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Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report

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avatar Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 19, 2013 03:33AM
Hi all!

Time for another trip report.

Just recently got back to the UK after an amazing time visiting Yosemite. Absolutley loved it.

After spending a couple of days at Curry Village, sorting my gear, food, bear can, and driving out to Mono Lake to collect a permit, I took the YARTS shuttle at 5pm to Lower Lee Vining Campground to begin my trip.

Day 1:

The tent that I set up a day previously in order to reserve a spot at Lower Lee Vining Campground is still there upon my arrival



On the road to the Tioga Gas Mart at 6am








Time for breakfast, and my last proper food for 6 days



Stomping down the 395 for a couple of miles, admiring Williams Bute to my right, and the fantastic views of Mono Lake to my left



Long way to go in the heat. Trying to reach shade before the hottest part of the day



Me, trying to keep out the sun and dust



After a long, hot walk, I finally reach this nice Meadow, just before Walker Lake


Walker Lake, with Bloody Canyon rising in the background



Beggining the ascent of Bloody Canyon



Lower Sardine Lake was so very, very windy, so took some shelter behind a rock formation to stuff down an energy gel before continuing the climb to Upper Sardine Lake



After a long hot day, with a lot of ascent, and a very full pack, I got slightly off track, and climbed a fair way up the side of Gibbs, before realising I was heading in the wrong direction, when I caught sight of Upper Sardine Lake, below me, and a long way away, lol. Lots of downclimbing, and I finally reach my planned spot for the night on the shores of the wind blown, Upper Sardine Lake.


Completley exhausted after 12 hours on the go, I am in my bag and asleep before it is dark :-)

All my Day 1 photos are here (I think) https://plus.google.com/photos/113382590432310142074/albums/5902251359996725329?authkey=CPSZ8sHr9J7DrAE

Day two comming up later...

Steve
Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 19, 2013 07:19AM
Thanks! Too bad about your detour, but you made your first day goal-and the whole trip, obviously! Congrats! Looking forward to more!
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 19, 2013 08:12AM
Fantastic! I just spent 5 minutes reading the report and referencing an online map as I 'followed' along. It's almost like being there, except I'm in a cubicle right now. Looking forward to part two!
Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 19, 2013 08:25AM
Did you start your trip on Sunday the 7th? If so, I think I saw you at the gas station and then walking along the 395. We left Tuolumne on Sunday morning and stopped for breakfast at the gas station. I remember seeing a lone backpacker outside packing up and leaving while we ate. And then saw the same guy walking along the 395. Was wondering where he was headed.

Looks like the beginning of a great trip. I look forward to the rest of it.

We day hiked to Upper Sardine Lake on Friday the 5th. It was unbelievably windy but besides that was a beautiful day at Mono Pass. Beautiful scenery up there.
Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 19, 2013 08:35AM
Yah, inside the park, I'm more likely to pull over and give backpackers lifts... outside.. well, not as much. But if I'd been at the Mobil Station and had seen a guy with the name "TechieSteve" tacked to his shirt, you bet I'd have walked up to wish you luck and a ride, if you'd wanted! smiling smiley But who's gonna walk around with screen name plastered on them??? smiling smiley Maybe there should be a subtle sign or symbol or something? smiling smiley
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 19, 2013 10:35AM
Thanks for the comments guys!

Yes, that was probably me at the gas station on Sunday morning!

I was there at about 8am, I think. Grabbed a great breakfast burrito, and a big turkey sandwhich for lunch by Walker lake.

I would have politely refused any lifts, for the same reason I didn't go into the store at Tolumne Meadows - I would have been cheating in my goal. I wanted to try it completley unsupported and see how I got on. Although, I have to admit to buying a Snickers, and lemonade at the High Sierra Camp :-(

The trip down the 395 was a little odd, and felt kinda 'wrong' but seemed the quickest way to get to the Walker Lake turn off. At the point I was leaving the gas station, I was incredibly nervous, and questioning myself. 18 months of intense planning was all comming to a head, and everything was going like clockwork, but it was still a very big undertaking for me, through unfamiliar territory, in a foreign country. My biggest hike so far had been three days, and it completley wore me out, so was really hoping my improved fitness would be enough.

Waiting for the YARTS shuttle at Yosemite village, I was feeling physically sick, and kept on having the thought of just checking back into Curry Village, and doing some day hikes instead. So glad I 'manned up'.

Day two will be uploaded very shortly, just gotta drive home from work.

Steve
Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 19, 2013 03:26PM
I truly appreciate you sharing your thoughts and feelings as you started on your journey! I had similar thoughts of bailing and internal fights before and during my first solo trip and again as I started my longer solo section on the JMT-they dissipated as I continued and I actually was happy on my own and felt weird when I met up with my regular hiking buddies 100 miles into the trail... Did the unease you felt die down as you started the journey, all at once? Or did it longer and dissipate? I assume it went away at some point... I can totally appreciate the desire to cut and run and take the easy route. Kudos to you. You had completely unknown territory, foreign country, as well to deal with. I can't imagine that bit! Would love to read more about what you were thinking and feeling as your trip progressed, if you don't mind! Makes it stick!
Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 19, 2013 03:59PM
Spectacular photos and interesting story about what
would be the adventure of a lifetime for many people.
I'm green with envy, but not for long....


44 days and counting.....
Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 20, 2013 10:25AM
Quote
TechieSteve
Yes, that was probably me at the gas station on Sunday morning!

I was there at about 8am, I think. Grabbed a great breakfast burrito, and a big turkey sandwhich for lunch by Walker lake.

I would have politely refused any lifts,


Well I wouldn't have been able to give you a lift anyways as the back seat of my jeep was removed and the cargo area was full of gear. Glad to find out where "that hiker" was headed though. We were wondering as we headed down the 395.

Looking forward to see the remainder of your trip report.
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
August 03, 2013 10:13PM
Quote
TechieSteve
but it was still a very big undertaking for me, through unfamiliar territory, in a foreign country. Steve

Unless a person has experienced this, he/she would not understand the extra stress generated when you realize the minute that airplane lands, there is not another soul on the planet who knows you! (At least it feels that way). I spent a month in a non-English speaking country working-trekking-straining my foreign language skills. When it is finished, there is an extra satisfaction in having it all work out.

