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Re: The Not As Planned TR: Sept 12-17

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The Not As Planned TR: Sept 12-17
October 16, 2016 12:47PM
With the best of intentions and words of wisdom from Chick-on we headed out for a much needed romp in the Yosemite backcountry.

We started from glacier point panorama trail head (only permit we could secure) around 2pm and went the required minimum distance, beyond Buena Vista trail, to our first camp. We were not alone. I follow the JMT yahoo group and am well aware that many JMT'ers start the hike from here because they cannot secure permits, so we were not totally stunned but it was still more than expected. We found a little ledge overlooking the creek with some seclusion and posted up for the night. Enjoyed a nice dinner of thai wrap and potatoe/curry sambosa from our local Gloria wrap guru. Too much info?

In the morning we took the high trail around to the top of Nevada falls. There was a prescribed burn in the valley which was creating an immense amount of smoke along this section. We wrapped our bandannas around our faces to help filter. We looked like bandits! We were glad we had a heads up or we would have been worried like a couple of gents we ran into. We continued along through Little Yosemite Valley and along the Merced river. The smoke had vanished by LYV. We enjoyed the section along Bunnell Cascade and were feeling pretty good. The clouds began to darken and we were a bit concerned about getting stuck in a downpour so we stopped and set up camp. The drops started falling within about twenty minutes but never amounted to much. It was quite windy so we made an early dinner and hunkerd' down.

The next day our goal was Bernice Lake. Now, I will preface this section by saying that some "life circumstances" have prevented us from being in the sort of hiking shape that we are used to. Pretty much zero training or preparation for this trip. Off we go, continuing through Echo Valley, along the Merced River, and eventually to Merced Lake. We took a short lunch break just passed the high sierra camp (we were surprised by how quiet it was- only saw two people). We continued along Lewis Creek and were moving quite slowly after lunch. It was hot and well- no more excuses. We realized that we were not going to make the final push to the lake. We stopped for a bar and a "safety meeting" to discuss options. We must stop now! So, we crossed the creek and found a nice little spot. We soaked our feet and went to bed. We were knackerd'.

The next day we had a nice morning climb up over Vogey pass. It was nice to start ahead of the heat and get some great views. We had a nice look at Bernice from the climb and it seems like a nice little spot.We were still happy with our decision. Hike your own hike. Right? Continuing through the high sierra camp (empty and broken down) we went down through the nice meadow along fletcher creek. It felt good to go down a bit. We enjoyed the views and solitude. We didn't see anyone along this stretch. As were were getting closer to Merced Lake we were thinking about where to camp. Our original goal was to get to Echo Valley and maybe beyond for the secret camping spot from chick-on. It was clear that we did not have the stamina... we also did not want to do the stretch after the lake because it was getting later in the afternoon. So... we decided to camp just before the lake on the back side of the high sierra camp. Not the greatest spot we have stayed in but it was open on some nice rock and worked for us. We had a nice dinner and discussed the next day. It was was clear to us that our initial goals for this trip were not realistic and did not match our level of fitness. So, we decided that we would scratch the Clouds Rest plan for the next day. We were both relieved and it seemed silly to set ourselves up for a hard climb and another exhausting day falling short of our goals. We would save Clouds Rest (neither of us have been there) for another time. The only question was where to spend our last night since we had planned to stay up near Clouds Rest.

We started the next day off with good energy. It was nice to come back through Echo Valley from the other direction. We started the climb up to the area where we were hoping to stay the night before. It was clear again that we made the right decision. We could not have made it this far with our limited energy. We were LOVING the morning views and this portion of the hike. We definitely both felt that this was the one spot on the entire trip that we would want to visit again and camp. This "YUMMY" area is just that and I can see now why Chick-on was encouraging us to stay up there. I wish we could have made it! That said, we stopped for an early lunch to savor the views for a bit longer. It was a magical spot and the views won't be forgotten.

