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Agnew Meadows to Yosemite Valley Aug 2015

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Agnew Meadows to Yosemite Valley Aug 2015

Postby gary c. » Tue Feb 16, 2016 6:23 pm

I've been meaning to write up a trip report on this backpacking trip and I just noticed that it was exactly six months ago today that we started out from Agnew Meadow on our way to the Yosemite Valley. You won't see a lot of pictures of fish or me fishing on this trip because we started on a Sunday and finished the following Saturday. We hiked everyday for a total of 58mls in 7 day which isn't a lot for many hikers but it left me happy just kicking back in the evening rather than fishing.

Saturday afternoon we left Vince and Tania at a friends cabin in Mammoth while three of us drove to Yosemite Valley to leave my Sequoia and catch the shuttle bus back to Mammoth. On our way to the Valley we had seen that a fire had started north of Grant Lake and worried about road closures but kept going so our car would be waiting for us when we reached the valley the following week. Once on the bus in the YV the driver said that it was going to be a race to beat the road closures. When we reached Tuolumne Meadows the dispatch radio was saying that the road was closed with sporadic escorting. We got lucky and made it back Mammoth to spend the night before our Sunday morning start.

One very cool thing that happened on our bus ride back to Mammoth. When the bus made a P/U stop at the store in Tuolumne I saw someone who seemed familiar to me get on the bus but I didn't know who it was. It took me a minute because we had never met face to face before but it was the famous or more accurately infamous Markskor. I went over and introduced myself from the forum here and we had a nice chat. He shared a little of his knowledge about my groups hike and a few other things Sierra. It was great to finally meet you Mark. I hope we share some mountains one day.

Sunday Aug 16th we started out on my 55th birthday from Agnew Meadow on the high trail headed north. The high trail has beautiful views of the valley above the San Joaquin river.
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That night we camped near the Rush Creek foot bridge above Gem lake. Monday morning we started up the trail past Waugh Lake to rejoin the JMT.
Our group as we were starting out, Tania, Vince, Debbie, Myself, and Marshal.
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Vince as we passed Waugh lake.
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I hadn't felt well all morning and by noon I was done in and couldn't go any further. We made camp for the rest of the day and I felt much better in the morning. The place we camped had opportunities for some great pictures though.
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Tuesday morning we got an early start for Donohue Pass. Looking back going up the pass
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From the top of the pass, over 11,000ft. You can tell in the pictures that there was still smoke in the air.
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South from Donohue Pass.
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Looking north as we start down to Tuolumne Meadows.
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We had planned to hike all the way to the Tuolumne backpacker camp but because it was closed to kill the fleas we stopped and camped along the river 4mls out in the legal area. It was a beautiful place to camp with some decent fishing and a couple of deer that just hung around camp for the evening.
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Wednesday morning we again started early and headed for the FS permit office. We needed to go there because rather than everyone carrying a weeks worth of food we had dropped a re-supply bucket there when we had taken the Sequoia to YV. After picking up or food we went and had burgers before catching the bus to Tenaya Lake. From Tenaya Lake we had planned to hike the trail a couple miles to the bottom of the canyon and camp at the creek coming down from Sunrise Lakes. The problem turned out to be that because of the drought the creek was dry and we were forced to keep going up the hill to Sunrise Lakes. We hadn't planned on the extra miles and everyone was pretty beat up and out of water by the time we got to Sunrise Lakes.

Sunrise Lake 9166
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Thursdays goal was to hike over Clouds Rest and down the trail to camp at the Sunrise Creek JMT junction. None of us had been to Clouds Rest before and we were all hopong that it was everything we had heard and it was. Who wouldn't love narrow mountain top ridges with 2,000ft drops on both sides? It was awesome!!

