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1st trip of the Season
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Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
1st trip of the Season on 04/27/2009 14:40:36 MDT Print View

edited for spelling.

This is the tentative list for a 2 night trip (May 8-10) to Little Yosemite Valley and Merced Lake. It's a little far out to get an accurate weather forecast, but right now, it looks like mid 50s/low 30s on the first, lower elevation (6400') day, and mid 40s/low 20s on the 2nd day at Merced Lake(7300'). Chance of rain/snow, but too soon to get an accurate likelyhood. My list is based on there being both.

See my list here.

My own comments.

- The camera is heavy, but stays. My lighter point and shoot is old and gets a foggy lens in cold/wet weather.

- This is my maiden run with the Summerlite. I'm debating whether I should bring a pair of smartwool long johns to supplement the silk ones.

- This is also my first time out with the Cattarp2 and bivy. I practiced setting it up on Saturday in 10 mph winds, and I'll practice again this weekend (no backyard/park near my apt), but if the forecast calls for heavier winds, I'll probably bring the TT Rainbow instead.

-I'm also willing to carry the 1.25oz mug for tea, so I can have it w/o having to clean my snowpeak 700 first.

-Anything I'm missing for the predicted weather? I have the ULA rain wrap, but I haven't used it yet and wonder about using it in cold/snow vs the precip pants. I probably need a slightly heavier pair of gloves. With the predicted temps, I may wear my Patagonia R1 hoody for hiking and leave thermawrap vest behind. I might need warmer socks for sleeping as well. Snow level is currently averaging 6500', so I'm thinking now I might want to bring my 60' blue CF pad (6 oz) for extra ground insulation on the 2nd (and maybe even 1st) night.

Edited by jrmacd on 04/27/2009 15:00:57 MDT.

Aaron Zuniga
(gliden2) - F

Locale: Northwest
Gear List on 04/30/2009 15:52:00 MDT Print View

Everything looks pretty good, but there are a few things that i found that i had a question about...

-REI Flash Daypack=why are you taking multiple packs?
-Bug spray= Are the bugs a problem that early in the season?
-Soap=only a .25 ounce but do you need it?

I like the tea infuser concept! I've been carrying around used teabags in my H2O bottle holders for years-THANKS!

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Gear List on 04/30/2009 16:53:36 MDT Print View

I guess I should see how far I can compress the Gorilla once I dump the bear can, etc at my campsite. I plan on setting up camp at the east end of Little Yosemite Vally and then hiking to the base of half dome. The 2nd day, I will either move camp to lake Merced, or dayhike there and back. I was going to get a zpack zero, but I waited too long and wait is beyond this trip.

I'm not sure about the mosquitos in early May. You're right, with nighttime lows in the 30s, they probably won't be a problem.


First Last
(snusmumriken) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Bear lockers on 05/04/2009 20:50:45 MDT Print View

Both Little Yosemite Valley and Merced Lake have campgrounds with bear lockers. If you promise to stay only in these two locations you may be able to sweet talk the ranger into letting you leave your BearVault behind. No cheating though - the bears in this area are really savvy. These bears will certainly eat your food if you don't have it securely locked up.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Bear lockers on 05/04/2009 21:07:14 MDT Print View

In Little Yosemite Valley, I'm actually planning on walking 2 miles East, where according to the Wilderness Press trip guide, there's some less habited campgrounds, minus the bear lockers. I plan on stealth camping to the extent it's possible in a heavily visited area. Staying in the campground, I'm sure I'm guaranteed at least one bear visitation - I'm still jumpy about the idea of bears wandering around my camp while I sleep. I assume that the campground is pretty closely packed for a backcountry camp. So I'm trusting all the other people near me to follow the rules, and that the people on my site and around did the night before as well. What if one of them decides to keep some energy bars or something in their tent for a midnight snack? I'm not that trusting.

I'd rather carry the bear can and have some freedom as to where I camp. I can put my bear cannister the 200 ft away, downwind, and be fairly comfortable that at least any bear won't likely come any closer than that.

No worries about me cheating - I carried the cannister last year even when not officially required. This year I got an ursack from a fellow bpl member for those occasions - I don't have faith in my bagging skills yet.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Bear lockers on 05/05/2009 09:35:22 MDT Print View

if they catch you stealth camping without a bear cannister, they will walk you and fine you. Even in winter a cannister is required. As for snow and how passable trails are, we just got two storms that rolled through central California. Mosquito's will not be a problem due to winter conditions.


I'd bring snowshoes, especially going to Merced lake

Edited by kennyhel77 on 05/05/2009 09:37:05 MDT.

First Last
(snusmumriken) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Looks like great weather on 05/06/2009 12:30:14 MDT Print View

I wouldn't really call the area below Bunnell Cascades a campground, there are no marked sites, no potties, no bear lockers, just a beautiful waterfall. In fact in early season like this your likely to have it all to yourself. And if Bunnell doesn't appeal, once you've left LYV two miles behind you, you are free to camp where you choose.

Looks like a fine weekend for a first backpack of the season. Look forward to your report back on both conditions and how the gear worked out.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Looks like great weather on 05/06/2009 12:56:26 MDT Print View

I was actually almost hoping for a little bit of precip to test out my new TT Rainbow. As I'm going out 2 nights, and I have two new shelters, I'm actually bringing both and using one each night; 1st night my Oware Cattarp2 (w TiGoat bivy), and the Rainbow the 2nd night. My pack will still be under 20lbs.

My plan is to go the 2 miles past LYV, but I'll decide when I get there. I plan on hiking to the base of Half Dome first, just to look. I'm afraid of heights, and I want to see if it's something I could possibly talk myself into trying this fall.

I don't know what the storms dumped in the way of snow, but the current conditions put the average snowline at 7000'. So not quite up to Lake Merced, but I know snow cover is very dependent on northern vs southern exposure as well. Looks like the Trail between Clark Pt and Nevada Falls is open as well, so I can vary my route coming and going.

I don't plan on bringing snow shoes. If it the trail to lake Merced turns out to be impassible w/o them, I'll just turn around and camp back whereever I do the first night.

Thanks for the input on mosquitos, Ken. So I can plan on leaving the 1.25 oz head net and .25 oz of REI Jungle juice at home then. Just go with the permethrin treated clothes. I never had issues with mosquitos all last summer, but that winter was so dry. I do remember getting bit up a little bit dayhiking the 4 Mile Trail to Glacier Point last early May.

Edit: Actually, now that I look, the yosemite website says the trail is clear with patchy snow all the way to Merced Lake. Just very muddy. I'm wearing new Terroc 330s. I'm going to have to bring some cheap REI line along with me to make some of those nifty camp shoes of Jeremy's I saw in the photo Tony's Rancheria photo essay so I can have semi-dry feet at night.

Edited by jrmacd on 05/06/2009 13:13:32 MDT.

First Last
(snusmumriken) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Trip Report on 05/13/2009 21:35:44 MDT Print View

James - post a trip report if you have the time. Curious both about conditions in Yosemite right now, and the gear as well of course.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Trip Report on 05/14/2009 00:04:24 MDT Print View

Got one coming - should be finished tomorrow night.