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Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps

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News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 25, 2011 03:37PM
I've been lurking around this great message board for a week and decided to register. You guys are very helpful. Here's my situation: I have reservations for the High Sierra Camps in mid-August, specifically Vogelsang and Merced Lake. The official word is that Merced Lake is set to open Thursday, July 28 and Vogelsang on August 6, but I'm not sure I believe it since the dates have been pushed back from week to week. The High Sierra office of Delaware North does not answer the phone. The recording says to leave a message and 'we'll get back to you in 5 to 7 days". Right. I've had zero response.

To those of you who have been up there, have you seen any activity in setting up the camps? They were supposed to get Glen Aulin open yesterday? Did that happen? I've tried calling the Tuolumne Meadows Lodge but that phone still isn't working.

Do the High Sierra Camps open when there is still lots of water, mud or snow on the trail? I read of some of you walking waist deep in the streams. I don't really want to do that. I don't want to hike in snow. I don't know what a 'sun cup' is or what 'post-holing' is but it doesn't sound good.

It seems to me that Delaware North needs to *go* or get off the pot. Are they stalling, just wanting to hold onto our money? If the camps are not going to open, I'd like to know more than a few days in advance.

Any news is greatly appreciated. Thanks, Mom
avatar Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 25, 2011 03:52PM
I don't have any feedback on your specific request (I wasn't near any of the HSCs), but...

Quote
Mom
I've tried calling the Tuolumne Meadows Lodge but that phone still isn't working.

In general phones seem to still be out at Tuolumne Meadows. Wilderness permits were still being written by hand, and the pay phones at the campground reservation office had "Does Not Work" posted on them. The TM Grill was processing credit cards the old fashioned way, pen and manual imprint.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/25/2011 03:54PM by ttilley.
avatar Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 25, 2011 04:33PM
I was at the Glen Aulin camp over the weekend. It officially opened for it's first guests on Sunday. One of the crew there said he was supposed to be working at the Sunrise camp but they sent him to Glen Aulin because they are expecting only about a 4-5 week season.

I have a reservation at Vogelsang beginning August 21st. If your reservation is around the same time as mine, I think we've nailed it just right!

I expect that they will open on time or within a few days of their estimate. Spring is in the air and things are thawing out fast!
Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 25, 2011 05:12PM
Phones are not out at TM. They were fixed on Thursday. I know because all of a sudden I got a bunch of text messages. (Ranger told me that the cell tower is tied to the land line, which makes sense, because the cell phone had no signal all week until Thurs)
avatar Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 25, 2011 07:25PM
Maybe its taking them time to get the subscriber lines, and services dependent upon them, fixed. Saturday (7/23) they were still writing wilderness permits by hand, and both Saturday and Sunday the TM Grill was still doing manual imprints for credit cards. On Sunday I did see someone near the Campground Reservation Office talking on a cell phone, with out of order signage on both pay phones next to her.
Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 25, 2011 05:43PM
In general, the High Sierra Camps open when 1) the horses/mules can get to the camps along the normal stocking routes (this generally means little-to-no snow or significant flooding, deadfall, or mud on the trails); and 2) the water and septic systems for the camps are usable and pass the necessary sanitation tests (all the camps have septic systems or leach fields, even those that have composting toilets, and most aren't usable until the ground is sufficiently dry).

Also, Merced Lake, due to its location, can generally open quite early, but they won't open it until a week or so before Vogelsang or Sunrise open, since most HSC visitors don't like to hike all the way to Merced from the valley or Tuolumne. (In the past, when they did open it much earlier than the adjacent camps, few people stayed there...)

Finally, in past years with this much snow they wouldn't even have tried to open the camps...
avatar Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 25, 2011 06:33PM
Quote
basilbop

Also, Merced Lake, due to its location, can generally open quite early, but they won't open it until a week or so before Vogelsang or Sunrise open, since most HSC visitors don't like to hike all the way to Merced from the valley or Tuolumne. (In the past, when they did open it much earlier than the adjacent camps, few people stayed there...)

Is it really that difficult to hike in a day from Happy Isle to the Merced Lake HSC? Yes, it's uphill with significant elevation gain, but if you're not carrying a loaded backpack and only a lightweight daypack, how hard is it?

