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Re: Vogelsang-Merced-Sunrise

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Vogelsang-Merced-Sunrise
July 19, 2011 08:55AM
Realized this was discussed recently but praying trail conditions will have gotten better, park service does not seem to have much up to date information. I'm backpacking and first night is on July 27th at Vogelsang HSC. Consider myself an intermediate backpacker that is not used to going away from the designated trials (hear there is lots of water and might have to) and never camped in snow before.
Re: Vogelsang-Merced-Sunrise
July 19, 2011 10:49AM
I was in the area (again) last weekend. Conditions were a lot better than what I posted here: http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,41154. The snow is melting fast, and the water levels were generally much lower. The Fletcher Creek crossing was much safer--the water was probably a foot lower. There is still persistent snow between Vogelsang and Tuolumne Pass, but going down Rafferty it is maybe 50% coverage for the first 1/2 mile or so, and the trail was easy to follow. I didn't return to Sunrise last weekend, but Cathedral Pass still had ~90% snow coverage, but only for maybe 1/4 mile on either side of the pass. Nowhere did the snow present a navigational or safety issue, and there were plenty of snow-free places to camp at Vogelsang.
Re: Vogelsang-Merced-Sunrise
July 19, 2011 01:36PM
Thank you very much basilbop, good information. Park service has not been very helpful, their report is 2 weeks old. Anyway, I have another week so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Like I said not much of a person to go off the trail and also like to use the bear boxes at the HSC, hope someone has more information in the coming days on the loop. Very grateful for this forum!
avatar Re: Vogelsang-Merced-Sunrise
July 19, 2011 06:11PM
Thanks for the update. I'll still have my ice axe packed in the car for my Nelson Pass trip but its looking hopeful that I won't need to take it. I'm debating between just going to Nelson Lake, or camping at Matthes and exiting via Cathedral Pass (its a one night trip). Sounds like either choice should be fine.
Re: Vogelsang-Merced-Sunrise
July 19, 2011 06:42PM
IMHO, Matthes Lake is more scenic than Nelson, with Reymann running in second. But they are all nice and worth visiting!
Re: Vogelsang-Merced-Sunrise
July 20, 2011 05:32AM
I had a friend of a friend talk to the High Sierra Camp manager today. He said all the camps are dry and free of snow. He said as of a week ago that there was snow on the passes going into Vogelsang and Sunrise. The snow is hard packed and shouldn't be a problem to hike over. Also, he thought it would be an excellent time to take the trip.
Re: Vogelsang-Merced-Sunrise
July 21, 2011 07:57PM
The Snow screwed us up on the trail from tenya lake. We left late in the afternoon and missed the Sunrise Camp trail head. I blame the lack of sunlight in the trees and the snow mounds for us losing the trail. We ended up camping on that hill with no problems.

I think you'll have less snow on that trail head and more water and mud in a week.

Here is what it looked like closer to Cloud's rest, less severe and easier to stay on the trail.

Snow mounds near Cloud's rest
Re: Vogelsang-Merced-Sunrise
July 25, 2011 09:18AM
I just finished this trip last Saturday. Go for it, no problems whatsoever. Couldn't have been easier. And not a soul at Vogelsang!
Vogelsang pass itself, however, is sun-cupped throughout. A ranger that I spoke with took two hours (!) to cross it; plus it's a wet mess in the meadows on the other side. The lake was still 80% frozen--cream on milk. But taking the trail past Emeric to Merced was snow free; ditto going into Sunrise.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/25/2011 09:20AM by hegel.
Re: Vogelsang-Merced-Sunrise
July 25, 2011 09:20AM
Any info on Clouds Rest trail conditions from the Sunrise/Forsyth side?
Re: Vogelsang-Merced-Sunrise
July 25, 2011 09:52AM
I ran into sporadic snow on the 16th that presented no challenges coming from Tenaya. I would be surprised if any snow was left by now. The worst of the snow was on the Sunrise switchbacks, and it was only bad because the drifts were short enough to tempt you to walk over them and risk postholing. All of them could be circumvented. From the saddle to Clouds Rest there was sporadic snow in the shady spots, then a brief slope at 9500ft before the trail gets in the rocks. Doable in flip flops, and I bet it's all gone by now.
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