Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile Recent Posts
Tenaya Lake, Yosemite National Park

The Moon is Waxing Gibbous (80% of Full)

JanSport - Accept no Imitations. The Original Backpack since 1967.


Advanced

Re: Open and Shut, Hike, Rest, Repeat

All posts are those of the individual authors and the owner of this site does not endorse them. Content should be considered opinion and not fact until verified independently.

Open and Shut, Hike, Rest, Repeat
May 24, 2016 07:33PM
JKW and the bird had left on Friday to take advantage of the recent opening of the Tioga Road. Around noon on Friday they called me to let me know where they were camped; OD and I would join them Saturday. A cold but dry storm was forecast to come in that evening, so it perhaps shouldn't have been surprising that the Park Service closed Tioga Road at 8:00 Friday evening, a news item I was able to provide for them when they called again in the evening.

OD and I still drove up Saturday morning, the tentative plan being that they would hike out, drive back to the gate, and we'd do a hike somewhere that had an open access road. The advance team noted that the night had been dry and clear. JKW, nursing a back injury, wasn't too happy to have to pack and leave what sounded like a nice campsite. Despite all the signs along the drive indicating that Tioga Road was closed, when we asked about its status while getting our wilderness permit, we found out the road had just opened. Unfortunately, we couldn't reach the advance party with this news immediately, but we did reach them just after they had left camp. New--or original--plan: they would camp pretty much where they were and we would hike in to meet them, somewhere down Yosemite Creek.

We headed cross-country down the east side of the creek to avoid a potential high-water crossing. The route was mostly straightforward, working along and around gentle granite slopes and shelves.



It was pleasantly warm in the sun, but we saw evidence of the previous chilly evening.



Yosemite Creek was quite high--certainly too high to safely wade across.



We didn't encounter any significant snow until we were near where the trail crosses to the side we were on.



Shortly past the official ford was an iffy-looking log jam that might provide a way across--something I mentally noted since I knew the Trail Quest judges wouldn't provide any credit for hiking cross-country on the wrong side of the creek.



A bit later, we reached the still-closed Yosemite Creek campground, where several sites were still flooded.



We crossed the creek on the road bridge, then left the road to continue on the trail. By now some snow flurries were hitting us, bringing out our rain gear.



The advance party had found a nice campsite with good views down canyon. We pitched the second tent, and since the flurries continued, we also put up our new Big Star, which provided for a lot of coverage should we have to hang out in a storm.



The snow was never more than light flurries, so the bird and I headed downriver while OD and JKW rested at camp.



I had been promised great granite scenery, and I was not disappointed.







We headed back where the creek entered a more mundane forested stretch, leaving a short un-hiked segment for a future TrailQuest mission. On the way back we did some off-trail exploring and identified several potential future campsites.



At times we saw a few glimpses of blue sky, but they would last only a few minutes until dark clouds rolled in again.



Just before the final climb to camp we loaded up with water. Back at camp we could see that some rain had indeed fallen, but the shelters had kept everyone--and everything--dry.



The snow picked up a bit, but fortunately we were settled in, warm and dry.



After a nice dinner--and several excellent courses of dessert--we were in bed. As a bonus, the Big Star kept the big moon from keeping me up all night.



The night had been cold--but not uncomfortably so, what with our winter gear--leaving a thick layer of frost on our shelters and freezing water in our water bladders and bottles.



After an excellent breakfast of pancakes and bacon, we aired gear out and packed. The storm seems to have passed; not a cloud was in the sky.



The plan was that OD and JKW would head back to the Ten Lakes trailhead and I would return with the bird to the Lukens Trailhead, allowing both JKW and me to maximize Trail Quest mileage. The trail from Lukens had a lot more snow than the one from Yosemite Creek.



Parts of the trail had spring-like wet-and-muddy conditions, while others held on to the brief return of winter.



For those looking for a conditions report, I'd estimate 70% snow coverage from the Tioga Road/Lukens trailhead to Yosemite Creek.



After we reached our trailhead, it was obvious the road was still closed--there were no cars on it at all. As we headed to the Ten Lakes trailhead, we heard from the others on the radio that they were approaching the ford and were considering crossing on the log jam. We said we would head down and help them across.

In fact the log jam was crossable via a few high logs; the bird helped JKW and OD carry their packs across.

After we were all safely across, we had lunch on a granite bench overlooking the river. On the way back, the bird and I ventured a bit off the beaten path and found some nice seasonal waterfalls and cascades.



There were even a few nice pools that on a much warmer day would be inviting to take a dip in.





We took one more short hike to another small granite-y bit of seasonal creek.



This one had a nice impressive waterfall...



...that apparently got good reception from... something.



