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Re: To (Be) Young Again

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To (Be) Young Again
November 12, 2014 08:47PM
At the last minute, we decided to pack late Friday night for an early Saturday morning departure for the High Country. The weather forecast was for unseasonably warm temperatures, and last weekend's snowfall had all but disappeared from the various webcams.

Despite an all-too-early departure, we didn't start hiking from just outside the Tioga Pass entrance gate until after 10:00; the recent daylight savings adjustment would bring nightfall before 5:00. We had managed to reach OD and the pink one via radio while passing through Tuolumne Meadows; they were en route to the same destination as ours: Young Lakes.

Unfortunately, we had forgotten to pack a few things--none essential: the battery for my main camera, our water filters, JKW's headlamp... fortunately, nothing we couldn't do without.

The climb up to the ridge above the Gaylor Lakes was slow, but we were soon greeted with a view of the mostly snow-free high country.



The Cathedral Range appeared to rise from the far shore of the lake.



Our route would be mostly cross-country, especially after a brief lunch stop at lower Gaylor Lake. From there until we reached the Dog Lake/Young Lakes trail, we saw no human footprints.



Our route passed through a few lovely unnamed meadows.



The largest was on Delaney Creek.



After a short section where there were numerous trees that had blown down by the windstorm from a few winters ago, we reached the trail.



The sun was already low as we passed through the meadow south of Ragged Peak.



We were soon at the Dog Lake/Soda Springs junction; from there we walked briskly to the lower Young Lake.



We reached the lake with just enough sunlight left to set up camp and start preparing dinner.



We were treated to a wonderful sunset as we finished our meal and prepared to retire for the night--at 6:30 or so.





The nighttime had not been too cold, but the sun was slow to rise from behind the surrounding peaks, so our frozen shoes didn't thaw until we were on the trail.



OD and JKW were to return to the Tioga Road via the Soda Springs trail while the two bird-brains planned on a more "interesting" and "delicious" route. We climbed to the upper Young Lake, where the pink one identified a notch that he had taken previously... maybe.



The notch worked and we were soon above the highest lake.



The snow was thicker on the north-facing slopes, and while often snow is easier to travel on than talus, this isn't the case when it's still unconsolidated.



We (by which I mean "I"winking smiley eventually reached the saddle between the Young and Skelton lakes basins.





The climb in the shade and snow had been chilly, but once on the south-facing slopes, the day was downright warm, and snow became a non-issue.



We tried a "new" route to the main Skelton Lake that from afar looked do-able if not a bit brushy. Both were true.



Along the way we encountered a rappel sling and ring left behind on a tree (which we removed); it probably took us less time to hike to the bottom of this rappel than it had to rig it, put on harnesses, and descend.

We were soon free of the brush and shortly reached the shore of the main Skelton Lake, where we stopped for a snack and water fill-up.





We didn't want to leave the others at the trailhead for too long, so we were soon on the move again.



We popped over a small saddle before dropping to the lower Gaylor Lake.




If Van Gogh's medium had been wood carving instead of painting...?

We soon reached the lake, where I had lunch again--no complaints at all.



After lunch we had one more climb to face: a slow ascent to the middle lake, then a brisk climb back to the ridge above Tioga Pass. Along the way we had heard from the others on radio that they were at the Lembert Dome parking lot.



We eventually were looking down upon Dana Meadows; shortly thereafter we were at our cars and on the way to Lembert Dome.



Since we had made good time leaving Young Lakes, we decided while driving out that we'd make one more stop--to try to locate a small section of abandoned trail, at which we did succeed.

All in all it was an excellent and enjoyable "winter" weekend trip.

More Pictures
Re: To (Be) Young Again
November 12, 2014 09:11PM
A few comments before I zonk out tonight..

