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Re: Looking for a snowshoe day hike in Yosemite

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Looking for a snowshoe day hike in Yosemite
January 08, 2017 08:13PM
So this is the first step in what I hope will be progression towards backpacking/camping in Yosemite (and elsewhere) in the heart of winter. Being able to get out year-round would be great. I have no experience winter camping, but am very comfortable in wilderness for week+ during the warmer months.

I'm pretty confident that it will be something that I enjoy; my SO is not so sure. I'd like to start slowly to give her some time to become comfortable with the cold and snow, and I'm thinking that a good first step would be a day (snowshoe) hike. Badger Pass (Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area?) to Dewey Point looks beautiful, very easy - and very "crowded" (by winter standards). I'm wondering if there are other day adventures with beautiful winter vistas, but fewer people. During the warmer months we generally are traveling cross-country, avoiding people and enjoying a true wilderness experience. While walking in a (snow) track opened by someone else has already opened up may be easier, breaking new (snowshoe) trail seems like a lot more fun to me. As long as it's not too long/difficult, that may also appeal to my hiking partner. Suggestions?

BTW, I've done the (one-day in/out) xc ski up from Badger to Glacier Point. I'd rate that as magnificent. The view was spectacular, so different (yet the same) as in summer - and I had the entire place to myself for an hour. I guess I was just lucky. But SO does *not* enjoy xc skiing so GP is out of the question for a day hike. Unless that's a reasonable effort/distance up and back on Four Mile Trail from the valley?

Edit: I thought I recalled something "special" about Four Mile trail in the winter, and just confirmed that it is closed. Not sure why (can't one fall of any edge easily in the ice/snow?) but it is. So that's off the list of options.

Thanks for any suggestions.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/09/2017 12:31PM by ags.
Re: Looking for a snowshoe day hike in Yosemite
January 08, 2017 10:17PM
In principle the Four Mile Trail like a nice idea (did it mid-week in late November after they'd closed GP Road, and there were maybe 40 people up there for lunch as opposed to the usual throngs, but not quite the solitude it sounds like you're looking for). But right now it's listed on the Yosemite site as closed https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/conditions.htm. Don't know if that's b/c of ice on the trail or other reasons. There's also this pdf that shows regular winter trails around Badger Pass: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/badger-winter.pdf.

I've been toying with the idea of hiking/snowshoeing to the Mariposa Grove, just because it's currently closed to traffic, but only parts of the grove are open to the public, and I assume there are work crews there.

All this assumes that the lower elevations in the park get more snow this winter - right now the Badger Pass ski area looks like a sheet of ice and mud as a result of this weekend's rain.
Re: Looking for a snowshoe day hike in Yosemite
January 09, 2017 08:40AM
Quote
Not quite The Geezer, but getting there
...
All this assumes that the lower elevations in the park get more snow this winter - right now the Badger Pass ski area looks like a sheet of ice and mud as a result of this weekend's rain.
Yes. I was thinking of maybe going this weekend (1/14-15) but unless there is a lot of snow this week, it seems it would not be ideal snowshoeing conditions. Such a shame, we could have really used the water reservoir in the form of a really good snowpack to offset the drought.
avatar Re: Looking for a snowshoe day hike in Yosemite
January 09, 2017 02:26PM
Mari Grove is closed... except the outer loop... there are signs with area closed...
Along with "you will be fined" signs... I wouldn't disobey them... (we didn't)
There is NO parking at the South entrance... so you have to park outside the park
if you want to do the outer loop. There is not camping overnight this year.
(and may not be ever again)
There is a lot of equipment at the south entrance.... I'd assume they are working
thru the winter. They need to be imo... to open in Spring.
(I'd be surprised if that happened)



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Looking for a snowshoe day hike in Yosemite
January 09, 2017 02:23PM
Four Mile trail is cut into the cliff at a spot where you pretty much have to be on the trail...
straight up... and the trail disappears... it's very dangerous ...
and there are other avalanche chutes... it doesn't melt off due to north facing...

With the last storm... I can't really recommend anything for SNOW shoeing...
It was just so warm and wet... (we literally hiked ALL day in the rain this last Saturday... )

If we get some snow... don't worry about the crowds on a dayhike... just get out there and
get a feel of it... go offtrail for a bit and see just how much you like busting your own trail...

There's so many winter trails... just pick one.
Crane Flat has many trails... I guess I'd pick Crane Flat lookout if I had to pick one.
Or Merced Grove or Tuolumne Grove.

