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Re: posthole fest

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posthole fest
May 06, 2011 09:52AM
OK here I go

So two years ago my youngest (26 at the time) and I started off from Cathedral Lakes TH trying to take the JMT to the valley 3rd weekend of June.

We got to the top of the the first section of trail and by that point the trail was covered with snow. We camped over night and then just headed back home, but not before a perilous hike backdown where your's truely almost broke his leg...twice.

So now I am going to try it again this time on June 19th...question...what, if any, gear can we use to complete the trek and not posthole? Crampons, snow shoes?

I am total greenhorn when it comes to backpacking in snowy conditions.

Thanks

Grandpa James
Re: posthole fest
May 06, 2011 11:02AM
The last time I saw Cathedral Lakes passable in mid-June was 1999. I would not do this unless you're experienced with snow conditions. There will be clear sections on the trail in the first mile, up the stone steps and there will be large clearing on the JMT above Upper Cathedral lakes (probably), but lots of this trail is in shade before the first stream crossing at apprx. 30 mins.

Don't want to sound like a party pooper, but I am a cautious hiker. Lots of people would do this with heavy snow with NO problem. smiling smiley
Re: posthole fest
May 06, 2011 11:07AM
Thanks Ulysses,

Maybe I can get a TH permit the same day outta Sunrise, that trail should be better since it has Southern exposure.

If that fails I guess Hetch Hetchy...

J
avatar Re: posthole fest
May 06, 2011 12:39PM
Quote
rroland
Thanks Ulysses,

Maybe I can get a TH permit the same day outta Sunrise, that trail should be better since it has Southern exposure.

If that fails I guess Hetch Hetchy...

J

For the Sunrise trail bring a boat to cross the Tenaya Lake outlet. It will probably be fast runing and waist deep in mid-June. Others may post photos of what this crossing typically looks like in June, and this is no typical year.
Re: posthole fest
May 06, 2011 02:23PM
Quote
tomdisco
Quote
rroland
Thanks Ulysses,

Maybe I can get a TH permit the same day outta Sunrise, that trail should be better since it has Southern exposure.

If that fails I guess Hetch Hetchy...

J

For the Sunrise trail bring a boat to cross the Tenaya Lake outlet. It will probably be fast runing and waist deep in mid-June. Others may post photos of what this crossing typically looks like in June, and this is no typical year.

OHHH Tom Disco you are soo right! I remember my son & I forded that mid July last year and it was up to our knees. it will be a serious torrent mid-June...
Re: posthole fest
May 09, 2011 12:31AM
The water level shoudl be very high this summer.
avatar Re: posthole fest
May 09, 2011 06:25AM
Is the problem you don't want to hike in the snow?
Or is the problem you don't want to posthole?
Or is the problem you ate too many Twinkies?

June 19th of last year we didn't posthole really much at all.
i.e.:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,26329,26329#msg-26329
(went up Budd->Echo Peaks->Matthes Lake->Eliz->out)
Crampons were useless. Didn't bring snowshoes.
This year there should be more snow.

If you don't want to flop around in the snow... then you should wait until August.
The section of JMT in Long Meadow come that time is gonna be suncup heaven
(or hell).

Half Fun

O... and up to Sunrise Lakes is not southern exposure...
Um... and sleep in a bit so you don't break your leg... let the top stuff uncrustify



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: posthole fest
May 09, 2011 11:19AM
Quote
chick-on
Is the problem you don't want to hike in the snow?
Or is the problem you don't want to posthole?
Or is the problem you ate too many Twinkies?

June 19th of last year we didn't posthole really much at all.
i.e.:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,26329,26329#msg-26329
(went up Budd->Echo Peaks->Matthes Lake->Eliz->out)
Crampons were useless. Didn't bring snowshoes.
This year there should be more snow.

If you don't want to flop around in the snow... then you should wait until August.
The section of JMT in Long Meadow come that time is gonna be suncup heaven
(or hell).

