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Agnew Meadows to Yosemite Valley, Part 2

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Agnew Meadows to Yosemite Valley, Part 2

Postby oldranger » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:22 am

Day 4 of this trip was so cold I waited until 11 to get up

After coffee and breakfast it was time to fish! Bundled in t shirt, longsleeved shirt, wool sweater, U of O synthetic fleece Hoody, hooded windbreaker, down vest, and my fingerless glove/mitten combo with light pants and medium weight long underwear I was actually comfortable on the blustery and snowy day fishing. The rainbows and brookies cooperated, keeping a fat brookie for dinner and releasing the rest-the largest a 14” rb.
14%22 RB.jpg
14" RB, never have been able to land a fish and take a decent pic at the same time!
Twice during the day I was rocked by large claps of thunder but never saw the lightning. The clouds were like a veil that usually shielded but would momentarily reveal portions of Banner Peak, making those momentary glimpses even more appealing.
Banner with Ritter lurking behind.jpg
Banner with Ritter lurking behind
Sunsets on Koip crest were intriguing as well.
Koip Crest.jpg
Koip Crest, clouds never turned pink


The next day dawned clear but cold with the tent and its surroundings frosted with snow. Breaking camp took a little time as I attempted to get the tent as dry as possible, inside and out. Packing my rod I had one of those increasing senior moments--not really paying attention to what I was doing--and heard and felt a snap. Taking the rod out of the cloth cover I discovered that somebody had snapped the end guide off the rod. Except for the cost of repair this was not a big deal for this trip as no more fishing was planned. But I would not return to civilization before starting my next trip. Well just maybe the cell phone might bail me out. After loading up I worked my way around the w. end of the lake and found the old user trail. Cutting cross country toward the n. and Island Pass I found part of an old trail that I followed for a few minutes before angling a little more east. When Mammoth Mt came into view to the s. I stopped and yes! There were bars! Eventually between calls to Kathy and rlown, I was able to establish what I needed to repair the rod suffiently for the next trip and where to get it. Turns out this location was just yards from the Muir/PCT Trail. The remainder of the day was a pleasant hike with necktwisting views and meetings with nice people heading s. on the trail.
Last shot of Ritter Range.jpg
Last shot of Ritter Range
Actually got passed by two guys just a little younger than myself doing a day hike from Agnew to TM and in a hurry to get the YARTS bus to return to Mammoth that night. Well at least I wouldn’t have to compete with them for a campsite.

There is something about Yosemite whenever I can get a view of Conness. Gaining the summit of Donohue Pass there it was and I was home (not to mention that the rest of the hike was downhill).
Ah Yosemite.jpg
Ah, Yosemite!
Mt Lyle and Lyle Fork.jpg
Mt. Lyle and Lyle Fork
Deciding to stop at the second crossing of the upper Lyle Fork so I could rinse off before it got too cold had two consequences of significance. First there were at least a dozen other campers in the area so not much solitude. Walking upsteam to filter some water I noticed this guy just reefing on a green tree limb obviously with the plan of starting a fire. My initial response was to walk up and ask, “What the f--- are you doing?” But since I’m no longer a ranger and that approach is not likely to engender a positive response I ignored the transgression. Almost simultaneously a young woman rapidly approached the man and said, “Excuse me if you are planning on having a fire, the regulations that I was given with my permit indicate that fires are not permitted here. One of the man’s companions who was quite near me responded, but we are below the legal level. Now that I had a commander with a handle on the situation I butted in with “Fat Chance.” And went on my way to filter my water. On return there was no more evidence of fire building and I stopped by the woman’s and thanked her for intervening. She said she couldn’t help herself that she used to be a backcountry ranger. I asked where and she said “Sequoia Kings Canyon.” “When?” “A couple of years ago.” “Oh, I was one there in the eighties!” Anyhow the debonair old coot that I am I asked her if she would like to share a cocktail. She said she would and I concocted my best 151 daiquiri and returned to share a cocktail and 45 minutes of comparing notes. Turns out she had been a permanent NPS employee at Yosemite in the past in Bear Management but didn’t like the nighttime hours. She and her husband now were wildlife biologists with the Forest Service. She was doing the Muir Trail as a birthday gift to herself for turning 40. I also asked her about storing my bearicade in my car in the Curry Orchard parking lot while on my next hike (didn’t need the bearicade because we would be staying at the high sierra camps) as I didn’t feel comfortable storing it in the public bear lockers. She said it would be ok if I rinsed it out good. (that is what I did and there was no problem).