We had been fortunate to have been able to get to the trailhead during the brief window that the road was open, and it had been a great trip.

And we definitely need to check out some more granite-rich creeks...



More Pictures
Re: Open and Shut, Hike, Rest, Repeat
May 24, 2016 08:29PM
A fine trip report. Very enjoyable to read. Thank you.
Re: Open and Shut, Hike, Rest, Repeat
May 25, 2016 08:54AM
Great trip report. I really like that area (I actually can't think of an area in Yose that I dislike - maybe lines at the entrance gates...?).

My first visit to Yose was a long weekend years ago. I had done absolutely no research beforehand. I met a friend there (reaching Priest Grade around dark so no views or perspective entering the valley) and we figured we'd just "see the park". First day went to top of Half Dome. Second day went to top of Yosemite Falls. Don't regret that a bit. I remember wondering "if I just climbed up all this distance, where is all the water coming from? I had no knowledge of the high country and all the great things beyond the valley and the iconic sites along the rim.

I wonder how many people have similar experiences? IMO, the hike up Yosemite Creek, in all the granite, with so few people (compared to the falls trail) is as spectacular and enjoyable, in a different way, as are the falls.

About your gear (feel free to PM if this is too off-topic for this thread):
1) I've been contemplating upgrading from my BearVaults to the Bearakades. They are pricey for sure. Is the benefit lighter weight by comparison or is there more?
2) Are those REI Half Dome tents (for winter trips)? I have the Quarter Dome for warmer weather and enjoy it. Great value IMO (although there are lighter one available, the footprint doesn't fit our sleeping pads).
3) Do you (or Chick-on, JKW, OD) use both inflatable pads (Therm-a-Rest Xtherm I think?) *and* the "eggshell/foam" pads I see outside your packs? Foam on top or below pads? Is that for added R-value (used for colder temps only) or "float" and firmness on top of the pads? Or some other reason?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/25/2016 08:55AM by ags.
Re: Open and Shut, Hike, Rest, Repeat
May 25, 2016 09:40AM
Quote
ags

1) I've been contemplating upgrading from my BearVaults to the Bearakades. They are pricey for sure. Is the benefit lighter weight by comparison or is there more?
2) Are those REI Half Dome tents (for winter trips)? I have the Quarter Dome for warmer weather and enjoy it. Great value IMO (although there are lighter one available, the footprint doesn't fit our sleeping pads).
3) Do you (or Chick-on, JKW, OD) use both inflatable pads (Therm-a-Rest Xtherm I think?) *and* the "eggshell/foam" pads I see outside your packs? Foam on top or below pads? Is that for added R-value (used for colder temps only) or "float" and firmness on top of the pads? Or some other reason?

The main advantage of the Bearikades is the weight savings and the ability to get custom sizes. I also find them easier to open than the BearVaults, which can be tricky if sand or ice gets under the threads. They are basically lifetime investments--it's doubtful that a lighter, effective canister will come to market any time soon.

The two tents are the new REI Quarter Domes--the 2 and 3 person versions. They are generally well-designed and are quite light for non-cottage gear--the materials and quality are comparable to the Big Agnes Fly Creek series. The Big Star tarp is from Mountain Laurel Designs.

We all use Thermarest Neoair pads (XTherm or XLite) with the Z-Lite pads underneath for additional warmth and comfort--and for use outside the tent. Actually on this trip I didn't use my Z-Lite while sleeping--it remained outside, under the Big Star.
avatar Re: Open and Shut, Hike, Rest, Repeat
May 25, 2016 01:44PM
Quote
basilbop
Quote
ags

1) I've been contemplating upgrading from my BearVaults to the Bearakades. They are pricey for sure. Is the benefit lighter weight by comparison or is there more?

The main advantage of the Bearikades is the weight savings and the ability to get custom sizes. I also find them easier to open than the BearVaults, which can be tricky if sand or ice gets under the threads. They are basically lifetime investments--it's doubtful that a lighter, effective canister will come to market any time soon.

I love my Bearikade, for the same reasons.

One word of caution: if someone plans to camp in an area where land managers require International Grizzly Bear Committee certification the Bearikade wouldn't be an option. Otherwise it's great.
Re: Open and Shut, Hike, Rest, Repeat
May 25, 2016 06:40PM
Quote

One word of caution: if someone plans to camp in an area where land managers require International Grizzly Bear Committee certification the Bearikade wouldn't be an option. Otherwise it's great.

Is Yosemite one of those places?

Any idea why the Bearikade isn't certified? Not able to pass the test, or not willing to pay the fee for the testing?
Re: Open and Shut, Hike, Rest, Repeat
May 26, 2016 07:01AM
Quote
ags
Quote

One word of caution: if someone plans to camp in an area where land managers require International Grizzly Bear Committee certification the Bearikade wouldn't be an option. Otherwise it's great.