  • On the forgotten items: I'd left my powerful headlamp on the charger at home. Grumble. But I still had my usual e-Lite. I wasn't without a lamp..What was worse was forgetting my GoGirl. Grumble. I'd had it in my hand, but I was not quite right while we'd been packing the night before. In fact, I almost had to bail on the trip Friday night because I had screwed up my food and bonked hard during a local hike on Thursday and was already feeling weak when we went out with friends and watched a movie that made me incredibly nauseous and induced a headache. I cannot handle some of these movies which play with the camera handling. Sigh.
  • On the temperature: Though Basilbop says it wasn't too cold, that's relative. Shoes froze and water in the bladders froze to slushy state. My known-to-be-wonky at low temperature thermometer read 24 degrees, last time it read 27, a more reliable one was reading 16 (I mentioned this in another post). That may sound cold, and it sort of is, but we didn't have our full winter kit, and once my body processed food and warmed up, I slept warmly the bulk of the night. I had to be careful about exposing my nose too much, but that was easily remedied, until I pulled my quilt completely over my face and dreamt I was sufffocating and woke up. Easily fixed....
  • On having the same campsite target: When I read Basilbop's phrasing, it sounded like we sort of imposed ourselves on them.... we really didn't! We'd been coordinating... We even packed in cupcakes to share. Don't worry folks, we don't just barge in unannounced! smiling smiley It's just that after what happened Thursday and Friday night, I wasn't feeling too well and we did seriously consider bailing... But after bailing on those two on the Moose Lake trip.. I wasn't about to give up without a fight.
  • On the downed trees: I love my floppy hat with big brim, but that big brim... it cuts down on my peripheral vision. I almost knocked myself out 4 times (that's the count I recall, anyway) by banging into unseen branches overhead as I tried to avoid snagging my legs and pack lower... silly. I'd like to think only 4 hours sleep might have had something to do with my lack of awareness.... but... it probably didn't. It's just something I tend to do...
  • On the trip home: Though I was invited to take the XC route back to the car, I get too few opportunities to spend time chatting with OD. He always makes me laugh and think, and I thoroughly enjoyed my hike back with him. It was SUCH a glorious day! PERFECT hiking weather. Lambert Dome parking area was quite full, but we managed to get a table, and I felt a bit guilty getting sucked into a conversation with some ladies who'd come up for the day. I'd left OD at our table. But they were curious about some of my gear... and I do LOVE to talk gear...

Right. More than I expected to ramble on about...but we had a lot of fun, and I'm really glad the silly bird brains finally found the bits of trail they've been hunting down in that area. I've enjoyed how they've gone back and forth on finding sections... And was pleased they were able to finish with a joint effort.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/12/2014 09:14PM by JustKeepWalking.
avatar Re: To (Be) Young Again
November 13, 2014 12:09PM
Quote
JustKeepWalking
...we went out with friends and watched a movie that made me incredibly nauseous and induced a headache. I cannot handle some of these movies which play with the camera handling. Sigh.

I'm with you there! I HATE that stuff. I usually just "defocus" and wait for it to be over. It is becoming more and more popular; I can't wait for that fad to pass!
Re: To (Be) Young Again
November 12, 2014 10:38PM
Awesome pics. That sunset on Conness is outrageous. It was kind of bittersweet looking at your pics because I was gonna be up there this weekend but just found out I have to deal with some stuff at home. But it's always nice to see great pics from one of my favorite spots in the Sierra. I've probably been to Young Lakes more times than anywhere else except maybe Little Yosemite. You can almost feel the cold weather just looking at a few of those.
Re: To (Be) Young Again
November 13, 2014 04:09AM
Nice report. Thanks for posting. It's interesting to see some of the places I've been during past summers, but in the late fall.

By the way, loved the Van Gogh pic.
avatar Re: To (Be) Young Again
November 13, 2014 07:09AM
Good stuff. Thanks again for meeting up. Always a pleasure. I won't chick-on bomb ur post...
But..
Here are two that would be candidates for the Daze of November:


and some Yahoo in dis one:



And one in 3D:


Have fun n Just Keep Exploring smiling smiley
Chick-on is looking at you!



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: To (Be) Young Again
November 13, 2014 09:58AM
Quote
basilbop


If Van Gogh's medium had been wood carving instead of painting...?

Van Gogh? That picture screams Edvard Munch to me...

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