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Re: Taking the next step: overnight backpacking... help!

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avatar Taking the next step: overnight backpacking... help!
March 27, 2017 04:17PM
We're longtime car-campers (glampers?) and day-hikers, but we've been talking about doing an overnight backpacking trip for years. Unfortunately we still haven't actually done it -- one thing or another kept getting in the way. But I'm determined that this year will be the year!

In the interest of starting out a bit easy, my (probably overly ambitious) beloved had the idea of hiking from Toulume Meadows to the Valley, by way of a night's stay at Sunrise HSC, camping in TM before our trip, and camping in whatever is the current walk-in camping area in the Valley (Camp 4?). Aside from the obvious consideration of getting a permit (our schedule it quite flexible right now), that still feels like a pretty aggressive trip for two days. I mean, I *can* hike 11 miles in a day, but I'm not sure I want to. I know it's mostly downhill after Cloud's Rest, but I'm not sure if that will make enough of a difference in the difficulty level.

What I'm looking for are some suggestions for beginner-level backpacking trips in or around TM or the Valley with 1 overnight, extending out to Hetch Hetchy if necessary. If it's not an out-and-back, then we need to factor in transportation back to our car, as well as camping on either end of our trip. I've got a couple of hiking guides I'm looking through for ideas as well, but I could still use a little guidance from more experienced Yosemite backpackers.
avatar Re: Taking the next step: overnight backpacking... help!
March 27, 2017 05:12PM
uh... ya... that's on the verge of ... um ... not too brite ?

- May Lake
- Lyell Canyon
- Glen Aulin
- Cathedral Lakes
- Sunrise Lakes **
- Rafferty Creek (Vogelsang) **

Pick one of those... If you hit it outta the park... then you're golden.

If never carried a pack and all that jazz... I'd keep to one of the top 4.

Have fun and best of luck



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Taking the next step: overnight backpacking... help!
March 27, 2017 05:48PM
Carrying a pack and going downhill... if you haven't done it... you may be surprised with how you feel. Adding 20-30 pounds on your back...

I'm with Chick-on.. break yourself in gently. Have a great win. Build up! There's a lot to dial in with backpacking, enjoy the whole process transitioning from dayhikes to overnight!
avatar Re: Taking the next step: overnight backpacking... help!
March 27, 2017 07:01PM
Thanks! I was pretty sure it seemed a bit too ambitious, but wanted some suggestions for other hikes to take back to the dinner table discussion!



Friend of the Happy Rock.
avatar Re: Taking the next step: overnight backpacking... help!
March 27, 2017 07:24PM
I was just informed that I misunderstood his proposed trip.

He wants to actually sign up with the HSC, so we'd only be hauling our water and lunch/snacks food. The idea being since we don't have to buy packs and gear (we have a band-new, still-with-tags backpacker tent from our wedding a coupe of years ago, but that's for another trip I guess) it'll be a good half-step toward becoming real backpackers.

So, with that adjustment, is a two day trip from TM to Sunrise to the Valley any more advisable? That seems like a long two-day hike, but a lot less daunting.



Friend of the Happy Rock.
Re: Taking the next step: overnight backpacking... help!
March 27, 2017 09:28PM
Quote
itchbay
I was just informed that I misunderstood his proposed trip.

He wants to actually sign up with the HSC, so we'd only be hauling our water and lunch/snacks food. The idea being since we don't have to buy packs and gear (we have a band-new, still-with-tags backpacker tent from our wedding a coupe of years ago, but that's for another trip I guess) it'll be a good half-step toward becoming real backpackers.

So, with that adjustment, is a two day trip from TM to Sunrise to the Valley any more advisable? That seems like a long two-day hike, but a lot less daunting.

Uh oh..
That's how Basilbop suckered me into backpacking.. got me hooked on HSCs... then when we'd done hefty radius around each camp and I wanted more.. real backpacking!!! Ha! And you may know from following this site what that's done to me..

I can't tell u if 5000' downhill is too much for your body.. hopefully you are calibrated with day hikes.. if not... it can be brutal...

Merced Lake HSC overnight was my first taste..

Good luck and have fun!!!
If you can get reservation at Sunrise Lakes HSC that's great, but I would think all reservations there are taken by now - the lottery is in November, IIRC. OTH, I a few years ago (when Aramark still had the concession) at some point they announced a "sale" on places at Merced Lake HSC - not enough takers until then, I guess, maybe because it's a long day for most people to get there from Yosemite Valley. One of no doubt many earlier discussions in this forum about Merced Lake can be found here: http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,64302,64302
avatar Re: Taking the next step: overnight backpacking... help!
March 28, 2017 08:01AM
We looked at the openings yesterday and there were two spaces at Sunrise HSC for mid Sept, which sounds like a good compromise between the crush of August and the cold of October.



Friend of the Happy Rock.
Re: Taking the next step: overnight backpacking... help!
March 28, 2017 06:08AM
Depending on how things melt out... we have also been discussing whether or not the camps would open at all this year... not sure how much trouble clearing the trails for resupply stock trains will be either given the treefall and debris we have seen in other areas.

Best to try for it, but have backup plans...
avatar Re: Taking the next step: overnight backpacking... help!
March 28, 2017 08:03AM
Always always always have back-up plans. I've learned that several times over.



Friend of the Happy Rock.
avatar Re: Taking the next step: overnight backpacking... help!
March 27, 2017 10:27PM
If you've not done much downhill, then you haven't built up that set of muscles.

Up is mostly upper leg/thigh
Down is mostly lower leg/calfs

Different muscle sets, so you could love going up and die going down, or visa-versa, depending on your muscle development.
A sure sign of someone who has gone crazy with hiking a lot of up and down is massive thighs and calfs.

Practice going up and down stairs one at a time, then when you're ready try it two at a time. Two at a time down is surprisingly hard.

This will keep you from being one of those I've seen on Mist trail sliding their back-ends down the stairs or stepping sideways while displaying obvious grimaces of pain.

Which brings up another point, DON'T go down Mist trail if your lower legs are tired out, the stairs will kill you. Up Mist, down Muir is easiest for most people.
Re: Taking the next step: overnight backpacking... help!
March 28, 2017 09:13AM
Quote
qumqats
Which brings up another point, DON'T go down Mist trail if your lower legs are tired out, the stairs will kill you. Up Mist, down Muir is easiest for most people.
Not just easiest but safest...a slip on the stairs going up (as long as you're not too close to the outside) is unlikely to do you much more than a scrape or maybe a sprain...a slip on the stairs going down could literally kill you. A slip coming down the JMT at this point is a) less likely and b) less likely to be serious if it does happen.
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