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Question: High Sierra Camp loop, not using the camps

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Re: Question: High Sierra Camp loop, not using the camps

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:58 am

As for Half Dome, I don't recommend stashing packs anywhere other than a bear locker (there aren't any except in LYV, btw, just saying it isn't safe anywhere but a locker) between Clouds Rest and Half Dome. The bears are far too busy scanning for things they know contain food, and some things like packs they know by sight, not smell. If it's not on you or sitting next to you, or empty in the tent out of sight, it's at risk. People scoff at this until it happens to them - and it does.

If you are within two miles of Little Yosemite Campground, that's where you'll be camping - that's regulations. There are campsites at Sunrise Creek near the trail junction to Clouds but the bears know that spot very well.

I understood that there is a mile blackout around the HSCs. If within a mile of the camp, they want you in the backpacker's sites.



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Re: Question: High Sierra Camp loop, not using the camps

Postby balzaccom » Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:22 am

Other places to camp that might also work for you --although they would add a mile or two to each day.

instead of Vogelsang, you might look at Bernice Lake. Washburn instead of Merced Lake. just depends on how far from the crowds you want to be....

And yes, May Lake is a zoo. And the fish in the upper Lyell are pretty small, as I recall. There are larger, but spooky fish, as the river gets larger close to Tuolumne Meadows...

But I have done this trip with a group of youngsters. It is a blast. And they will remember it for a long time!
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Re: Question: High Sierra Camp loop, not using the camps

Postby markskor » Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:08 am

AlmostThere wrote:As for Half Dome, I don't recommend stashing packs anywhere other than a bear locker (there aren't any except in LYV, btw, just saying it isn't safe anywhere but a locker) between Clouds Rest and Half Dome.


Yes, there are active, educated bears working the area around Half Dome...any un-watched pack found/ left unattended is theirs - fair game for the taking...and they will grab/destroy/rip open packs readily. However, going all the way down to LYV and storing them in a locker is counterproductive to doing HD on your intended scout journey ---going all the way down and back up? Additionally, the Rangers frown on stashing full packs in the lockers at LYV if not physically there...BTW, a bit selfish to fill up a locker with packs when others arriving also need them for food storage too.

What to do?
FYI, the last water before HD is a small artesian pool, on the left side of the trail, about 1/8 - 1/4 mile past the last HD/ CR trail junction...or about 2 trail miles or so below the cables. If it were me, just past this water source, I would go off trail a little bit and take everything out of my packs (emphasis on everything!), leaving neat piles - clothes, etc...covered with the completely empty backpack on top with every pocket/ zipper/pouch wide open (big rock on top - wind)...easy for the bear (or squirrel) to stick its nose in everything without tearing anything. You all have bearcans too, right?

Short of this ploy - yes, still a risk but probably safe (based on my limited past experiences) - you could still leave empty packs/piles as above but with one of your scouts left remaining, acting as a sentry.
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Re: Question: High Sierra Camp loop, not using the camps

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:39 am

I would just take the pack. Not that I would bother with Half Dome. So much real wilderness to see, so little time.


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Re: Question: High Sierra Camp loop, not using the camps

Postby markskor » Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:48 am

Yes, at/near the CR/HD junction, could take all the big weight items out of packs (cans/tents/pads/sleeping bags/etc) - leaving closed bearcans holding all food and smell-ables but all that is not food - all pockets, stuffsacks, everything else left wide open - and take your (now much lighter) packs, carrying only your lunch and water...
(+ money/ID/keys/stash?...all important stuff), with you up to HD - would work well...maybe the safest way, but not the lightest way. Your call.

Wax on! - Sounds like a fun trip.
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Re: Question: High Sierra Camp loop, not using the camps

Postby Scouter9 » Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:32 pm

What do you gents know about Polly Dome Lakes, off the Murphy Creek trailhead, going north and McGee Lake?

What do you think of hiking Murphy Creek to Glen Aulin?
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Re: Question: High Sierra Camp loop, not using the camps

Postby balzaccom » Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:00 pm

Scouter9 wrote:What do you gents know about Polly Dome Lakes, off the Murphy Creek trailhead, going north and McGee Lake?

What do you think of hiking Murphy Creek to Glen Aulin?


Nice little lakes. No fish. Often a very good choice on a busy weekend when the trailhead quotas get filled.

But a long way from May Lake. Unless, of course, you don't go to May Lake. You could just go to Polly Dome Lakes and then continue to Glen Aulin. I'd vote for that it a heartbeat. The only reason to camp at May Lake is because it's easy to climb Mt. Hoffman from there---which is one of the great day-hikes in Yosemite
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Re: Question: High Sierra Camp loop, not using the camps

Postby Big Ed » Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:16 pm

In 07 I was going between Cathedral Pass and Yosemite Valley, and passed a High Sierra Camp, don't remember the name. Then I encountered a father and son heading that way, that was their destination. I asked if they had reservations, the guy looked surprised and said no. He had no idea it was a concession operated facility, saw it on the map and thought it was a backpackers campground. He then asked if he could still camp there, I said I don't know, don't think so. I go for the wilderness experience, and therefore avoid places like that. So I don't know much about them.
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Re: Question: High Sierra Camp loop, not using the camps

Postby Scouter9 » Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:35 pm

Usually, we plan and route all this stuff in January, in order that I may buy permits in February. Life got very much in the way this year... but the boys met tonight and I think we've come up with a plan that I can get a Wilderness Permit for:


Day One: March Creek to Glen Aulin
Day Two: Glen Aulin to upper Cathedral Lake
Day Three: Cathedral to Merced, via Echo Valley Trail
Day Four: Merced to Bernice Lake
Day Five: Bernice Lake to Lyell Canyon, Ansel Adams' Camp
Day Six: Lyell Canyon to Tuolumne Meadows

We'll fish upper Cathedral, Merced, Bernice and Lyell Creek and camp at least a mile from the established sites.
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Re: Question: High Sierra Camp loop, not using the camps

Postby balzaccom » Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:48 am

Looks good...but I assume you mean to start at Murphys Creek, not March Creek?
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Re: Question: High Sierra Camp loop, not using the camps

Postby Scouter9 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:55 am

Ha ha! Yes, Murphy. My screen view of the editor is messed up, with much of the text obstructed. So, I have to type by keys and don't see mos tof what I type until after it posts. I overlooked that. Ahhh, all those M's are pretty much the same, right?

To their credit, the fellas opted out of a route that had us descend to the Valley to camp there, dayhike things like Half Dome (I'll get them there, someday, as they deserve it) and take the bus back to Tuolumne. We'll cover some country I've never seen and some not for decades -- I always get so excited.
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Re: Question: High Sierra Camp loop, not using the camps

Postby rlown » Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:12 am

do you already have permits in hand? and why the HSC loop? that's the most populated place on Yose earth. It'd be more fun to target places . Evelyn lake. Cathedral area. Not a fan of Glen Aulin as it's a pass through for me. Give the scouts a layover day every other friggn day. Plan it at a lake. Just a thought.

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