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Rae Lakes Loop in May?

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Re: Rae Lakes Loop in May?

Postby balance » Tue Apr 19, 2016 12:27 pm

Greetings rjones787

Unless you are familiar with ice ax and crampon travel to cross Glenn Pass, Hetch Hetchy would be more accessible that time of year.

John Muir described Hetch Hetchy as comparable to Yosemite Valley: "Hetch Hetchy is a grand landscape garden, one of nature's rarest and most precious mountain temples. As in Yosemite, the sublime rocks of its walls seem to glow with life . . . while birds, bees, and butterflies help the river and waterfalls to stir all the air into music."



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Re: Rae Lakes Loop in May?

Postby KevinDo » Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:32 pm

balance wrote:Greetings rjones787

Unless you are familiar with ice ax and crampon travel to cross Glenn Pass, Hetch Hetchy would be more accessible that time of year.

John Muir described Hetch Hetchy as comparable to Yosemite Valley: "Hetch Hetchy is a grand landscape garden, one of nature's rarest and most precious mountain temples. As in Yosemite, the sublime rocks of its walls seem to glow with life . . . while birds, bees, and butterflies help the river and waterfalls to stir all the air into music."


now now I believe that quote was only in effect before it became Hetch Hetchy reservoir [-X hahah. Still a great place.
Here's a photo of Wapama 2 weeks ago.

Image

Image
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Re: Rae Lakes Loop in May?

Postby balance » Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:14 pm

Greetings KevinDo

The quote from John Muir describing Hetch Hetchy did indeed relate to the HH Valley before the dam was built. That was a battle to protect Yosemite which he waged with fervor.

Continuing the quote which I cited, he went on to say, "These temple destroyers, devotees of ravaging commercialism, seem to have a perfect contempt for Nature, and, instead of lifting their eyes to the God of the mountains, lift them to the Almighty Dollar. . . . Dam Hetch Hetchy! As well dam for water-tanks the people's cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man." John Muir, "The Yosemite," Century, 1912, pp. 249-62. He was deeply mortified at losing that battle to the commercial interests of his day.

Nowadays, Hetch Hetchy is an early season gateway to Yosemite. It is a reasonable option for rjones787 to consider rather than contending with Glenn Pass which could require ice ax and crampons in late May.

Thanks for the photos.

Peace
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Re: Rae Lakes Loop in May?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:10 pm

In 2006 I did an early June trip from Hetch-Hetchy, over Rancheria Mountain and into Pleasant Valley. Piute Creek was not crossable (to get past Pleasant Valley). I climbed Piute Mountain (total snow), and returned. Just another option to the Laurel Lake loop. If you do any trips out of Hetch Hetchy this time of year, you likely will run into bears.

Also did a Memorial Day trip to Paradise Valley in 2003. This is the northern part of the Rae Lake Loop. At that time there was no bridge - now there is a bridge- much easier to get up to Castle Dome meadow. You could then do day-hikes to higher elevations depending on the snow. Not a loop but it would be part of the hike you originally wanted to do.

Memorial Day is also a great time to do Yosemite Valley hikes. There will be crowds, but the scenery is worth it. Pohono Trail is a good option with great viewpoints. Or up the Merced River to Echo Valley, loop to JMT, climb Clouds Rest. Use the Mist Trail one way, and the JMT the other.
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Re: Rae Lakes Loop in May?

Postby KevinDo » Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:28 pm

balance wrote:Greetings KevinDo

The quote from John Muir describing Hetch Hetchy did indeed relate to the HH Valley before the dam was built. That was a battle to protect Yosemite which he waged with fervor.

Continuing the quote which I cited, he went on to say, "These temple destroyers, devotees of ravaging commercialism, seem to have a perfect contempt for Nature, and, instead of lifting their eyes to the God of the mountains, lift them to the Almighty Dollar. . . . Dam Hetch Hetchy! As well dam for water-tanks the people's cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man." John Muir, "The Yosemite," Century, 1912, pp. 249-62. He was deeply mortified at losing that battle to the commercial interests of his day.

Nowadays, Hetch Hetchy is an early season gateway to Yosemite. It is a reasonable option for rjones787 to consider rather than contending with Glenn Pass which could require ice ax and crampons in late May.

Thanks for the photos.

Peace


Hey Balance,

I was just teasing you :D But yes that quote is a good one. First heard it in the BBC doc on Muir


Hetchy is definitely a great early season trip. Was getting a bit hot when I went but still nice. Also Kibbie might be an option too!

-Kevin
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Re: Rae Lakes Loop in May?