And for those who truly want to go up there with minimal effort, couldn't they just ride up on a horse or mule rented from the DNC stables?
avatar Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 28, 2011 12:45PM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
basilbop

Also, Merced Lake, due to its location, can generally open quite early, but they won't open it until a week or so before Vogelsang or Sunrise open, since most HSC visitors don't like to hike all the way to Merced from the valley or Tuolumne. (In the past, when they did open it much earlier than the adjacent camps, few people stayed there...)

Is it really that difficult to hike in a day from Happy Isle to the Merced Lake HSC? Yes, it's uphill with significant elevation gain, but if you're not carrying a loaded backpack and only a lightweight daypack, how hard is it?

And for those who truly want to go up there with minimal effort, couldn't they just ride up on a horse or mule rented from the DNC stables?

A 3,200' altitude gain over about 12 miles is probably a bit much for lots of the folks you see at the HSC's, even with just day packs. It's certainly doable. Just don't know how many in that crowd want to.
avatar Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 28, 2011 12:53PM
Quote
tomdisco
Quote
plawrence
Quote
basilbop

Also, Merced Lake, due to its location, can generally open quite early, but they won't open it until a week or so before Vogelsang or Sunrise open, since most HSC visitors don't like to hike all the way to Merced from the valley or Tuolumne. (In the past, when they did open it much earlier than the adjacent camps, few people stayed there...)

Is it really that difficult to hike in a day from Happy Isle to the Merced Lake HSC? Yes, it's uphill with significant elevation gain, but if you're not carrying a loaded backpack and only a lightweight daypack, how hard is it?

And for those who truly want to go up there with minimal effort, couldn't they just ride up on a horse or mule rented from the DNC stables?

A 3,200' altitude gain over about 12 miles is probably a bit much for lots of the folks you see at the HSC's, even with just day packs. It's certainly doable. Just don't know how many in that crowd want to.

But couldn't those people rent a horse from the DNC's stables located in the Valley and ride the horse to the Merced HSC?
avatar Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 28, 2011 01:05PM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
tomdisco
Quote
plawrence
Quote
basilbop

Also, Merced Lake, due to its location, can generally open quite early, but they won't open it until a week or so before Vogelsang or Sunrise open, since most HSC visitors don't like to hike all the way to Merced from the valley or Tuolumne. (In the past, when they did open it much earlier than the adjacent camps, few people stayed there...)

Is it really that difficult to hike in a day from Happy Isle to the Merced Lake HSC? Yes, it's uphill with significant elevation gain, but if you're not carrying a loaded backpack and only a lightweight daypack, how hard is it?

And for those who truly want to go up there with minimal effort, couldn't they just ride up on a horse or mule rented from the DNC stables?

A 3,200' altitude gain over about 12 miles is probably a bit much for lots of the folks you see at the HSC's, even with just day packs. It's certainly doable. Just don't know how many in that crowd want to.

A one-way horse rental?

But couldn't those people rent a horse from the DNC's stables located in the Valley and ride the horse to the Merced HSC?
avatar Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 28, 2011 01:12PM
Quote
tomdisco
Quote
plawrence
Quote
tomdisco
Quote
plawrence
Quote
basilbop

Also, Merced Lake, due to its location, can generally open quite early, but they won't open it until a week or so before Vogelsang or Sunrise open, since most HSC visitors don't like to hike all the way to Merced from the valley or Tuolumne. (In the past, when they did open it much earlier than the adjacent camps, few people stayed there...)

Is it really that difficult to hike in a day from Happy Isle to the Merced Lake HSC? Yes, it's uphill with significant elevation gain, but if you're not carrying a loaded backpack and only a lightweight daypack, how hard is it?

And for those who truly want to go up there with minimal effort, couldn't they just ride up on a horse or mule rented from the DNC stables?

A 3,200' altitude gain over about 12 miles is probably a bit much for lots of the folks you see at the HSC's, even with just day packs. It's certainly doable. Just don't know how many in that crowd want to.

But couldn't those people rent a horse from the DNC's stables located in the Valley and ride the horse to the Merced HSC?

