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Half Dome, Yosemite National Park

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Re: Backpack trip advice

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Backpack trip advice
December 15, 2016 10:13AM
I am planning a multi-day backpacking trip. Right now my date is late June. My plan is to park at Bridalveil Falls, take the hiker's shuttle to the Yosemite Creek trailhead. Day 1. Hike to Eagle Point for Night 1. Day 2. East to Yosemite Point, North Dome, Indian Rock over to the Snow Creek Footbridge for Night 2. Day 3. Hike out to Olmstead Point on over to Tenaya Lake towards Cloud's Rest. Camp in this area for Night 3. Day 4, Hike up and over Cloud's Rest and camp somewhere before the Half Dome spur trail for Night 4. Day 5. Up Half Dome and down to LYV and camp for Night 5. Day 6. Hike to the Panarama to Glacier Point, then Pohona on to Bridal Veil Creek for Night 6. Day 7 Hike on to the Old Stagecoach Rd back to Bridalveil Falls and my car. Is this feasible? Practical? Not sure of those miles each day or total miles. Or elevation gain/loss either. I'm working on all that! Has anybody done this? Or anything like it? I have hiked in Yosemite before and bit off more than I could chew. I've lost some weight and I'm in better shape than I was then but still worried that this may be too much. Should I have a food stash somewhere to save a couple pounds? How's water that time of year? I do have a good bit of backpacking experience. And have taken several multi-day trips before, including Grand Canyon. I wouldn't call myself an expert though. More intermediate. Any input will be greatly appreciated!! Thank you in advance!!
avatar Re: Backpack trip advice
December 15, 2016 10:43AM
Issue 1 - You can't park overnight at Bridalveil Fall then.
Issue 2 - I have no idea if some bus runs then (I'll assume you looked into this)

Day 1 - A couple of Creek crossings may be fun ... not to mention if you stay on the trail... it crosses Yosemite Creek ... without a bridge...
so.. um.. you probably would want to xc that portion this way or that.
So.. make it 3 creek crossings (Yose Creek, unnamed, Bluejay)
And.. then there's Eagle Peak Meadows fun.. which may still hold snow and fun... depending..
I'll assume you mean Eagle Peak (not Point) .. but I guess it's a point ish.

Eagle Peak on day 1 may be too much... we have done it early and the crossings were doable... but we skipped yose creek xing

Day 2 - should I continue?

Or do you want to plan more?

Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Backpack trip advice
December 15, 2016 11:26AM
So I assume there's too much water? Are the creeks too swollen to cross?
Re: Backpack trip advice
December 15, 2016 02:57PM
it all depends on the snow pack and the snow melt.

This past year, when I saw the unnamed creek Chick-on mentions flowing into Yosemite creek... I almost couldn't cross. Chick-on took my pack across I balked. and balked some more. and finally managed to make it across the log. The water was too swift and that area a bit too uncertain and deep for what I considered a safe ford. (fording is my preferred method). With what he saw at that UNNAMED creek, he said BlueJay would be a no-no. And I believe him!

A day later, I had to re-cross that log. and I needed help, I couldn't manage the visuals the other way!

Then, a day later, when we crossed Yosemite Creek on a series of logs at a jam... I needed help there too! These early-season creek crossings can be very interesting, to say the least! And I consider myself relatively well experienced.

Have a few trips plans in mind, and keep an eye on conditions as your date approaches. No one can predict what it's going to be like in June right now. Frankly, I'm hoping we get a LOT of snow (we need it), but that will make creeks more "interesting".

Also, Chick-on is correct, no overnight parking at Bridalveil then. The El Cap shuttle should be operating by late June, but.. check! To avoid tickets, I'd park at the backpackers' lot near Curry, take the normal shuttle to Camp 4. When you end at Bridalveil, take the El Cap shuttle back to somewhere you can transfer to the normal shuttle to get back to the parking lot.

Have a few options in mind. Other problem... no way to tell if it's too much for you or not. Altitude sickness is fickle. Fitness levels are hard to gauge. Good news is you have a lot of good bail options. Stay flexible. Plan out a couple of routes...
avatar Re: Backpack trip advice
December 15, 2016 06:08PM
Could start on the valley floor and go up Yosemite Falls trail. Tenaya Creek would be chilly and how would the drainage from the Sunrise Lakes be at that time? Could be lots of snow still.

Old Dude
Re: Backpack trip advice
December 16, 2016 04:10AM
So I guess the best option is to just wait until July/August? I had thought about starting in the valley but kinda wanted to avoid the huge climb on Day 1. When I came out there before it was June 2012 and Yose Falls was just a trickle. I guess that was a really mild winter? I also started Day 1 up the Snow Creek Falls trail which was brutal and I ended up bailing out earlier than I intended. I have also thought about starting in the valley and going up the OBOFRT (Rockslides trail) where I'd still have the initial climb but it would be spread out over a couple days. But I'm not sure how rough that trail is. Plus it would make my already huge trip a couple days longer! I appreciate all the input!!
avatar Re: Backpack trip advice
December 16, 2016 08:04AM
Wow..so much to say...and so many questions regarding conditiins. It certainly is starting out as a wet winter and if it keeps up, June could be somewhere between really wet and unpassable in some areas. So timing and conditions are tough to call right now.
To save weight you could cache some food and fuel. For example...bear boxes are available at Glacier Point,Tenaya Lake, and the Valley, so depending on where you start and what route you take, you could really lighten the load that way.
Your route also gives you lots of options if you are going faster or slower...you could end at Glacier Point and take a bus back to the Valley, for example. Or come back to the Valley after Half Dome via the JMT to Happy Isles. I always like having options on longer trips in case something comes up.
Yeah...starting up the Snow Creek trail...that's a fun one! OBOFR is certainly more gradual...and for the most part it's easily walkable. But the other parts...i.e. the several.places where the trail has been rocks lid out or washout have eliminated it...this parts are not good. Can't recommend it as an easier way to start a longer trip.
Keep in touch as your trip develops further...it sounds like it will be a good one!
Re: Backpack trip advice
January 01, 2017 08:47PM
Not sure if you have also thought about the need for permits. Since it hasn't been mentioned yet I'll point that out. (of course, you need to have a plan before you can apply for the permits - but you may want to consider the difficulty of permits so you'll have backup plans just in case). Permits now required for walking up the cables at Half Dome. I think you are OK to stop at the sub-dome (before the cables) without permit. Also, LYV campground seems to be always full, so get your request in early for that too.

If HD doesn't work out, Clouds Rest is beautiful and well worth it IMO - and less crowded (but you'll still have the water crossings near Tenaya to deal with).

Good luck!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/01/2017 08:48PM by ags.
Re: Backpack trip advice
January 02, 2017 04:36AM
Thanks! Yes I've thought and looked into the permit. I'm thinking now about starting at the Sunrise Lakes (Tenaya Lake) trailhead and making it a 4 day, 3 night trip including Half Dome. What is the water/creek crossing situation if starting from here? Looking at the permit page there are several days still available in June for entering here. I assume the water crossings are doable because many days are already booked up starting here. Thanks!!

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/02/2017 04:38AM by Pacemaker.
avatar Re: Backpack trip advice
January 02, 2017 05:09AM
Worst case is thigh deep and very cold. No current to worry about but the creek is wide.

Old Dude
Re: Backpack trip advice
January 02, 2017 05:11AM
Ok thanks! I believe I can deal with that! I believe I'll go ahead and apply!
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