Postby balance » Wed Apr 20, 2016 7:23 pm

Greetings KevinDo

That incredible documentary contains a wonderful reflection by a park ranger.

The BBC One Scotland documentary The Last Explorers tells the story of John Muir, the Scottish-born American naturalist who explored the Sierra Nevada mountains in the late 1800's. We see a young man with a restless spirit who grows beyond his strict religious upbringing to personally experience the Creator's beauty and handiwork, eventually becoming a heroic protector of the natural world.

Standing on a vista overlooking a glacier-carved valley, Yosemite National Park Ranger Shelton Johnson eloquently conveys the unspoken message of the tree lined basin and towering granite walls: "That's right. The constancy of change that's happening right now as we're talking. There's something here that says it has happened, it is happening now, and it will happen. It's almost as if all the tenses are here at the same time, moving with the wind around us." Ranger Johnson interprets Muir's vision, "He saw that human beings were a part of it. They weren't at the center of it; they were a part of it. And he didn't see any diminishment. He actually saw the opposite! I think Muir had this recognition that there was no shame in being such a small part of creation. That all those parts add up to creation itself."

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Re: Rae Lakes Loop in May?

Postby rjones787 » Mon May 02, 2016 5:52 pm

Hey guys,

So we landed on hetch hetchy. We plan on doing some fishing at lake vernon, Laurel lake, and jack main canyon. Any advice fishing, route, or otherwise? we have 3 nights/four days. Trying to make a route that makes sense right now on caltopo. Thanks for all your suggestions!
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Re: Rae Lakes Loop in May?

Postby maverick » Mon May 02, 2016 6:37 pm

Wilma will be to early, also good luck getting thru Jack Main Canyon, Falls Creek becomes a high speed creek, flooding certain sections, making it impossible to cross. Stick with Vernon, you can go to the far north end of the basin to the Falls, Branigan Creek, and follow the creek up to the lakes. Check out this previous thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=13961&hilit=vernon
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Re: Rae Lakes Loop in May?

Postby rjones787 » Mon May 02, 2016 7:22 pm

Thanks Maverick! Based on what things will look like in May- do you think it would make sense to make a loop that goes up to Lake Vernon, up Branigan Creek, and then down Tiltill creek? I'm looking at some topo's, and that looks like it could be interesting. We're fishing the first two days (Vernon, Branigan) and then we have one more night to camp before we hike out, so I'm trying to make a loop that makes sense and is really pretty.
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Re: Rae Lakes Loop in May?

Postby balzaccom » Mon May 02, 2016 8:54 pm

Getting from Vernon to Branagan will require you to cross Falls Creek, which you could do below Lake Vernon...but either way, you have some steep granite to climb up to get to Branagan. We came down Falls Creek to Vernon out of Jack Main Canyon--just about the steepest thing we've ever hiked down. And if you are close to the creek, that rock may be slippery. Be careful, both in climbing the granite and crossing any creeks.

here's photo of what we climbed down:

Image

And Tiltill Valley will be a snow covered swamp in the afternoon. Not fun.
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Re: Rae Lakes Loop in May?

Postby SSSdave » Mon May 02, 2016 9:09 pm

Forget about a loop or going to Brannigan or Jack Main Canyon. Three nights 4 days is much too little time and too much snow melt. In late May the creek is a raging torrent of whitewater that floods the floor of JMC. Great view of whitewater rapids where the creek drops down to the Vernon bench. You will be lucky to be able to cross at the Vernon outlet as the cement "bridge" is often under water early season. Since you want to fish I will suggest just going to Laurel Lake then Vernon Lake with a layover before hiking out the 11 miles. By time you hike the 8 miles 2800 feet up vertical and cross Frog Creek that may be a cold wade, you are not going to be doing much the rest of your day. Any fisherman that sees what is swimming in the creek behind Vernon will have no interest in going anywhere else.

Be prepared for lots of mosquitoes and black bears as they will be waiting for you at Beehive Meadow.
Last edited by SSSdave on Mon May 02, 2016 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rae Lakes Loop in May?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon May 02, 2016 9:11 pm

I went up Tiltill Creek in late September 2011, a 200% snowpack year. Tiltill Creek is do-able with a few spots where I had to get wet. The upper part gets soggy as it nears Branigan Lake. There are lots of little ponds, and some brush. It takes some good micro-route finding abilities. I think I wrote a trip report about it. You can search the archives here. Although it was a fun September trip, I am not sure I would do it in May. It is perfect habitat for mosquitoes.
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