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TR: Mono Pass (YNP) to Tuolumne Meadows

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TR: Mono Pass (YNP) to Tuolumne Meadows

Postby vitaminC » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:27 pm

I learned an important lesson on this trip: triple verify the mileage before starting! I managed to convince myself that this was a ~26mi hike, perfect for 3days/2nights. In reality the total was closer to 37mi, and an extra day or two would have allowed for a much more comfortable pace as well as some additional exploration. Next time. Despite that, it was an enjoyable trip through Yosemite and the Ansel Adams Wilderness.

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Made a nice loop around Kuna, Mammoth, and other peaks. It was cool to see them from two sides during the trip. Interactive map here

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That 12k ft pass was a tough challenge for day 1! Days 2 and (especially) 3 weren't quite as punishing.

Day 1

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Flowers everywhere!

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This area smelled so good! :D

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Flower field near Parker Pass.

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Looking back towards Parker Pass. Clouds provided some shade without being threatening.

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Mono Lake shows through the haze.

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Heading down from Koip Pass. More flowers and the moon rising. I would camp on the elevated section in the middle of the lake.

The tail end of day 1 was not pretty, as I was definitely feeling the effects of AMS. This was compounded when I ran out of water part way up to Koip Pass. Fortunately I came across a little trickle on the way down, which helped me keep going. Basically just fell into a camp site, had a little to eat and went to sleep.
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Re: TR: Mono Pass (YNP) to Tuolumne Meadows

Postby vitaminC » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:28 pm

Day 2

Woke up feeling much better! Since my camp site was not at a visually exciting location, I packed up and walked another mile down the trail to the smaller Alger Lake. There I had a tasty breakfast with excellent scenery.

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Sun is rising.

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Heading back to the trail.

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Nice to view to contemplate over breakfast.

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Love these lakes.

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At Gem Pass.

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Flowers everywere!

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Prior to this intersection I had seen basically no one else. After this point, I was sharing the trail with many others.

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Waugh Lake.

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Not going to run out of water today! :)

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Climbing towards Donahue Pass.

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When I imagine the Sierra's, this is what I see...

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Interesting to have started the day on the other side of this range.

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Yours truly. Feeling pretty good despite the effort.

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Not my best tarp pitch. That's what happens at the end of another long day.
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Re: TR: Mono Pass (YNP) to Tuolumne Meadows

Postby vitaminC » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:29 pm

Day 3

Being completely flat, the hiking on day 3 was pretty easy. However, due to the miscalculation mentioned above, it still took some effort to cover those last ~8 mi, as I was spent from the previous days. Despite that, I was on the trail a little after 6am, and this time hiked a couple more miles until I found a nice breakfast spot.

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Waiting for the sun.

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Cookin' up something good!

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Can't lose this trail!


Made it back to the Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Permit station by 11am, and had an uneventful drive back home. Now I keep thinking about how next year I need to (with proper training) do the JMT :cool:

The rest of the pics are here
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Re: TR: Mono Pass (YNP) to Tuolumne Meadows

Postby maverick » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:53 pm

Hi C,

Thanks for the TR and the great pictures! :thumbsup:
How did you come up with 26 miles? Which 12 mile section did you not add in? According
to the total using the Tom Harrison Map it adds up to 38 miles.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: TR: Mono Pass (YNP) to Tuolumne Meadows

Postby vitaminC » Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:03 pm

I don't really know. I think my eyes saw "36" which my brain then mis-processed as "26". And then I didn't repeat the calculation and so got to walk a little further each day than anticipated. A good learning experience, fortunately with no ill affects other than the (major) discomfort at the end of day 1...
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Re: TR: Mono Pass (YNP) to Tuolumne Meadows

Postby tim » Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:53 pm

Beautiful photos, looks like a great trip. How did you get between the trailheads - is the TM shuttle bus a convenient option?
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Re: TR: Mono Pass (YNP) to Tuolumne Meadows

Postby vitaminC » Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:33 pm

tim wrote:Beautiful photos, looks like a great trip. How did you get between the trailheads - is the TM shuttle bus a convenient option?


Yes, I took the bus to the Mono Pass trailhead. In fact, I was the only passenger! It's convenient so long as you know the schedule, as it doesn't go towards Tioga very often.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/tmbus.htm
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TR: Mono Pass (YNP) to Tuolumne Meadows

Postby Bluewater » Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:07 pm

Looks like a great trip even though the mileage was more than expected. I like the Caldera Cone and GG pack :)
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Re: TR: Mono Pass (YNP) to Tuolumne Meadows

Postby vitaminC » Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:34 am

Bluewater wrote:I like the Caldera Cone and GG pack :)


Me, too! :D I'm still working to get my pack weight down, but this time I was just over 20lbs with food and 1.5L water. Not bad considering the bear can and 2lbs of camera.
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TR: Mono Pass (YNP) to Tuolumne Meadows

Postby Bluewater » Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:14 am

That's only around 15 lbs before water and camera gear! Have fun on the JMT next summer. . .BTW, I like those Zelph ridge line cans.
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