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TR: Yosemite Rim to Rim

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TR: Yosemite Rim to Rim

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue May 17, 2016 7:15 pm

Yosemite Rim to Rim, May 12-16

The purpose of this trip was to test my new tent and backpack as well as spend some time in Yosemite Valley. I packed and carried four nights food not quite knowing exactly how I was going to do this. At least one night I would camp in the Backpacker’s Campground and I wanted to start from Glacier Point.
Day 1: 6.6 miles, 4 hours, +1225 feet, -2235 feet. “The Trip” did not turn out to be any of the “The Plans”. As usual, I left town late with three trips in mind, and when I picked up the permit at Big Oak Entrance, it was late enough and worry about too much snow on the Pohono Trail made me decide to drop from Glacier Point to Little Yosemite Valley and then do a loop up to Merced Lake and back the JMT. As I drove up Glacier Point Road, the snow problem was confirmed. I left at 1:15 PM and walked the Panorama Trail to Little Yosemite Valley, arriving at 5PM. Luckily there were not too many people. A gal who was on a 3-month road trip backpacking in as many National Parks as possible, camped next to me. We had a short visit and then both being beat, retired early.

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Starting at Glacier Point

Day 2: 13 miles, 10 hours, +3330 feet, -2185 feet. Next morning I started up the trail towards Merced Lake only to remember the recent fire. I decided to turn around and change plans. I dropped down the Mist Trail to the Valley and luckily hit the shuttle busses just right so I could get a new permit and be back at the Mirror Lake Trailhead with only an hour’s delay. By now it was 1PM and hot. The 113 switchbacks to the top of the buttress (Pt 6780) was a killer in the heat. A few day hikers were coming down and a few other backpackers were going up. For a Yosemite trail, it was not crowded at all. I had to go a quarter mile upstream to find a safe place to get water from the raging Snow Creek. I had just enough daylight to cook dinner and take some sunset photos.

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Top of Vernal Falls, Mist Trail

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Vernal Falls

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View from Snow Creek Trail

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View from Camp Day 2



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Re: TR: Yosemite Rim to Rim

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue May 17, 2016 7:18 pm

Day 3: 15 miles, 10.5 hours, +2535 feet, -5245 feet.

Out of camp at 8AM, I started up the Snow Creek Trail surprised by no snow and how dry it actually was. At 7500 feet on the north facing slope patchy snow soon turned into solid snow. Luckily I met a fellow going the opposite direction (coming from North Dome), so I had fresh tracks to follow. I fell through a snowbridge across a small creek on the southwest side of Indian Rock. It was not deep but, of course, once my feet hit the water I slipped and ended up sitting in the icy water. Luckily it was sunny and warm and I soon dried off. A met a group camped at the trail junction to Natural Arch, and as snow became patchy I lost the trail and dropped toward Basket Dome instead of North Dome. I figured out this mistake soon enough to traverse to the trail junction to North Dome. I had been to North Dome many times and lighting was not right for photos, so I continued down to cross Lehamite and Canyon Creeks. A recent burn has marred this area too. I waded across Canyon Creek, as jumping between wet logs did not appeal to me. Once I topped out on Yosemite Point buttress, the trail became crowded with day-hikers. I had a permit to camp on Yosemite Creek. It was only 2 PM and I decided I really did not want to have to both decend Yosemite Falls Trail and ascend the Four Mile Trail in the same day. So I kept going down to the Valley. I have not been on this trial in the afternoon and was pleased with the afternoon sun as it hit the falls. The Valley was a traffic jam zoo. I had been thinking of a beer all afternoon so I headed, on foot, to Curry Village, again pleased with the great lighting for photos. Well, it was longer than I had thought and the village store was packed so I just walked on to the Backpacker’s Campground. I got set up and cooked dinner just as it got dark. The gal I had met at Little Yosemite Valley was there too so I joined her and a fellow at their campfire. He was from England, and had a JMT permit and had to bail out due to crotch deep post-hole conditions. He had come back to the valley.

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upper Snow Creek

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Yosemite Falls Trail

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Upper Yosemite Falls

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Walk back to Backpackers Camp
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Re: TR: Yosemite Rim to Rim

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue May 17, 2016 7:22 pm

Day 4: 6.5 miles, 5.5 hours, +3300 feet, 110 feet.

The chore for today was to go back up to Glacier Point and retrieve my car. I had hoped then to spend the afternoon wandering around the valley. I took the shuttle to Yosemite Village then walked to the Four Mile Trailhead. Morning light was perfect so I got good photos of Yosemite Falls and the usual classic shots at the Swinging Bridge. It was great walking up this trail without a full pack. It was Sunday afternoon, and every road was a mess of traffic. It took me 3 hours to drive back to Curry Village! At one point I was at a dead stop jammed in one-way traffic for 30 minutes. There went any idea of a leisurely afternoon strolling around. Back at my tent, I got a “warning” citation for camping two nights in a row. I set the beer I had brought in a pot of cold water to cool. Then it took many footsteps and another hour to clear that up! I was unable to get a cell signal to call my husband, so I took a mile walk back towards Yosemite Village, where I finally got a signal. By 7PM I was back at my tent and sipped my cold beer. I was doubled up with another couple because that was the “condition” of being allowed to stay another night. Turns out that the manager of North Pines Campground is also manages the Backpacker’s Campground. The rangers could care less if I stayed another night, because the campground was less than half full, but the North Pines Nazi insisted that I not take a space. Luckily a couple who were nine months into a year-long bike trip from New England to Alaska offered me to share their space. The gal on her road trip and the poor Brit who bailed off the JMT were in the next campsite so we had a good visit.