Half Fun

O... and up to Sunrise Lakes is not southern exposure...
Um... and sleep in a bit so you don't break your leg... let the top stuff uncrustify

Thanks Oh Pinkyaliscious one....I wouldn't mind the snow but my little one would (he's 6'1"winking smiley
I don't want to posthole
I only eat twinkies with E&J Brandy

you know I'm checkin chick-on links

You are righty my bad it's the opposite Northern Exposure...I've been out in my kayak so long I'm thinkin port/starboard....
avatar Re: posthole fest
May 10, 2011 08:01AM
Gramparoo,
The only way to guarantee not postholing is to wear snowshoes.
The problem is is that if the suncups have set in they are completely useless.
In the open areas is where it can get really bad so you can try to stay in the woods more.
Spikies are useful in the early morning when the snow has resolidified.
If you think there was snow when you went last time... prepare yourself.
It's probably all a moot point though... the road probably won't be open until July.
There's just a ridonkulous amount of snow out there.
Not sure I help much... but it's better than nothing, right?
WWCD? I'd have snowshoes in car. Start w/o them... if it got to be a pain in the
booty... drop pack and go back to car and retrieve them...
Have fun out der



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: posthole fest
May 10, 2011 11:07AM
Quote
chick-on
Gramparoo,
The only way to guarantee not postholing is to wear snowshoes.
The problem is is that if the suncups have set in they are completely useless.
In the open areas is where it can get really bad so you can try to stay in the woods more.
Spikies are useful in the early morning when the snow has resolidified.
If you think there was snow when you went last time... prepare yourself.
It's probably all a moot point though... the road probably won't be open until July.
There's just a ridonkulous amount of snow out there.
Not sure I help much... but it's better than nothing, right?
WWCD? I'd have snowshoes in car. Start w/o them... if it got to be a pain in the
booty... drop pack and go back to car and retrieve them...
Have fun out der

Last night while having my evening daydream about the high country, I decided to try and do Bill- e-g's Matthes trail. I've been using compass more and I really am itchin for some off-trial action. My TH permit for Sun 6/19 at Cathedral is the ticket. I am excited to go for this...if I get screwed up tryin to trace Bill- e-g's trail I'll just back track...

Yes you are always a help kind bird.

J
avatar Re: posthole fest
May 10, 2011 03:43PM
Quote
rroland
Last night while having my evening daydream about the high country, I decided to try and do Bill- e-g's Matthes trail.

You sorta have the wrong permit for that.
(hint: that route went by Budd Lake)
In all honesty I sorta worry about you doing this.
This biggest concern that I would have is that the saddle just east of Matthes Lake is holding significant snow still
and present a big problem due to the angle of the dangle.
The other concern is coming down off the ridge down to Elizabeth. Depending on which way you go
it can be very steep. Some would probably say you should carry and ice axe and know how to self arrest.
Since you said you don't have much snow experience I would highly recommend that you
use your permit as is. Then go to either Lower or Upper Cathedral and setup shop.
(there WILL be significant snow)
Then dayhike around... maybe go over Cathedral Pass and drop down by Echo Lake and check out
THE Crest. This will give you more experience just hiking in the white stuff and give you confidence.
You could also dayhike around Columbia Finger and try to get up Tenaya Peak or go check out
Sunrise HSC and Bug Dome view.
The steepness is not huge from what I recall w/r to Tenaya Peak if you go the right way.
Please be careful out there.
Again w/r to that route... I'd recommend doing it later in the year so you know what you are getting
into if you want to do it with snow coverage.
With snow coverage have a really good map and/or GPS and try to be vigilant of where
exactly you are. The last thing you want to do is fall thru a snow bridge into water.

Take Care



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: posthole fest
July 19, 2011 12:47PM
Thanks Chick-on for your concerns and I took them to heart, plus after your thoughtful post as I remember, it snowed...more...sooo I basically donated my 15.00 to the Conservancy and stayed home.

Anyway now...

I got my TH permit at Murphy's creek for 8/16, less snow and less bugs. Gonna take the kid up to sunrise over to clouds then return and get off the JMT to try and hit Matthes crest. With my compass and my REI training on reading maps I shoud be able to jump on a 'chick-on' approved trial (there's a map in here somewhere)

Wish me luck!
Re: posthole fest
July 19, 2011 01:38PM
Ummm, the Murphy Creek trailhead generally can't be used for heading to Sunrise Lakes, unless you go to May Lake (or some other north-of-Tioga Road destination) first, then continue on the High Sierra Loop to Sunrise (or beyond).

The off-trail segment near Echo Lake and Matthes Crest is easy navigation-wise: follow the Echo Creek trail from Sunrise toward Merced Lake, then go upstream when it first hits Echo Creek. As long as you don't cross the creek, you will eventually meet the JMT near Cathedral Pass. There are no significant obstacles on this route.
Re: posthole fest
July 19, 2011 01:41PM
Quote
basilbop
Ummm, the Murphy Creek trailhead generally can't be used for heading to Sunrise Lakes, unless you go to May Lake (or some other north-of-Tioga Road destination) first, then continue on the High Sierra Loop to Sunrise (or beyond).

