Dec 16, 2011 at 1:24 pm #1283106
All are welcome to join Jack Elliot and I to spend Saturday the 31st and New Years weekend in Yosemite. Jack will be coming up from Bakersfield and I will be going up CA 41 out of Fresno. We are fixed on Yosemite because it is a central location for both of us.
We are hoping for a good winter storm between now and then to kick off winter but there is currently not much snow at the middle elevations . We haven't chosen a specific location within Yosemite yet because of the uncertain conditions. If it doesn't snow we will make it a backpacking trip. If it does snow we will make it a snowshoe trip. Possible destinations may include the upper Mariposa Grove, near the CA 41 entrance. A hike out of Yosemite valley or Badger Pass Ski area is also possible. I know its a bit nebulous at this point but we will watch the weather and finalize the details as the date approaches. The only thing that cancels for me is a solid winter storm forecast. I don't think a storm will bother Jack.
Jack needs to be back at work on Monday the 2nd. I am off on the 2nd and so I am open to staying out Sunday night and returning on Monday if anyone is interested.
I have 3 pairs of snowshoes others can borrow if it turns into a snowshoe trip.
Happy New Year! We hope you can join us.Dec 16, 2011 at 1:59 pm #1812973
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
Trying to do a backpack trip out of the Badger Pass area can be frustrating at this time of year, and it depends on snow. If there is a sufficient snow depth, then the Badger Pass Ski Area will be open, the parking lot will be plowed, and the Glacier Point Road will be plowed only that far. If there is insufficient snow depth, then the Badger Pass Ski area will not be open, and the parking lot is unlikely to be plowed (because it isn't necessary). Sometimes the problem lies in the road. Sometimes it is slick enough that NPS has it closed and gated, but yet there isn't enough snow. You get into a situation where you really can't get up there to the trailhead, so it is important to have some alternatives up your sleeve. One weird alternative is to park at Chinquapin and hike _up_ the Chinquapin Run, which brings you up to the backside of the Badger Pass beginner slope.
Incidentally, that bottom stretch of the Glacier Point Road routinely has the infamous R3 rating during winter. That means chains on every vehicle, even 4WD.
I've seen people plan a trip to go up the Glacier Point Four Mile Trail, and then they discovered that NPS had closed it because of danger.
An easy alternative is to park near Crane Flat and go up to the Crane Fire Lookout. It is a little exposed for weather, but the view is good and the distance is short.
–B.G.–Jan 1, 2012 at 7:57 pm #1818467
Happy New Year BPL!
Jack was unable to join me and so I decided to head up to Yosemite Valley early and make it a solo trip. On Friday night I found a spot to sleep in Camp Four which was only about 20 percent full. I had enough daylight left to take a nice walk around the valley, pick up a wilderness permit, cook dinner and then make my way over the lodge to see if any activities were going on. I watched an film featuring interviews of Ansel Adams and then had a beer next to the fire in the bar. I left the fire at the bar and jumped into my quilt and bivy by 9:30.
After a large pancake breakfast at the lodge cafeteria, I slowly made my way to the trailhead parking and then off towards Mirror Lake. My plan was to climb out of the valley via the Snow Creek trail and then walk along the north rim back down via the Yosemite Falls Trail. Mirror Lake.
Snow Creek – I was very happy to see water in the creek because the one liter I started with was long gone.
I walked until I ran out of daylight. The trail was mostly free of snow but there was some ice along the trail. As daylight faded I started looking for flat areas to camp at and shortly after I found a nice hidden spot with a fire ring and wood ready to go. I enjoyed a nice Asian Salmon dinner from Seabear. I added some udon noodles and a porter in a can and found that it hit the spot. If the hour of "backpackers midnight" counts I stayed up to ring in the new year.
I think the lows were in the high twentys. I stayed plenty warm in my quilt and bivy. I used a Neoair and and added my windshield sun reflector underneath for a little extra warmth.
Yosemite creek. Once I was on the rim I did not see any other hikers until I was going down the Yosemite falls trail.
Down Yosemite Falls trail and back to the valley.
It was great time and successful trip. Happy new year to all.Jan 1, 2012 at 8:54 pm #1818496
@rickniemiLocale: Santa Cruz Mountains
Nice trip report David. I like the photos.
RickJan 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm #1819198
Looks like a pretty great way to spend the evening. I did exactly that loop in october and except for the ice on the creek, your photos look about the same as mine. Did you get out to North Dome? Pretty killer view from there.Jan 3, 2012 at 12:14 pm #1819203
@creachenLocale: East Bay
Cool stuff David—Me Time is underrated it's good for your soul!Jan 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm #1819204
David, nice trip! Great way to ring in the new year. Congrats.Jan 3, 2012 at 9:08 pm #1819446
Thanks for the kind words everyone.
James – I didn't make it to North Dome. The short days this time of year really messed me up. I was running out of day light when I arrived at the turnoff for North Dome. I figured I would find a flat spot to lay down faster by going down towards the rim. Next time I will shoot for North Dome. I did spend some time relaxing at Yosemite Point which was incredible:
I look forward to seeing you all at Henry Coe.Jan 5, 2012 at 10:21 am #1820157
@davidlutzLocale: Bay Area
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