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Re: Snow Creek to Happy Isles Trip Report

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Snow Creek to Happy Isles Trip Report
July 21, 2011 01:55PM
Day 1:
Snow Creek to Mt. Wakins
The trail turned me into a glowering salt stained zombie. I put off getting water until the last possible minute before the Mt. Wakins saddle and then could not find the water near the saddle I had noted after it got dark. After contemplating the water content of my shot blocks, I stumbled around in the dark for an hour until I found the puddle.



Day 2:
Snow Creek to Clouds Rest
Some snow patches still, nothing much. At first I thought the bug clouds by Tenaya were gnats. I realized they were mosquitos, and that there were millions of them, and that my bug spray was in my bear can, at the bottom of my pack, all about the same time. You locals may think this is amusing but it's not. The outside world has no idea that you're quietly letting these mosquitos employ zerg tactics to evolve or mutate or whatever into these spray immune beasts. There should be a sticky on the main page.

The crossing at Tenaya is just above the knees and was not an issue. The snow on the switchbacks up to Sunrise was annoying though. It's just melted enough to be dangerous in spots, but mostly you can go around it. I kick tested a hole a couple times only look inside and see a boulder strewn chasm below. It's almost gone though.

I avoided getting water again until the last possible second and met a couple on the shoulder before Clouds that seemed concerned about my query for a puddle to drink out of. They offered me coke and pineapple juice. I politely refused, but if I have one regret about the entire trip it's not drinking that pineapple juice. Even now I crave it. I said goodbye and kicked a muddy hole in a low spot and then promptly broke my filter attempting to suck half a liter of filthy water out of the ground. Nothing old snow can't cure right? I filled my nalgene and pressed on. As it turns out, the nice couple did turn out to be liars though, as they said there was both no more puddles higher up (there were) and no more real snow (the snow began in earnest just past the shoulder). The pineapple juice was probably a trap. Who carries pineapple juice on a hike? If that's what they neglected to drink what had they eaten earlier?

I would imagine all of this snow would be gone by this weekend too, it was patchy and not an issue.





Day 3:
Clouds Rest to HI.
Nothing to note about this section of the trail, except this strange bird who at first looked to attack me, but then just keep it's distance while showing me it's rear.


I jogged down the Mist trail and I dunno how many more time's I'll want to go down it in summer. It's a freaking zoo. I saw a guy at Vernal wearing a tucked in collared shirt, nice slacks and dress shoes, soaking wet. I saw two kids wearing flat soled shoes slip at the begging section of the granite where you can go right into the Merced.
avatar Re: Snow Creek to Happy Isles Trip Report
July 21, 2011 02:13PM
Cool. Very nice photos and report.

That's my cousin. The Blue Grouse. Like me... it's harmless.

Hear you on Mist. It's all about the timing baby. Won't find me on that sucker until October.
tongue sticking out smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Snow Creek to Happy Isles Trip Report
July 21, 2011 02:34PM
He charged down the trail at me for about 10 feet when I first saw him, it was great.

Watkins was very cool, at the end of the first night I seriously debated scrapping the rest of my plans and just hanging out there. I was so beat from the hike up from the valley that I didn't go all the way to the edge or explore that 2nd dome. I may have to go back.

I've read people go up there in winter to ski and that there's a cabin nearby? I didn't see it from the trail when I passed where I thought it'd be on the map...
avatar Re: Snow Creek to Happy Isles Trip Report
July 21, 2011 03:06PM
The cabin is off the trail a bit. You have to follow the ski markers up in the trees to get to it.
It gets quite busy in the winter. Watkins is spectacular indeed.

Here's some in winter:
https://picasaweb.google.com/yosemite.chick.on/OlmstedPt

More on the cabin here:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,30488

Bearproof skied up there:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,33885,33905#msg-33905

You can compare the winter one in the tree to this one:
https://picasaweb.google.com/yosemite.chick.on/Misc#5595571621451427650

Here's full rainbow over Clouds Rest from Watkins:
https://picasaweb.google.com/yosemite.chick.on/Yose?authkey=Gv1sRgCLnDtfaPzLmrQQ#5595571562553423778

Glad you had a good trip



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Snow Creek to Happy Isles Trip Report
July 21, 2011 03:31PM
Quote
chick-on
.
That's my cousin. The Blue Grouse. Like me... it's harmless.


Now you know where the saying "Being in a blue funk pink grouse" came from.

From an online dictionary:
Grouse (grous) Informal
intr.v. groused, grousĀ·ing, grousĀ·es
To complain; grumble.
n.
A cause for complaint; a grievance


(Educationally Yours)
The Marmots
avatar Re: Snow Creek to Happy Isles Trip Report
July 22, 2011 12:58AM
Quote
chick-on
Hear you on Mist. It's all about the timing baby. Won't find me on that sucker until October.
tongue sticking out smiley

The Mist Trail isn't so bad in the summer before 8:00 AM or after 7:00 PM. wink
Re: Snow Creek to Happy Isles Trip Report
July 25, 2011 08:05PM
I'm thinking of doing something similar, starting from Olmstead Pt---Mt. Watkins--Basket Dome---down to the Valley, which might involve (1)North dome, down UYF trail OR (2) Tenaya Canyon, Mirror Lake.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/25/2011 08:07PM by Ohnivy-Drak.
Re: Snow Creek to Happy Isles Trip Report
July 26, 2011 09:35AM
When are you planning on doing this? Tenaya canayon would most likely be a bad idea if the lake outlet is above the knees still
Re: Snow Creek to Happy Isles Trip Report
July 26, 2011 07:46PM
Second week of August, around that time. I'll be going with someone with more experience and knowledge. He knows how to navigate, avoiding the tough sections of Tenaya Canyon. Thx for the tip - we won't do anything foolish or out of character. The ND/UYF route will likely be our choice down.
Re: Snow Creek to Happy Isles Trip Report
July 26, 2011 05:46PM
nice pics/dreadful story of de-hydration.

considering a similar trip soon. just askin respectfully -- with no water showing twixt snow creek and watkins, why didn't you fill up at snow creek? also, what about the sunrise lake outflow creeks, the couple of ponds and couple creeks on the way up to clouds rest? i'm not sayin', i'm just askin'.
Re: Snow Creek to Happy Isles Trip Report
July 26, 2011 05:51PM
really just suprised as i was on the north rim up obofrt and down snow creek several weeks ago and water was flippin' everwhere. i guess that record snow is really melting fast. while i consider myself an ultralighter, i usally tend to error on the side of a full two liter platy when within a couple miles of proposed camp.
Re: Snow Creek to Happy Isles Trip Report
July 26, 2011 08:03PM
Hehe, I should clarify. There's was water everywhere. Places to fill up every quarter mile for the entire weekend. I never had an empty nalgene. I merely meant that I put off getting water for the night/cooking until the last possible second due to laziness. No dehydration risk, just hi jinks.
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