Oct 21, 2013 at 9:48 am #1308966
A weekend trip with a few BPL friends to a lesser-visited corner of Yosemite…
The South Fork of the Merced River was flowing well due to recent snow melt. It wins the award for best-tasting water of the year.
After Moraine Meadows we ran into a bit of snow as we headed up to Breeze Lake.
We camped in a beautiful meadow just below Fernandez Pass & Breeze Lake with a gorgeous view of the surrounding mountains.
It got pretty cold overnight, enough to freeze the water in our water bottles. Chris's thermometer said 27F. Drinking the cup of morning coffee & eating breakfast while still wrapped up in a sleeping bag is always a nice and cozy experience.
It snowed a little overnight, just enough to cover everything in a fine layer of white. As we were packing up, the skies closed in and some light flurries started again.
After packing up we headed off trail past Breeze Lake over the ridge to Chain Lakes.
There were some great views of Merced & Triple Divide Peak from the top of the ridge.
It's starting to feel a lot like winter out there…
Three more trips (Nov, Dec, Jan) and I'll have finished my project to visit the Sierra every month for a year. And visiting the headwaters of the South Fork of the Merced ticked off #27 of 32 of my project to visit the headwaters of all major Sierra rivers.Oct 21, 2013 at 9:57 am #2036001
@fox212Locale: THE Bay Area :)
Great TR and pics! I really enjoy shoulder season hiking.
I'm very curious: What are the 32 major headwaters you refer to? Do you have a link or source of info for this? I'd really like to start checking them off myself!Oct 21, 2013 at 10:09 am #2036010
@ikeLocale: Central Michigan
Great report! I think you've also won the award for best looking breakfast in a backpacking trip writeup.Oct 21, 2013 at 10:29 am #2036017
Erik, it's an informal list that I put together myself just browsing through Hillmap. My criteria was pretty arbitrary, any major tributaries that drain into a named river. And I added Cherry Creek since it's the same size as many of the rivers. I am sure that I am missing a few. Since I'm getting close to the end of the list, if you have any suggestions of more creeks to add, it'd make a fun project last a little longer… :)
W Fork Cherry Creek
N Fork Cherry Creek
E Fork Cherry Creek (missing this one)
Lyell Fork Tuolumne River
Dana Fork Tuolumne River
Lyell Fork Merced River
Illilouette Creek (missing this one)
South Fork Merced River
N Fork San Joaquin River
M Fork San Joaquin River
S Fork San Joaquin River
N Fork Kings River
M Fork Kings River
S Fork Kings River
Roaring River (missing this one)
Marble Fork Kaweah River (missing this one)
M Fork Kaweah River
E Fork Kaweah River
Big Arroyo Creek
Kern-Kaweah River (missing this one)
Kern RiverOct 21, 2013 at 10:32 am #2036019
Ike, I consider getting a compliment from you about having good looking backpacking food as a significant achievement :)Oct 21, 2013 at 10:39 am #2036022
@fox212Locale: THE Bay Area :)
Thanks Andrew! Very cool that you created the list yourself. I'm impressed!
Also, +1 on a very tasty and fresh looking breakfast :)Oct 21, 2013 at 10:55 am #2036024
A great trip! I had fun pushing my 32deg bag colder than I've been. Note to anyone curious, a prolite plus ontop of a ridgerest is amazing. Heavier than many options, but it's what I had available. I didn't even need a puffy layer on in my bag to be cozy. I'm confident that this would take me decently colder without too much suffering.
My photos are here:
Also regarding fresh food, Andrews shocking diet also consisted of chocolate cake crammed into a freezer bag!Oct 21, 2013 at 11:37 am #2036043
@jacobdLocale: North Bay
Nice report and photos, Andrew. The Sierras are great this time of the year. Sounds like you've been getting to see a lot of them. Hard to go wrong especially with good company and good food!Oct 21, 2013 at 3:48 pm #2036121
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Excellent! Getting out this time of year takes some motivation but, from the pics in your TR, it was well worth the effort.Oct 21, 2013 at 4:05 pm #2036127
Make that a +4 on the breakfast.
Do you dip the raw egg in paraffin and boil it in the field or boil it prior to the trip? If the latter, do you need to freeze it before the trip?
I haven't packed out hard boiled eggs but I'll pre scramble and freeze my eggs with some bacon prior to a trip as long as I can eat them the first morning.
