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Re: Which route should I take? June 15-21

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Which route should I take? June 15-21
June 10, 2013 02:16AM
Hello all - longtime lurker, new member. I've learned a lot about conditions, trails and park events from this forum and I am very grateful for all of your advice and solutions.

I ask your advice on best camping destinations and snow conditions as an experienced backpacker with moderate cross-country skills.

Day 1 - June 15
Leave Los Angeles, arrive Tuolumne Ranger Station before 11am. Begin Lyell Canyon Trailhead. Hike to unamed lake east of Evelyn and north of Ireland Lake or if feeling strong and well acclimated to altitude continue over Tuolumne Pass to Fletcher Lake.

Day 2 - June 16
Follow Fletcher Creek to Washburn Lake.

Day 3 - June 17
Head Southeast from Washburn and here is where I am looking for advice. My original route was to continue over towards the Red Peak Pass and camp at Red Devil Lake before heading through to Ottoway the next day. However, even though its a a light snow year, its still pretty early in the season for RPP and I'd rather avoid the north facing snow covered ascent if possible. So having never been to any of these areas before my question is two fold. 1) Is it fair to assume that Post Peak Pass will have less snow than RPP during these dates this year (~June 18-19)? And 2) Is it still worth it to head over to Red Devil Lake and camp there on Night 3 only to backtrack towards the Post Peak Pass? I've heard its beautiful in this area.

Day 4 - June 18
Head over Post Peak Pass - looking for advice on which on the many lakes in this area to check out before Fernandez Pass? Something with little snow coverage and possibly some fish to keep me busy?

Day 5 - June 19
Head west over Fernandez Pass towards Merced pass and down Illiouette creek. Does anyone know of a particularly good spot to camp along this route? I'm sure I'll find plenty depending on stamina.

Day 6 - June 20
Hike West on the Panorama Trail to Glacier Point and down the 4 mile trail or Vernal Falls. Stay at backpacker's camp and share conditions.

Day 7 - June 21
Catch 8AM shuttle back to Tuolumne and car, drive south home to LA.

What do you guys who have been out there think? Not scared of snow, but certainly not trying to seek it out either. I recognize its still very early in the season in a sporadic yet light snow year. Open to any suggestions especially for Night 3 and Day 4 onward. Perhaps I can work in a larger loop than just straight from PPP to Fernandez? Or maybe thats all I will want to do based on elevation changes? Any particularly bad water crossings anyone can think of? - Extra caution for Triple Peak based on what I've heard and possibly Illiouette as well?

Good to have options and I'd love to hear personal anecdotes from your experiences about your favorites places. Pictures tell a thousand words.

And I promise to take and post well labeled pictures of all trail conditions encountered for those of you interested heading into similar territory after I return.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/10/2013 02:17AM by Backpackin-Life.
avatar Re: Which route should I take? June 15-21
June 10, 2013 08:46PM

Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Which route should I take? June 15-21
June 10, 2013 09:01PM
The pics I posted from Horizon Ridge show a very poor snow year, but they do show snow at the highest altitudes (I'd guess it shows snow on the Upper Ottoway to Red Peak Pass route), and Post Peak Pass is high. Seems to me with the snow reservations you've expressed that's the crux of the proposed itinerary.

Regarding day one...I think you mean Lake 10400+, which was the first night I've backpacked in Yosemite (pic from September in a drought year).

Day 4/5...here's some pics that may be food for thought, they don't really agree with your itinerary, but could be useful if you pushed it on one day and relaxed on the other: Pics...

Edit: Here's one, too...a trailside pond just past Red Devil Lake: swimming pond.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/10/2013 09:03PM by ttilley.
Re: Which route should I take? June 15-21
June 11, 2013 11:37AM
Thanks for your response tilley and your photos. They help me tremendously prepare for the trip this early in the season. I'd also like to thank Torero for his photos in this thread for anyone else looking for conditions - http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,66394,67088

Also - http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,64696,65097 - for last years snow levels at RPP in Late June.

Afraid anywhere near Red Devil will be too cold to get some licks in for my tastes, but I plan on swimming in Washburn (one of my favorites) pending mosquitos. Thanks for the suggestions!

Really just want to avoid a couple miles of deep suncups if thats what the park is going to offer me.

Leaving Friday and any other opinions before them would be appreciated.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/11/2013 12:07PM by Backpackin-Life.
avatar Re: Which route should I take? June 15-21
June 12, 2013 06:57AM
Day 1 - I probably need to do Lyell again to the junction b/c I've been there about 4 times now
and the first section imho is not much to write home about... well... I guess it's not that
big of a deal since neither really is Rafferty... it gets real nice when you get higher up.
Otay. Why I saying this? Because if you're goal is to see Lyell Canyon... then you should
spend day 1 going all the way up to the bridge up Lyell.. and camp there... then next day
hike around and go play on the Glacier and whatnot... then come back down and
ziggy over to Ireland.
Technically you are not going over Tuolumne Pass... but are going much higher
Day 1/2 - I much prefer Townsley for camping... there are areas above it which are nice..
this time of year it's better to be on ridges and windy areas to maybe get some
relief from the little buggers...
Washburn... obviously a favorite of yours... but I find little really nice camping there...
the only place I'd like to really hang is at the outlet.. and that is def. no camping there...
although I've seen peeps parked right off the trail... and I mean right off the trail
anyway... it's a gorgeous lake... prettier than Merced IMO. but I'd go further upstream
to camp in the open area near waterfalls just beyond Red Fork
Day 3 - RPP vs. Post - Post and Fernandez will always have less snow coverage than
RPP. I've run into peeps who said what you've said... didn't want to deal with the snow
so they go over Post/Fernandez. Thing is... the snow is really not as big of a deal
as peeps think. It's a mind thing. Well... unless it's super Sun Cupped...
Lake 10005 we've really enjoyed and I'd camp there again... didn't have a
"have to camp here" moment at Turner.
This year I'd just go over RPP... Red Devil is nice... but a number of the tarns in
that area are gorgeous.
I can't comment too much on Post to Fernandez... only done that trail once... at it
was late in the year. Nothing too spectacular... once you drop way down off the passes
it's mostly woods iirc. Unless you are a big time xcountry hiker... I'd go for the snow
and RPP. There's some great stuff off trail in that area no doubt... and
w/o question in Yosemite.. (I actually posted some stuff bout that)
Breeze and Chain Lakes are gorgeous... as is Horse Thief Canyon.

Anywho... prolly too much babbling

Have fun

Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Which route should I take? June 15-21
July 11, 2013 08:08AM
I'm not getting the picture.

I hope it worked out.

Chick-on is looking at you!
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