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Re: Trail conditions inquiry for Red, Post, Fernandez & Merced Pass loop spinning smiley sticking its tongue out

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Trail conditions inquiry for Red, Post, Fernandez & Merced Pass loop spinning smiley sticking its tongue out
July 29, 2017 02:47PM
Hello,
I have a permit for 8/11 exit and entry at Mono Meadow. The plan is a loop I've done before: Red Pass, Post Pass, Fernandez Pass and back to Mono Meadow via Merced Pass or Buena Vista Lake. Can anyone please give me an update on snow levels, creek levels/crossing and downed trees? I thank you in advance. I'm not clear how up to date the Wilderness Conditions are on the Yosemite NPS.gov site.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/29/2017 03:17PM by lygio.
Re: Trail conditions inquiry for Red, Post, Fernandez & Merced Pass loop spinning smiley sticking its tongue out
August 09, 2017 08:14PM
I have no current information, but that sounds kike a really beautiful trip. Have fun!
Re: Trail conditions inquiry for Red, Post, Fernandez & Merced Pass loop spinning smiley sticking its tongue out
August 13, 2017 08:13PM
Thank you for replying.

I just got back. I had a wonderful trip, conditions were optimal if not for a bit of smoke on the first day along the Illouette river, due to a forest fire near by.
Re: Trail conditions inquiry for Red, Post, Fernandez & Merced Pass loop spinning smiley sticking its tongue out
August 14, 2017 03:01PM
I'll be heading to that area over Labor Day weekend. What was your itinerary? We are starting to plan if we should go over Red Peak Pass, or come up with some other options.
Re: Trail conditions inquiry for Red, Post, Fernandez & Merced Pass loop spinning smiley sticking its tongue out
August 15, 2017 09:41PM
Hi,

Day 1 Mono Meadow TH to the Ilouette River - 3 Ml.
Day 2 Ilouette River to Ottawa Lake - 11.5 Ml
Day 3 Ottawa Lake to unnamed lake just below Isberg Peak camping on a super spot with incredible views at the north end of the unnamed lake and 5 minutes up from it on a bluff - 10 Ml.
Day 4 from the camping spot, via Post/Peak Pass, to the top of Fernandez Pass and camped there rather then rutherford Lake, plenty of space, great views, no bugs -10 Ml.
Day 5 Fernandez Pass to Buena Vista Lake - 13 Ml.
Day 6 Buena Vista to Mono Meadow TH 11Ml.
Total route 60 Ml. Altitude range 6381' to 11089' - gain 11795' - loss 11867'

Plenty of water now even approaching the passes but probably will be a bit dryer by Labor Day, bugs were on and off, seen worst.

I find this route very nice the views from Red Pass are glorious ( I assume you are familiar with the pass) and so are the one from Post/Peak and Fernandez and I love that once I head towards Post Pass the path is much less traveled. The valley that joins Post to Fernandez, in the Ansel Adam Wilderness is spectacular, secluded, a true jewel, the blossom and vegetation spectacular and so is the hike from Fernandez to Buena Vista.
Hope this helps,
Lygio

I have created a map with route and an alterate return via Merced Pass that shortened it by 7 Ml. here is the link: map
Re: Trail conditions inquiry for Red, Post, Fernandez & Merced Pass loop spinning smiley sticking its tongue out
August 16, 2017 10:03AM
Thanks for the info! Very informative. We are planning on just going over Red Peak Pass and then on by Merced Lake, etc., but the thought of route finding through the snow on the north side of RPP has some of my party a little concerned. We have alternate plans to maybe set up base camp at Lower Ottoway Lake and do some day hikes from there if things look spicy. This is a first trip to the back country for some, so I don't want to it to turn into an epic adventure. I'll save the epics for later trips grinning smiley
Besides the snow, my biggest concern is smoke from the near by fires and skeeters.
Thanks for the map, that is helpful for planning other excursions.
Re: Trail conditions inquiry for Red, Post, Fernandez & Merced Pass loop spinning smiley sticking its tongue out
August 16, 2017 10:37AM
Hi,

I understand your concerns.

The smoke is bad right now, the days I was there I had a pretty smoky day on the leg from Mono Meadows TH all the way to Ottawa Lake, it cleared just as I got there but I met some folks who told me it had been very smokey all day at the lake. The smoke was coming from the Empire fire at Bridal Veil, with the new r South Fork fire near Wavona I guess it is only going to get worst and the smoke engulfed at times the Dome,, Could Rest, Hoffman...it really kept swirling around and from what I could see I think reached all the way to Tuolumnee Meadow.

Skeeters were non existent till over Red Pass, may be because of the smoke, in the Merced water shed they were feisty but I was prepared.

The snow field past the RPP was 2 miles long and covered 95% of the trail but given the absence of tree it was pretty clear were to head to and super easy to find the trail at the bottom of the snow field, the walking on snow was easy then, the snow held me up but was soft enough to plant my boots for a good hold, it was pretty steep at first and slipping would have been dicey.

Best luck to you guys,
Lygio
Re: Trail conditions inquiry for Red, Post, Fernandez & Merced Pass loop spinning smiley sticking its tongue out
August 16, 2017 01:54PM
It doesn't sound as bad as it seems. We'll be prepared either way. Glad to hear you had a good trip. I'm hoping the smoke will dissipate over the next 2 weeks, but I'm not banking on it. It probably helps the sunsets look pretty amazing I would think.
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