A one-way horse rental?

Why not?

It's easy enough for a wrangler to hitch up a horse to another horse or to the end of a mule train to bring back the horse to the stables.
Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 25, 2011 06:59PM
FYI: I have called the number on their website, and they generally call back within the hour. Also, the woman I talked with said they prefer email, so you might try emailing them.

So far, they have cancelled our nights at May Lake and Sunrise for next week. Keeping our fingers crossed for Merced and Vogelsang. On the phone, they said both would open - and without Sunrise being open. In fact, the woman I talked to recommended hiking into Merced from the Valley.
Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 25, 2011 07:50PM
I've tried calling several times over the last two weeks. No response. I tried e-mailing earlier today. So far no response. They have the e-mails of everyone with a reservation. Is it that hard to create a mass message to all of us giving status updates?
Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 25, 2011 08:03PM
Well, the ranger I met on my trip up towards Sunrise a few days ago told me Sunrise and Merced are not slated for opening until mid-August.
Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 25, 2011 08:10PM
Great...):

Anyone know what they do if one of the camps on your route is open and another is not? I assume they'd let you cancel without penalty for the whole shebang.
avatar Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 26, 2011 07:47AM
Yes they do allow for refunds in this circumstance. Read here:

http://www.yosemitepark.com/2011conditions.aspx

"Your reservations will not be automatically canceled for that time period, but if you want to cancel you may do so without penalty. We will assist you in finding any remaining available dates in Yosemite or refund your deposit should your reservation be canceled due to the delay.
We sincerely apologize in advance for any inconvenience these delays may cause."
Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 26, 2011 09:25AM
Merced Lake opens Thurs. at 12:00. p.m. Status on the rest of the camps is still in a holding pattern with hopes to go into May Lake next week and open the 6th. Vogelsang the 13th and Sunrise after that. To be clear, DNC has been trying very hard to open the HSC's this season. The ultimate decider on who lets them have trail access for stock on the trails is NPS.
avatar Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 26, 2011 08:27PM
Really? Your dates quoted above do not seem to match the website dates...

High Sierra Camps 2011 Tentative Open & Close Dates

Tuolumne Meadows Lodge Mon. July 18 to Sun. September 18
White Wolf Mon. Jul 25 to Sun. September 18

Glen Aulin Sat. July 23 to Sun. September 18
May Lake Sat. Aug. 6 to Sun. September 18
Sunrise Sat. Aug. 13 to Sun. September 11
Merced Thurs. July 28 to Sun. September 11
Vogelsang Sat. Aug. 6 to Mon. September 5

All dates are weather and conditions dependent.

Where did you get your info on this? Do you mean Vogelsang on the 6th and Sunrise on the 13th perhaps?
Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 26, 2011 10:17PM
We are supposed to hike to Vogelsang from TM on August 9 and spend 2 nights in tents. I am going with my kids, who were not thrilled about the tent thing to begin with...we have done the whole loop (for my 50th) but we stayed in the tent cabins which was great but I missed the lottery this year because of illness. We are leaving home August 7th...how soon do people think I can really count on the open date for Vogelsang?? and what will it be like? If it is open, will they take pity on us and let us hang in the dining area after dinner?
avatar Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 29, 2011 06:47PM
Looks like they pushed Vogelsang to the 13th now... Kills my trip. No place to sleep Mon and Tues nights now... Thought about hiking out from Merced when they pushed Sunrise out. Now I would/will have to hike from TM to Merced, or the Valley to Merced.
Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 27, 2011 07:57AM
It is my understanding that Sunrise will be open for only a very short time Aug 20 to Sept 5. This is the current plan.
avatar Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 27, 2011 08:00AM
Quote
David
It is my understanding that Sunrise will be open for only a very short time Aug 20 to Sept 5. This is the current plan.


Hardly seems worth it... unless they just want to give the pack mules some exercise.
avatar Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 27, 2011 08:08AM
Quote
szalkowski
Quote
David
It is my understanding that Sunrise will be open for only a very short time Aug 20 to Sept 5. This is the current plan.


Hardly seems worth it... unless they just want to give the pack mules some exercise.

