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Re: backpacking idea

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avatar backpacking idea
March 16, 2012 01:38AM
hello everyone, I am writing to get some input/ideas on a 2 day backpacking trip i'm planning on doing sometime later in the summer once the snow in the area has melted. My plan is to start at the Chilnualna falls trail head and hike up to chilnualna falls and then head east to Crescent lake and camp the night there, then retrace my steps and head back to wawona the next day. (i'll post a picture below). I've hiked up to chilnualna falls plenty of times but haven't gone beyond the falls so I'm not too familiar with the area past there and am unsure what to expect.(i have hiked to ostrander lake but that is some ways off from where this exact trail is so i'm not sure how different the terrain will be) I'm assuming that this is a fairly reasonable plan to do in 2 days? or are there any unexpected difficulties that this trail has that I may be unaware of? If all works out well I might go back sometime and do the entire buena vista peak loop there.

avatar Re: backpacking idea
March 16, 2012 04:24AM
I've hiked the Buenva Vista crest loop from Mono Meadow/Ostrander, never from Chilnualna. Near the tail end of snow melt, I found hiking past Johnson and Crescent to be swampy and somewhat buggy, may want to make sure most of the snow melt is over. Crescent looks pretty shallow from Google Earth, never camped there (that day I was hiking from Royal Arch lake to Turner Meadow).
avatar Re: backpacking idea
March 16, 2012 07:26AM
I talked about this area quite a bit here:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,27268

and a little bit here:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,41516
(kinda of a bummer Klas's pictures don't show anymore though)

Anyway, It's approx 10 miles and 4K climb. Or to put it another way,
when you dayhiked to top o Chilnualna... you're not even half way there.
Two days may not afford you the time you want to play around around
the lakes. Although it's all downhill on the way back so ...
You list your ability as Super Human so I am guessing that the plan
is a good one for you.

The first link above shows Crescent Lake in 3 different shots. I would
recommend that you go to Johnson and hike to it's S side and camp
there. Bugs will not be as big a problem there if you go when they
are a nuisance.
If you go when Chil is screaming then getting across the Creek may be
quite the issue.
You should at least peek at all 3 lakes right in that area if you never
have seen them.

Been meaning to get to that area in the snow. And camp atop Wawona Dome.
If that happens then I'll post something.

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: backpacking idea
March 24, 2012 07:33PM
Fixed my South Fork photos, sorry bout that, (they were hosted on MobileMe, which is shutting down...)
avatar Re: backpacking idea
March 25, 2012 08:10AM
Quote
Klas
Fixed my South Fork photos, sorry bout that, (they were hosted on MobileMe, which is shutting down...)

Thanks Klas

Not sure you know this or not... but there used to be a trail S of Wawona Dome that went from the S Fork
up to the ridge, along it, and then to Crescent. I'm guessing it is similar to other "trails" that I've explored
elsewhere in the park. (i.e. good luck finding it) (and... got shrub?)
Anyway, have fun and thanks for fixing the photos.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: backpacking idea
March 25, 2012 05:45PM
Yeah, I'm aware that the Johnson Lake Trail existed. I've been contemplating a trip to going searching...
Have you "found" it?
avatar Re: backpacking idea
March 25, 2012 08:35PM
Quote
Klas
Yeah, I'm aware that the Johnson Lake Trail existed. I've been contemplating a trip to going searching...
Have you "found" it?

Haven't looked yet... but am planning to...



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: backpacking idea
March 16, 2012 11:00PM
thanks for the info everyone smiling smiley i've thought about it some more and think you're right; I will spend a few extra days out there to have some more time to enjoy to myself and visit the 3 major lakes as well.
Re: backpacking idea
March 17, 2012 08:12AM
Bill

I've done Chilnualna Falls in the winter, and we "chickened out" (forgive me) at the very top. While we'd done the trail in the summer, we just couldn't remember exactly what the trail did right at the top near the falls, and from where we were, the only path forward was deep in snow and right on the edge of a cliff. I think that is the trail, and I think we could have continued. But the snow was about waist deep, the ledge was only about three feet wide, and getting narrower, and it was 1,000 feet straight down on our right.

Here's a photo of M coming back down...you get a sense of the terrain from this.



And here's a shot from where we stopped:



I am DEFINITELY not saying you can't get through/over this. But I'd want to have a clear idea of what's under that snow before you make that last curve around the cliff and climb up to the falls...it's rocky and confused in that area. We decided that seeing the falls from up close wasn't worth taking a quick trip down if we mis-judged the trail.

Note that we didn't have hiking poles, which would have allowed us to probe and find the trail in the rocks...



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/17/2012 08:13AM by balzaccom.
avatar Re: backpacking idea
March 19, 2012 06:37PM
Tanks. I try to not be tooo over confident and tend to go with alternate plans
if something doesn't look do-able or whatnut. And sometimes bite off more than I can chew...
Turning around is never a bad option. wink



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: backpacking idea
March 27, 2012 08:21AM
Here's that traverse minus the snow and with an Old Dude on the trail for scale:



The rocks in your photos can be seen in this one...



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: backpacking idea
April 02, 2012 07:59AM
Above there it looks like this:


(you'll just have to believe me that it looks a lot scarier than what it really is)



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: backpacking idea
April 03, 2012 09:44PM
What you don't see can't hurt you right? wink

In somewhat a similar vein, driving on a windy twisty mountain road that has a steep drop-off off to one side is usually less scary during a moonless night than during the middle of the day. smiling smiley
.
avatar Re: backpacking idea
March 20, 2012 07:36AM
This area gets a sort of bad rap but there really is a lot of neat things to explore.
Probably most will say they loved Royal Arch and Buena Vista Lake.
And that is mainly because of the dramatic backdrops they have and close
proximity to the trail. Grouse will probably not impress you unless you have a
natural love of lakes. If you go explore and go up on the crest behind it you
may change your impression of the area. They put the trail in the woods
almost the entire way for ease of travel by horses. If you have the time
I highly recommend you go to the outlet of Johnson. Also, from Royal Arch
a very very simple xcountry excursion to the top of Mt. Bruce and the
Buena Vista Crest awaits you.



Chick-on is looking at you!
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