Pushing on, we were thinking we would try to stay somewhere between Little Yosemite Valley and the top of Nevada Falls. When we hiked through LYV on the way up we both thought the place seemed like a zoo and that we would never want to stay there. Well, as we made our way toward the Half Dome junction we started to see the hordes of people... we saw a ranger and were happy to ask for some information about camping. She was pretty alarmed that we were inquiring about staying beyond LYV. She said "you have to stay there or hike all the way out". Ok... I had a feeling there were restrictions but I was not sure about having to hike all the way out. I think it might have been a slight exaggeration. So, we accepted our position and found a spot at LYV... the place we thought we would never stay. It was just one of those trips... It was still kind of early for dinner so we tried to go and soak our feet in the river. There were SO many people that we could not even find a spot that was not overrun with people. Eventually after walking up and down the river, we found a little log that we could shimmy out onto and dip our feet. It was a pleasant spot and great to cool down. Just as we were preparing to leave we spotted a bear and a cub crossing the water just down river. It was exciting to see them and not surprising that they are in this area considering the number of people and the potential for inappropriate food storage.

It was surprisingly quiet that night. There were some very early risers starting off for the JMT or HD or whatever but other than that it was much better than expected for being in an area with so many people. We have never backpacked and stayed with so many people before!

The next day we re-traced our exit through the upper Nevada Falls, along the Panorama trail and out to Glacier Point. We drove from there straight to San Francisco to enjoy a couple of nights in the City and to catch a Giants game. In some ways it was a good thing that we stayed in LYV on our last night because it helped to prepare us for transitioning into a city type of atmosphere. I think it would have been more difficult if we were coming from a trip with more solitude.

There is the trip- I am sorry that I cannot post pictures on these trip reports. Same old problems with the site. We also have a great video of a bird dipping in the cascades which I would love to share. He was so much fun to watch.

As I said in the title- the trip was not what we had planned for but it was still the back country of Yosemite and we loved getting out there. Hopefully more opportunities next year and time to dust off the snow shoes!

Happy Hiking--
avatar Re: The Not As Planned TR: Sept 12-17
October 16, 2016 01:05PM
Funny how trips sometimes don't end up as expected. Last trip with Chickon I was told 12 miles per day.....
Hilarious how a night in the LYV campground prepares one for a visit to SF and a Giants game!
Pictures...yeah, I find the picture thing is a pain in the backside....wish it was easier!
But pretty much any trip to Yosemite is a good trip!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/16/2016 01:05PM by Bearproof.
avatar Re: The Not As Planned TR: Sept 12-17
March 13, 2017 11:01AM
Hey lilagray,

My first visit to Yosemite was at the same time as your trip. Mom wanted to visit my daughter in Berkeley and see Yosemite. Mom has mobility issues, so we were limited to what we could see from the roads (she did make sure I did some day hikes though). Photo below is from Tunnel View, my first sight of Yosemite Valley. I didn't know it at the time, but that 'cloud' is actually smoke from the controlled burn you mentioned. I saw the fires when we drove into the valley.

I've been smitten with Yosemite ever since. This years REI dividend is going for a bear canister. I spend way too much time reading this forum. I have a reservation for a wilderness permit ( Happy Isles->Sunrise/Merced Lake (pass through) ) for May 16 to 18 and will likely get another for the high country in September. Thanks for posting your trip report.

Wild Bill



avatar Re: The Not As Planned TR: Sept 12-17
March 13, 2017 04:47PM
Wild.Bill,

Your route in May could be still heavily laden with snow. Creek crossings could be dicey. Chick-on could offer some advice on this. Get ready to get another permit reservation. There are lots of places to go where snow and water won't be a problem.

The snow pack this year is a monster.



Old Dude
avatar Re: The Not As Planned TR: Sept 12-17
March 13, 2017 08:27PM
Quote
mrcondron
Wild.Bill,

Your route in May could be still heavily laden with snow. Creek crossings could be dicey. Chick-on could offer some advice on this. Get ready to get another permit reservation. There are lots of places to go where snow and water won't be a problem.

The snow pack this year is a monster.

Hey Old Dude,

I am about half expecting that I will end up doing something else.

You're welcome California. All I had to do to end your drought was reserve a Wilderness Permit.

Seems like Rancheria Falls is a possible alternative? Could just get a room and do day hikes. Looked at snowshoes today, too. I have microspikes.

I'll be paying close attention to this forum in the weeks to come (it is the best resource I've found). Any and all advice greatly appreciated.

Chick-on roolz.