Ok, I just looked at Sentinel webam... At least there is snow out there still...

Maybe Badger Pass road may be open... maybe do "Old Badger Pass Summit" or the full moon hike route
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,73043,73160#msg-73160

How to appease wife?

Hike up Yose Falls... snowshoe only a bit ... camp
Hike up Snow Creek .. snowshoe only a bit ... camp
(or get permit for Snow Creek cabin... ) (just know what you are getting into)

I'd start easier tho... Dewey ...

Have fun

Need more ideas?



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Looking for a snowshoe day hike in Yosemite
January 09, 2017 03:26PM
Hmm. Maybe Dewey, and if it goes well, continue west towards Crocker, Stanford? Old Inspiration Point? Is there any viewpoint from the south rim where one can see Silver Strand Falls (or the other (unnamed) falls to the east of Stanford Pt)?

From the other post you linked, maybe extend the BP moonlight loop with an excursion to Temp/Tempo/Temple Dome? The link I found is here: https://mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=37.653077,-119.658880&z=15&t=t4 That seems to be right at the top of a lift - is that it, or the next dome to the east-southeast?

I'd love to go up Snow Creek. I didn't know reservations at the cabin were required (but it makes sense that they are). I always thought of it as a warm/dry place that is "there if you need it". If in trouble, I'd head for it with or without (and if fined gladly pay for the privilege of being alive to pay it...). Anyway, I think that's not likely for a first trip.

Oh, and before I forget (since SO reads this forum also, and I do want to live to hike another hike): I would never appease her. I simply am certain to take her input into account and incorporate that into hike planning that is mutually satisfying to each of us... :-)
avatar Re: Looking for a snowshoe day hike in Yosemite
January 09, 2017 04:42PM
Snow Creek has a combo lock... so... it depends...

Tempo is to SE ... but the trail goes up to the top of the lifts...
You can snowshoe around the entire complex...

And down to Tempo and yadda yadda...

Exhibit C:


Old Inspiration is a delicious whack-a-doodle ...

You should do Advanced search for various terms with author of chick-on and basilbop.
i.e "Stanford" w/ basilbop

There are great views of Silver Strand from near there
(you can search for wherever too! some great stuff from him)

(or I can give you more links)

Have fun

and..

Applease... the wifie..
tongue sticking out smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Looking for a snowshoe day hike in Yosemite
January 11, 2017 03:24PM
Seems like there is new snow falling. Hope at Dewey elevation. I'm thinking we'll head out from BP, maybe up to the top of the lift and to Tempo Dome, then back, or north across the road to Dewey. Then if we like it, Stanford. Or just up from BP directly to Dewey. I guess we'll see how it looks when we get there...

I originally thought it might be fun to get to Chilnualna Falls (I've never been there any time of year) but I think that's too much for an introductory walk in the snow - would you agree?

Does "Old Inspiration is a delicious whack-a-doodle" mean it's a chick-on bushwhacking extravaganza? How does *that* work in the snow? I guess you get to go over a bit of the brush. Seems like you wouldn't like (or approve of) that at all. :-)
Re: Looking for a snowshoe day hike in Yosemite
January 11, 2017 06:14PM
If you are up there this weekend, and badger pass road opens, you might see us! We are doing BP to Dewey to Tunnel.
Also not sure about Chilnualna Falls, might be more wet than snowy there.
Re: Looking for a snowshoe day hike in Yosemite
January 11, 2017 08:56PM
We will be there! Have new (snow)shoes. Have a room in Oakhurst. Have a plan. The TRs and pictures from others have really motivated me to make this happen.

Question (recommendation?): what do you prefer when snowshoeing: hiking boots or winter (think furry warm Sorels) boots? While the Sorels are comfy-warm, they weigh a ton and are huge. My regular hikers (old-school full-ankle style, not those newfangled trail runners that the young chicks (and chick-ons) seem to be using) are broken in, waterproof and light(er).
Re: Looking for a snowshoe day hike in Yosemite
January 11, 2017 10:55PM
Then for both of us, let us hope the road opens by Friday! The ranger was saying they plan to plow it but theres a downed tree at the moment.

