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route advice

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route advice
April 11, 2013 04:04PM
Hi (first time post)

Very glad to have found this site.

I'm planning a week's backcountry trip in late June, and I've got a couple of questions I'd like to ask if i may:

In general we are starting at Tuolumne Meadows, then south to Vogelsang pass, west toward Brunnell Cascade, north to Cathedral Peak, then I'm thinking about the following:

At Cathedral Peak I'd like to cross country from JMT West between Marioulmne Dome and The Lamb, and then maybe North-West past Whizz Domes to the PCT. The topo makes this look at least thinkable. I suppose it may depend on how dense the forest is there. Has anyone done it?

Then I'd like to head toward Volunteer Peak via Grand Canyon of Tuolumne River / Rogers Canyon and back to Tuolumne Meadows via Cold Canyon.

Reasonable in 7 days/ 6 nights?

thanks in advance,

Ulrich
avatar Re: route advice
April 11, 2013 06:46PM
Ulrich,
Two years ago we did the Grand Canyon, Rodgers Lake, Cold Canyon loop starting and ending at Lembert Dome but we did it in reverse, mostly to avoid going up that awful switchback trail out of Pate Valley. We had planned 7 days/6 nights but after eliminating some side trips (summit of Volunteer Peak and Table Lake) we did it in 6 days/5 nights. You're talking another 3-4 days on top of that with the Vogelsang-Merced-Bunnell-Cathedral route. How many miles do you plan to cover each day?

On second glance I see you said "toward Bunnell" so perhaps you meant just to Echo Valley beyond Merced Lake and then up to Cathedral. If you were pushing it I suppose you could do that portion in 3 days/2 nights.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/11/2013 06:50PM by tomdisco.
avatar Re: route advice
April 11, 2013 09:30PM
Mr. Ulrich (I presume),
The xcountry that you speak of is fairly simple. There's a bunch of routes you can take... either xing over to the
PCT or heading towards McGee. Or even hitting closer to Polly Dome Lakes. It's really your choosing.
Follow Cathedral down... head east of Hammer.... head just west of Doda... run up a few of them...
no problemo. Lots of options. Lots of great stuff.
So more than likely what you are thinking is a.o.k... but unless you specifically draw it in it's impossible to say... "not quite there".

The BIG route you are talking... let's just say it's 90 miles. 90 miles in 7 days is not a stretch for a great many.
The problem may be the elevation and simply the fact that it certainly seems that you haven't
been in any of these locations before so maybe you want to slow down a bit and step off the trail and
explore a bit here and there. You may take a lot longer on the xcountry portion than you expect too...
if like me you see that dome and just HAVE to get to the top... or just HAVE to go over there ...
Perhaps start with GCT and Rodgers, Volunteer and see how it goes... or simply the other portion...
If you simply run by Fletcher and Townsley w/o giving it a thought... I think you are making a mistake.
Maybe even hike up to Hanging Basket. You can easily make the bottom section into a weeklong trip
by peak bagging and lake hoping, etc. Once at Merced Lake go up to Washburn all the way to the
border and come back the high trail... or go high trail and back via Washburn... can easily make either
your top or bottom portion into a 7 day trip.
Just some food for thought. Lots of options.

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: route advice
April 13, 2013 12:18PM
Thanks for the wise input.

I hadn't calculated the trail distance that as that much (90mi), which for us is out of the question in 7 days.

I guess we were thinking in terms of ~ 8mi/day, give or take.

So I guess my next question is: what is the best resource for trail distances?

Thanks,

Ulrich
Re: route advice
April 13, 2013 12:54PM
Quote
ulrich
So I guess my next question is: what is the best resource for trail distances?

A map.

I use the trails illustrated maps from National Geographic. They have trail mileages from each junction that you can just add up. For cross-country routes, you can estimate the distance with a piece of string or just eyeball it and use the scale on the map for miles. Most other maps have trail mileage too, except for the USGS quads.

If you don't have a good topographic map now, get one. You'll want it on the trail so get it now and have it for trip planning. Plus it gives you elevation change, water sources, you'll be familiar already with the map on trail, etc.
avatar Re: route advice
April 13, 2013 01:03PM
Quote
buster
Quote
ulrich
So I guess my next question is: what is the best resource for trail distances?

A map.

I use the trails illustrated maps from National Geographic.

Overall, I found the Trails Illustrated maps from National Geographic to be alright, but the one's from Tom Harrison to be a bit more accurate and detailed:

http://www.tomharrisonmaps.com/
Re: route advice
April 13, 2013 11:04PM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
buster
Quote
ulrich
So I guess my next question is: what is the best resource for trail distances?

A map.

I use the trails illustrated maps from National Geographic.

Overall, I found the Trails Illustrated maps from National Geographic to be alright, but the one's from Tom Harrison to be a bit more accurate and detailed:

I've never had an issue with the trails illustrated maps and have used them extensively for many years. My biggest annoyance with them is that they include a large number of text boxes on the edges of the map. I would much rather have more map displayed than the extraneous information provided. I like how the trails illustrated maps divides the entire park into 4 maps at 1:40,000 scale. I have the whole park at that scale and easy to choose which map to bring. I use it for cross country all the time.

Tom Harrison maps are great maps too, and I wouldn't discourage anyone from using them, but I just don't like his style. Plus, aside from his whole park map, he only has a few more detailed maps of certain areas.
avatar Re: route advice
April 15, 2013 01:12PM
I too use the Trails Illustrated maps and am quite pleased with. Not long ago somebody on the forum said that their mileage accuracy between trail markers is somewhat suspect. Don't know if that's true or not. Close enough for me. After 7-8 miles it's best to stop counting. It don't matter.
Re: route advice
April 15, 2013 04:29PM
Why not break that awkward trip into 3 shorter efficient trips? Do you really want to drop way down into the Merced Canyon and then climb back up to Cathedral Pass? Bunnel Cascade with wimpy flows this droughty year are not likely to be that interesting. One can day hike there and back anytime from Happy Isles in the Valley and see much more in the way of whitewater along the whole trail. One can cross country from the Vogelsang area to Cathedral Pass without dropping down and then return to TM. And it is much more interesting.

Into the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne way way down to 5k and climb back out way way up into the Rogers area? Way inefficient unless one wants to spank some rattlesnakes. Also weak drought river flows this year will make the canyon less than than usual big whitewater experience. Better just set out from Tuolumne Meadows and do and out and back to the Rogers area where you will have much less vertical up down. And spend a night at the Young Lakes too.

I've been all over the Whiz Dome area. From the highway, dense forest, tricky to navigate by topo or sight. Good route if one wants to see where some of the Tuolumne Meadows campground night time bears hang out during the day haha.



http://www.davidsenesac.com



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/15/2013 04:33PM by DavidSenesac.
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