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Re: Cathedral Lakes / Sunrise / Vogelsang / Lyell Canyon next weekend (6/7)

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Cathedral Lakes / Sunrise / Vogelsang / Lyell Canyon next weekend (6/7)
June 03, 2014 03:25PM
I'm planning a trip for this weekend and was hoping to go out of TMeadows. I saw pakoR's great report on Cathedral Lakes, but I'm wondering how fast the snow could be going given the sunny days and high temps the past weeks and on-going. Can anyone offer either reports of snow / trails in those areas (would it be plausible to do that loop without serious snow gear)? Or should I just plan to head to HHetchy or elsewhere. We don't have a permit, so we'll be at the mercy of walk-in status, so I'm hoping to decide where to go so I can be first in line for a permit.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, even interpolated guesses based on pakoR's report could prove helpful. I spoke to a ranger yesterday who said that there were some clear spots @ the Vogelsang campground & it sounded like that was a week ago. So I think it's probably melting quickly, but I've never been to the area, and don't have a lot of snow experience in our group. We can cross snow patches, but we don't wanto to be on snow the whole trip!

Thanks in advance. Will be sure to post back after the trip next week!
I was up this past weekend and was interested in hiking Cathedral lakes. I called the Tioga Pass ranger station and she said the snow has probably melted, but to be sure, to call the Wilderness center. Called the wilderness center and the lady said they are still getting reports of lots of slush on the trail. We had basic sneakers and I didn't want to get wet, so we skipped it. She said there is melting / wet snow at 9000 ft and above. You'll have had another week since.

If I had to guess, I would say it's not dangerous snow (that you could slip on and slide way down), but enough that you could end up with soaked shoes.
avatar Re: Cathedral Lakes / Sunrise / Vogelsang / Lyell Canyon next weekend (6/7)
June 04, 2014 10:18AM
I was at the northern border of the park this last weekend, between about 7000 and 8500 ft in elevation. The only snow that we saw was intermittent snow in the wooded, north facing slopes above 8000 feet. I would expect that any north-facing wooded trails would be somewhat annoying on and off again snow, easy enough to get through, and as previously stated, your shoes would probably end up getting wet. No serious snow gear required, for sure, at that elevation. West, east, and south facing slopes were all completely snow free and should be for your route as well.
Re: Cathedral Lakes / Sunrise / Vogelsang / Lyell Canyon next weekend (6/7)
June 04, 2014 03:20PM
I don't have any information that would help you--but I would highly appreciate it if while you're out you could snap some photos for me! I'm looking for snow levels and conditions at Mammoth Peak (at least formerly known as), Kuna Crest, Donohue Peak, Mt. Lyell, Mt. Maclure, Bernice and Gallison Lakes, and Parson's Plateau. Planning on heading out on the 19th, which gives a bit more time for melting, but you might have the best information I'll be able to get.

Thank you!
Re: Cathedral Lakes / Sunrise / Vogelsang / Lyell Canyon next weekend (6/7)
June 14, 2014 12:43PM
So we went out of Tuluomne Meadows from the Wilderness permit station. Leaving on Sat. morning (6/7), we went up Rafferty Creek and camped the first night around Vogelsang. There was still a bit of snow up there on a few patches of the trail, but everything was pretty much wide open. Plenty of dry ground for camping and beautiful views with snow up on the sides of the peaks.

Sunday we went down past Emeric Lake and toward Merced. A few of the meadows were pretty buggy, but Vogelsang wasn't bad. We booked it through the meadows where there was stagnant water to keep out of the bugs. There are some beautiful cascades this time of year along the trail. We went on past Merced HSC into Echo Valley to set up camp on Sunday night. Quite pleasant and plenty of water in the area.

Monday we headed up again (-3000 day before, and +3000 this day) toward Sunrise. We had heard it was buggy up in the area, and the reports were accurate. We didn't head into the camp, but got water in a meadow at the trail junction. I've never seen mosquitoes so thick! Luckily as we hiked north again we got out in the open a bit and the breeze picked up. Bug nets that my friend brought saved us. We hiked on along a while getting close to Upper Catherdral Lake to camp. The lake was gorgeous @ sunset and we got up for sunrise as well. We booked it out the last section and then spent the afternoon in the Valley swimming in the river under El Capitan!

Wish I could get out to the Sierras more often! Hope this report helps some people with plans. I wouldn't worry about snow @ all. It was a hot week and last weekend everything was fine already. Get out and enjoy!

Sorry no pics, my wife is in charge of them and she's busy....
Re: Cathedral Lakes / Sunrise / Vogelsang / Lyell Canyon next weekend (6/7)
June 15, 2014 10:25AM
Thanks a lot for the report. Four of us are following your route as far as Echo Valley, from there planning to continue on through Little Yosemite and into the valley. Never been in the area before.

Sounds like the bugs weren't too intense outside the boggy meadow areas. We live in the Selkirk Mountains in southeastern BC where the bugs can also be bad up high, though you never really know til you get there. We'll have five days, any suggestions re. laying over for a day to explore around a bit?

Happy trails..
We were just telling two of the group we were hiking with this past weekend that they really should *at least* go from the Valley to Merced (and beyond, if possible), the Merced river canyon is just lovely! You have a great trip planned, enjoy!
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