Apr 23, 2011 at 1:18 pm #1272744
concerned about snow on the rim around the valley come mid-june. with 170% water content in the current snowpack around the valley, should i consider crampons or snowshoes on my trip around the valley (including tuolumne and clouds rest)? i am a fit and relatively experienced midwest outdoorsman but concerned about "postholing" and icey conditions this june. thanks!Apr 23, 2011 at 1:32 pm #1728463
Ken HelwigBPL Member
@kennyhel77Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Tuolumne and more specifically Clouds Rest might not be reacheable in Mid June. It all depends on when Yosemite opens Hwy 120. On there website it shows you each years opening dates. Keep in mind, this year was a heavy snow year. You might be good to go with snowshoes if you are hiking around the rim of the valley.Apr 23, 2011 at 4:17 pm #1728517
By mid-June, it will be somewhat unpredictable. If you stay on the well-traveled trails, there will be a muddy/icy foot track, and you can probably stay up on the surface most of the time. As you get off into the less-traveled trails, the snow will be unstable, and there will be lots of runoff. Also consider the orientation of the trails with respect to the sun direction and tree cover.
I can guarantee that the top of El Capitan will be bare and dry, but the trails through the woods on either side may be a complete mess.
–B.G.–Apr 23, 2011 at 6:03 pm #1728556
Hiking MaltoBPL Member
You will facing the same conditions as the PCT thru hikers. Few if any of them are carrying snowshoes. Crampons, maybe, trekking poles (IMHO) yes. Latest word out of Yosemite is an expected Tioga opening date in late June, but that could change.
You should expect hard snow in the mornings and softer snow and possibly postholing in the afternoon. Suncups may also be a pleasant little challenge. If Tioga Road is open a great early trip is the Grand Canyon of the Toulumne. I did that along with ten lakes two years ago and it was snowy but great.Apr 24, 2011 at 10:50 am #1728759
Dan MagdoffBPL Member
@highsierraguyLocale: Northern California
Ya…I am in the same predicament. I am hoping to head up to Yosemite the third weekend in June. Start at Lyell Canyon and come out the mist trail. Am unsure of the snow conditions at this point…so I guess I am just playin it by ear…Apr 25, 2011 at 4:15 am #1729077
planning on entering at rockslides trailhead and doing the "backpacking magazine loop" around the north rim, extending up to tenaya lake, across clouds rest, do half dome and then back down to happy isles. while the water, mud and postholing will be a challenge, i am most concerned about slippery ice ……. on the knife edge of clouds rest ……. yikes!Apr 25, 2011 at 2:47 pm #1729303
Afew posters have done that trip. Here a trip report.
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=21452&disable_pagination=1Apr 26, 2011 at 4:41 am #1729557
appreciate the threads regarding the illusive rockslides trail. however, ive yet to gain any confidence in finding the trail on the other side of the "the big slide". is it really that hard to stay on this trail?Apr 26, 2011 at 9:26 am #1729639
If you are referring to the section where you have to do the steep 100ft scramble up the hill, no its not all that difficult to follow. There is a red spray-painted arrow on a rock where you begin the climb (stay to the right as you climb up, the left and middle has very loose soil and rocks) and it ends at the road bed on top with another bunch of boulders. Honestly you can't miss it.Apr 26, 2011 at 10:44 am #1729669
@andrew-fLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Someone really spray painted a big red arrow on a rock??? That is terrible.
Awhile ago, someone spray painted big orange dots in the Gunsight gulley of Middle Cathedral because they felt that everyone needed trail markers to get up/down safely. Thousands of people have made it safely up and down without them, and thanks to the hard work of some climbers, the dots were mostly removed with lots of scrubbing and cleaning agents. There are still nasty scars on the rock from where the paint was scrubbed off, though. I don't understand what people are thinking when they do stuff like that.
End of rant… thanks for the info about a trail I hadn't heard of in the Valley…
AndrewApr 26, 2011 at 11:19 am #1729685
On the high side of the rockslides, the trail is an old paved road which used to be one main route into the valley eighty years ago (The Old Big Oak Flat Road). The new road replaced it, and it is several miles to the west of there. That old road is the access to Tamarack Flat Campground when it is open, but now it is used only as a fire road.
–B.G.–Apr 26, 2011 at 12:36 pm #1729719
I went that same route last labor day weekend and didn't have too much trouble finding the trail….maybe about 5 minutes of thinking we may have gone the wrong way then saw the trail and smooth sailing after that.
And we camped in the exact same spot as they did in the picture labeled, "Campsite with amazing view of Half Dome" in the trip report link above. It was quite an amazing view. Somehow we had the whole area to ourselves despite the fact it was labor day weekend.Apr 27, 2011 at 4:06 am #1730001
so, it sounds like it isn't that difficult to stay on the rockslides trail up out of the valley? why have so many things i've read on the internet indicated that it's so difficult to follow across some of the slide areas?Apr 27, 2011 at 12:54 pm #1730175
The rockslides is not so much a trail as it is a route. Remember that there used to be a paved road underneath the rocks.
Many people hiking in Yosemite Valley can't follow a paved sidewalk from the bus stop.
Don't expect a nice three-foot path of pine needles stretching out between the rocks on either side.
–B.G.–Apr 27, 2011 at 5:16 pm #1730244
lmao! i hear you — that's what i was suspecting. last question — what is the longest stretch of rockslide-obstructed roadbed as you traverse up out of the valley?Apr 27, 2011 at 10:37 pm #1730366
Two miles maybe.
–B.G.–May 4, 2011 at 8:55 am #1732828
Actually the longest stretch of the roadbed obstructed by rockslides is about 200 yds. But there's a bunch of them. It honestly not that bad a route though.
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