Tuolumne Ski Tour- Trip Report

Discussion about winter adventure sports in the Sierra Nevada mountains including but not limited to; winter backpacking and camping, mountaineering, downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, etc.
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rlown
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Re: Tuolumne Ski Tour- Trip Report

Post by rlown » Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:06 am

Did that 28lbs include a bear can? Just curious.








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Harlen
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Re: Tuolumne Ski Tour- Trip Report

Post by Harlen » Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:24 am

rlown asks:
Did that 28lbs include a bear can? Just curious.
Nope. I've invested in the Ursack, which may be quasi-legal??? I don't want to ask. Never lost a scrap to bears ever. BTW Russ, since I know you are up on pulks, I carried the majority of my weight (+ Frank's food bag and thermos, and the shovel) on the pulk- 25-30lbs. The snow surface was such that it mostly slid along rather than pushing through- so that worked well all along the road sections, and most of the way up, and all the way back down the Snow Creek section, minus the hill up from the Valley.

100_2963.jpg
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Last edited by Harlen on Mon Mar 16, 2020 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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rlown
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Re: Tuolumne Ski Tour- Trip Report

Post by rlown » Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:28 am

Nice use of the pulk!

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Silky Smooth
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Re: Tuolumne Ski Tour- Trip Report

Post by Silky Smooth » Tue Dec 24, 2019 5:33 pm

Harlen the Winter Wizard!!

Merry Christmas and Happy holidays my friend!

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outriding
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Re: Tuolumne Ski Tour- Trip Report

Post by outriding » Wed Dec 25, 2019 10:20 pm

What an impressive trip!

And some world-class photos too, IMHO!

Bravo!

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gary c.
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Re: Tuolumne Ski Tour- Trip Report

Post by gary c. » Thu Dec 26, 2019 2:49 pm

Beautiful pictures and trip!
"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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Harlen
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Re: Tuolumne Ski Tour- Trip Report

Post by Harlen » Fri Dec 27, 2019 12:08 am

Thanks for all the nice comments, for what was really a very standard trip- skiing mostly on the frozen road; ending up in a posh hut; and then returning the same way.
bobby49 wrote:
I did the same trip in March of 1980. It doesn't seem like much has changed, but at Tuolumne Meadows we slept in the Parsons Lodge.
Parson's Lodge certainly is in a better location. Off the road, brilliant views, and right by Soda Springs for the champagne water. I asked the winter rangers if it might become the future ski hut, and they said it is such a big open building, that it's hard to heat. Was there a stove in there in 1980 bobby?

And Silky Smooth, I am no Wizard, just "Harlen the Winter Guy." You should have asked again what lessons we learned/blunders we made, because we're still blundering about: I fixed all of the petty stupidities, and most of the gear issues of the last tour. Eg., and I did choose "kicker skins" over full-length this time- they were much lighter, and worked fine. And we greatly improved the space under the Beta-light tarp by digging the snow out beneath it- see photos below.

100_3108.jpg


It's hard to see, but we've shoveled down a foot and a half, beginning right under the outer edge of the tent.

100_3107.jpg

And I did, in fact, send about 8 wood screws right thru the boot soles, from inside to out! Counter-sunk them to make them flush, and then cut and ground them down on the outside. They'll never separate again! (used gorilla glue before the screwing.) I've done this to 3 pairs of boots now.

boots (7).JPG
boots (11).JPG

Is there a problem with this fix? Reckon it's better than this:
20 lakes basin 037.JPG

As for new blunders, I pounded on the sled, trying to break out the ice, and busted the the plastic badly! It was easy to do in the cold. Now I know to use a scraper tool for that. And that same scraping tool is needed to remove the snow stuck on the bottom of the skis. That was the worst omission this time- no "glop-stopper" for the skins, and no "glide wax," or even a bit of parrafin to minimize the horrific problem of snow sticking to the skis!! It just stops you dead in your tracks! 10 pound skis are like a ball and chain! I erroneously thought that sticking snow was a Springtime problem, but oh no.
Finally, about the same "lifestyle" problem as before. I wasn't really in shape to do more extensive touring. A bit better- lighter, and I'd done some runs on the beach with Bearzy, but still pretty woeful preparation. I need to wander at least five miles per day like a WanderingDaisy- how do you keep it up? I'd really love to be fit enough to do some long overnight tours from the Tuolumne Hut. We'll see. Thanks again for the kind comments, Ian.
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bobby49
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Re: Tuolumne Ski Tour- Trip Report

Post by bobby49 » Fri Dec 27, 2019 12:34 am

Harlen wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 12:08 am

Parson's Lodge certainly is in a better location. Off the road, brilliant views, and right by Soda Springs for the champagne water. I asked the winter rangers if it might become the future ski hut, and they said it is such a big open building, that it's hard to heat. Was there a stove in there in 1980 bobby?
Better location... it depends. Parsons has no trees around it to drip off water. Yes, it is a big drafty building. We used the wood fireplace and still the place stayed very cold.

Fortunately, we had the benefit of food caches along the way. The cache in Parsons Lodge contained a big can of raspberry drink powder. So, we went outside to the Soda Spring, filled up some buckets with fizzy water, and made raspberry pop.

Our trip had originally been intended to start from Mariposa, fly over to Lee Vining, and then ski the Tioga Pass Road west to Tioga Pass Ranger Station for a night, then to Tuolumne Meadows and Parsons Lodge. After spending one layover day, we would continue westward, we would spend a night at May Lake, then a night at Snow Creek Hut, and ski down to Yosemite Valley. Alas, weather fouled us up. For two days the two aircraft could not fly. So, we started from Yosemite Valley, skied up to Snow Creek Hut, skied east to Parsons Lodge, took one layover day, and then turned back west. We spent a night at Snow Creek Hut and then finished in Yosemite Valley. During that week, I wore one wool shirt or else two wool shirts, and I never had to put on down or Goretex.

The Snow Creek Hut was a colorful place. It had been built by a skier scouting for a ski area site back in the 1930s, and then abandoned. It was used again in the 1960s as a hippie commune, and then closed and locked by NPS. A black bear took it over as its den, and then it was cleaned up and used as a rescue cache site by NPS. It is only in the most recent years that it was open to skiers.

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Re: Tuolumne Ski Tour- Trip Report

Post by bobby49 » Fri Dec 27, 2019 12:42 am

Harlen wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 12:08 am

As for new blunders, I pounded on the sled, trying to break out the ice, and busted the the plastic badly! It was easy to do in the cold. Now I know to use a scraper tool for that.
In 1978, I was on my second X-C ski trip at Carson Pass. A SAR team was practicing high angle rescue on Round Top, so they had a steel rescue sled. However, they were dragging it across a melted snow surface, which led to a couple of inches of ice stuck to the bottom of the sled, and that made it impossible to drag. My buddy and I were there on X-C skis, so we were carrying MaxiGlide. We got the SAR team to scrape off the ice, and then we applied MaxiGlide to the bottom surface. That was the end of their problems.

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Re: Tuolumne Ski Tour- Trip Report

Post by commonloon » Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:57 am

Thanks, Ian, it looks like an incredible trip! Wow. Inspiring. It makes me want to get out there!

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