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Classic view at Swinging Bridge

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Yosemite Falls from Four Mile Trail

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Royal Arches from Four Mile Trail

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Sentinal and El Cap from Four Mile Trail

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Back at Glacier Point
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Re: TR: Yosemite Rim to Rim

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue May 17, 2016 7:26 pm

The next morning I left. It was Monday morning and all the traffic and crowds were gone. The bathroom at the Yosemite Falls loop looked like a hurricane hit- toilet paper all over the place and a mess from hell. At El Cap Meadow I picked up a French couple who had just completed the Nose and gave them a ride to the Hwy 120 junction. They evidently were going to reward themselves with a night in a motel in El Portal. I drove up 120 and on home. I took over 300 photos and, as usual, it is hard to even take a bad photo in Yosemite Valley. Honestly, this time of year, day-hiking from Yosemite Valley is definitely better than any backpacking. But logistically, squeezing in an overnight backpack is one of the ways to get a campsite in the Valley. So this trip served this purpose, as well as provided a good test for my new tent and backpack.

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This photo is for previous day -- storm building

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Sentinal from the road on way out

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El Capitan from El Capitan Meadows

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view of lower Cathderal rocks
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Re: TR: Yosemite Rim to Rim

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue May 17, 2016 7:34 pm

Sorry, I do not think that photo is Sentinel, but the Cathedral Rocks.

Here is another photo I forgot to put in.

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Sunset on Half Dome from Snow Creek Buttress
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Re: TR: Yosemite Rim to Rim

Postby Ska-T » Tue May 17, 2016 8:12 pm

Beautiful photos!! Thanks, WD.
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Re: TR: Yosemite Rim to Rim

Postby uscscott » Tue May 17, 2016 8:18 pm

Amazing photos, thanks for sharing. What camera do you use and do you carry a tripod?
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Re: TR: Yosemite Rim to Rim

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue May 17, 2016 8:45 pm

I use a Cannon S95 and no, not a tripod. I set the camera on a rock if one is available. While walking I was thinking that it would be great if there was a trekking pole that had a fold-up tripod on the bottom foot or so and a screw on top the handle, so you could attach a camera. I shot most of my photos on automatic setting. The camera is capable of much more, but I cannot read any of the markings or the menu without getting my glasses on. I do quite a bit of post-processing in Photo Shop.

It is easy to take good photo in Yosemite. Maybe not great, but pretty good, even for people with little cameras.

I was amazed at the hordes of people taking "selfies" with their phones. Actually, my husband's new I-phone 6 takes better photos than my Cannon camera.
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Re: TR: Yosemite Rim to Rim

Postby gary c. » Tue May 17, 2016 10:21 pm

Beautiful pictures and a great report. The question I have unless I missed it is what did you think of your new tent?
"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: TR: Yosemite Rim to Rim

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed May 18, 2016 7:57 am

A person I never met actually gave me this tent. It is an older version Big Agnes Copper Spur 1, but was never used. I switched half the tent stakes to sturdier ones and added a few more guy lines. It weighed 2 oz more than the Tarptent Moment, with the same stakes. I think the 2016 version of the Copper Spur 1 weighs a bit less. Once I figured out how to handle the poles (which seem almost alive! If you let loose they jump out in all directions), it was easy to set up. The poles are a fairly big bundle and were just about an inch to long to sit across my backpack inside so I put them in the outside pocket. It is great to have a completely separate fly and tent. I packed each in a separate bag. I used my old Tyvek groundsheet, instead of the footprint that came with the tent (2 oz vs 4.5 oz). I had no condensation, but conditions were really not ripe for condensation anyway, and no rain. Two things I did not like - the tent is not symmetrical length-wise. This gives fewer options to set up for the perfect view. The biggest problem I see is the door zipper. It works well from the inside but is hard to zip from the outside, particularly when the vestibule is down. It also does not zip at the bottom, so you have to unzip the entire door to get in and out - could be a problem when there are mosquitoes. And it is too long for me, but then every tent is too long for me. I have to wait for poor conditions and storms to see how it does then.
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Re: TR: Yosemite Rim to Rim

Postby cefire » Wed May 18, 2016 10:13 am

Fantastic photographs \:D/

Thanks for sharing!
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Re: TR: Yosemite Rim to Rim

Postby wildhiker » Wed May 18, 2016 1:29 pm

Thanks for sharing such great photos! Makes me wish I were there right now.
-Phil
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