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Glen Aulin TR - June26-28

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Glen Aulin TR - June26-28

Postby Jason » Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:31 am

After spending the last few years mostly day hiking, my wife and I decided to do a few backpacking trips this year. Having never been to Glen Aulin or Waterwheel falls we got a permit for two nights and took a vacation day on Friday, hoping to beat the crowds on Saturday.

We drove into Yosemite, grabbed our permit and heading up into the high country. We started our hike around 10:30am with my pack weighing 40lbs. I sure that’s way too heavy for a two night trip, but I’ll keep working on it and refining things.

The hiking was pretty easy; the weather was great and the scenery even better. We stopped at Dingley for snacks and ended up applying bug spray to keep the skeeters away. We quickly arrived at the footbridge and then kept moving while I scouted for spots to fish at on the way out.

Tuolumne Falls was really nice, as was White Cascade.

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Tuolumne Falls


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White Cascade


Soon we arrived at Glen Aulin and chose a site in the 11-15 group, up on a small rocky ridge. After not backpacking for a few years, I was surprised how tired I was from carrying the extra 40lbs.

We set up camp, had some water and hung out a while before exploring the trail and cascade just downstream from the camp. The orange rocks really glowed from the late afternoon sun and provided great contrast to the frothy cascade.


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Below Glen Aulin Camp


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The View Down Canyon



I prefer to be somewhat clean while sleeping, so I had wiped down earlier and removed all my bug spray. I felt good, but was an easy mosquito target at dusk as I tried to cook dinner. Light the stove; dive in the tent. Is the water boiling? Run out to check; dive back in the tent. Pour water into our dehydrated meal, seal it, dive back into the tent; etc.

The next day we day hiked down trail towards Waterwheel Falls. A few parts of the trail before California Falls were a bit wet and mucky, but it wasn’t bad at all. The mosquitoes weren’t bad as long as you had on bug spray. They even left me alone long enough for me to catch a small brookie (I think) just above California Falls.

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California Falls


Waterwheel Falls was impressive and from some Internet photos I’ve seen it seems to have been running pretty good.

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Waterwheel


On the return trip the exposed areas of the trail felt pretty hot, but the scenery kept me distracted. I made a few casts above LeConte Falls and pulled in another fish before filtering some water (priorities!). The mosquitoes seemed worse along the river closer to Glen Aulin, especially after I’d walk through the grass to get to the river’s edge, so I didn’t stop to fish anymore.

Back at camp we hung out in the shade, read and relaxed. I cooked dinner earlier to avoid the mosquito issue and we eventually went to bed happy with the day’s adventures. In the middle of the night we got up and looked at the stars for a while, which seemed incredibly bright compared to our views in the valley.

Sunday was the hike out, but first my wife wanted to sketch White Cascade. I didn’t figure I’d have any luck fishing in the turbulent water, assuming it was too rough or had been fished out since it was right next to camp. After 10 minutes of sitting while my wife sketched, I gave in and tied on a spinner and started casting. Surprisingly, (to me at least) I caught one trout, lost another right next to the bank, and got several other strikes.

Sketching and fishing done, we hoisted our packs and started the hike out, enjoying the views the whole way. We stopped at a nice pool a ways above Tuolumne Falls and I reeled in three more trout and lost several others in about 20 minutes of fishing. Even though I suspect I lost a few due to the barbless hooks, I prefer it since it’s so easy to unhook and get them back in the water.

The rest of the hike out was uneventful. I tried fishing one other spot to no avail, but we mostly kept hiking since we still had a long drive back home once we reached the car. Unlike Friday, there were some clouds that gave us a bit of shade and made for better photography.

Overall it was a great trip, the mosquitoes weren’t too bad as long as you were prepared and the scenery was incredible.

Looking forward to Sunrise Lakes and Clouds Rest in September.



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Re: Glen Aulin TR - June26-28

Postby cgundersen » Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:51 am

Great shots! I agree that 40lbs sounds steep for a 2 nighter, but it's better to figure out what you can live without rather than need it and not have it. It's 6 weeks till I see granite again, and I'm going to be nuts by then.....but, the bug population should have subsided a bit.
Thanks for the report.
CG
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Re: Glen Aulin TR - June26-28

Postby Shawn » Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:24 pm

Great TR and photos'; thanks!
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Re: Glen Aulin TR - June26-28

Postby Mike M. » Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:50 am

Jason, I enjoyed your trail report. The high water really makes this hike attractive. I hiked up the Tuolumne from Hetch Hetchy in early June the year I graduated high school (many, many years ago), exiting via Glen Aulin and Tuolumne Meadows. It was all new country to us then, and hardly a soul around -- but devious, persistent bears in Pate Valley.

Mike
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Re: Glen Aulin TR - June26-28

Postby windknot » Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:20 am

Nice shots and gorgeous country, thanks for the report!
Matt
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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Re: Glen Aulin TR - June26-28

Postby maverick » Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:15 pm

Thanks Jason for the TR and pic's.
We will have to help you do something about that 40 lb potato sack on you back.
I could carry 12 days of food+pack before my pack weight would get close to those
numbers.
PM my let us talk, if your interested.
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Re: Glen Aulin TR - June26-28

Postby rlown » Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:21 pm

maverick wrote:We will have to help you do something about that 40 lb potato sack on you back.
I could carry 12 days of food+pack before my pack weight would get close to those
numbers.
PM my let us talk, if your interested.


Um, i'd like to be in on that discussion and cost of lightening the load..
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Re: Glen Aulin TR - June26-28

Postby Jason » Tue Jul 07, 2009 9:14 am

Maverick and rlown,

Thanks for the offer of help. I really need to drop some weight from my body before our next trip, but every little bit helps right?

I have a small scale that I'm going to use to get individual weights of all our stuff, once I get that done I'll give you guys a holler and we can take a look at what I'm carrying.

Thanks again,

Jason
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