Don't understand why DNC doesn't extend the HSC season this year. Will visitation and overnight stays drop off that dramatically at the HSC after Labor Day this year?

With a just a bit of online advertising, or an email ad campaign, I would think that DNC could easily keep the HSC filled through at least the end of September this year. Or is the end of the HSC season set so early by the Park Service and not DNC?
Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 27, 2011 08:36AM
The stables in TM must be empty and clean on Oct 1st. The crew that breaks down the camps can only be in one place at a time also it takes several days to empty by pack mule all the things that must come out of each camp. The last camps to close May Lake and Glen Aulin (from the above list) are to close on Sept 18 this is later than originally planed. TM lodge and White Wolf also close on this date.

The high country is great to visit in Sept visitation drops way off with hardly anybody on the trails.
avatar Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 27, 2011 08:48AM
Quote
David
The stables in TM must be empty and clean on Oct 1st. The crew that breaks down the camps can only be in one place at a time also it takes several days to empty by pack mule all the things that must come out of each camp. The last camps to close May Lake and Glen Aulin (from the above list) are to close on Sept 18 this is later than originally planed. TM lodge and White Wolf also close on this date.

Thanks for the info. Too bad the Park Service doesn't permit DNC to keep the TM stables open about two weeks longer until Oct 15th. Can't recall any years where heavy early snows had forced a major shutdown of Tioga Road earlier than Oct 15th.

Quote
David
The high country is great to visit in Sept visitation drops way off with hardly anybody on the trails.

I know. Never understood why visitation drops off so dramatically in September. I know school is back in session, but school is in session in April & May also, and the park's visitation is high during those months too, in addition to the summer months.
Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 27, 2011 08:38PM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
szalkowski
Quote
David
It is my understanding that Sunrise will be open for only a very short time Aug 20 to Sept 5. This is the current plan.


Hardly seems worth it... unless they just want to give the pack mules some exercise.

Don't understand why DNC doesn't extend the HSC season this year. Will visitation and overnight stays drop off that dramatically at the HSC after Labor Day this year?

With a just a bit of online advertising, or an email ad campaign, I would think that DNC could easily keep the HSC filled through at least the end of September this year. Or is the end of the HSC season set so early by the Park Service and not DNC?
I always figured it is because they need time to tear down the camps before the first snow fall. But I have camped in Glen Aulin in Sept, no snow in sight and the camp was long gone.
Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 29, 2011 07:48AM
Quote
hotrod4x5
Quote
plawrence
Quote
szalkowski
Quote
David
It is my understanding that Sunrise will be open for only a very short time Aug 20 to Sept 5. This is the current plan.


Hardly seems worth it... unless they just want to give the pack mules some exercise.

Don't understand why DNC doesn't extend the HSC season this year. Will visitation and overnight stays drop off that dramatically at the HSC after Labor Day this year?

With a just a bit of online advertising, or an email ad campaign, I would think that DNC could easily keep the HSC filled through at least the end of September this year. Or is the end of the HSC season set so early by the Park Service and not DNC?
I always figured it is because they need time to tear down the camps before the first snow fall. But I have camped in Glen Aulin in Sept, no snow in sight and the camp was long gone.
A lot of the employees at the HSC are college kids and they have to be back at school.
Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 27, 2011 08:04AM
Work on the septic is planed starting Sept 6. Sunrise is important for any guided hikes or saddle trips as they all stop there.
avatar Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 27, 2011 08:09AM
Quote
David
Work on the septic is planed starting Sept 6. Sunrise is important for any guided hikes or saddle trips as they all stop there.

OK, that makes sense.
Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 28, 2011 04:06PM
After a couple of weeks of waiting I finally got a call from the High Sierra Camps.

Merced Lake did open today. But Vogelsang may not be open until August 13. The high water table means the septic system isn't working. Tuolumne Meadows phone line is still out, so it's cash only there, no credit cards.

