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Re: Some Backpacking Prospects For NYE

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Some Backpacking Prospects For NYE
November 14, 2012 09:45PM
I hate crowds and I love being out in the Sierra, so with a long weekend for NYE, it seems like the best time to get my feet wet on some nice winter backpacking. I've never gone out in winter before, but I always wanted to. Are there any spots in Yosemite (or south of that down to the LA area) where I can get a good 2-3 night trip in without being too worried? I don't have snowshoes, but I can get them if necessary (I'd prefer not to but not a deal breaker).

Normally in Yosemite I take the Pohono trail from Wawona to Panorama to LYV. Alternatively I've taken Porcupine Flat down to Yosemite Falls.

I assume Porcupine is going to be in bad shape. I'd love to do Pohono in winter, but I've seen the XC skiing markers on that trail which doesn't look promising. But I'm open to any ideas, suggestions and advice.

Thanks in advance.
avatar Re: Some Backpacking Prospects For NYE
November 15, 2012 02:35PM
In the winter it's best to keep your feet dry. smiling smiley

In normal winter you need snowshoes if you are going to make any progress at all
on either rims. Even getting to LYV in January will almost assuredly require them.
Last year was an anomaly. At least let's hope so.
So unless you stay very low or only go a very short distance on the n rim... then
you need snowshoes. And imho it's a big mistake not to carry them.
Never gone before... highly recommend you just go to something like Dewey Pt.
with snowshoes. You'll have company. The trail will be busted for you... and
you can get some confidence before setting out on your own.



Chick-on is looking at you!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/15/2012 02:36PM by chick-on.
Re: Some Backpacking Prospects For NYE
November 15, 2012 05:18PM
I agree with chick on, snowshoeing is a lot of work! We bought some and did a ranger walk at Badger Pass, and I an not sure I would want to carry a heavy pack on snow shoes.
avatar Re: Some Backpacking Prospects For NYE
November 15, 2012 06:25PM
I'm OK packing with snow shoes, but I'd definitely recommend day hikes with snow shoes before going out with a pack. Another thing to note...remember the weight of the pack when looking at the 'load' recommended for a given pair of snow shoes, the load recommendation is so that the snow shoes will provide you and everything you're carrying with some level of flotation.
avatar Re: Some Backpacking Prospects For NYE
November 15, 2012 07:50PM
Your flotation may vary...



smiling smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Some Backpacking Prospects For NYE
November 15, 2012 08:16PM
Good call everyone. After I read the first two replies I remembered my friend telling me that it would take forever to travel just 5 miles in the winter. I'll try to get my shoes earlier and get some hikes in before NYE.

Oh, and you're talking about dewey pt from Glacier pt. or the valley floor?


Thanks everyone.
avatar Re: Some Backpacking Prospects For NYE
November 15, 2012 08:22PM
In winter the Glacier Point Road is closed at Badger Pass, trips would start from there.

There's an A-Frame ranger building at Badger Pass where you can get permits, ask about conditions and parking, etc.
avatar Re: Some Backpacking Prospects For NYE
November 15, 2012 09:04PM
Quote
ttilley
In winter the Glacier Point Road is closed at Badger Pass, trips would start from there.

There's an A-Frame ranger building at Badger Pass where you can get permits, ask about conditions and parking, etc.

What is the winter distance to hike from Badger Pass to Dewey Pt?
avatar Re: Some Backpacking Prospects For NYE
November 15, 2012 09:16PM
Quote
qumqats
Quote
ttilley
In winter the Glacier Point Road is closed at Badger Pass, trips would start from there.

There's an A-Frame ranger building at Badger Pass where you can get permits, ask about conditions and parking, etc.

What is the winter distance to hike from Badger Pass to Dewey Pt?

I haven't been to Dewey (been to Taft in the winter), but the (edit: Winter) brouchure says 3.5 to 4 miles one-way.

NPS Info Here.

Keep in mind the short days around New Years, the Taft Point trip I've mentioned was in March, with much more daylight.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/15/2012 09:18PM by ttilley.
Re: Some Backpacking Prospects For NYE
November 21, 2012 10:14PM
Quote
ThaFlash_LA
NYE ... winter backpacking ... advice

I went on a little solo trip on winter solstice last year (Dec 22nd I think?) before there was any snow. It was *cold*, and the nights were long. I kept waking myself up because I was shivering and shaking, toes were numb, etc. I started loathing the evenings because of this, which was kind of a bummer. My Marmot Helium "10 degree" bag was really more of a "25-ish" bag. Winter camping advice:

1) For the love of god, bring two sleeping pads. This is rule #1 for winter camping IMHO. A foam pad to go against the snow, and then your normal air mattress or whatever. I also bring a space blanket just in case. I always use all three.
2) Get a sleeping bag that will keep you warm when it's really cold

I guess there's some new-fangled "EN Standard" by which sleeping bags are rated. I calibrated my real-world experience in my Marmot Helium 10 degree bag, and the "EN comfort rating for women" agreed perfectly -- that it's really only going to keep me comfortable at 25 degrees. Apparently, I sleep like a woman. I think the "EN lower bound for men" was somewhere around 10 or 15 degrees, but trust me, man or woman, you do not want to be in that sleeping bag if it's anything less than 25 degrees. The sad thing is, when I started looking for sleeping bags that were EN comfort rated to 0 or 10 degrees, they started to get bulky and mega-expensive, and fast. Expensive enough (> $400) that I am thinking twice about winter camping in sub-25 weather. Not trying to dissuade you; winter camping in Yosemite is the best! But the nights can be long and brutal if you're not warm enough.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/21/2012 10:24PM by jishaq.
Re: Some Backpacking Prospects For NYE
November 23, 2012 11:32PM
I had my own run-in with the difference between a rating and a comfort level by Bishop Pass one cold September evening. I had a bag rated for an extreme of 32 and it got down to 18 that night, and I only had one of those thin 1" inflatable thermarests. It wasn't my best night of sleep. I now take my Exped downmat on every trip, even if I'm sleeping indoors; I swear I sleep better on that thing than I do in my own bed.

My friend is going up there for Christmas so I'll get an idea of how much snow there is, and I'm thinking it may be best to stay in the valley and day hike since this will be my first time out in the winter. If I feel brave while I'm there I could always just go for a night.
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