Yosemite shortcut via Matterhorn Canyon?
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Frank Deland
(rambler) - M

Locale: On the AT in VA
Yosemite shortcut via Matterhorn Canyon? on 02/09/2010 11:02:12 MST Print View

Have any of you done this hike?
North side of Yosemite...Hiking down the canyon on the Matterhorn Trail would it be a good short cut to continue down through the canyon at the jct. of the PCT, eventually crossing Regulation Creek and then joining Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne R. trail at Muir Canyon?

This would be an alternative to the Rogers Canyon Trail.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
reply to Frank on 02/09/2010 22:38:15 MST Print View

Frank, what you called "Muir Canyon" I believe is actually referred to as "Muir Gorge." It is down in the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne. I don't think that I have been in Rogers Canyon at all, but I've been through lots of those parts.

--B.G.--

Frank Deland
(rambler) - M

Locale: On the AT in VA
Muir Gorge on 02/10/2010 09:59:43 MST Print View

Yes, you are right I meant Muir Gorge. I have the fold out Nat. Geographic Map of Yosemite and I would like to reach the Canyon Trail right where the "M" of Muir Gorge is written. On the Ten Lakes, CA USGS Quad, the trail is shown just on the north side of the gorge. I am trying to judge the steepness of the banks of the Register Creek, hoping I can walk along them until I reach the trail.

I am planning to hike the High Sierra Route section north of Tuolumne, but at Matterhorn Peak start a loop back to Tuolumne via Matterhorn Canyon. I though it would be nice to follow Matterhorn Canyon until it reaches the Grand Canyon of Tuolumne Trail, so I could include the GC in my hike back to Tuolumne.

Edited by rambler on 02/10/2010 10:44:36 MST.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
matterhorn canyon on 02/10/2010 10:25:40 MST Print View

> I would like to reach the Canyon Trail right where the "M" of Muir Gorge is written. On the Ten Lakes, CA USGS Quad, the trail is shown just on the north side of the gorge. I am trying to judge the steepness of the banks of the Register Creek, hoping I can walk along them until I reach the trail.

In looking at a map, I'm trying to follow along. So you are talking about hiking the SHR from Tuolumne to Matterhorn Peak, hopping over the ridgeline just south of the peak into Matterhorn Canyon, heading down canyon past the PCT section, and down (STEEP PART 1?) across Regulation/Return Creek and along Register Creek to drop into Muir Gorge (STEEP PART 2) at the M?

Is this what you are thinking about?

Frank Deland
(rambler) - M

Locale: On the AT in VA
Yes on 02/10/2010 10:46:36 MST Print View

Yes. Except I would reach the trail just before the gorge.

The loop idea comes from Roper's book, p.187. (Matterhorn Pass to PCT and Tuolumne)

Edited by rambler on 02/10/2010 11:57:21 MST.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
matterhorn canyon. on 02/10/2010 11:02:04 MST Print View

Well, on the 7.5' those steep parts look STEEP, especially the drop into the gorge. It's impossible to say just from looking at the topo, but I'd guess that drop into the Gorge would be pretty dang impossible.

Of course, on the ground it's different from the topo - sometimes it looks impossible but isn't too bad, other times it looks doable and is not. I recently tried to go down something in the High Sierra that looked semi-doable on a topo and it was an impossible cliff mess (at least for my non-climbing skill level, with a backpack on).

I haven't been on any part of this except the SHR route to Horse Creek Pass, and the PCT section you cross.

muir gorge

Edited by DaveT on 02/10/2010 11:16:11 MST.

Frank Deland
(rambler) - M

Locale: On the AT in VA
That's better on 02/10/2010 11:26:50 MST Print View

Wow, how did you get that to print? Yes, that red route looks better. I have that map to view from TOPO Explorer.
Now the only other sketchy part is the crossing of Regulation Creek. I'll try to zoom in there. On the Falls Ridge Quad, I do not quite understand the contour right where the word "Matterhorn" of Mat. Creek is written. Why is that shaded white? It sits about on the 4206 Northing line.

(The High Sierra book describes nearby Hooper Peak: ...would involve hours of drudgery for rather dubiuos awards" !! p. 444)

BTW, Dave, how was Stanton Pass? Do you have a trip report or photos posted of that SHR section?

Edited by rambler on 02/10/2010 11:40:51 MST.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
matterhorn canyon. on 02/10/2010 12:00:45 MST Print View

Yes, that route to the trail avoids the lower part of steep canyon along the creek, but I wouldn't plan on making it down the steep upper part unless someone who had done it told me it was possible.