<SAS Guide>

Lofty Weissman! I was given two copies of this precious outdoor bible by a Special Forces friend (one copy is full size, the other is a tiny copy that fits in the backback...excellent camp reading, too....don't eat the Water Hemlock!)



The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 19, 2013 03:04PM
Day 2:

Woke with the sun at Upper Sardine Lake



Making the most of the early morning rays to catch some charge



Sunrise over camp


The standard / obligatory shot of Mono Lake from Mono pass



Sumit Lake, nice place to stop and rest. Really beautiful area. Had a cereal bar, and prepared for the next tough section...



I don't know how you are supposed to do Gibbs from Mono Pass, so I just scrambled up the side of it. Which makes it sound easy, but it was a lung busting couple of hours, with my heart rate redlining all the time. Loosing engergy to slipping rocks, and the lack of oxygen making me work serriously hard.





After much hard work, the views started to reward me. Summit Lake looked amazing from up high



Views from Mt Gibbs were simply incredible


Looking out towards Tolumne Meadows, my target for the day


Dana from Gibbs. This photo makes it look short, and easy. It's not lol



The steep climb down from Gibbs, to the saddle between it and Dana. Fairly steep, and hands on. Good fun though.


Snow!


The intention at this point was always to then climb Dana, and take in more superb views from there, but I really felt that time was against me, and it was already later in the day than I planned, and there was a lot of groound to cover between me and a campsite at Tolumne Meadows. So, reluctantly, I decided to give Dana a miss. Very wise decision, given that I didn't arrive at Tolumne Meadows until 20:30.
Here is the terrain still to cover for the day


Follow this stream through Dana Meadows, and then practically all the way to camp




I think that this is looking back on Gibbs and Dana


Tolumne Meadows is incredibly photogenic. There are great views everywhere you look




14 hours of solid, tough hiking after I started, I finally have a site. One of the last ones availible in Tolumne Meadows (the walk in backpackers campground was full). I find the site by very low light, and assemble my tent by headtorch. I was so happy to find some logs for the fire in the bear locker! Enjoyed hot chocolate by the fire, lying on the bench, admiring the mesmorising stars, and trying to ignore the noisy foreign couple nearby...
My "14 hours on the trail" face


That was a very tough day, on top of a relitivley tough day one. I was so tired. Scrambling up Gibbs really took a lot out of me in the morning, due to the altitude, and the distance from there to Tolumne Meadows took longer to traverse than I would have wanted. It was deffinatley the right decision to miss out Dana. I will get it next time!

Day 2 gallery: https://plus.google.com/photos/113382590432310142074/albums/5902305276092390113?authkey=CMGL1Lq4u7m8VQ

Steve
Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 19, 2013 03:17PM
I was wondering what exactly you'd planned to do... Great job! Love the report so far...more, please!
Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 19, 2013 03:18PM
Sounds like a great trip.

Not trying to rain on your parade and I don't know all the circumstances, but I couldn't resist saying something about this campsite.

It's way too close to water, looks like 10 - 25ft, and it's right on lush grass. Not very LNT at all. I hope that you picked more suitable campsites for the rest of your trip and will continue to do so in the future.

Quote
TechieSteve

Completley exhausted after 12 hours on the go, I am in my bag and asleep before it is dark :-)
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 19, 2013 04:07PM
Yes, you are absolutley right. In hindsight, it was far too close to the water, I should have been further out. I completley agree.

As you will see, this is the only site I used that close to water on this trip. I could not easily find a previously impacted site around that part of the lake that didn't seem to suffer from being buffeted to bits by the wind. In fact, I dont recall seeing any previously impacted sites there, which is exactly how it should be, if everybody is practicing LNT. This particular spot was in the lee of some bushes, providing some degree of protection, and the spot the tent was on was not lush at all, there area behind it yes.

As somebody who a few days later was packing out rubbish I found at sunrise lakes, and who doesn't use any kind of soap or other chemicals for washing skin, clothes, or dishes for fear of putting foreign pollutants into the area, I think my LNT ethic is usually pretty good. I don't even use mosquito repellant for that reason, prefering to cover up where needed, same goes for suncream, which I only use very sparingly as I hate the thought of wading into a water source, and all my chemicals being washed into it.

And, I can assure that at Upper Sardine Lake, I left no trace of my visit, whatsoever, unless you count the small holes made by my pegs, and hiking poles.

But yes, in future, I will make sure I am much further away from water, as I did at subsequent sites.

Steve
Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 19, 2013 04:36PM
I was hoping it was a aberration and it seems it was.

I too have been almost blown away at Sardine Lakes. Come to think of it, that was the trip I went up Gibbs and Dana, much like you were planning to do. Beautiful area.

Thanks for the trip report, seems like a great trip..
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 19, 2013 05:13PM
Day three:

Woke up and saw the Tolumne Meadows campground in the light for the first time. I woke up feeling quite rough, probably a combination of altitude, and exertion. I slept in much longer than I wanted to.


I groggily trudged my way to the Wilderness office to collect my permit, and plead to have half dome added on, as it should have been from the start. (The previous two days were done on an Inyo permit)
The Meadows looked fantastic in the morning




Took me a lot longer to pack up camp and get on the trail than I wanted, as I felt so tired. But evetually I was hauling butt up the unexpectedly steep and hard trail that leaves the meadow floor, and head to Cathedral Lakes. After a caffinated energy gel, and a little bit of time, I manage to really pick up the pace, and started making really good time up the hot, dusty trail. Overtaking day hikers when you have a big pack, and bounding off into the distance with a spring in your step is very satisfying for a competitive guy like me, but it does put you under a lot of pressure not to slow down and get overtaken by them again! But, that's probably just me and my mentality. lol
I enjoyed pushing my limits, and heart rate, on the climb.


I took the detour to Lower Cathedral Lake, and was so glad I did. What a beautiful place to stop for a bit of lunch. Cooled my feet in the water, and snoozed on the warm rocks for a while.




