most people that go up out of HH are heading for Lake Vernon.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Endless switchbacks
April 19, 2009 05:52PM
The most number of switchbacks on one stretch is easily north from Pate Valley.
75 switchbacks and 1750ft. elevation gain.
But that only gets you near the 'ponds' ... you've still got a good chunk to do...
and more switchbacks..!
Last year I was gunning for Rodgers Meadow in a day and it was hotter than
a pistol. I threw in the towel and stayed near the eastern most pond
looking into the GCT. Hiked out to White Wolf the next day.
avatar Re: Endless switchbacks
April 19, 2009 07:47PM
Quote
bill-e-g
The most number of switchbacks on one stretch is easily north from Pate Valley.
75 switchbacks and 1750ft. elevation gain.
But that only gets you near the 'ponds' ... you've still got a good chunk to do...
and more switchbacks..!
Last year I was gunning for Rodgers Meadow in a day and it was hotter than
a pistol. I threw in the towel and stayed near the eastern most pond
looking into the GCT. Hiked out to White Wolf the next day.

If I recall Snow Creek has about 100 switchbacks, I last went down about 12 years ago. It's also 2500' in about 2.2 miles. Fun Stuff. I'll be coming down them in May B)
Re: Endless switchbacks
April 19, 2009 06:26PM
Never been on it, but I've heard the Snow Creek trail can be brutal in summer. It looks tough from the HD trail.

I second mrcondron re; hetch hetchy...I did that on a 91 degree day. It was horrifically terrible while simultaneously being insanely miserable. I have never been so hot in my life on the trail. We each used up 2.5L of water and a 1L gatorade by the time we x-c'd to the top of Wapama falls.
avatar Re: Endless switchbacks
April 19, 2009 08:09PM
>If I recall Snow Creek has about 100 switchbacks

I did both Snow Creek up and the Pate one last year. I'd give the nod the Pate.
But then again I did Snow Creek in mid November.
Ok, let's call it a tie.

smiling smiley
avatar Re: Endless switchbacks
April 19, 2009 08:26PM
Try the 97 (give or take) from Trail Camp to Trail Crest on the Whitney trail.

I prefer the switchbacks in a well-handling car up from Three Rivers past Amphitheater Point and into the Giant Forest.
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