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Half Dome, Yosemite National Park

The Moon is Waxing Gibbous (58% of Full)


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Re: First!

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First!
January 21, 2015 08:27PM
When does the backpacking season begin? As soon as you're out there for the first trip of the year--in this case, January 2!

We started from the Cherry Valley Dam, under intense scrutiny from the locals.



From there, our first mission was to locate a few boundary markers, taking advantage of the recent fire having cleared any brush that could be concealing these markers. The fire opened up the views to Lake Eleanor below us.



We successfully located #51 and #52 despite the stealthy location of the latter.



After crossing the Lake Eleanor trail and checking out #53, we continued on the Kibbie Lake trail, which wandered through forest recently burned by the Rim Fire until the Kibbie Creek crossing. Even the granite was not spared by this fire.



We enjoyed lunch at Kibbie Creek on wonderful granite slabs.



Despite the clear sky and bright sun, the water was still icy cold (JKW had waded across the creek...)



The trail wandered a bit more through forest, some burnt, where eventually the snow was deep enough for snowshoes. Once it entered an area of open granite slabs, the snowshoes were back on our packs.



The descent into Kibbie Lake had 100% snow coverage; the snowshoes were back on....



...and on the granite west of the lake, they were back off.



We reached our campsite just as the sun was setting.





The next morning we headed towards Kibbie Ridge and elusive marker #58.



JKW was unfortunately feeling a bit under the weather, so she waited on a nice sunny ridge while the birds tried--and failed--to locate the marker.



Unfortunately, there was a bit too much snow/downed trees/shrubbery/whatever to locate the marker; later, we determined that we probably walked right over it.



After searching everywhere but where #58 is for quite a while, we returned to JKW and headed south along Kibbie Ridge...



...and continued our boundary marker tour.



The snow pillow for Lower Kibbie Ridge was most likely reading zero.



Eventually we descended below snowline and found some wonderful open granite.



At Kibbie Lake we had plopped down to camp at the first reasonable location; we were spoiled by our options further south along the ridge.



Our second night's sunset was even better than the first.





We awoke to light clouds in the sky the next morning.



After breakfast and packing, we headed down the ridge to the trail.



As we got closer to the lake, we heeded all warning signs--of course.



Well, most of them--we didn't realize the road trail we were on was closed until we reached the end of it.



As we returned to our cars, the eagles that had been watching us on the way in were soaring above us. Perhaps they know where #58 is...

Overall, a great way to start the 2015 backpacking season. Best thing: at the end of this trip, JKW and I could claim that we were tied with the pink one for number of trips to Yosemite...



More Pictures
avatar Re: First!
January 22, 2015 11:33AM
Only about 100 more markers to go! (ok, maybe even more than that)

Chick-on is looking at you!

(I'm guessing that the next post will be "Last..." smiling smiley )

Tanks for Sharon. (n joining the hunt)



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: First!
January 22, 2015 02:46PM
Quote
chick-on
Only about 100 more markers to go! (ok, maybe even more than that)

I have a feeling you'll thence be wandering around randomly for quite awhile... :-)

Quote
chick-on
(I'm guessing that the next post will be "Last..." smiling smiley )

Unlike "First!", I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone in an internet forum rush to post "Last!"
avatar Re: First!
January 22, 2015 04:46PM
Um. Dat hurt.

I was talking the "Last" trip of the year.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: First!
January 23, 2015 09:49AM
If a trip straddles Dec. 31 and Jan 1... is it "BOTH"?
avatar Re: First!
January 22, 2015 11:38AM
Did JKW really wade across the stream? Yikes...I am cold just thinking about it! And I like the water. It's the water/snow combo that I can do without.

Sounds like a great trip! Thanks!
Re: First!
January 23, 2015 09:25AM
Of course, it wasn't like the water was completely frozen or anything... (although it certainly felt like it!)
Re: First!
January 23, 2015 09:48AM
Yup, I really did walk in the cold water. Didn't even make a peep. Which Chick-On commented on later when he went to get water to drink! He couldn't believe I'd walked through it without at least a whimper. It really wasn't any colder than glacial/snow melt in summer.. spinning smiley sticking its tongue out It was handy that we could sit on the other side, so I could dry my feet in the sun while we ate lunch and re-treat them with BodyGlide. Picture above... Note I was wearing a down jacket, cuz the air was still nippy! smiling smiley
avatar Re: First!
January 23, 2015 08:55AM
A very cool looking (pun intended) trip report! Gracias!
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