I love camping in the winter and shoulder seasons too. Nice TR.Oct 21, 2013 at 4:26 pm #2036135
The breakfast is actually my wife's. She ate it in front of me while I choked down my cold Grape Nuts with Nido. To her credit she did give me a bite. She boils the hardboiled eggs ahead of time, puts them in a cooler in the car, and carries them in inside of a cozy. I'm not sure how well this works if you don't eat the eggs the first day.Oct 21, 2013 at 4:33 pm #2036139
Thanks for posting the report Andrew. I finally understand why they call it the Trailstar ;)
Here's a few more pics….Oct 21, 2013 at 4:54 pm #2036147
Ha! Chris, that last photo might be the most true portrait ever taken of me. Beer first… then take off pack.
Good times.Oct 21, 2013 at 5:12 pm #2036157
@aggroLocale: Western slope, Sierra Nevada
Everything within this thread is awesome. If you ever need another person to tag along, I'd love to go.Oct 21, 2013 at 5:17 pm #2036160
Glad you enjoyed the TR Brian. I just posted a group trip announcement here, you should come along.Oct 21, 2013 at 9:55 pm #2036283
@davidpcvsamoaLocale: East Bay, CA
Andrew, thanks for the pictures and report. It looks like you all got in another good one.Oct 22, 2013 at 1:54 pm #2036513
@drongobirdLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
We frequently carry hard boiled eggs for up to three days. So if I cook them on a Tuesday for a hike starting on Wednesday, we'll eat hard boiled eggs on Wed, Thurs, and Friday. That's assuming night-time temps below 50 and day-time temps below 75. If it's a hot hike, say 80 or 90, then we only carry eggs for the first day. For an October trip in the Sierra, where it's below 40 at night and below 60 during the day, I'd not hesitate to carry hard-boiled eggs for 4 or 5 days.
Jim carries all the food that can get warm, and I carry all the food that should stay cool (cheese, chocolate, eggs, roast beef, hummus, carrots, dolmas, etc). I pack that sack of food with at least an inch of insulation all the way around, nested inside down jackets and such.
We always get an early start, so the food bag is insulated before the sun has warmed the air, and I don't take that sack out at all until evening; the food we need during the day is packed in a separate bag. I carry the double down quilt and both down jackets, so I've got a LOT of insulation to work with, so my pack volume is 2x Jim's pack volume, since he has dense stuff and I have all the insulation.
This whole packing strategy was established to prevent melted chocolate. But now that we've got the system, we take fresh food like this for the first 2-3 days of almost all our hikes.Oct 23, 2013 at 3:05 pm #2037093
Awesome trip. Nice write up too.Oct 28, 2013 at 9:53 pm #2038962
@jdegraafLocale: Bay Area
I see your solution for the double quilt in your TS. How'd that work for you?
-James (D)Oct 29, 2013 at 8:51 am #2039051
The inverted V worked great in the Trailstar. My LT4's were more than long enough to set up at an angle without any extenders. It felt like there was a lot more room under there without the center pole. I'm glad it worked so well, I would've been sad if I had to switch to a different shelter to use the double quilt.Oct 31, 2013 at 12:53 pm #2039861
@b14Locale: Siskiyou Mtns
enjoying Yosemite…without the crowds
yes its doable!
having seen stretches, incl many headwaters, of most of those streams
…i still find it hard to beat the remote high-elev environs of the Kern river headwaters.
a wonderful lower-elev stream is the Clavey…although i fear much of it was scorched by the fire.Nov 6, 2013 at 4:04 pm #2041928
Thanks for your TR and photos, man this makes me want to get back out there this weekend! (I missed this when you originally posted, I was on a shoulder season trip). "Three more trips (Nov, Dec, Jan) and I'll have finished my project to visit the Sierra every month for a year". . . I can't think of a more satisfying goal to complete.Nov 6, 2013 at 4:56 pm #2041953
@creachenLocale: East Bay
That is a great accomplishment Andy considering are busy lives these day! Keep it going!! Hope to see you at the GGG in January.Nov 6, 2013 at 5:59 pm #2041980
I was in the park again this last weekend to tick off November (went up to Merced Lake) and it was still beautiful… a little cold in the shade during the day but only 34F at night at 7000 feet. I would've posted another TR but I forgot the memory card for my camera. Doh.
Andy, don't hesitate to PM me if you want a partner for any more snowshoeing adventures this winter… I gotta find something to do in December… :)
Jay, Ellen and I will be at GGG again this year. Looking forward to it!
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