Trail conditions are still 'marshy' according to the HSC representative.
avatar Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 28, 2011 09:35PM
Wow. This is not good news for my trip.
Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 29, 2011 09:30AM
Spoke to TM Lodge last evening. Phone is working; they are taking credit cards - just using the old fashioned forms which take an imprint of the card.
Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
July 29, 2011 07:28PM
Interesting. When I passed by the Merced Lake HSC on the afternoon of the 27th it didn't look all that close to being ready. When I was walking down Little Yosemite Valley the next morning four mule trains passed by headed the other direction. I guess they can get those things open quickly when they finally get going.
Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
August 03, 2011 08:09AM
Anyone seen the actual trail conditions out by May Lake, Vogelsang, & Sunrise or heard updated news of the opening since last weekend? I think we've all seen the dates on their site, but wondering about more first hand intel.

Tks all!
Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
August 04, 2011 07:13PM
Quote
Mom
I've been lurking around this great message board for a week and decided to register. You guys are very helpful. Here's my situation: I have reservations for the High Sierra Camps in mid-August, specifically Vogelsang and Merced Lake.

We hiked into the Merced Lake area from the JMT along the Echo Valley trail on Thursday of last week. We checked out the backpackers campground but did not want to stay because we heard the set up crew got a little rowdy after the work day was done so we camped a little further east near the ranger station. When we passed by the first day the water wasnt turned on yet and the bathrooms were locked. When we walked out two days later the water was on and the flush toilet in the backpacker's campground was functional - water and sewer are good! They also had all the tents up and the buildings looked put together. We hiked out to Happy Isles along the Merced River Canyon trail - its the stock trail in to Merced HSC and its in great shape...in fact three mule trains of stuff back out (mostly folding chairs - odd) passed us on the way out.

Do not know about Vogelsang except that we hear that the mosquitos are outrageous up there (Mosquitos were not bad at Merced but the east end of the lake is a swamp). We were supposed to do a sidetrip through that area during our backpack trip as well but bagged it because of the reports of the bugs. We encountered the a similar situation at Sunrise.... mosquitos so thick they sounded like a freeway as you sprinted across the meadow and could have likely carried off a small child. THere was a lot of blow down on the trail beyond cathedral pass....stuff they would have to clear before they could get a string of ponies or mules thru so I can see where that one would take a while too.


Hope you have fun on your trip. How did you ever manage to get a reservation....it seems impossible.
Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
August 05, 2011 10:02AM
Thanks for the trail update. We did not win the lottery but got spots for our group of 7 in the second round when they call lottery losers with leftover dates. I do not know if we"ll do it again. It is too difficult to arrange. even now I do not know if we have a bed in Vogelsang and we are due to leave next week. with all the reports of Mosquitos, I had better get some Deet.
avatar Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
August 05, 2011 10:56AM
avatar Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
August 05, 2011 12:50PM
I have reservations for meals only on Sunday and Monday 8/14 &15 at Vogelsang. My brother and I are taking four kids under age 12. A glutton for punishment.

It's funny...today, the website says the opening date is Sat August 9th??? (ummm....that's a Tuesday) Anyway, I called last week and was assured it would be open for my dates.

I had expected we would get the height of the mosquito season. My tried and true method is a long sleeve / long pants / socks outfit treated in Sawyer permetherin, along with a head net and some DEET for the sensitive areas. The mosquitoes are nasty and the permetherin really keeps you from getting bitten through your clothes.

I'm going to try Hitech's suggestions for sure. The clip-on sounds interesting. I'll probably attach one to my daughter! Since we have our meals covered at the HSC, I've got some space/weight for some luxuries.

Thanks for all the info! Keep it coming!



"It is all very beautiful and magical here - a quality which cannot be described. You have to live it and breath it., let the sun bake it into you" - Ansel Adams
avatar Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
August 05, 2011 12:57PM
Just a BTW on the Termacell. it is not made for use while hiking, However, I have strapped it on-top of a backpack with tiny bungee cords with a piece of flat plastic under it to protect the pack. It worked very well this way.