Upper Cathedral Lake was only slighty further up the trail. I stopped here too, and enjoyed wading in the very clear water.


About this point I met "Isac", a fellow hiker who I had orriginally briefly talked to on the YARTS bus many days before. We had a good chat about what we had been upto, and I hit the trail again.

Long Meadow, on the way to Sunrise HSC




Despite all the planning, I wasn't sure if I was going to stay at the HSC, or press on for a bit of solitude at Sunrise Lakes, but after reaching the HSC, I loved the area, and the vibe. There were loads of decent sites in the backpackers area, and fantastic views over the meadow.


And a little while later, Isac rocked up, and found an even more picturesque site a little higher up the hill.

The views to the stars from here were the best I have ever seen. One of the reasons I had picked these dates to hike was because of the lack of moon. I stayed up late (watching episodes of Family guy in my tent) and then enjoyed just standing a watching the stars. I am sure they move much faster than they do back here in the UK. Am I right?

I slept with the outside door of the tent open, so I could see the stars from inside my bag. I saw the Mily Way for the first time. However, this was the coldest part of my trip. I had a good mat, with a -5 down bag, silk liner, and thermal pyjamas, and I still felt a little cold this night. The morning was cold too, and I found I had to reach for my trusty RAB Generator for the first time (Great bit of kit, I just wish I had got the Alpine version with the hood).

Steve
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 19, 2013 07:46PM
Nice report and pics, thanks. And good to see your trip worked out well (so far).
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 20, 2013 06:40AM
Steve, it sure sounds like you made the most of your trip. It's a long way for you to travel just getting to Yosemite. Glad it was such an exhilarating experience. So, how soon will you be back?
Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 22, 2013 08:34PM
Quote
TechieSteve
I saw the Mily Way for the first time.

Um, did you mean you saw the Milky Way for the first time this trip, or for the first time ever? Just curious... Seeing the Milky Way at night is one of the best treats for me backpacking and a huge reason why I prefer sleeping in my bivy sack... Lovely, isn't it?
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 24, 2013 03:19PM
Quote
JustKeepWalking
Quote
TechieSteve
I saw the Mily Way for the first time.

Um, did you mean you saw the Milky Way for the first time this trip, or for the first time ever? Just curious... Seeing the Milky Way at night is one of the best treats for me backpacking and a huge reason why I prefer sleeping in my bivy sack... Lovely, isn't it?

For the first time - we don't get many good starfields near my home :-(

The whole sky was stunning. It would take me a long time to get bored of looking at it, when it looks like that. Glad I chose to go when there was no moon.

I was very tempted to move my bag and pad out onto a rock, and watch the stars actually, but glad I didn't, as it got quite cold that night at Sunrise High Sierra Camp.

Steve
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 24, 2013 03:20PM
Thanks for the comments guys.

Day four being uploaded now...

Steve
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 24, 2013 04:05PM
Day 4:

Up before sunrise, to watch the sunrise, at, err, Sunrise HSC...





Views like this, from inside my tent, are what it's all about. What a great place to stay, and an inspiring view to start the day!


The night got very cold, the coldest of my whole trip. I woke up at some point in the middle of it, desperate to wee, but there was no way I was getting out of my warm bag and tent! Was a fairly uncomfortable night! lol. I should have just sucked it up, and gone out to brave the cold and dark like a man!

View from Sunrise HSC. Initially wasn't too sure about staying here, but I loved it.


I treated myself to a quick coffee at the communal tent area, and bought a snickers for lunch, then hit the trail towards Sunrise lakes. The trail is hard to find out of Sunrise HSC, but it rises up from the back of the backpackers area, not very well signed at all. Met Isac again, and then got underway.

More hot dusty climbing to get the legs working in the morning. All the mornings seemed to start with climbs?!
I managed to get into a good rythm just before the first of theSunrise Lakes








I noticed a couple of campsites had been used, right next to the trail, and one had a couple of discarded packets of dehydrated food left over. As my bear can was getting emptier (how nice a feeling is that?!) I added them to my own rubbish, and took them with me.

The climb up towards clouds rest was hot, and hard work because of the height, but the views started to open up to reward me


Final ascent




On the summit! The sun was very intense, and my legs and started to burn a little, so time to cover up.


More work today, and then tomorrows target looms large


It was great to be on the summit, which is fairly small, so you get to interact with the other hikers, most of whom came uo from Tenaya Lake.
I didn't much enjoy the trek down though, off in the direction of the pinacles, and then Half Dome.
The switchbacks felt never ending, and I was getting really, really hungry. I took plenty of rest.
Sooner than I thought, I came across the mass of tents gathered at the bottom of the switchbacks, and found myself a spot in the mosquito ridden woods. A dew hours later, Isac stumbled in, and we ate dinner, and spent a few hours discussing the difference between the UK, and USA.

Busy area to camp here. Lots of others, lots of bugs, and I deffinitley heard lots of animals moving in the night...

Steve
Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 24, 2013 06:18PM
Yah, you gotta suck it up and get it out at night! Then you can sleep peacefully! smiling smiley

Thanks for the trash collection! I'm getting really worried with reports of trash and poo and whatnot on and near our trails and water bodies. Recent articles and stories about what the Whitney Portal trail is like now.. and the sights we've seen (diaper on trail in Oahu) in various places... Ugh.

Did you like the view down when on the Clouds Rest ridge? Love that. Sheer glorious expanse of granite. Nummy.

Never camped anywhere near HD... have heard stories, we tend to camp further afield...but you had a trek to finish... I'm looking forward to the next installment! Keep it up!
Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 24, 2013 03:48PM
I am at once sooo very happy to hear that your first experience to see the Milky Way was in Yosemite (how utterly perfect, in my mind!)... and also saddened to hear that it was your first time ever! I've been lamenting skyglow for years, but the folks who we knew in our old astronomy club.. they've been trying to fight it for much longer... So sad that so many have no idea what a sky filled with stars is truly like... And I hate to say it, I think I've seen *more* far out in Utah deserts than even in our Sierra. (turbulence is another issue)... And I have yet to experience first hand a dark sky in the Southern Hemisphere! Someday....