Next morning the walk down Lyle Canyon was enthralling.
Lyle Canyon.jpg
Lyle Canyon
The trail didn’t get busy (except for trail crew) until past the trail to Ireland and Vogelsang. The weather had warmed and every one on the trail had a smile on their face. About an hour out of TM I turned on the cell phone and not 15 minutes later Kathy called, “Where are you?” “About an hour out. Love you!” At the Rafferty Trail jct. a woman asked me "how do I get to Tuolume Meadows." Glancing at the sign that was right in front of her I responded, “Turn around and walk.”

Kathy was waiting for me at the parking lot with a cold beer. Life is good!
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!



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Re: Agnew Meadows to Yosemite Valley, Part 2

Postby maverick » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:44 am

Thanks for the second installment, really enjoyed the pictures.
I am surprised you bit your tongue, I could not have ignored it, it would have
been a good educational moment, especially with your credentials.
Good to know that you can get a signal up there for future reference, and
meeting, and sharing a cocktail in the back country with a fellow SEKI ranger
must have been really cool experience!
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Re: Agnew Meadows to Yosemite Valley, Part 2

Postby rlown » Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:34 pm

nice report.. glad to see you made it :D Mark was obviously worried.

I always feel relieved when i see Conness as well. Not sure why..
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Re: Agnew Meadows to Yosemite Valley, Part 2

Postby gary c. » Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:02 pm

Great report and pictures, both of them. This is the perfect time for posting trip reports that may be just a little late. They bring a little excitement when it's off season and I'm wishing I were out there somewhere.
"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, Part 2

Postby The Other Tom » Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:08 pm

Great report and pics. Now for the third installment....the high camp loop your wife wanted to do ?
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Re: Agnew Meadows to Yosemite Valley, Part 2

Postby Jason » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:31 am

Great report. I've been looking forward to the second installment. Nothing like reading a nice High Sierra report in the middle of winter.
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Re: Agnew Meadows to Yosemite Valley, Part 2

Postby LMBSGV » Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:18 pm

I just got back from our annual winter full moon trip to Yosemite Valley and here was your report. This is a great read - it sure helped me transition back into work mode. I enjoyed the photos, too. I've been thinking of doing that route by Nydiver someday and this is a great description. Thanks.
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Re: Agnew Meadows to Yosemite Valley, Part 2

Postby Shawn » Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:52 pm

Great TR - really enjoy the fine photos and got a big smile from the Anyhow the debonair old coot that I am I asked her if she would like to share a cocktail. She said she would and I concocted my best 151 daiquiri and returned to share a cocktai commnet. :lol:
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Re: Agnew Meadows to Yosemite Valley, Part 2

Postby markskor » Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:59 pm

Mike -
Very much enjoyed your second Yosemite installment; also eagerly awaiting the finale, the roaming “debonair old coot” HSC review. Have dined at a few, always recommend them highly (quite the experience, especially if someone has the foresight to bring some fine spirits along), never stayed in one of those tents though, or had their breakfast, box lunch ...always wondered.

Quite enjoyable to read another's account of a familiar trail, see it from a different set of eyes – know that stretch well.
Nice job!

Thoughts:
Too bad the weather prevented you from overnighting on my island...glad you snuck in a (albeit vague) picture though...brought back some fine memories...Thanks.

I find it hard to believe that you did not lambaste the fool; getting soft? Was this at twin bridges?

I have often left my sealed Bearikade, still partially full, (usually the after a long trip, trail dregs) in my car in the same Orchard lot and did not consider that I may have been breaking any laws.
I thought the rule was, “All food must be kept in a sanctioned bearproof container”. If car is otherwise clean, and can is out of sight, screwed down, and locked in the car…Perplexed.

RE your “best 151 daiquiris”, who schlepped for the ice?
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: Agnew Meadows to Yosemite Valley, Part 2

Postby oldranger » Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:38 am

Mark

I must be getting older or smarter (the woman's diplomatic approach was much better than my in your face style).

We were camped about 800 feet higher than the twin bridges at the second crossing of the Lyle fork as you hike down from Donohue. Except for the opportunity for the visit I wish I had gone about 1/4 mile lower before stopping.

I did fish off your island/peninsula, didn't get my feet wet rock hopping to it. Caught 1 or 2 fairly close to the main shore but no more going all around it. Oh I left one photo out that I took as I left 1,000 Island lake.
IMG_0327.jpg
First time I've seen snow on Paintbrush


Mike
Mike

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Re: Agnew Meadows to Yosemite Valley, Part 2

Postby windknot » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:56 pm

I guess more bars in more places isn't necessarily a bad thing! Also got a kick out of the "debonair old coot." Thanks for an entertaining read.
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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