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Suggestions for 3 - 4 day trip in early October?

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Suggestions for 3 - 4 day trip in early October?

Postby blazin » Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:13 pm

Hi! Newbie here!

I'm looking for some advice on my first foray into the Sierra. I'll in the Bay Area for business 10/7 - 8 and, since I've never been to the Sierra or Yosemite, thought I'd use the opportunity for a free trip. In keeping with the forum guidelines, here's some more information:

- I have time for a 4 day, 3 night trip.
- I'll be going solo (unless someone is looking for a partner!) and thus a loop would be logistically easier.
- I've done a fair amount of hiking and mountaineering; I'm comfortable on all sorts of terrain. Indeed, I want to get out into the backcountry.
- I'm particularly interested in Yosemite and the High Sierra, but open to other recommendations.

My inclination right now is to do part of the Sierra High Route, probably north of Toulumne Meadow, and then connect back to the PCT by going over Shepherd's Crest and past the McCabe Lakes. I'm worried that this is much too demanding an itinerary. The trip reports I've seen online, however, have people doing only 4 mile days on this section of the HSR. Even accounting for backcountry travel and routefinding difficulties this seems rather slow, but not knowing the area at all I don't want to get in over my head.

Any help would be most appreciated!



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Re: Suggestions for 3 - 4 day trip in early October?

Postby maverick » Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:57 pm

Hello Blazin

Welcome to HST!
How many miles a day? Are you looking to cover a lot of ground, or a long day in
and then base camp?
Also don't forget, days are shorter, so it will reduce the time spent traveling from
location to location, and weather can be an issue.
Something out of Tuolumne into the Cathedral Range would be ideal for a newcomer
to wet there appetite, weather permitting, and the amount of time you have.
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Re: Suggestions for 3 - 4 day trip in early October?

Postby blazin » Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:05 pm

Thanks Maverick!

I was hoping to cover a fair amount of ground. I find I can usually cover 8 - 15 miles/day. That obviously depends on terrain, load, length of day etc. But I don't know the Sierra and don't want to put together an itinerary that's over-ambitious....
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Re: Suggestions for 3 - 4 day trip in early October?

Postby sierramel » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:46 pm

Well, you could maybe do the Sunrise Trail out of the west end of Tuolumne Meadows, hit the Sunrise camp (now closed), take the trail to Echo Valley then hit Merced Lake, head back northeast along Fletcher Creek to Vogelsang, go over Tuoulume Pass and go down the Ireland Creek Trail down to the Llyle Fork and end up at the east end of Tuolumne Meadows.
There would be some nice scenery, some pretty high country, maybe some bears, and some fishing if you were inclined......................... That is if you are traveling 8+ miles a day?
"Some places remain unknown because no one has ventured forth. Others remain so because no one has ever come back."
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Re: Suggestions for 3 - 4 day trip in early October?

Postby adam » Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:42 am

sierramel's itenary is a good one, and one that (hopefully!) wouldn't be too crowded this time of year as it would earlier in the summer, especially when the vogelsang and sunrise high sierra camps are open, and hits some really beautiful spots. However, in your original post you seemed to want to do some cross-country travel (the sierra high route). The lyell canyon, vogelsang (raferty creek trail), Cathederal lakes, and Sunrise lakes areas can all be connected without trails as well. From the little lakes NW of mt. maclure you use the low notch to go from lyell canyon to Ireland lake area, then to vogelsang. From there you could continue east to Reymann and Nelson lakes, then into the Matthes, Echo, Cathederal, and/or Sunrise & Mildred Lakes area (or go into these areas via elizabeth lake from the T. meadows campground). If that weren't enough for you, you could go out and back to climb cloud's rest. My point is that, at least in my opinion, this area is a playground of easy cross country travel full of lakes and easy-to-climb peaks (with a few technical exceptions like cathederal peak and matthes crest). If you really want to cover a lot of ground, this might not be such a satisfying way to go, or you could combine it with some of the trails, but if you just want to explore around for a few days, I think it would be a lot of fun. In the summer there is a hiker shuttle connecting the trailheads which probably doesn't run anymore, but I can't imagine that you would have no trouble hitching rides between the sunrise, cathederal, lyell fork, and/or elizabeth lake trailheads (all close together along hwy 120) if you wanted to go in one and out the other.

this is a link to photos from a trip in that area that I did in october of last year- it's by no means exhaustive of the possibilities (you could probably dayhike the route we did in 3 days), but gives a sense of what the terrain would be like.

http://picasaweb.google.com/arsmith2/Ne ... edralLoop#

enjoy your trip, wherever you end up going!
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Re: Suggestions for 3 - 4 day trip in early October?

Postby adam » Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:45 am

Just to correct my previous poor grammar- I can't imagine that you would have any trouble hitching a ride.
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Re: Suggestions for 3 - 4 day trip in early October?

Postby sierramel » Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:46 am

The weather up here is HIGHLY changeable this time of the year. The local forecast for the next day or so is for snow above about 9,000 feet. It is supposed to warm up a little by the end of the week though. Be sure to be prepared for lower temps higher up, and if you have one, take a four season tent.
"Some places remain unknown because no one has ventured forth. Others remain so because no one has ever come back."
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Re: Suggestions for 3 - 4 day trip in early October?

Postby blazin » Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:01 pm

Thanks adam and seirramel. I've been keeping my eye on the weather and hoping it won't affect my trip. Forecasts seem to suggest things will clear up by the weekend, but one never knows in the mountains. I've heard that Tioga Pass is closed. Any ideas on how much I would find above treeline? Any good websites I should be checking for conditions?
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