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Re: North Rim Trip and Conditions Report 4/24

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avatar North Rim Trip and Conditions Report 4/24
April 26, 2016 08:08AM
We had heard from the Aussie (see this trip report) that he was going to be back in town and needed a Yosemite fix, so we planned to go up for a two day backpacking trip this past weekend.

Since trail conditions and weather this time of year can be uncertain, about 10 days before the trip I asked what I consider the best "local knowledge" source about conditions on the trail along the North Rim of the valley, asking “snowshoes and microspikes needed?”…to which he responded “free & clear”. This kind of surprised me as I was expecting snow, and he continued with “maybe a little north of Indian Rock” and “very very little snow to 8000 feet”.

So, feeling pretty good about things, but still wearing my high topped Solomon Gore-Tex boots, I set off with the Aussie and 4 others Saturday morning from the trailhead at the Foresta turnoff, with the hope of making the top of El Capitan that night for the sunset/moonrise, and continuing on the take the Yosemite Falls trail down and Sunday and be back in the Bay Area Sunday evening.

The hike started out well and we made good time to Cascade Creek. The stream crossings were a bit iffy but not too bad. Somebody had even strung a helpful guideline across Wildcat Creek



There was a very little bit of fresh snow from the previous days storm (we had seen an inch or two of fresh snow at Crane Flat as we drove though that morning). And as we left the Old Bog Oak Flat Road and continued up the trail towards Ribbon Meadow, the snow depth increased


And increased until it was clear that we were walking on probably a 3 feet base of snow.


But the snow was generally firm, with 3 or 4 inches of fresh spring snow on top, not really a problem, yet.

Things changed quickly as we approached Ribbon Meadow, which has good tree cover, lots of downed trees, and probably 4 feet on average of snow. Route finding was difficult, stream crossings tedious (but not dangerous),


and we were postholing constantly. We had to give up on getting to El Cap that day, deciding to stop at about 6PM at a little rise just east of Ribbon Meadow. The only consolation being that, despite the fact that we had no real view, we weren’t missing anything…fog and low clouds had guaranteed no views and a cold and damp night.

The next morning, after working through more difficult tree area, we finally emerged out into more open and pretty much snow free granite, having an easy hike above Ribbon Falls and El Cap, enjoying the views that stretched over this bumb thingy to the Sierra Crest


across the Valley to Dewey Point,


over to Sentinel Falls


and a different view of Nevada Falls


West of Eagle Peak we hit the ugly dense forest/heavy snow combination again and dealt with this all the way to almost Yosemite Creek. Fortunately we found recent footsteps in the snow, both coming and going, which were left by East Coast Eric, who we met shortly thereafter. Eric had been doing Eagle Peak. Eagle Creek Meadows:


Top of the Falls:


The trip down the Yosemite Falls trail was fun…rain, thunder, lightning, and hail. We made it safely down by about 4 and were on our way home.

All the pictures here.

Despite the unexpected and rather challenging conditions, we all had a great time, as always!

So, if you are heading up to the higher country, be prepared for snow!
avatar Re: North Rim Trip and Conditions Report 4/24
April 26, 2016 08:14AM
I'm innocent.

I would highly question crossing Tamarack now. So... North Rim was defined as:
Up Snow Creek... down Yose Falls...

In my pathetic defense... I have actually hiked up BETWEEN Tamarack and Cascade
from BOFR in early season to avoid crossings!

I sorta feel bad about this... (ok, not so much)



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: North Rim Trip and Conditions Report 4/24
April 26, 2016 08:16AM
Look at the bright side. There's no rip-rap on the Yosemite Falls Trail.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: North Rim Trip and Conditions Report 4/24
April 26, 2016 08:17AM
Ran into the same quagmire of Eagle Peak Meadows in April one year too...
Um... yeah... you shoulda asked more specific.

Again... I am innocent. (more or less)

O lookie... yummie treats someone left for me...



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: North Rim Trip and Conditions Report 4/24
April 26, 2016 08:37AM
No worries...you are still my best source of loco knowledge.
avatar Re: North Rim Trip and Conditions Report 4/24
April 26, 2016 08:55AM
btw that was not a typo above spinning smiley sticking its tongue out
Re: North Rim Trip and Conditions Report 4/24
April 26, 2016 02:27PM
Quote
Bearproof
btw that was not a typo above spinning smiley sticking its tongue out

*I* knew it wasn't a typo!!!

In chick-on's defense and a smack to both of u for not clarifying what u meant by north rim.. Someone says north rim to me and I think North Rim Traverse, which is (unless specifically mentioned) Yos Falls/Snow Creek- up one, down the other... And if Chick-on mentioned Indian Rock, not close to your planned route..alarm bells!!!

Smack to both of u! And hugs!

Can't wait to see u all again! We r now en route to Ireland! Land of sheepy-poo stew!*

*Hey, it's our second time going. It's nice. Just the sheep poo gets to me after awhile...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/26/2016 02:38PM by JustKeepWalking.
avatar Re: North Rim Trip and Conditions Report 4/24
April 26, 2016 02:42PM
Have fun over there! See you when you get back!

Yeah I agree about the misunderstanding. My trail mates actually asked if the bird was pranking me about the trail conditions. I said no, that guy does a lot of pranks, and he may owe me one, but he never crosses the line on safety and providing good info.

Dats one good bird!
avatar Re: North Rim Trip and Conditions Report 4/24
April 29, 2016 01:07AM
Thanks for the trip report and pictures!
avatar Re: North Rim Trip and Conditions Report 4/24
April 29, 2016 12:54PM
I need to make it above Ribbon Fall one of these days. Great to see the shot of Dewey Point.
Here is a video from Dewey Point last month


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