Can't wait for the next installment!

Update: that's why I love my sleeping kit. My bivy and quilt keep me warm and bug-free and I still get a great view of the sky falling asleep... and I get a few opportunities to do that thanks to my night-time bio-breaks! Makes up for the disturbance!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/24/2013 03:51PM by JustKeepWalking.
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 24, 2013 06:26PM
Early October moonless nights seem to be when I see the most stars in the Sierra, it becomes hard to pick out constellations because they get lost amongst all the other stars.
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 20, 2013 10:21AM
I'm really enjoying the report! Looks like a spectacular time. I need to check out the Mono Pass area one of these days. Thanks for taking us along.
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 22, 2013 03:04PM
TS, I Love It



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 23, 2013 10:49PM
Superb, stunning. Thanks for sharing this epic!
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 24, 2013 04:08PM
Hey guys and gals, I just added day 4, but it appeared above a few other posts, so you may have to scroll up to see it, sorry bout that.

Steve
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 25, 2013 04:45PM
Justkeepwalking: By the clouds rest ridge, do you mean looking down into Tenaya Canyon? I thought the view that struck me most of that was about 5 miniutes before the summit, near a clearing in the trees. Glad I stopped for a breather there.

Regarding the rubish, and sites close to the trail, I saw very little to be honest, in fact, just there at Sunrise was the only place. The only thing that struck me, that I found a little dissapointing, was that the wilderness seemed a bit too "managed" for my liking. But, I guess I was traveling on some of the most popular trails. Maybe next time I will blaze my own path (A little like I did on days one and two)

Steve

Steve
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 27, 2013 11:14AM
Steve, are you unable to see the Milky Way in the UK because of light pollution where you live?
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 27, 2013 12:15PM
Day 5 - Half Dome!

Well, some of you may remember that my permit was messed up, and they didn't include HD on my wilderness permit, and wouldn't add it, despite my many attempts, well, I was lucky enough to get the last permit availible at the wilderness office in Tuolumne Meadows (Only by 30 seconds - the guy behind me in the queue was dissapointed!) so today was the day to climb Half Dome! In truth, I probably would have done it anyway, one way or another Grinning Devil

So, after a disturbed nights sleep, where I kept on hearing animals nearby, I woke up, and packed up camp, ready to hit the trail. Several people suggested leaving camp intact and returning to it after HD, but I can't go backwards, it's just not in my nature, so off I went, through thr morning bugs...

Isac having a lie in, in his huge tent. Guy could carry gear like a bloody mule...



Some of the first clouds I had seen all week, I was hoping the granite stayed dry



Where the trail splits to head towards HD



Climbing up towards the subdome, and the views start to get impressive. Many people are commenting on the size and weight of my pack. In fact, it wasn't heavy at all, it just looked it compared to their day packs.






Reaching the top of the subdome, I found to be fairly easy. From here I got my first proper view of the cables



As I was still fairly early, it was still quite quiet. I met a coupe of guys who had come up from the valley, which I thought was pretty good going, seeing as it was only about 9am, I think.



I dropped my pack near the base of the cables. Not because of the weight as (and I had to keep repeating this to people) it's really not heavy, but I though that the extra bulk would cause a problem for passing people on the cables. I secured my Aluminium water bottle very well, grabbed a bag of M&Ms from the can, and headed up the cables. I did grab myself a pair of gloves, but found the grip to be much better with my bare hands (I pull a lot of ropes at work).



From on the cables (gripping my phone for dear life! lol - taking a GoPro next time!)





On the summit! I loved the sense of teamwork on the cables. I actually found them very easy, and would have been up in a coupe of miniutes if they were clear, but some people had to really take their time, and needed encouragement every step of the way. Good on them for conquering it!






Brave/stupid/awesome/confident individual



I believe this is Tenaya Canyon, and Clouds Rest, yesterdays triumph



My first view of the Valley, and my finishing point, I have seen in almost a week



Starting to look like a proper hiker now!



So, after spending about an hour enjoying the summit I began my descent of the cables. I think, contuary to popular opinion, that HD was better than Clouds rest. Clouds rest does have "bigger" and "longer" views, but I thought the HD views were more interesting, and I got a better sense of accomplishent from HD.


I found the cables more of a challenge on the way down, and hoped theat the poeple who struggled up would be okay coming down. I went backwards, using both hands on one cable, in an abseiling type fashion.


At the bottom there were some people worried about my pack, as some squirrels had attacked the one next to it, chewing holes in it, and running around in it like a bit of swiss cheese, but mine escaped untouched. Maybe I just got lucky. After defelcting more commets about the weight of my pack (day hiking tourists! lol) I set off back down. I hate backtracking, so this was mentally painfull for me!


Once at the bottom, and back onto the main trail (The JMT?) I hit an excellent stride, and was alomst running along the trail, making excellent time bouncing along. I enjoyed really really pushing myself in the heat, on the shallow gradient. On the subdome somebody told me it would take 3 hours to reach the top of Nevada fall, which is why I decided on such a murderous pace. I am not sure how long it took me to get there, but it was ALOT quicker than that. The pool at the top of the falls was lovely, and a great place to stop for a rest, and to cool my feet in the water, whilst fending of people, curious about my solar pannel I had laid out on a rock. ("can you cook on it?" had me confussed...)





Brink of Nevada Fall



I really fancied staying for a swim (a little further upstream, maybe) but still had a lot of ground to cover, so was off once again towards Illilouette Creek. There was some fantastic views on the way



Illilouette Creek, once again, very tempting for a dip






I needed to take a slight detour to up the creek to be able to camp overnight, but luckily, at pretty much the first point I could legally camp, I found a great site, with a fire ring - hurrah! I really expected it to be busy around here, but it was complety my own. Didn't see anybody. It actually felt the most isolated I had done since Mono Pass (where I was too tired to be isolated and scared lol)


I had dinner, a long way from camp so as to keep the wildlife away from me in the night, and gathered some wood.


