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Re: TR - Last Weeks Tuolumne to Valley Hike

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TR - Last Weeks Tuolumne to Valley Hike
August 31, 2013 06:14AM
Week long solo backpack from Tuolumne to various high sierra lakes above 10,000 feet then down to Yosemite Valley Floor. Unbelievably beautiful hiking up high. Approaching Yosemite my entrance was shut down so had to detour for 2 hours to get to get in. Leaving, I could see the firecrews, Hotshots, the Rim Fire/pyro cumulus clouds from the fire on the north side of the Tioga road. Here are some of the pics. Not mega miles (just under 10 each day) but wanted lots of time to take pics and explore. hope the panoramic pic posts properly of Townsley.

Big thanks to the pros here who have helped me learn how and where to backpack after years of day hikes my my wife and kids. This was my first time going alone for so long. Soon will be back for a short trip with my wife to Clouds Rest and around Sunrise!

Ted

Stayed first day at Tuolumne Backpackers Camp just walking the meadows to get used to the altitude. No real hiking as got to the park later than planned.



Planning day 1 from Rafferty Creek Trailhead


Setting forth the next morn. Always amazes me how the different light makes familiar places new in Yosemite (as do seasons). I think why Muir called it not the snowy range but the Range of Light. Beautiful morning with rain drops. I took some video w the camera and will have to learn how to post that here too as you could see the steam rising from the ground from the previous night's thunderstorm.


Fletcher and Vogelsang come into view...


Looking back...


Approaching Vogelsang after few downpours that day


Margarita time at Fletcher Lake under Fletcher Peak




Climbing above Fletcher Lake next morn along waterfall to find Townsley Lake


Townsley...beauteeeeful....






Side trip to Evelyn and some other spots:




back to Vogelsang Lake area to camp


Froze my keister off here. gusts up to 40-50 so could not keep rainfly on tent which left it open even though I had my tent behind a big rock. my 30 degree bag w the winds did not cut it. waited until 1030 next morn to warm up and had to hike up to get into the radiant sun to warm up! chilly.


Stars over Fletcher Peak that night at Lake Vogelsang. Nearly full moon....did a timelapse too which I will post later


morning warming up and then off over the pass






Gallison Lake


Bernice Lake


Not sure what the 3 spires r in the middle or the other mountains but they were pretty!


Below treeline at 10000 feet it was like spring came out with more trees and green appearing. a different world from above....


First glimpse of Lake Merced w backside of Half Dome in the distance


Lake Merced. Stayed at backpackers camp and met a ranger there who works for a family friend in the park my wife grew up with who heads up Education at Yosemite. Also met some other interesting hikers




heading down the Merced river to lower land...


coming thru Lost and Echo Valleys


Half dome Liberty Cap and Nevada Falls from a vantage point I think most mist trail hikers never see and don't realize Half Dome is right there!


Helen from Belgium, 1 of 2 cool hikers I met along the way. When I met her she was stalked night before by a mountain lion outside her tent near Sunrise and was really scared. Two deer just outside her tent that suddenly disappeared and the mountain lion was outside her tent staring at her and there all night long making noises as she banged on a pan. She did not come out till hikers came by next morn. Also met a cool guy who was doing Red Peak Pass that is on my list (not sure if clockwise or counter clockwise from Happy Isles is best - I will have to explore the forum to find out!)



Next morning had to wait 90 minutes for Pizza Deck to open. Ate a large and had two Mammoth Epic IPAs (almost as good as a specialty Lagunitas!).

Re: TR - Last Weeks Tuolumne to Valley Hike
August 31, 2013 08:46AM
Thanks for posting tr and pix. Looks like you had a great time.
Re: TR - Last Weeks Tuolumne to Valley Hike
August 31, 2013 04:22PM
Quote
Tedbay

Not sure what the 3 spires r in the middle or the other mountains but they were pretty!

There's some discussion of this feature here
Re: TR - Last Weeks Tuolumne to Valley Hike
September 01, 2013 05:18AM
Thanks for sharing your TR! Looks like you had a great solo trip, congrats!

That experience Helen had with the mountain lion is pretty crazy! On my last trip, the ranger told us there have been a few mountain lion sightings in the area recently. I'd be pretty freaked out too if a mountain lion didn't just check me out and leave, but stuck around near the tent all night.
Re: TR - Last Weeks Tuolumne to Valley Hike
September 01, 2013 08:55PM
Hmm. Second story I've heard in past two weeks about a mountain lion "stalking" a hiker. This one a bit different, first story out of Twin Lakes area, actual hiker walking kept seeing a mountain lion following him. Other guys with me heard more, maybe they can elaborate.

What's with this? I've never worried about them in the backcountry before, I just assumed I've been seen, and they've stayed hidden. Are they getting accustomed to hikers? Foothills/front country is another matter... We have had reports near our house this year: a picture of one in tree in a backyard a couple miles away; apparent deer kill near our house.

Edit: forgot to thank you for the TR!! Love that area!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/01/2013 08:57PM by JustKeepWalking.
Re: TR - Last Weeks Tuolumne to Valley Hike
September 01, 2013 06:27AM
thanks for the link! constantly amazed at the experience and knowledge on this forum! next week going to Clouds Rest with my wife for first time and cant wait to get back! long drive or not around the fire, I don't care!
avatar Re: TR - Last Weeks Tuolumne to Valley Hike
September 12, 2013 09:54PM
Just read your trip report. Looked like you had a great time. And thanks for taking the time to post all those photos. They're great!


Quote
Tedbay

Helen from Belgium, 1 of 2 cool hikers I met along the way. When I met her she was stalked night before by a mountain lion outside her tent near Sunrise and was really scared. Two deer just outside her tent that suddenly disappeared and the mountain lion was outside her tent staring at her and there all night long making noises as she banged on a pan. She did not come out till hikers came by next morn.


I can see how Helen from Belgium would be extremely scared, but I do have to wonder if it was a mountain lion that stayed near her tent all night. That wouldn't be typical mountain lion behavior. If there were two deer nearby her tent, it would have been more typical for the mountain lion to give chase after the deers and not wait out all night for a morsel of human flesh.

It might have been other animals making the noise around her tent that night after her encounter with the mountain lion and the deer. Maybe some other deer, maybe a bear even. But if it was indeed a mountain lion, then I truly hope that Helen took the time to report back the incident to a wilderness ranger. A mountain lion incident like this one should never go unreported.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/2013 11:28PM by plawrence.
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