That rocky mountain edge in the distance to the right is Clouds Rest.
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From the top of CR.
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The trail down from CR was a long ass day but I got a few pictures worth sharing along the way.
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We finally made camp Thursday evening after a very long day. The good part was that we would be staying here two nights. The goal for Friday morning was to leave camp set up and hike down to Half Dome and climb it. We had been here before but Tania did not go up and had regretted it ever since. That was kind of the point of all of us coming this way again. I hiked as far as the subdome and decided that I already had my pictures taken at the top so I stayed behind and took a few pictures of the others going up before I took a nap and waited for them to come back down.
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A few more pictures from Saturday as we made the trek down to the Yosemite Valley.
A pack train that passed us near Nevada Falls
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Not much water going over Nevada Falls, also Nevada Falls and Liberty Cap.
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As some of you can probably tell we took the JMT down from Nevada Falls so there aren't a bunch more pictures along the Merced River, no Emerald Pool or Vernal fall. We had never been that way and figured it was time. Once we got to Yosemite Valley we went and got the truck, took showers, ate and went back to the condo in Mammoth for dinner and a good nights sleep before heading home and back to reality. Another great trek with some of my closest friends through some of the worlds most beautiful scenery. Life is good!!

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"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
-- Lionel Terray



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Re: Agnew Meadows to Yosemite Valley Aug 2015

Postby rlown » Tue Feb 16, 2016 7:08 pm

Nice trip and a great TR, Gary! Happy 55th!

Beautiful pics given smoke conditions.

Nary a pic of Markskor :D I think he doesn't want his soul stolen.
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Re: Agnew Meadows to Yosemite Valley Aug 2015

Postby maverick » Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:15 pm

Thanks for sharing your adventure and pictures Gary. To bad about the smoke, the views from the top of CD at sunrise or sunset is sublime, one of the best viewing points in Yosemite, also really enjoy the views from the High Trail towards the Shadow Lake with the Minarets as a backdrop, one can never get tired of it.
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: Agnew Meadows to Yosemite Valley Aug 2015

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:03 pm

Thanks for saving this report until now! It is nice to read a new trip report since things are a little slow this time of year. I was driving back from a trip when the fire started. I'm not sure if they closed 395, but I got by just as it was starting to burn. That trip summary on your GPS is pretty neat! I did not know a GPS could do that.
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Re: Agnew Meadows to Yosemite Valley Aug 2015

Postby markskor » Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:48 pm

Nice TR!
Always good to see familiar places Yosemite... sometimes you even bump into some fellow HST members too. Yes, have spent a little time up there myself. BTW, didn't know so easily recognizable under all the dust...Tuolumne.

FYI, the day prior had hiked into the Meadows to join/celebrate the annual 2-day poetry festival held out at Parsons Lodge - (amazing venue!). Unfortunately, due to the Plague scare, they temporarily closed down the campground, and then the fire closed the Tioga Pass that evening too. Luckily, caught the last YARTS evening bus back to Mammoth till all re-opened a week later...had a great view of the flames from my bus window.

Keep up the great work...Nice hike... Always happy to say hi!
Mark
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: Agnew Meadows to Yosemite Valley Aug 2015

Postby gary c. » Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:58 pm

I think you are right about the how hard it is getting a picture of Markskor. I think he used some kind mind control on me because I didn't even think to take a picture until after he had gotten off at the stop before mine.

You are right Maverick about how much the smoke messed up my pictures. I took a few that would have been great but now they aren't worth posting.

WD, I just turn my GPS on every morning before we start hiking and it records what you see here and a few other things. You kind of have to stay on top of it to maintain accuracy. The reason you see so much stopped time in the picture is because if you just drop your pack when you find a place to camp and forget to turn it off it keeps recording the down time. happens a lot when your focus is on fresh cold water and taking your boots off :p Also if I had for got to turn it off when we got on the bus max speed would have been through the roof. As it is I figure the only way I reached 8.6mph was by tripping and falling down. Another nice thing about my Garmin is that when I get home it will down load a complete map with a snail trail of everyplace I've been along with elevation profiles.
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
-- Lionel Terray
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