Never made a fire from scracth before, but after consulting my SAS pocket guide quickly (I know, I am sad lol) I had it licked. There was plenty of dead pine needles on the floor, and loads of powdered wood where previous people had been hacking away at fallen trees.



That took litteraly a couple of sparks to ignite - I can see how fires can easily start, get out of control, and spread around there!


Success! Happy with my first real fire, I put on some hot chocolate, and relaxed by it, enjoying soaking up ever bit of my last night in the wilderness.



There was an abundance of dead/felled wood on the floor, so had no trouble keeping the fire going for a while. It was actually remarkably good at keeping the annoying mosquitoes at bay!


This dear had pretty much no fear whatsoever, and walked right through my campsite while I sat there with my hot chocolate



In my pjs, enjoying the fire...




I watched the fire burn from inside my tent, and once I was sure it was safe, retreated to the safety of my bag, as it was now pitch black, and I was instantly almost the most scared I have ever been! lol
Could not sleep, so put my headphones in and watched a couple of episodes of Family Guy (I love modern smartphones - so handy!)

I woke serveral times during the night, hearing animal noises, and my own heartbeat jumping out of my chest, each time, I willed myself back to sleep as fast as I could, before I got stuck awake, and scared! Yes, I know I sound like a big whimp, but it was REALLY dark! lol

A long day, with lots of ground covered.

Steve



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/30/2013 02:33PM by TechieSteve.
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 29, 2013 12:38AM
Thanks for posting Day 5 of your incredible journey. Looking forward to Day 6.


Quote
TechieSteve
Day 5 - Half Dome!

Brave/stupid/awesome/confident individual

The link to the above photo is broken due to an incorrect URL. Your URLs for your photos end with .jpg . The one above did not and it appears to be a link to an album of photos, but not of a photo itself.

.
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 30, 2013 02:35PM
Thanks, fixed it now.

It was this picture:



Steve
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
August 03, 2013 10:28PM
Quote
TechieSteve
I willed myself back to sleep as fast as I could, before I got stuck awake, and scared! Yes, I know I sound like a big whimp, but it was REALLY dark! lol
Steve

A couple of years back, I was returning from a hike at 10:00pm (!) At one point, you actually pass under a freeway system through a long, unlit, corrogated steel tunnel in order to return to the parking lot. About 10 feet into the tunnel, my last light source crapped out; it was so dark that I could not see my hands in front of my face (nor did I think to shine the light -- when it worked -- any further than a foot in front of me.) I still had 10 miles to go in this horrid, dark, potentially cretin ridden, animal infested hell-hole (actually, I believe that it was a 30 yard shlep that became the longest walk of my life) I still relate this experience as thee most fearful of my life.



The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 29, 2013 09:27AM
Sweet! Thanks for continuing to post about your trip. I too have camped at Illillouette and had it feel incredibly remote. My wife and I were there for two nights (I was fishing, she was relaxing) and we only saw a couple people. Looking forward to the next update.
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 30, 2013 04:31PM
Day 6:
Final push on to Glacier Point

Woke up tired from sleeping lightly, due to all the noises, and fear, in the night. After making some breakfast, and packing up camp, I headed over to the river to filter some water. I looked up, at just the right time to see this:



Amazing sight, as he slowly walked across the log. I was very lucky my phone still had a very, very tiny amount of battery in it. The shot is actually a still from a very brief video I managed to shoot. I was very fortunate with timing, but in my haste, dropped my filter and bottle.

The bear dissapeared into the woods, slighty downstream of me. I then noticed that I was upwind, and had just had breakfast, so he might decide to take a walk upstream to investigate. As he was actually over in the direction I needed to hike in, but I had no idea where, I kept myself quiet, and managed to re-spot him again, sure enough, making his way upwind.

I manged to get a little video of him coming closer, and he had no idea at all I was there.



(Don't worry, there is quite a lot of digital zoom going on - he wasn't as close as this photo makes out) Unbelievably, he still hadn't seen me, dispite, seemingly looking right at me.

I decided that it was close enough, pulled out a hiking pole, and made myself known. I had no idea that something that big would ever be able to run that fast! Luckily, he went away from me, and not towards me, lol

Amazing sight to see it up close, and to see how fast it could run. My heart was beating fast, but I was glad that I had finally seen a bear on my trip, as it would be the first thing that anybody would ask me.

The only problem was that he ran in the direction I needed to go, and now unsure of exaclty where he was, I was keen to get out of the area fast. I set off, up the trail towards Glacier point.



The trail to Glacier Point was very, very hot, and by this point in my hike, and after the fairly long trip the day before, I was pretty much beaten, and had nothing left. I had to take frequent breaks in the shade, while watching families pass down, on setting off on their own mini adventures to Vernal, and Nevada Falls, no doubt. I didn't take much water from camp, as I knew Glacier Point was close, but I still managed to run out on the hot, dusty trail.

By the time I arrived at Glacier Point, I was so happy. It felt odd to be back in Civillization again.





You get some strange looks from all the normal tourists when you come stomping into their world, looking knackered, covered in dirt, and probably reeking to high heaven!

The food at Glacier Point tasted amazing to my deprived tastebuds, and my stomache was pleased as I gorged myself stupid on sandwhiches, chips, hots dog, sour snakes, and ice cream!

It felt amazing to be stood with people who were looking at the view, marveling at it, knowing that in previous days, I was in that view, doing things, and seeing things that most of them will probably never experience. I was glad I took the risk.

I had half hoped for a ride down from Glacier Point, maybe on that Disneyland style train thing, with the popemobile on the back, but I couldn't see anything, so reluctantly, set off down the Four Mile Trail, wondering which gap lead to the top of the Ledge Trail, I passed about three contenders.

Feeling much more energised, I set off down the trail, eager to keep up a good pace, and get back to the Valley for a shower as quick as possible. After about ten miniutes, I found my rythm, and was setting a blistering pace, passing poeople all the time (very satisfying). The families coming up all looked very tired, but I admired them for getting out and doing it.

As the elevation decreases, a few really nice views open up, and I was very glad I took the trail, rather than seek a ride.