Regarding shoes, I personally prefer just using my goretex hiking boots (Salomon 4D GTXs). Only time my feet have gotten cold is at camp when I'm just sitting there melting snow sad smiley. Other than that my feet have been pretty toasty grinning smiley

By the way, which snowshoes did you end up going for?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/11/2017 11:01PM by KevinD.
Re: Looking for a snowshoe day hike in Yosemite
January 12, 2017 11:44AM
OK, so I will try to not get too aggressive with this trip so SO may join me for the next one.

I think we'll start at BP (ski area) and head east on OGPR to the "real" BP, then north along ridge to DP. Depending on how that goes, maybe visit Crocker and Stanford - is there a trail?
On the return, again depending on how the ridge route went, head back same way or the meadow route, and then back to BP (ski) on either OGPR or GPR - depending on how much we liked OGPR. Or maybe out of BP (ski) on GPR and back on OGPR).

If GPR is not open to BP (ski) then I guess we'll have to start at Chinquapin and head to BP (ski). From there either return, or go to Tempo Dome or the "real" BP. That may be too much distance/time for one day. I hope GPR is open...

So the next thing to figure out is what to bring? If it would be better to start a new thread let me know. The real question is on such a short hike, would you recommend bringing overnight gear (tent/tarp, shovel (don't own one), stove/pot for melting water, etc) "just in case" as an extended 10-essentials? No matter what I'll have several (extra) warm layers, extra food, water, waterproof shell, gaiters, gloves, hats, matches, headlamps & extra batteries (though we don't plan to be out after dark), whistles. I'll have a GPS, and am using this map: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/badger-winter.pdf for planning purposes.

Edit: Wow, I messed this up. Posted the right stuff in the wrong spot. Anyway, we ended up with the (YN.info highly-recommended "stamp of approval" ) MSR Lightning Ascents. Might be overkill if things don't go well this weekend, but at least we won't be upgrading later on (until hoversnowshoes are available...) The Symbioz look quite innovative compared to the traditional design, and they may deliver some benefits as well - but I couldn't wait any longer to decide and didn't want to spend that kind of money on something based only on online reviews (astroturf, anyone? ). Also, if things go as I hope, shoes could become a critical (aka "must not fail" ) item deep in the backcountry. I'm already looking at how I can attach spare cotter pins on each MSR shoe in case the pivot pin fails (as reported by chick-on) since such a failure could be catastrophic. Other than that I don't see many other likely critical failure points on the MSR shoes. The Symbioz, on the other hand, look like there might be many. Can't say for sure without proof (for or against) based on a lot of trail miles by a lot of people reporting. The MSR seems pretty bombproof.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2017 03:12PM by ags.
Re: Looking for a snowshoe day hike in Yosemite
January 12, 2017 02:01PM
Um, Basilbop and I almost broke a couple who was relatively young and fit on a snowshoe dayhike to Dewey and back. (Out the ridge route, back along meadow) - and that was from/to the BP parking lot. (Snow conditions will make the effort needed vary considerably!)

If this is your first time snowshoeing - and it sounds like, at minimum, it'll be your first time snowshoeing on new-to-you shoes... I would suggest: Plan on a nice trip to Dewey and back. Take your time and enjoy the scenery. If it turns out it was all easy peasy, GREAT! By not taking on too much to start, you can pay attention to the details of how to work the snow with your shoes, what clothing works best, etc.

What I've noticed is.. that even in quite adverse conditions, when I snowshoe, I generate a lot of heat, so I don't actually need a lot of gear on me. Wind protection is key. But when stopped, I toss on the warm puffs! Easier to stay warm than to get warm again, usually. And wet... you know the drill, warm and wet ok. Cold and wet, not so much... so try not to sweat out. Take time to vent/layer appropriately.

Best way to stay/regain warmth is to move... so DON'T push so hard you fry your legs snowshoeing and can't walk at a decent enough pace to generate warmth. Make sure your legs get along with all the motions of the snowshoes before you find out the hard way! Build up.

I like full-zip rain pants as ventable full-length gaiters, essentially. If you fall or sit in snow for whatever reason, it won't wet you out as easily (all rain gear will most likely fail at some point, either from sweat from the inside or wetting out, given conditions).

I like an ear band to keep my ears warm, but a full warm hat is too much when puffing. YMMV. But have layers to try until you dial your snowshoeing in.

And don't forget SUN protection - you can easily get burned, snow-blind, wind-chapped... and it can be downright HOT in the direct sun. And dang chilly in the shade!

