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Re: Mist Trail Advice

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avatar Mist Trail Advice
December 12, 2011 11:14AM
As a newbie to the board, I was wondering if I could get some advice on hiking the Mist Trail at this time of year. Obviously weather/conditions remaining equal, what would the trail be like? Is it icy from the waterfalls? Is it hikeable? How far can you hike on it? Would you recommended it? Any thoughts/suggestions would be great!

I apologize in advance for such novice questions! :-)
Re: Mist Trail Advice
December 12, 2011 01:31PM
The Mist Trail from just past the Vernal Fall bridge to the top of Vernal Fall is generally closed in winter--but it seems to be currently open, probably because it's been a dry winter so far. The portion of the Mist Trail from the top of Vernal to the top of Nevada Fall is open year round, while the JMT from the Clark Point junction to Nevada Fall is closed for winter. I would expect the trail to be icy and/or snowy, depending on recent weather conditions. The safest route is the official winter route: take the JMT to the Clark Point junction, descend to the top of Vernal, then climb the (upper) Mist Trail to the top of Nevada.
avatar Re: Mist Trail Advice
December 12, 2011 01:43PM
What basil said...

Pretty much once there is ice on the Vernal Falls portion they close it for the winter.
So if it is open it is fairly safe. That being said you should bring a pair of yak-trax,
spikies, or whatnot (crampons are typically way overkill though)... so you're not slipping
around.
Many jump the gate and still go up or down the Mist. Do so at your own peril.
It can be extremely dangerous to do so. Although even the JMT portion to Clark
should not be taken lightly.

And here's why you should not jump the gate:




Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Mist Trail Advice
December 12, 2011 01:56PM
Especially on the JMT portion, watch out not just for ice under your feet but above you as well. I was on the trail one winter when there was a big chunk of ice that let loose from the granite wall far above us and landed not too far away. Scared the crap out of me and I spent the rest of the hike down jumping at every little sound.
Re: Mist Trail Advice
December 12, 2011 08:05PM
Quote
chick-on
And here's why you should not jump the gate:

...he said from the other side of the gate! Rolling on floor laugh
avatar Re: Mist Trail Advice
December 14, 2011 05:48PM
Quote
DavidK42
Quote
chick-on
And here's why you should not jump the gate:

...he said from the other side of the gate! Rolling on floor laugh

It's no problem since he can just flap his wings and get out of any tight situation. Now the guy he conned into carrying him up there...
avatar Re: Mist Trail Advice
December 12, 2011 02:40PM
I just came down from Little Yosemite Valley last Wednesday. From Happy Isles to the first bridge, about a mile, no problem. From there I was not on the Mist Trail itself (which I was surpised to see was still open as mentioned by Basilbop) but was on the JMT up to Clark point, then off the JMT and down to the bridge above Vernal Falls, and then the north side of the river up to the top of Nevada Falls. At that time those trails were dry as well. Also note that the Panoramic Cliffs trail was signed "closed due to rockfall". Small icy spots can show up almost anywhere with daily freeze/thaws, so bringing hiking poles and/or shoe traction devices (yaktrax) just in case is a good idea. Be careful!
Re: Mist Trail Advice
December 12, 2011 07:59PM
After today's storm I would not think the Mist Trail will be doable for awhile.
avatar Re: Mist Trail Advice
December 12, 2011 09:41PM
This might make more clear the descriptions of the JMT/Mist trail winter closures.

avatar Re: Mist Trail Advice
December 14, 2011 01:24PM
Thank you for all the tips and advice. That picture makes my stomach go in knots just thinking about slipping/falling! And that story from calipidder would be in the front of my mind with every step! We are looking for a trail(s) to hike during the winter months and were thinking this might be an option, but from the sounds of it is probably closed.
Re: Mist Trail Advice
December 14, 2011 02:56PM
The lower grove at Mariposa Grove is accessible even with snow everywhere. The 2 mile hike in on the road gets trampled to the point you don't need snowshoes, just watch your step coming out in the afternoon after the snow gets a bit slippery. Take snowshoes and you can tramp up into the upper part of the grove too.

Of course, right now, it's not even under snow yet.

If you are a central valley California local, there are hiking groups on meetup that explore lower elevation trails in winter - I just got back from one.
avatar Re: Mist Trail Advice
December 15, 2011 07:26AM
Quote
JRo27
Thank you for all the tips and advice. That picture makes my stomach go in knots just thinking about slipping/falling! And that story from calipidder would be in the front of my mind with every step! We are looking for a trail(s) to hike during the winter months and were thinking this might be an option, but from the sounds of it is probably closed.
Sorry. It's not normally that bad. That is THE worst I've ever seen it. I doubt the wife will ever want to go that way again.
(that's her in the picture btw). Usually there is just a little bit of ice. This was just nuts. Thing was... once you start
going up... it's safer to just keep going up. If I jump the gate again I'll scope it out one heck of a lot more before doing
stupid things.

As for the JMT section. I also mentioned about that.. when you hike it you'll see cuts in the turns... those are
done b/c the snow really stays on those corners. Actually crampons wouldn't be that bad of an idea for some.
It can get very interesting... and sometimes the park says that you should take the mist to vernal instead
b/c it's actually safer.

Here's an idea of what it can be like:


Anyway, whatever you do... have fun...



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Mist Trail Advice
December 15, 2011 08:43AM
Does "closed" mean that a citation can be issued or that travel is just not recommended?



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/15/2011 08:44AM by Frank Furter.
Re: Mist Trail Advice
December 15, 2011 12:34PM
Quote
Frank Furter
Does "closed" mean that a citation can be issued or that travel is just not recommended?

IANAL, but don't believe you can be issued a citation for just being on the trail, though if you were injured and needed a rescue, you would be liable for the rescue costs and/or cited for creating a hazardous situation.
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