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Tuolumne Meadows and Lembert Dome during a summer storm, Yosemite National Park


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Re: Fern Ledge

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Fern Ledge
June 03, 2013 04:22PM
Anyone out there have experience with this hike/scramble? I have heard about a potenially dangerous stretch with loose sandy shale on granite that could pose problems. I have even heard mention of using rope in that area. I would love to do this hike next week but I don't really want to risk death over it. Any thoughts from the experts out there?
Re: Fern Ledge
June 03, 2013 06:34PM
I'm no expert, but I had the impression that this was a hike better suited for when the falls are nearly dried up. Here is a link to a guy who did it while it was still wet:
http://yosemiteexplorer.com/trails/fern-ledge
Be sure to check his image gallery and the comments at the bottom of each photo.

You can also see a photo from a distance here:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,64970,64970#msg-64970

I wouldn't do it without a rope.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/03/2013 06:35PM by wherever.
avatar Re: Fern Ledge
June 03, 2013 07:00PM
Your past has this link-ish..

http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,42174,42174#msg-42174

Ryan loves this. Maybe poke him.



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Re: Fern Ledge
June 04, 2013 10:50AM
Thanks, both links are helpful. I might "chicken-out" and just go to Sunnyside Bench, it sounds a little intimidating after that.
Re: Fern Ledge
June 04, 2013 11:31AM
There are a few spots along that ledge that are a bit sketchy, its at an angle with loose dirt and leaves on it. In a couple places a slip could be fatal but as long as you recognize the danger and take your time you should be fine. From the top of the falls there's a short scramble (20' up hands on but easier than a ladder) up to the slabs. The slabs are pretty steep, there's only really one safe way to go. There may or may not be cairns to make the path. People have been kicking them down due the the devastating impact they are having on the environment (not really, they just hurt some peoples feelings) With out them you may have trouble. after the slabs there are some faint user trails that take you to the base of the spire. Getting to the ledge is interesting. The route is obvious, looks worse than it is but don't fall. To get out on the ledge you will have so make an exposed move, this is where you really don't want to fall. I think people rope up for this but I didn't see any bolts there.
Re: Fern Ledge
June 04, 2013 12:14PM
Actually, there is a very easy way to get to the base of the upper falls from the west side. You could even go look at Fern Ledge from the other end, if you wanted to, assuming that the water is low enough that the passage behind the falls is doable.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,60663,60915#msg-60915
Re: Fern Ledge
June 04, 2013 02:24PM
Thanks for the info Ryan, good stuff. I may venture on past Sunnyside Bench just to see how far I can make it.

Wherever, is your route doable with water still flowing like it is? I am going up this Sunday, and from the webcam the flow may be lighter than most years at this time but still fairly strong.
Re: Fern Ledge
June 04, 2013 02:31PM
If you can pass behind the Falls, as John Muir was wont to do, then it should work fine. But the wind tends to blow towards the Falls Trail, and I would certainly take rain gear.

Fern Ledge does have the advantage that it is (usually) on the upwind side of the falls.
Re: Fern Ledge
June 04, 2013 03:03PM
Quote
ryanmj
There are a few spots along that ledge that are a bit sketchy, its at an angle with loose dirt and leaves on it. In a couple places a slip could be fatal but as long as you recognize the danger and take your time you should be fine. From the top of the falls there's a short scramble (20' up hands on but easier than a ladder) up to the slabs. The slabs are pretty steep, there's only really one safe way to go. There may or may not be cairns to make the path. People have been kicking them down due the the devastating impact they are having on the environment (not really, they just hurt some peoples feelings)

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avatar Re: Fern Ledge
June 04, 2013 09:53PM
Quote
ryanmj
. . . snip . . .
From the top of the falls there's a short scramble (20' up hands on but easier than a ladder) up to the slabs.
. . . snip . . .
Could you describe where this scramble is? Even better, pictures?
I've been up there a couple of times trying to find how to get up to the slabs and haven't found anything that didn't look death defying.

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