We may have carried a shelter when we started, for day snowshoes, we really don't anymore. But there are usually two to three of us, and we have a good bit of warm gear. Might bring a snow claw to Dewey. Don't see need of full shovel, myself.

We always bring a small stove to be able to boil water to make tea, at minimum, to warm up. We often carry insulated mugs to have hot/warm drinks on us while snowshoeing in cold conditions.

I used mountaineering boots, then insulated "sorel" type boots for snowshoeing when I started because of advice from others. I use my regular uninsulated GoreTex mids now. Keep moving, try to stay dry. have dry socks and shoes waiting for you at the car. (always keep "sacred" (read: dry) socks with you backpacking to change into when in camp - and KEEP THEM DRY. To avoid trench foot, you need at least 1 hour of DRY per day, at minimum.

Oh, on gloves, I really like my little "glomitts" fingerless gloves with the mitten part that can be flipped on and off. I was happy to find a polartec powerstretch pair at Eddie Bauer a few years ago. REI only seems to have the heavy wool ones. Marmot sells a beefier synthetic version. A bit too much for my needs. eVent mittens to put on when wet/windy. That layering combination can get me through a LOT of varying conditions and temperatures!

Oh, I like to drink, I use an uninsulated hose. I just have to remember to blow the water back into the bag in my pack when I'm done sipping. It's the lightest/most effective method *for me*. There are many tricks, you need to find what works best for you in winter.

And what snowshoes DID you get... did I miss that???

HAVE FUN!!!

Please say Hi to anyone you meet on the forum from us!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2017 03:08PM by JustKeepWalking.
Re: Looking for a snowshoe day hike in Yosemite
January 12, 2017 02:31PM
^really solid info/tips!

I still remember my first time out to Dewey....My legs were wrecked ahah. I thought itd be easy considering I used to do a lot of FKT stuff but damn...there sure is a technique for snow shoes ahha

Regarding your SO, in my honest opinion, the best way to get them to come back out is to keep them warm! If they get anywhere near cold, it's game over!!!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2017 02:33PM by KevinD.
Re: Looking for a snowshoe day hike in Yosemite
January 12, 2017 02:35PM
AGS, Bearproof!

http://www.travelyosemite.com/winter/yosemite-ski-snowboard-area-webcam/

I SEE MACHINERY! We may be in luck this weekend grinning smiley


EDIT: DAmn it it drove by



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2017 02:37PM by KevinD.
Re: Looking for a snowshoe day hike in Yosemite
January 12, 2017 03:04PM
Now that there looks like some snow... :-)
Re: Looking for a snowshoe day hike in Yosemite
January 12, 2017 03:25PM
KevinD is right... keep 'em warm...

Forgot to mention, those handwarner thingies can help!

Just remember wet and cold is not acceptable. Pipe up before there is a problem. Especially with extremities.

I know how cold I can get before I have to get serious about warming back up.. but I've practiced in icy rivers with hot air and all kinds of resources near me to warm back up. So.. I can and go get cold *at times* during winter trips. I just manage it very carefully.

And jeez, if they have Reynaud's... be super careful. Plenty of dry gloves!

If not sure, err on side of caution.

I refused to step over/into a creek this past weekend because I didn't want to wet my shoes out. Not a problem in spring or summer when it's warm and easy to keep wet feet warm with walking, but not in winter...so we took longer XC route to avoid that crossing.

Live to hike another day, I say!

(And don't ruin it for someone you want to hike with in the future!)
Re: Looking for a snowshoe day hike in Yosemite
January 12, 2017 03:04PM
1) We will have fun.
2) We will be safe.
3) We may be sore...

We'll start with just Dewey (ridge route - at least on the way out). Would you suggest going out "new" or old GP Road to get to the trail north to Dewey? My guess is that it's hard to say, and probably depends on current conditions: I'd bet OGPR is nicer, but "new" GPR is groomed and easier, particularly if there is fresh/wet/slushy snow. If not broken (it looks like snowing still now - but I doubt we'll be the first out) is the trailhead (obviously) marked at the intersection with GPR (a real sign, bear boxes)?

I think I'll not bring shelter (other than 10 essentials space blanket). With such a short distance, even in a really bad storm, with a GPS I expect we would be able to: a) not go over a cliff, b) not get lost, c) stay warm enough to avoid hypothermia, and d) not run out of stored energy to get back to the car. The only likely scenario I could think of where shelter would be crucial would be if there was a storm (wet, wind, cold, etc) and one or both of us were unable to walk ourselves out. Then staying put and staying warm would be important. We'd need to rely on down, fleece and hardshell layers to stay warm.