As I passed who was comming up, he litfed a rock he was carrying, up to his face, and warned "bear down there".... So I slowed down, hoping to catch a glimpse, before it saw me. A family (lovely guys) who I passed higher up the trail came along, and I warned them of what I had been told, before setting off again.




It wasn't until about 15 miniutes later that I saw the bear, as I rounded a corner. It was sat square on the trail, with it's back to me, about 20 Meters further along. It looked completley different to the mornings bear, which was obviously a black bear. This thing looked much bigger, with long brown fur. I tried reaching for my camera as he slowly walked into a bush next to the trail. At the point, the family caught up with me, and I warned them to be careful, as we slowly made our way forward. When we got close to the spot, I drew one of my poles like a sword, knowing that it would be futile, but is offered me some comfort. We couldn't see where he went, and continued on, cautiously. When I was sure I was clear, I once again picked up the pace, determind to set a really good time to the valley floor. I speed hiked, almost running in places for the next thirty miniutes, and was surprised when the valley floor came up very, very quickly. I reached the 4 Mile Trail bus stop, and was relieved to have made it to the finish.

A huge sense of relief, accomplishment, pride, and confidence washed over me. It had been a very, very rough two years for me, and but all the time, I kept myself sane by micro planning a crazy adventue that was a seed in my head 18 months before, that grew, and grew into a monser that I could not contain. Not matter who told me it was a bad idea, I was going to do it. No matter who told me my route was stupid, I was going to do it. No matter who said I would never get the permits for the route I wanted, I was going to do it.

When I started my planning, I had never hiked more than a half day. I had zero equipment, experience, or know how. But, with a lot of training, careful research, incredibly intricate planning, I pulled it off. I overcame my fear of the being so alone, in the middle of nowwhere, and faced head-on, my biggest worry of falling asleep, on my own, in a pitch black forrest.

All objectives (except for Dana) had been achieved, and the hike went almost perfectly to plan. I was elated, and settled myself down to wait for the bus.

I was caught completley by surprise when a gorgeous girl came running down the trail, and offered me a lift with her, and her parents back to Curry Village. Somewhat stunned that anybody had managed to match the pace I had set, who could refuse such a kind offer.

Half hour later, joined by my new friends, I was taking the most well deserved swim I have ever taken, in the river as it passed Curry Village. I have to say, as an English person, I find the friendliness of you guys over in the USA to be nothing short of staggering. In the UK, eye contact more than twice is grounds to start a fight, and talking to somebody you don't know is unheard of, let alone scoring a lift in their car after only exchanging a few words. I met some fantastic people out on the trail too, all very friendly, and eager to share their knowledge.

It felt so good to get in that river, and finally be just a little bit cleaner!



I had a perfect end, to a perfect hike. Said goodbye to my very helpful ride, and headed for the pizza deck, to get slightly drunk.

Steve
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 30, 2013 04:35PM
Just one final post, to say I am very, very sorry for the long post, with lots of images, and rambling text, but I was so happy to share this with you guys, as I have been lurking an reading this forum for a long time, taking in everything I could. I have no idea how people planned such things before the internet.

Also, I had to share it with you guys, as it is likely that nobody else I know will understand.

A millions thanks guys!

Steve - now a much better person for getting through that hike
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 30, 2013 05:05PM
No need to apologize for the long posts. THEY WERE GREAT!!!

Glad you had an outstanding time. Just want to make one point though. You really shouldn't be that scared of the bears in Yosemite. They'll never attack anyone (unless the person did something absolutely stupid). Yes, they'll go after your food if you leave it unattended. And once they have possession of it, it's theirs! But you shouldn't fear at all that you'll somehow be ambushed on the trail (or traveling cross-country) by a Yosemite bear. Bears in other areas of North America (Brown bears in Alaska, Grizzlies in Wyoming and Montana ARE dangerous, but Yosemite bears just gobble up food and might possibly destroy some of your personal properly (if left unattended), but they simply don't attack humans (unless a momma bear thinks someone is threatening her cubs).

The one large predator that people do need to be concerned about in Yosemite is the elusive mountain lion. While the attacks are still a very rare occurrence, mountain lions in California will at times attack and kill humans. Usually people of smaller build. So watch out for mountain lions, but don't be do concerned or worried about your personal safety in regards to the Yosemite black bear.

.
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 30, 2013 05:59PM
Quote
TechieSteve
I have no idea how people planned such things before the internet.
They read guide books and looked at maps and dreamed. (ok, some of us still do that)
(ok, I just looked at the pictures)

But cmon, the intermanet is purty darn kewl.

Tank for sharon



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 30, 2013 06:43PM
Steve,

1) Would you do it again?
2) What was the most important thing that you learned?
3) Favorite place or view?
4) Low point?


Enjoyed your report. Congrats.

By the way, Tom Jones will probably want your autograph.
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 30, 2013 07:59PM
Rambling text??? It couldn't have been done better. Concise and intimate. For a foreigner your English is quite good.

Quote
TechieSteve
Just one final post, to say I am very, very sorry for the long post, with lots of images, and rambling text, but I was so happy to share this with you guys, as I have been lurking an reading this forum for a long time, taking in everything I could. I have no idea how people planned such things before the internet.

Also, I had to share it with you guys, as it is likely that nobody else I know will understand.

A millions thanks guys!

Steve - now a much better person for getting through that hike



Old Dude
Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 31, 2013 10:09AM
Quote
mrcondron
Rambling text??? It couldn't have been done better. Concise and intimate. For a foreigner your English is quite good.

I hope his English is good since he is from the UK. As for understanding his accent, if he has one, that is another matter. One time going to Mirror Lake, we ran into a group of people from the UK and their cockney accents were so strong that we had a bit of trouble understanding everything they were saying.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/31/2013 10:38AM by eeek.
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 31, 2013 10:39PM
Quote
parklover
Quote
mrcondron
Rambling text??? It couldn't have been done better. Concise and intimate. For a foreigner your English is quite good.

I hope his English is good since he is from the UK.