The other section doesn't look as bad, but it doesn't look great either. Of course, anywhere that there is a 10' cliff band in here can stop the descent completely, let alone a 30' one hiding in the contours.

return

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
matterhorn canyon on 02/10/2010 12:07:32 MST Print View

> How was Stanton Pass? Do you have a trip report or photos posted of that SHR section?

The east side was all snow in July 2006 (late snow year) and the west side was pretty steep and loose. My friend went straight down from the pass and it was basically fine. I went out to the south a little bit, thinking I had a line down, and it was harder.

It's not terrible, but it was one of the harder descents for us (of course, almost all others were a glissade on snow!!).

I imagine hopping over the ridge south of Matterhorn Peak wouldn't be too bad (perhaps Klas Eklof has a good idea) - we had thought about bagging that peak at the end of our SHR hike, but it looked like more than we wanted to deal with, and we were happy to camp at Horse Creek Pass and head down the snow and trail to Twin Lakes the next morning.

Frank Deland
(rambler) - M

Locale: On the AT in VA
thanks on 02/10/2010 19:53:29 MST Print View

Thanks, Dave. I just received topo of Yosemite, so I'll look further, but some of my "short cuts" often take longer, including annoying retreats.

I hecked out your thread with Klass...Puppet Pass!! What a journey you had! Great color in the photos.

Edited by rambler on 02/10/2010 20:09:39 MST.

James Naphas
(naphas13) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Shortcut = longcut? on 02/10/2010 22:33:45 MST Print View

I've been straining my memory of two separate trips through the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne, trying to remember if this is one of the sections where what looks possible on the map is in fact utterly impossible when you see it in person. I actually camped one time at the point that Register Creek hits the Tuolumne; there's a bridge over the river at that point.

I definitely wouldn't count on being able to cross country to the trail where it circumvents Muir Gorge; as I recall a lot of that trail is either in a notch or has a fairly steep wall to one side.

This is a shot looking back at the steep switchbacks coming up from Register:

Looking back towards Register

This one is a grotto near the top:

Grotto

This is the trail heading away, I think in the vicinity of where you're thinking about joining the trail:After Muir Gorge

A question: where are you planning to be coming from and going to? The Grand Canyon hike is pretty much spectacular all the way from Glen Aulin to where you head up to White Wolf, and well worth doing in its entirety. Just don't do the Muir bypass section in the hot part of the day; it's very challenging.

Edited by naphas13 on 02/10/2010 22:39:30 MST.

Frank Deland
(rambler) - M

Locale: On the AT in VA
dramatic phots on 02/11/2010 18:35:23 MST Print View

James, the red line on Dave's first map meets the trail above the switchbacks. Are those the switchbacks you refer to? The map does not appear to have the trail so close to the river at that point as is shown in your first photo. I sure would not attempt to climb down those steep walls. I am not a mountaineer!
The map looks as though one would drop down 2000 feet in about a mile, which is not too steep a slope, but one line of that looks like 500 feet in .5 coming around that knoll or knob.

If I were to follow closer to the Register R., I would meet the trail before the trail crosses the river, ie on the eastern side of the bridge. The trail at the bottom of Dave's first map is headed toward Glen Aulin.

Great photos, esp. the "Grotto". Is that in the Muir gorge? Where were you standing?

Thanks for your input.

James Naphas
(naphas13) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Shortcut on 02/11/2010 20:42:36 MST Print View

Yeah, those are the switchbacks.

Muir Gorge is actually inaccessible by foot; the first picture is taken from fairly early on in the switchbacks leading up away from the river there, looking back northeast toward Register Creek and (eventually) Hetch Hetchy. Most of the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne trail runs very near the river, especially as you get past the Gorge headed southwest toward Glen Aulin.

The switchbacks start maybe a half mile or so southwest of Register Creek. Shortly after the point I took that picture the trail gets very steep, and as I recall much of it is slotted between rock walls.

The grotto in the second picture is near the top of the climb. The picture by no means does justice to how beautiful the grotto is.

The final picture is in the area where you are discussing meeting the trail, looking basically due west in the direction of Glen Aulin and Tuolumne Meadows. Where you are talking about coming from is basically behind me when I took the picture. Once you get to that point there's probably a quarter to half mile where I think it wouldn't be that hard to get to the trail. The real question in my mind is whether you could easily or safely make your way down the Register Creek valley and then contour around the peak to get to that point. I don't think it would be too obvious when you would need to bear left, and turning too soon or too late would make getting to this point problematic.

BTW, the picture in my signature was taken near one of the falls closer to Glen Aulin on the same trip.

Edited by naphas13 on 02/11/2010 21:06:19 MST.