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Vernel Fall, Merced River, Yosemite National Park

The Moon is Waning Gibbous (95% of Full)



Tour de Foerster

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Tour de Foerster
August 06, 2013 02:52PM
Looks like Lyell Fork of the Merced is popular this year...

Was supposed to climb Foerster on a trip 2 years ago, but difficulties arose. So last week I was out there for a few days alone, to finish what had been started.
I apologize that half of this trip occurs outside the park.

Departed from Fernandez Trail head, to...

Rutherford Lake.

Then a cross-country traverse near 9,800' around to Isberg Lakes via...

Anne Lake.

Meadow below Slab Lakes.

Post Lakes.

Ward Lakes.

And camp at Lower Isberg. Smoke from the Aspen Fire is beginning to become a problem...

Next day's agenda was to climb over Blush Peak and Long Mountain, then camp at Blue Lakes.

Climbing above Isberg Lakes, nearing the Yosemite Park Boundary Ridge.

Looking north into the park from the boundary ridge, west of Blush at 10,700'.

The West Ridge of Blush, about to be climbed.

View north from top of Blush.

On the West Summit of Blush, looking over the gap to the East Summit.

On the East Summit of Blush, looking back to the (higher) West Summit.

West Ridge of Long Mountain, about to be climbed.

From the summit of Long Mountain, looking down the Northeast Ridge, about to be descended.

Northeast Ridge of Long Mountain, just descended.

From the base of the ridge, I traversed around the head of the Long Creek Canyon.
View down Long Creek.

Below Pt. 11,535'.

To Blue Lakes.

Above the "cavorting" meadows of Bench Canyon.

Next day's agenda was to climb over Foerster Peak to the Lyell Fork Merced.

Sunrise at camp, Lower Blue Lake.

Climbing Foerster via Southeast Slope.

When climbing Foerster from this side I would encourage a very short side trip over to the saddle due east of the summit, at 11,650'.
The view from the saddle includes a good vantage over Foerster Ridge Pass below. (Soon to be descended).

View north into the park from top of Foerster, and more smoke.

Looking down the North Ridge of Foerster, to be descended.

Looking back up the North Ridge (taken from top of Foerster Ridge Pass).

Then continued down from Foerster Ridge Pass to Lake 10,217'.

Bivy at Lake 10,217'.

The smoke hit hard this night.

But the next morning dawned clear.

On that trip 2 years ago, I went around all the lakes in the upper basin of the Lyell Fork Merced.
So for this trip, I decided to go down from here, through the meadows for the first time.
Therefore, next day's agenda was to do some fishing and get back around to Harriet Lake.

After finding the trail down at 9,100' I followed it south, up the switchbacks, and then soon left it again to explore the meadow below Harriet.
This is at about 9,850'.

Continued to follow the creek up to Lake ~10,150'.

And eventually over to Harriet.

The ridge to the west of Harriet appeared to offer a nice place to spend the night, surrounded from Mount Florence to Mount Clark.

Next day's agenda was to explore the lakes between Harriet and Isberg Pass, and get back south of the park so that I could hike out early the following day.

Harriet Lake below Blush Peak.

Lake ~10,190'.

Lake ~10,010'.

Lake 10,217'.

Then cross-country, around the east side of Post Peak...

to Joe Crane Lake.

Next day's agenda was an early hike back to the Fernandez Trailhead.
I think a quick glance at the map would lead most to consider the Timber Creek Trail. But I was not aware that this trail remains unmaintained. Currently it is overgrown, destroyed by large avy debris, marked by conflicting cairns, and is really more of an obstacle than a trail. Anyone looking for the challenge of following old trails will enjoy. This picture looks back up at the Timber Creek drainage, just descended, with difficulty.

I'm happy for the blazes of Timber Creek, thanks for still showing the way.

- Klas

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/07/2013 10:49AM by Klas.
avatar Re: Tour de Foerster
August 06, 2013 03:37PM
Too bad about the smoke, but glad that it cleared enough to still see a lot of great stuff. OK to post anything Sierra here. Thanks for posting.
avatar Re: Tour de Foerster
August 06, 2013 05:11PM
Bowing to his greatness

Awesome. Dang. You pretty much nailed what I had on the agenda for next weekend.

Yosemite Jim, competely confused by your Sierra comment. This IS Yosemite.
smiling smiley

Klas, any boundary marker atop Long? I didn't find one on Isberg... and there was one atop Foerster.
Thanks for sharing. Just awesome. Right up my alley.

Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Tour de Foerster
August 06, 2013 05:21PM
Klas apologized about part of the trip occurring outside of Yosemite. Isn't he starting in Ansel Adams Wilderness and then going into Yosemite.
avatar Re: Tour de Foerster
August 06, 2013 05:31PM
Ah. Okie. Yeah, no apologies required.

There's a map here:

Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Tour de Foerster
August 06, 2013 06:25PM
Sorry I was not looking for a marker on Long, and did not notice one. The summit area is relatively large and there was another party up there at the same time so I could have missed it.

BUT, at the base of the northeast ridge, in the saddle between Long Mountain and Pt. 11,535'...

avatar Re: Tour de Foerster
August 06, 2013 09:00PM
Thanks. That helps a lot. Isberg Pass is 133. Foerster is 129.
Have a good idea where 131 and 132 are now. Thanks!

Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Tour de Foerster
August 06, 2013 09:45PM
Anytime, glad I could help!
avatar Re: Tour de Foerster
August 06, 2013 09:49PM

Thanks. That helps a lot. Isberg Pass is 133. Foerster is 129.
Have a good idea where 131 and 132 are now. Thanks!

So which numbers are still missing from your photo collection?

avatar Re: Tour de Foerster
August 06, 2013 09:48PM
Wow, what great trip and trip report. Thanks for sharing and posting all the photos.

avatar Re: Tour de Foerster
August 07, 2013 06:59AM
Nice pictures, thanks. Looks like the smoke was drifting in and out.
avatar Re: Tour de Foerster
August 07, 2013 07:52AM
Absolutely beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing.

"It is all very beautiful and magical here - a quality which cannot be described. You have to live it and breath it., let the sun bake it into you" - Ansel Adams
avatar Re: Tour de Foerster
August 07, 2013 08:04AM
Thanks for great trip report and photos. Looks like a really cool area.
avatar Re: Tour de Foerster
August 07, 2013 10:38AM
Super Awesome! Thanks for the report and great photos.
Re: Tour de Foerster
August 08, 2013 01:20PM
GREAT stuff! Have been wanting to explore that area since a week section of SHR that went through Bench Canyon, past Blue Lake, over Blue Lake pass. So much around there, but getting to it trickier for us right now with limited time... Maybe next year! smiling smiley

About the smoke... was it hard to breathe? burning sensation? looked heavy at times... hm. can make for very interesting scenery, smoke has bothered me in past.. ugh. Again, great report, thanks oodles!
Re: Tour de Foerster
August 08, 2013 05:56PM
The smoke was interesting.
Sometimes it was not there at all. Other times it filled in everywhere.

The days were generally real hot.
If the smoke arrived early in the day, before the afternoon winds, then the smoke appeared to amplify the heat of the sun, and it felt like I was being cooked in a smoke house. Hot and stuffy, not real comfortable.
In the afternoon, the winds usually grew stronger and actually cleared things up. Then in the evening, on some nights the smoke would fill in again. Other nights stayed more clear.

It was never hard to breathe. But I noticed after longer durations of smokey-ness that my throat was unhappy. The impact on my eyes was even worse, borderline painful, and that's what really inspired me to get the hell out of there.
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