(I knew that)



Old Dude



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/01/2013 12:27PM by eeek.
Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
August 01, 2013 02:38PM
The big question now is if we could understand him if we talked to him. LOL My ex-brother-in-law is Scottish and there were times I had to ask him to repeat things two or three times before I got what he was saying. It was even worse after a few beers.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/01/2013 02:39PM by parklover.
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
August 02, 2013 12:14AM
Quote
parklover
My ex-brother-in-law is Scottish and there were times I had to ask him to repeat things two or three times before I got what he was saying. It was even worse after a few beers.

Scottish movies in English have English subtitles. Of course there is usually only one word used in the dialogue.



Old Dude
Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 31, 2013 10:10AM
I really enjoyed your report and the pictures. Thanks for posting. Hope you get to come back to Yosemite soon.
Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 31, 2013 12:18PM
Great pictures and detailed story. You had me at the edge of my seat for each installment. Thanks for sharing. Love your enthusiasm!
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 31, 2013 12:36PM
Quote
TechieSteve
Just one final post, to say I am very, very sorry for the long post, with lots of images, and rambling text..........................

As you probably figured out by now, we've been devouring everything you write, enjoying each image and tagging along the whole way. It does take a bit of time and effort to create a trip report, so thanks! I'm glad you had such a wonderful trip and kudos on sticking with your plan and making it happen.
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 30, 2013 05:40PM
Pretty nice, thanks for posting this.

A couple random responses...

Quote

It looked completley different to the mornings bear, which was obviously a black bear. This thing looked much bigger, with long brown fur.

You probably know, but if not...all Yosemite bears are "black bears". The large majority do not have black fur (there are areas in the US where most "black bears" do have black fur).

Quote

I have to say, as an English person, I find the friendliness of you guys over in the USA to be nothing short of staggering. In the UK, eye contact more than twice is grounds to start a fight, and talking to somebody you don't know is unheard of, let alone scoring a lift in their car after only exchanging a few words.

I mentioned (I think in response to your Snowdonia post) the group of Manchester-folk working in Caernarfon who simply wouldn't stop buying me pints (bless them!)...I've also noticed when skiing in the French and Swiss Alps that British skiers from Manchester seem more...friendly towards strangers I guess, as well as open to skiing off-piste and other such adventures...than those from around London. Except for one London-area skier who wanted to ski with me (I think this was at Verbier), and was open to anything.
Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
August 01, 2013 04:07PM
I've been gone and I just absorbed the final two installments and all the comments to date just now. Fabulous! Thank you again for sharing the story of your adventure! I loved reading how you had a crazy idea and then researched, created a plan and worked your plan. And even when things went a little awry, you kept working your plan and you finished with flair!

Congratulations again and I think many of us "get" how working through the mental, emotional and physical challenges you faced changed you -- and from my experience and what I've seen in others... for the better.

I also wanted to comment on "nobody else I know will understand".. a long time ago when we were happily participating in a hobby where we fit in just fine - but our circle of friends who were not into that hobby just thought we were crazy and couldn't figure out why we did what we did. One day, my mentor just plain said: "You need a new set of friends!" And I get that... those of us who love this type of activity, who do it on a regular basis totally get what you did and applaud you for it... we can be your circle of friends for this seemingly unfathomable-to-others behavior. For example, our non-backpacking friends just could not believe we had actually met someone who went to Yosemite more frequently than we did! Chick-on is looking at you!

And, I'm with atomicmonkey (and others, I'm sure) in wondering what's next for you!?! I hope, someday, another Sierra trip!
Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 30, 2013 04:58PM
Really enjoyed following along. I especially liked the image of you raising your hiking pole like a sword ready to fight the bear!
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 31, 2013 07:03AM
Steve,
Thank you very much for sharing.
Jim
Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
July 31, 2013 07:58AM
Thanks for taking me along on your trip! I really learned allot and enjoyed your report! Are you going to come back or where is your next adventure going to be?
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
August 02, 2013 04:34PM
Thank you so much for you wonderful comments everybody. I wanted to do a good write up, as without this site, and the people on it, I probably wouldn't have had the ability to attempt something which for me, was an incredibly stupid idea.

I will try and answer everone's questions as I get time.

But, yes, I will 100% be returning. I will be back next year. I am not planning anything yet, as to be honest, planning this one took a lot of time and energy, so I need a break. I haven't looked at a map yet, but I have a couple of ideas bubbling away. Some sort of hike, perhaps through the northern Yosemite area, that would arrive at Tolumne Meadows after about 5 days, re-supplying there (I assume the store has backpacking food - didn't go in while I was there, as I wanted to be unsupported, and the temptation to cheat would have been high), doing Waterwheel falls, and then heading to the valley on the other side of Tenya canyon, I believe that would take in North Dome, and Upper Yosemite Falls? (been there). But, I am not sure of the layout as yet, as I haven't opened the map yet. I will start looking towards the end of the year.

The other niggle I have, is Mt Witney, to the Valley. Beyond my current abilities, but, then this hike would have been off my scale 18 months ago too. Maybe do that one in two years time.

Somebody asked what I learned, and what I would do differently?

Well, I learned that the scale of Yosemite, both in distance, and height, is much, much larger than you can imagine from maps, and google Earth. What looks like a short, easy stroll on a map, or online, can be a 4 hour beasting, covered in sweat, and gasping for breath.

I learned that all the fitness work I did before I left was very valuable. I am fitter now than I have ever been, thanks to getting in great shape for the hike, and also, the hike itself. I can push myself much, much harder in the gym now. That could be down to better fitness, or the mental attitude that I had to adopt to complete the hike.

Hiking poles are essential! For me at least. I have useless knees, and tried to go without poles on my last training hike, and it ruined me. 6 days 100+km in Yosemite with my poles, and no problems whatsoever. No blisters either. Shoes were great.

I wouldn't do much differently, as it pretty much all went perfectly. I was a little sore to miss out on Dana. I was supposed to be on the trail for sunrise, which meant I might have stood a chance, but I took too long to get going in the morning. That happened quite a lot actually. How can it take so long, from when you first get out of your tent, to when you hit the trail? It's ridiculous!