My wife is absolutely NOT supposed to get bites on her left arm. I went to ALL lengths to protect us. I also used the Sawyer permetherin for our clothes.
Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
August 08, 2011 05:51PM
Any more updates? Trail conditions? Has it dried out to any extent? Any word on Vogelsang?
Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
August 08, 2011 06:26PM
Vogelsang opened today, Sunrise opens on Sat. The mosquitoes have been pretty epic at Vogelsang this past week!
Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
August 08, 2011 06:50PM
How is the trail? How muddy is it?
Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
August 08, 2011 06:58PM
Trail is in perfect shape, totally dry with the exception of some stream crossings along the way. There is a lot of snow from Vogelsang Lake and up to the pass is completely snow covered, I've been cautioning people to use extra care if they are attempting to bag Vogelsang Peak because it is very snowy up there still. Enjoy your hike up and please introduce yourself when you arrive, I'm the manager of the camp and am glad your going to be able to enjoy your vacation!
Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
August 08, 2011 07:19PM
Super! My party of 7 will be there next week. I've waited years for the opportunity to go to the High Sierra Camps and finally I will be able to go.
Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
August 08, 2011 08:31PM
As of Sunday afternoon (August 7), the snow coverage from the Vogelsang Lake outlet to the pass was maybe 50-60%. Enough of the trail was visible between the snowfields that navigation wasn't an issue. Mosquito coverage at the camp, on the other hand, was about 350%.
avatar Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
August 08, 2011 09:27PM
Quote
basilbop
Mosquito coverage at the camp, on the other hand, was about 350%.


Try camping at Boothe.Grinning Devil
Marmot
avatar Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
August 08, 2011 09:30PM
I think he's just hoping that you didn't find his truck again...



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
August 08, 2011 09:50PM
Quote
chick-on
I think he's just hoping that you didn't find his truck again...

He would be better off setting out Claymores to discourage the Giant Chick-on Rat:
http://www.buycheapr.com/us/result.jsp?ga=us14&q=m18a1+claymore+mine

(Made the mistake of camping at Boothe once. A long time ago. Before I found out that they moved the HSC from Boothe to Fletcher because of the mosquito problem at the former location.)
http://www.giantmicrobes.com/us/products/mosquito.html



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/2011 12:02AM by szalkowski.
Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
August 09, 2011 06:52AM
How have mosquitoes been at the other HSC camps? I'm heading up there next week for a loop.
avatar Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
August 09, 2011 08:11AM
Glad to see the HSC people are on this site. Highsierra1, I'll be at your camp for dinner on Sunday the 14th. Can't wait to meet you!

We are doing meals only and plan on staying at the BPer's camp. How close are the sites to the HSC? Can we hear the bell at dinner time?

Mmmmm...I'm getting hungry just thinking about it! Thanks!



"It is all very beautiful and magical here - a quality which cannot be described. You have to live it and breath it., let the sun bake it into you" - Ansel Adams
Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
August 13, 2011 10:20AM
We start the trail on Wednesday. Any last minute suggestions?

Comments regarding going to Vogelsang via Rafferty Creek or the longer way? Going to Merced Lake via Fletcher or the alternate (is it Lyell)? Sorry, the map is already packed.

The only part that worries me a bit is the 14 mile trip from Merced Lake to Happy Isles. I think I'll take the JMT down instead of the Mist Trail. It's longer but seems easier.

Gear: How cold has it been at night? Are the skeeters getting any better?. I did find the head nets and I do plan on wearing long sleeves and long pants.
Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
August 14, 2011 10:19AM
Going over Vogelsang Pass is the BEST route to Merced Lake by far. Some of the best views in the park from the top of the pass and great waterfall stopping point for lunch. It gets even better as you have lots fewer cobles to walk down before the ranger station at Merced Lake. smiling smiley
Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
August 14, 2011 10:21AM
Yeah. Just last night as I was watching YouTube videos of the trail, I first learned about the Stairway to Hell. But there may still be a lot of snow up at Vogelsang Pass.
avatar Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
August 15, 2011 01:22PM
Here's a shot of Vogelsang Pass (at the left)/Peak/Lake from last Saturday. As you can see, snow is not a problem.



Temperatures were quite warm, mid-40's at night, and skeeters were correspondingly awful, particularly at higher elevations.
Quite beautiful right now, though.
avatar Re: News on Opening the High Sierra Camps
August 16, 2011 03:13PM
We had a great couple of nights at Vogelsang last week (despite the mosquitoes....) Thanks for the hospitality... and we hope you guys enjoyed the bottle of red we gave you!
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