Agree with most of your thoughts, thanks for taking the time to write that all down. I hope it will help others too.
Re: Looking for a snowshoe day hike in Yosemite
January 12, 2017 03:13PM
If i can recall, there was a sign for the ridge route on the side of the road (GP) when I last went out there.
Re: Looking for a snowshoe day hike in Yosemite
January 12, 2017 03:31PM
I'd say go out via new/GP road. Get your baseline of effort on the way there. There will be a sign for the trail to Dewey. First sign, ridge route. If there are ski tracks, please walk outside of them, if at all possible. We used to XC ski, so I am sensitive to this.

Play and explore on way back based on how you feel..that's how I would do it...
avatar Re: Looking for a snowshoe day hike in Yosemite
January 12, 2017 09:17AM
Party at Dewey! I will be there as well!

I am also thinking that Saturday morning might be a good time for frazil ice in the Valley, so I am going to check that out before I head up to Dewey.
Re: Looking for a snowshoe day hike in Yosemite
January 12, 2017 12:47PM
Hey hey!

We plan on getting out to BP around 10-11am on Sat. Leaving from Coarsegold. If you see a group of 4 handsome folks with 2 shovels and a military print goretex, be sure to stop by and say hi grinning smiley. Our "plan" is BP --> Camp somewhere between dewey and bp if its mush snow OR head to dewey if snow is good --> Stanford area --> Tunnel View.

Hope to see you out there!
avatar Re: Looking for a snowshoe day hike in Yosemite
January 12, 2017 06:20AM
I'd recommend the ridge route to Dewey... see how that goes... I wouldn't start with meadow route..
not with how storms have come thru (think mushy meadow with a stream thru it) ... I'd go ridge...
then ask as people come thru from Meadow route...
Keep in mind that the winter trails in Yosemite are not SUPER well marked... so if you are the
first thru ... you need to really search imo ... for the signs... for getting to top of Tempo...
I'd suggest going to Old Badger Pass ... (head east ) it should be groomed... you end up walking
in the outer ski run for a bit to the top of the lifts... it's not an issue though.. marked as shoeshoe
and all... have done it a couple of times...

Anyzoo...
Chilnualna..
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,52472,52472#msg-52472

Um... I'd do Badger unless it's closed... Chil starts at valley level... and is south and west facing
so it may not be great snowshoe... and the final traverse is "cliff - ish" which .. um... could be
not doable depending on depth and amount of snow and stuff above...

w/r to boots... I've used "real boots" and "high/mid trail runner type dealies" ... just make sure
they are waterproof and you use gaiters... the consensus is basically that a "real" winter boot
is actually too warm for shoe-ing... for a cold day... you just need to keep on a moving to stay warm.

Have fun!



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Looking for a snowshoe day hike in Yosemite
January 12, 2017 12:48PM
Oh man if you think the Yose trails are poorly marked, wait till you see how the winter trails (Giant forest excluded) at SEKI are marked. Literally the smallest possible reflector they could use!
avatar Re: Looking for a snowshoe day hike in Yosemite
January 12, 2017 01:07PM
Giant Forest is marked excellently...

Where are you referring? Muir Grove? Grant?



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Looking for a snowshoe day hike in Yosemite
January 12, 2017 02:28PM
Can't recall if Muir Grove is marked but Lakes Trail and the baldy saddle is the one I was talking about. I want to say the reflectors were triangles with maybe 2-2.5inch sides. The ones I've seen on the Yose Ridge trail are much bigger!
Re: Looking for a snowshoe day hike in Yosemite
January 12, 2017 01:42PM
If they are worse than the ones going to Vernon or... worst I've seen... Jack Main Canyon.. some of those were almost completely enveloped by the bark! ... wow... we were making a game out of it this summer... spotting the winter markers..

Also, seems that in SEKI, many of the Giant Forest markers are *very* new and shiny. Seems much easier to figure out where you need to aim on the other side of some meadows now.. smiling smiley
Re: Looking for a snowshoe day hike in Yosemite
January 12, 2017 04:29PM
Well we are in luck, Yosemite Ski area will open this saturday http://www.sierrastar.com/sports/article126219374.html

So hope to see you guys up there!

-Kevin
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