The off-trail segment near Echo Lake and Matthes Crest is easy navigation-wise: follow the Echo Creek trail from Sunrise toward Merced Lake, then go upstream when it first hits Echo Creek. As long as you don't cross the creek, you will eventually meet the JMT near Cathedral Pass. There are no significant obstacles on this route.

OK cool. I just outted myself I guess...hopefully there aren't alot of rangers reading this thread....
avatar Re: posthole fest
July 19, 2011 07:24PM
Quote
rroland
I got my TH permit at Murphy's creek for 8/16, less snow and less bugs. Gonna take the kid up to sunrise over to clouds then return and get off the JMT to try and hit Matthes crest. With my compass and my REI training on reading maps I shoud be able to jump on a 'chick-on' approved trial (there's a map in here somewhere)

Wish me luck!

Don't get caught with a Murphy Creek permit south of 120 on your first day or even the second day. You might have a hard time explaining how you got there so fast. Worst case you get a ticket and kicked out of the park. Not a good thing to happen in front of your kid. "So dad, should I tell mom what happened or is it our secret? So now what? We hang out in a motel for a few days?"no, stop, enough!



Old Dude
Re: posthole fest
July 19, 2011 09:24PM
Quote
mrcondron

Don't get caught with a Murphy Creek permit south of 120 on your first day or even the second day. You might have a hard time explaining how you got there so fast. Worst case you get a ticket and kicked out of the park.

I'm not sure it's that bad... when we attempted the High Sierra Loop as an overnighter last year, we started (and intended to finish at) Murphy Creek, although on the first day we were north of 120 for only about 3-4 hours (Murphy Creek -> Glen Aulin/May Lake trail -> Old Tioga Road -> crossing of "new" Tioga Road). We did ask the rangers, and this was the trailhead they wanted us to use given our plans. We did take plenty of pictures, just in case we had to provide proof that we spent a nontrivial amount of time north of 120.
Re: posthole fest
July 20, 2011 10:11AM
Quote
basilbop
Quote
mrcondron

Don't get caught with a Murphy Creek permit south of 120 on your first day or even the second day. You might have a hard time explaining how you got there so fast. Worst case you get a ticket and kicked out of the park.

I'm not sure it's that bad... when we attempted the High Sierra Loop as an overnighter last year, we started (and intended to finish at) Murphy Creek, although on the first day we were north of 120 for only about 3-4 hours (Murphy Creek -> Glen Aulin/May Lake trail -> Old Tioga Road -> crossing of "new" Tioga Road). We did ask the rangers, and this was the trailhead they wanted us to use given our plans. We did take plenty of pictures, just in case we had to provide proof that we spent a nontrivial amount of time north of 120.

You started where you were supposed to, on the day you were supposed to, and THAT is what mattered. I know people who got thrown out of the park. I bet they issued you the right permit to begin with... the wrong permit = NO PERMIT at all.

If you get there and you can't do the trip you had planned they will happily issue you a different permit, as long as the quota has not been met for the new trailhead.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/20/2011 10:13AM by AlmostThere.
Re: posthole fest
July 20, 2011 09:27AM
Quote
mrcondron
Quote
rroland
I got my TH permit at Murphy's creek for 8/16, less snow and less bugs. Gonna take the kid up to sunrise over to clouds then return and get off the JMT to try and hit Matthes crest. With my compass and my REI training on reading maps I shoud be able to jump on a 'chick-on' approved trial (there's a map in here somewhere)

Wish me luck!

Don't get caught with a Murphy Creek permit south of 120 on your first day or even the second day. You might have a hard time explaining how you got there so fast. Worst case you get a ticket and kicked out of the park. Not a good thing to happen in front of your kid. "So dad, should I tell mom what happened or is it our secret? So now what? We hang out in a motel for a few days?"

Thanks Mike,

I guess we'll either go explore Polly Dome and May Lakes, or, maybe if no one claims their permits for Cathedral or Sunrise we'll get a permit for those THd's.

I understand the need to stick to the plan, and have a plan, that's why the ranger asks when you get your permit where you plan to camp the first and second nights.

Given the way (unfortunatley) some people always *leave a trace* it's important for us all to not clog up the THds by jumping 'claims'

James
Re: posthole fest
July 19, 2011 01:24PM
WalMart camping aisle. Pair of Outdoor Products brand hiking poles for under $20. For the price, it will please you. Might help you in the snow. But then again you probably already have a set of poles...
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