My choice of gear worked perfectly. Could always loose a little more weight, and I will be taking a much lighter multitool next time, and much lighter poles. I should have taken something to put my drinks bottle in, round my waist, as it was either in my hand, or in the side pocket of my pack, where I wouldn't reach it.

I would possibly consider a tarp next time. Both to save weight, and enjoy sleeping outside. Or, I may get the conversion kit for my tent which makes it single skin. Saves on weight, and gives me a bit more room inside.

I wouldn't get sunburnt shoulders in the car, driving along the 120 to pick up my permit at Mono Lake :-( That made the first few days on the trail more uncomfortable than they should have been.

Next time I will visit a Walmart or something on the way in, and pick up some soups, as I really fancied that little extra 0.5 of a meal sometimes, also, more carb gels, 2X per day wasn't enough.

So, certainly returning, and honestly, if I could figure out a way to make it work, I would love to live nearby, at least for a while. I have been toying with the possibility of living in SF for 6 months. 6 days in the wilferness was a great adventure, and now 6 months in the city is playing on my mind too. I am in a very enviable posistion of having almost no comitments in the UK right now, so it would be a shame to waste it.

Anyway, pie in the sky stuff, as they say.


Steve



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/02/2013 04:34PM by TechieSteve.
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
August 03, 2013 09:41AM
Steve,
Thanks for summing up your experience. Newbies considering backpacking Yosemite for the first time should take to heart your comment regarding scale, height, distances, and altitude effects. You are right. Everything looks so much easier on a map or Google Earth but once you get out there,---whooeey!

Regarding soups, I'm doing something slightly different this year. A couple of my meals will be Ramon Noodles but w/ 5-oz cans of chicken or ham added for substance. Already tried them at home. If they taste good at home they taste superb on the trail.
Jim
Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
August 04, 2013 08:31PM
Steve, Great trip report! I really enjoyed the photos and especially your description of your experience. I was hoping to make it back to Yosemite this summer, but it has not been possible. Seeing the pics and hearing your description certainly makes me ache to be there. I often think how great it would be to live close enough to Yosemite that I could easily get there frequently. If you have that opportunity, it would certainly be worth giving careful consideration. It's an amazing place. I'm sure you find it calling out to you even now. It has a way of invading the mind and spirit and calling to you to return!

Thanks again for the great report!
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
August 04, 2013 06:25PM
Amazing story! Thanks so much for sharing with us. You have been a great participant here, so hope you stick around and continue to contribute. Gotta go back and read this again. So much to comment on. Hey, you like Clif Builder bars?
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
August 08, 2013 06:07PM
Well, I would say I don't really like any of those kinds of bars, but you gotta eat what's availible sometimes. I managed to squeeze lots of packs of m&m's in the gaps between proper food in my can, so that was nice.

I also learned to stick to Mountain House meals. I tried a few backpackers pantry deserts, and they were messy, and rubbish. Although I really struggled to find a decent range of Mountain House stuff in Ca. I visited REI in Dublin, and Bass Pro in Manteca, and both only carried very limited ranges. It's a shame, as I have a great collection of Mountain House stuff right here, in the cupboard next to me, but I don't think I can fly them over with me.

If I lived in the USA, food would have been lighter, cheaper, and better, but with only a limited time from landing, to hitting the trail, I had to go with what I could find.

Also, it almost caught me out that the Mountain House meals stipulate their water requirements in "cups" not ml. I carry a small plastic bottle that I have marked up with tape at 100ml intervals, to use for measuring water, so I am glad I checked, and googled the calculation for "cups - ml" before I hit the trail.

Thanks for your kind comments Paris92. I will certainly be sticking around, and will contribute when I can. I feel I learned a whole lot, and hopefully I can pass this on to others.

In the meantime, you will probably just have to endure a few more trip reports from the UK for a while, until I can get out to Yosemite again, possibly in July/August next year.


Steve
avatar Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
August 08, 2013 06:24PM
Does Packit Gourmet ship to the UK at a reasonable price, or...not so much...(wouldn't know the cost unless I went through an order process and made up a UK address)? There are other such companies in the US that try to make backpacking food a bit tastier than Backpackers Pantry/Mountain House/et. al., about which I suppose the same cost question could be asked.

Regarding "cups" versus actual measuring units...I blame you brits for this historicalhysterical legacy. Even if you do now know better, except in the matter of beer where I'm pretty sure I'd slightly prefer a half-liter over a pint.
Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
August 08, 2013 06:24PM
Funny you mention Mountain House... Not that I've tried ALL the other flavors of ALL the other brands, but Mountain House has been my favorite for a number of years now. Many years prior, I hated it... but now (after reformulation, from what I recall), the meals really work for me.

I often order them from REI online to get the selection of flavors I want when the entire line goes on sale. And we get the Costco kit to supplement. I like all those flavors, so that's a good buy. We have a stash of them so we don't have to buy dribs and drabs before every weekend trip... and we consider it our "emergency" food (though they say to watch out for the sodium content, but if I'm living off mountain house and things are bad at home, I'm probably also physically more active and the salt will be needed from sweating)... I've been told there's good and bad in every line... I just don't seem to have the patience to work through them all to find the good ones (and taste is subjective, so the recommendations I've got haven't helped yet)... smiling smiley

Dang, didn't think about the oz/ml thing. I have a converter on my phone though, whew. now I'm curious... gaak, my guess was pitifully wrong! sad smiley

Glad to hear you'll stick around, pipe up. And I'll be looking for immediate trip reports to learn what it's like out there. Ireland trip coming up way too fast... I know, different island/country and all, but similar latitude/weather/conditions - at least more similar than compared to the Sierras! smiling smiley
Re: Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley over 6 days - Trip report
August 15, 2013 04:56PM
Wow, fantastic trip, TS, what a great read! Thanks for sharing your adventure with us\. I loved your pictures, commentary, and follow-up answers to questions. The comment about estimating travel over sierra terrain is spot on, as you discovered.

Enjoy your UK travels, we'll be seeing you again next year smiling smiley
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