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Re: Glacier Point Without the Crowds... or Snow

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Glacier Point Without the Crowds... or Snow (updated with TR)
April 29, 2013 08:55PM
Next weekend the Glacier Point road will open, and the crowds will descend on the overlook. However, this weekend the road was still closed, and despite it being a beautiful day, very few people had hiked to the point, so I could hang out at the railing for what seemed like forever snapping a zillion frames to compose a 0.5 gigapixel Photosynth:

Glacier Point Photosynth

As a public service reminder, the comment period for the Merced River Plan ends tomorrow, so while you are panning about the valley, if you have any comments about its future, don't forget to submit them! Campgrounds? Bridges? Raft rental/ice rink facility? Corrals? Boys town? Meadow restoration? Parking? All that and more is in the MRP! The public comment period has closed...

As mentioned, the Four Mile Trail was officially closed, but in fact the trail was clear of snow all the way to the top--and back down the other side.


Expect this sign to be changed within a week.

Maybe a thousand feet off the valley floor, we got a call from our friends from the top of Eagle Peak who were hiking a familiar route as an overnighter.


Friend (friends?), circled.

The view from Union Point was nice, as always:



Somewhat broken Photosynth

After the upper set of switchbacks, along the final traverse to Glacier Point, we encountered the first (and only) snow we'd encounter close-up:



The road (and, officially, trail) being closed, there were only a few groups of people at Glacier Point enjoying the wonderful weather--just like last Thanksgiving.

We hung out for about an hour, taking in the views and enjoying the peace, quiet, and sun, before heading down the Panorama Trail.



Unfortunately, perhaps due to low snow conditions, it seems that the grooming equipment may have taken out the recently-installed fencing:



The Panorama Trail lived up to its name.

We stopped for a break and some cold-water foot therapy at Illilouette Creek before starting the climb to the top of Panorama Cliff.



I stopped for a quick Photosynth stop at Panorama Point, where I somehow learned the art of either levitation or transparency. The no-longer-maintained (but formerly paved) trail to this viewpoint is getting a bit overgrown and reminds me of what the access to Union Point used to be like, before the recent signage and bush-clearing.



The descent to the JMT was nice, where the views were strangely familiar. One big difference compared to last time: Ice Cut was free of ice, although water was dripping onto the trail.


One of these domes is 1/2 of the other.



Once below Clark Point, we looked back up at where we had been not too long ago.



The final bit to the trailhead was the typical summer wade-through-the-Mist-Trail-crowds hike. Still, it was nice seeing people out enjoying their national parks.

Since we had been able to arrange a car shuttle swappy-thing with the El Cap/Eagle Peak contingent, our car was waiting for us at the backpackers parking lot, and after some post-hike food and beverages, we were on our way... well, except for a few obligatory parting shots of the valley.



More Pictures



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/01/2013 08:26PM by basilbop.
avatar Re: Glacier Point Without the Crowds... or Snow
April 30, 2013 07:20AM
Nice. Probably a lot easier to take those without the normal crowds.

Was there any (presumably, plowed) snow left around the Taft Pt/Sentinel Dome parking?
Re: Glacier Point Without the Crowds... or Snow
April 30, 2013 10:18AM
Quote
ttilley
Was there any (presumably, plowed) snow left around the Taft Pt/Sentinel Dome parking?

We went up the Four Mile Trail (still officially closed, but we never had to walk on snow or ice) and down the Panorama Trail, so we didn't see that parking lot. I wouldn't expect a lot of snow there, especially after this week, which looks like it'll be another warm, sunny one.
avatar Re: Glacier Point Without the Crowds... or Snow
April 30, 2013 08:10AM
Very cool! It's just like being there......except for the sights, sounds, smells, sun on my back, feeling of happiness, etc.

It'll have to do for now though, as I sit in my cubicle wondering why the air conditioning isn't running.

Thanks for taking the time to create and post the photosynth.
Re: Glacier Point Without the Crowds... or Snow
April 30, 2013 09:22PM
Thanks for the fabulous photosynch ... and the reminder to submit comments on the Merced River plan, deadline is tonight, just got mine in.
avatar Re: Glacier Point Without the Crowds... or Snow (updated with TR)
May 02, 2013 09:42PM
Ewe awesum

I took a photo of the fence at GP back in February and thought what you see now
"good job by the cat driver to munch up the top of the fence"





Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Glacier Point Without the Crowds... or Snow (updated with TR)
May 03, 2013 08:22AM
Hooray for the updated trip report! Thanks!
avatar Re: Glacier Point Without the Crowds... or Snow (updated with TR)
May 03, 2013 04:27PM
Quote
basilbop

We hung out for about an hour, taking in the views and enjoying the peace, quiet, and sun, before heading down the Panorama Trail.


Thanks for the detailed trip report, all the photos and including the photsynths!

One question, how was the Panorama Trail in regards to in any blowdowns?

In the past when I've hiked it early in the season there was invariably one or two (sometimes large) fallen trees one had to navigate around.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/03/2013 04:27PM by plawrence.
Re: Glacier Point Without the Crowds... or Snow (updated with TR)
May 07, 2013 11:09AM
I remember one significant blowdown between GP and Illilouette. Actually, it was more of a slide-down, in that a large log appears to have slid across the trail from the hillside above it.

Quote
plawrence
One question, how was the Panorama Trail in regards to in any blowdowns?

In the past when I've hiked it early in the season there was invariably one or two (sometimes large) fallen trees one had to navigate around.
avatar Re: Glacier Point Without the Crowds... or Snow (updated with TR)
May 07, 2013 12:50PM
Quote
basilbop

I remember one significant blowdown between GP and Illilouette. Actually, it was more of a slide-down, in that a large log appears to have slid across the trail from the hillside above it.

Thanks for the update.
.
avatar Re: Glacier Point Without the Crowds... or Snow (updated with TR)
May 04, 2013 03:19PM
Quote
basilbop

Expect this sign to be changed within a week./
Quote


And you were correct.
avatar Re: Glacier Point Without the Crowds... or Snow (updated with TR)
May 04, 2013 08:38PM
Thanks for the great post. You are definitely one of the good guys on this forum. You help keep chick-on happy with all of the pictures that you post.smiling smiley
avatar Re: Glacier Point Without the Crowds... or Snow (updated with TR)
May 05, 2013 12:29AM
that old fence there at Glacier Point looks new but that thing has been falling apart for quite some time now. seems like just about every time i went to work up there I had to make minor adjustments on it where it was breaking and falling apart. it would be a good idea to install a whole new one
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