Is Yosemite one of those places?

Any idea why the Bearikade isn't certified? Not able to pass the test, or not willing to pay the fee for the testing?

From the NPS site:

Approved list of containers

Main Bears and Backpacking Page
avatar Re: Open and Shut, Hike, Rest, Repeat
May 26, 2016 07:38AM
Yosemite is not one of those places - there are no grizzly bears in California, apart from the state flag. JKW posted a link to the approved containers.

If someone is also considering trips to places like Alaska then IGBC certification can be a consideration. In the 48 states, western Montana and northwestern Wyoming, though Glacier NP requires storage in fixed bear lockers at backcountry campsites and Yellowstone NP requires hanging food.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/26/2016 07:41AM by ttilley.
Re: Open and Shut, Hike, Rest, Repeat
May 24, 2016 11:42PM
Excellent trip report! That sure looks like a lot of bearikades! Also is that "Big Star" an MLD creation?
avatar Re: Open and Shut, Hike, Rest, Repeat
May 25, 2016 12:14AM
Quote
basilbop
New--or original--plan: they would camp pretty much where they were and we would hike in to meet them, somewhere down Yosemite Creek.

We headed cross-country down the east side of the creek to avoid a potential high-water crossing. The route was mostly straightforward, working along and around gentle granite slopes and shelves.

Did you consider rambling down Old Tioga Road to the Yosemite Creek Campground? That would of kept you on the east side of Yosemite Creek too. But I don't know what would have been more shrubby, the route your took or the Old Tioga Road.

Three years ago when I hiked down the Old Tioga Road to the Yosemite Creek Campground, a lot of the road was disappearing before my eyes. But the grade was easy. Just a lot samplings and shrubs that have overgrown some sections of the roadway (in addition to the deadfall).



Leave No Trace
avatar Re: Open and Shut, Hike, Rest, Repeat
May 25, 2016 08:38AM
Yes

lots of reasons... but it will be done ... it's on TQ



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Open and Shut, Hike, Rest, Repeat
May 25, 2016 08:46AM
Tanks fur nudder awesum trip...

The last photo... it looks like this:
https://goo.gl/photos/E9feCiAGS2fZbBkT6

Gonna use tripod thingie... and get outta shot from now on... sigh...



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Open and Shut, Hike, Rest, Repeat
May 25, 2016 02:24PM
Quote
chick-on
Tanks fur nudder awesum trip...

The last photo... it looks like this:
https://goo.gl/photos/E9feCiAGS2fZbBkT6

Gonna use tripod thingie... and get outta shot from now on... sigh...

Looks curiously like Jabba the Hut on a strange and wonderful planet...



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
avatar Re: Open and Shut, Hike, Rest, Repeat
May 25, 2016 07:14PM
Quote
balzaccom
Quote
chick-on
Tanks fur nudder awesum trip...

The last photo... it looks like this:
https://goo.gl/photos/E9feCiAGS2fZbBkT6

Gonna use tripod thingie... and get outta shot from now on... sigh...

Looks curiously like Jabba the Hut on a strange and wonderful planet...

You need to click on the photo. It's a 360 photo. If it doesn't work... um...
I dunno... Maybe browser you using doesn't support. Or it's not an iPhone
(it works on my iPhone)
That's about all I know. about that...



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Open and Shut, Hike, Rest, Repeat
May 25, 2016 09:45PM
Cool! Although now I am looking in the medicine cabinet for some Dramamine...



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
avatar Re: Open and Shut, Hike, Rest, Repeat
May 27, 2016 12:58AM
Quote
chick-on
Tanks fur nudder awesum trip...

The last photo... it looks like this:
https://goo.gl/photos/E9feCiAGS2fZbBkT6

Gonna use tripod thingie... and get outta shot from now on... sigh...

Nice image.

Does the camera have a self-timer? That would enable you to get out of the shot if there's a big granite boulder (or a large tree trunk) nearby to hide behind.



Leave No Trace
Re: Open and Shut, Hike, Rest, Repeat
May 31, 2016 08:57PM
He controls the camera with his smartphone. Can fire shutter or set a timer and start that when ready. Easy to get out of the way, if camera will stay put.

He took some night shots with it this weekend. The guys are working on their photos and whatnot now. Something will pop up shortly, I'm sure.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/31/2016 08:58PM by JustKeepWalking.
avatar Re: Open and Shut, Hike, Rest, Repeat
May 27, 2016 11:36AM
This was, yet again, a lovely read. Thanks for sharing!
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login