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Spillway Lake to Helen Lake in Yosemite question

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Spillway Lake to Helen Lake in Yosemite question

Postby steve_moran » Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:36 pm

Hi, I'm planning to do a dayhike in September from the Mono Pass (Yosemite) TH to Spillway Lake and then continuing from Spillway cross-country to Helen Lake (but not beyond Helen).

Does anybody know if the cross-country segment from Spillway to Helen would be easier on the East side of Helen's outlet or on the West side of Helen's outlet?

Thanks!
steve moran



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Re: Spillway Lake to Helen Lake in Yosemite question

Postby maverick » Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:17 pm

Its very easy John, but as the saying goes, pictures speak louder than words,
so read this TR with pictures: http://www.sierranewsonline.com/index.p ... Itemid=535
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Spillway Lake to Helen Lake in Yosemite question

Postby steve_moran » Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:52 pm

Thanks Maverick, but I'm afraid looking at the TR/pix doesn't answer my question.

Due mainly to health issues (and probably age to a much lesser degree), my balance has gotten quite bad. To illustrate, we were in Italy in May, and I couldn't really focus on looking at the Sistine Chapel Ceiling because all my concentration had to be on trying not to fall over.

Obviously I use poles when I hike, and all things considered I guess I do OK. But certain things encountered on hikes that many if not most people would consider "easy" are not necessarily easy for me, even with poles. Things like log crossings, boulder hopping, using my hands to hold onto anything other than my poles, etc. The word "scrambling" is a red flag for me when deciding whether to attempt a given hike. The photos I've seen of this hike don't look like there's anywhere near the degree of scrambling as on hikes where I turned back (Glacier Canyon to Dana Lake, Rockslides Trail to Rainbow View in Yosemite Valley), but still, if the cross-country segment is easier (less scrambling) on one side of Helen's outlet than it is on the other side, that's the side I want to take, because scrambling for me is no fun because I'm not comfortable doing it and I don't look around at the scenery while on the scrambling segments of a hike (maximum anxiety, minimum reward).

Sorry, I probably should have provided all this background info in my original post.

But having provided it now, I'll repeat my question: Does anybody know if the cross-country segment from Spillway to Helen would be easier on the East side of Helen's outlet or on the West side of Helen's outlet?

Most appreciative thanks to anyone who can answer this question!

steve moran
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Re: Spillway Lake to Helen Lake in Yosemite question

Postby maverick » Tue Jun 24, 2014 7:54 pm

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the additional information, now I understand why you need a little
more detailed information.

After the trail ends at Spillway, hike around it (southeastern side), and hugging
the small hill on the east side, gain some elevation to avoid the trees, and
bush, creek crossings will not be an issue as it is in the early season.

Get around the creek that comes out of Helen Lake and approach the lake on the
east side of that creek which makes the hike somewhat easier.

The section going up to Helen is somewhat steep and has some loose scree, which
I bring to your attention because of your balance issues. Though this section is
not long, would advise you to think twice about doing it with major balance
issues, especially alone.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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