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Re: Smoke experience in northern Yosemite

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avatar Smoke experience in northern Yosemite
September 01, 2013 11:53AM
On 8/22 Chick-on, Basilbop, JustKeepWalking, Catalonian Burro, and myself entered The Robinson Creek trailhead at Twin Lakes to do a general loop route down Slide Canyon, a few days in the Smedberg/Rodgers/Benson area, and then exit via Peavy Pass, Kerrick Canyon, and Peeler Lake. Our 1st night was spent just above Crown Lake where we caught a slight hint of smoke in the evening. When we began the descent the next day from Mule Pass all was clear but we detected smoke by the time we reached the slide in Slide Canyon and much of the canyon was obscured by the time we camped at Camp Creek. At this point we decided heading west would be a poor choice and to head east two canyons in an attempt to get away from most of the smoke. Two days later we were camped above the stream crossing in Spiller Canyon with smoke still dogging us every afternoon and evening. Mornings were virtually clear. Our last night was spent between Whorl Mountain and Twin Peaks about 500' below Horse Pass. Once again, smoke came in by late afternoon and became irritable to the nose at night. On our last day we topped the pass and descended all the way back to Twin Lakes, in smoke all afternoon. This was about a 3,650' descent. We drove out to Bridgeport where visibility in that valley was down to 1/4 mile!

Overall, our change of plans did not really avoid smoke but obviously would have been much worse had we gone up Kerrick Canyon to Peeler Lake. This was still a beautiful trip, 1/2 of which was off trail. Spiller Canyon is a hidden gem that perhaps gets ignored due to lack of a trail plus the extremely steep access on the north side of the pass. It has lots of great campsites, smooth granite areas near the stream, and long rocky meadows plus fantastic views of Whorl, Twin Peaks, Virginia Peak, Stanton Peak, and others.

While I flew home the other four headed south well below Mammoth to do another 4-5 days and may be exiting today. Mike, you were missed. Sorry you could not make it.

I will post photos and perhaps more detailed trip report once I get my act together processing photos. I'm certain Chick-on and JustKeepWalking will beat me to it and they have 2 trips to report.
Re: Smoke experience in northern Yosemite
September 01, 2013 08:11PM
Dunno when I'll be able to post. Catalonian Burro didn't join, had to go home. He was missed!

We hiked out last night, and spent the night in Lee Vining. Had breakfast with Chick-on this morning and he went directly home, while we checked out Tuolumne Meadows. Very eerie. Clouds and smoke mix have a very late fall feel, but the smell reminded you what was what. Would not want to hike in that!

Btw, winds changed and brought smoke south to us yesterday on trail and on 395 from Mammoth Airport, in Mammoth last night, all the way to Lee Vining.

108 had bad spots, but by the time we hit Sonora for lunch around 12:30pm today, we saw blue sky and clouds and didn't smell much smoke...

Keep an eye on wind directions to avoid smoke.

More on both trips later, but great times!
Re: Smoke experience in northern Yosemite
September 01, 2013 09:16PM
Thanks for the info, looking forward to the TRs!
avatar Re: Smoke experience in northern Yosemite
September 01, 2013 11:37PM
Gosh, I am supposed to arrive at Tuolumne Meadows on Friday afternoon. Heading to May Lake and Glen Aulin, then back to Tuolumne later in the week. Does not sound like we should be out there hiking... Concerned.
avatar Re: Smoke experience in northern Yosemite
September 02, 2013 08:55AM
At this pt. you'll have to go thru Lee Vining to get there. Yum

For the trip we just did we got lucky. Mainly b/c the smoke would dissipate in the evening...
but when the smoke came... it came fast...

Here's an example of what we dealt with:
Slide Canyon / Big Meadow Creek in the evening:


Early the next morning:




Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Smoke experience in northern Yosemite
September 02, 2013 09:08AM
Lower Matterhorn Canyon at dusk-ish:



at dawn-ish:



More later...

Tanks JimDisco. We had a blasts

Chick-on is looking at you!



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Smoke experience in northern Yosemite
September 02, 2013 09:14AM
Wow... That's a bunch of smoke alright...
avatar Re: Smoke experience in northern Yosemite
September 03, 2013 09:09PM
Quote
HikingMano
Wow... That's a bunch of smoke alright...

It is amazing what the power of 5 snoring backpackers can do to a a single smoky canyon. The smoke just fell out of the sky! winking smiley
Re: Smoke experience in northern Yosemite
September 03, 2013 09:40PM
Quote
Catalonian Burro

It is amazing what the power of 5 snoring backpackers can do to a a single smoky canyon. The smoke just fell out of the sky! winking smiley

Haha, No kidding! smiling smiley
avatar Re: Smoke experience in northern Yosemite
September 03, 2013 09:49PM


This picture was taken on my drive home on 120 near White Wolf on Tuesday, the 27th around 9pm. Most of the horizon was impressively orange. I did not have a good camera or tripod so this modest photo is the best I could do to convey both the amazement and how far my heart sank, as I realized I was looking towards HH.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/03/2013 09:50PM by Catalonian Burro.
Re: Smoke experience in northern Yosemite
September 03, 2013 10:59PM
Quote
Catalonian Burro
This picture was taken on my drive home on 120 near White Wolf on Tuesday, the 27th around 9pm. Most of the horizon was impressively orange. I did not have a good camera or tripod so this modest photo is the best I could do to convey both the amazement and how far my heart sank, as I realized I was looking towards HH.

Is the 120 open again?
avatar Re: Smoke experience in northern Yosemite
September 02, 2013 09:36AM
Wow. What a difference....
avatar Re: Smoke experience in northern Yosemite
September 03, 2013 03:28PM
ThreeDisco:



(probably can't tell but JimDisco has 3-D Goggles on)
(and a Twinkie in his hand)
(A Twinkie in the hand is worth 2 Birds on the ground?)

Anywho. This is at Horse Creek Pass. About to take the plunge down to Twin Lakes and out.
Spiller Canyon and Whorl in the background

Hopefully the 3D looks decent



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Smoke experience in northern Yosemite
September 03, 2013 06:16PM
A Twinkie in the hand!!??



Old Dude
Re: Smoke experience in northern Yosemite
September 04, 2013 07:18AM
Smoke was pretty bad at lower merced pass lake on saturday but it blew out by sunday.

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