Thanks,
Bill

P.S. I haven't figured out the 'Quote' functionality yet, so to reiterate: I have a reservation for a wilderness permit (Happy Isles->Sunrise/Merced Lake (pass through) ) for May 16 to 18. Also, I'm getting a bear canister, ear plugs for the BP camp (never would have thought of that one myself) and stove fuel at the 24 hour Walmart in Manteca.





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/14/2017 07:31AM by Wild.Bill.
Re: The Not As Planned TR: Sept 12-17
March 17, 2017 10:50AM
Wild Bill,
A correction. I ended the drought by getting a new bike in November, your wilderness permit just added more rain. Thank you.
Re: The Not As Planned TR: Sept 12-17
March 13, 2017 08:58PM
Enjoy your trip Wild Bill- it is an amazing place... I never tire of it!
Re: The Not As Planned TR: Sept 12-17
October 16, 2016 02:58PM
Sounds like a fine trip. You did make it all the way to Vogelsang from Glacier Point. That's not a small climb, no matter how many days it took.
Thanks for the TR.
Re: The Not As Planned TR: Sept 12-17
October 16, 2016 04:21PM
Good job. You had a great adventure, and you used some common sense to make the most of your trip.

I think just about every backpacking trip we've ever taken has involved some kind of route change at some point...from simple alternate routes to a complete change of itinerary. Comes with the territory.



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/16/2016 04:28PM by balzaccom.
avatar Re: The Not As Planned TR: Sept 12-17
October 17, 2016 07:19AM
Thank you so much for coming back and saying what you did.
Really appreciate it!

Things I try to live by..

The journey is the destination
The only place we need to be tonight is warm and dry
(I tend to get grump on the "must be home by this time" days)

Anyzoo... I got more... but you get the picture.
Now you have reason (like you needed it) to go back.

Gotta run... but ranger was right and wrong...
There's NO Camping along the Panny Trail...
But of course you can zippy off it for some heading to Illilouette and camp...

Thanks!
Chick-on is looking at you!



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: The Not As Planned TR: Sept 12-17
October 17, 2016 08:03AM
Quote
lila
we were thinking we would try to stay somewhere between Little Yosemite Valley and the top of Nevada Falls.

Yeah this is explicitly prohibited.
Absolutely not.

Gotta say that earlier this year when we walked thru the entire LYV campground we were beyond ourselves ..
About 5 private fire rings... And a smoldering fire in the ring that is supposed to be used...

We walked away just flabbergasted..

Your look LYV experience... Wow!!!



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: The Not As Planned TR: Sept 12-17
October 19, 2016 10:40PM
I knew she was just giving us the company line!

I was not confident enough to explore and figure out a good back up option...
Re: The Not As Planned TR: Sept 12-17
October 19, 2016 10:44PM
Thanks everyone for all of the replies. It really makes us feel better to see the comments and know that we are not alone in modifying an itinerary and that it is "all good".

Thanks so much- and here's to another trip in the near future!

PS- yes, ags they are prepared wraps by a local vendor here in the Santa Cruz Bay Area of California. They are very tasty and quite healthy. This was our first time bringing something like that for the first night out rather than preparing a dinner and it was a nice way to go about it. I think we will consider it again...
Re: The Not As Planned TR: Sept 12-17
October 18, 2016 09:17AM
Quote
lilagray
... Enjoyed a nice dinner of thai wrap and potatoe/curry sambosa from our local Gloria wrap guru. Too much info?...

No, not enough info.:-) Is this previously prepared (ready to eat) or a freeze-dried meal that you assemble on the trail? Where do you source it from? Sounds interesting.

Your trip sounds like fun, good for you making choices that helped you enjoy it the most. Clouds Rest is spectacular, you can see for yourself on a future trip.
Re: The Not As Planned TR: Sept 12-17
October 29, 2016 05:47PM
Ok here is an attempt to post the "funny bird" video...(not "the Bird"winking smiley - not sure if it will work.
And here is the famous Thai Wrap from a previous dining spot....


video: https://photos.google.com/search/_tra_/photo/AF1QipOdxu1WfFhqlW5zwM_nStvrYVOAba5K9GyeL_Un

https://photos.google.com/search/_tra_/photo/AF1QipMyUN3mkvf3jryCslI1_r6Ln3eoksueNmOopQzR
avatar Re: The Not As Planned TR: Sept 12-17
November 08, 2016 06:31AM
No workie

sad smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
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