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Yosemite/Ansel Adams 6 Day trip late September
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Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Yosemite/Ansel Adams 6 Day trip late September on 08/16/2011 10:08:36 MDT Print View

The route is yet to be determined, but some of my ideas are on this thread. Whatever I settle on, I'll be spending most of my time between 8,000'-11,000' in the Sierras in late-September, with all the potential for iffy weather that entails. Based on average temperature, at that altitude I think I'm looking at 60-65F highs and 25-30F lows. I'm planning for lows down to 20F, along with rain, sleet and snow. I did parts of the Tahoe Rim Trail last year during the first week of October and experienced all of those conditions.

Here's my list

Possible alternatives to some of my list:

- Subbing my Spin SoloMid (11.92oz w/lines) for the Nano Tarp (6.3oz w/lines). A fully enclosed shelter would be nice if the weather went sideways, but I did spend a bad night out on the TRT under the Nano, with 5 minutes of intense 1/4" hail that made me fear for the integrity of the tarp. While I was nervous at times, it was kind of cool be out in the 'open' like that during a big storm. With the enclosed Solomid, I could probably ditch the bivy (7.65oz), and that would result in a net -2oz weight savings over the Nano + bivy.

- I'd have to look really hard at my budget, but I'd love to get a Katabatic Alsek 22F quilt in place of the Specialist + Arc AT combo. That'd save 5oz. (At an ungodly ration of $70 per oz saved) I could also bring, instead of the Arc AT, my BPL Coccon pants (10.69oz) for ~1oz penalty, but if it got down to the low 20s, having the pants for around camp might be nice, plus they'd function as a safety layer combined with the hoody.

- The Bear can is a tough call. I'll be travelling in an active bear area(1000 Island/Garnet Lakes or Glen Aulin). I own a BV400, but I just how I'd fit 5 days of food and smellable hygiene stuff in it. I know Ansel Adams only requires a 'bear resistant container', but doesn't rule out my Ursack as Yosemite does. But the Ursack limits me to only camping in Ansel Adams and/or at a Yosemite HSC. Backcountry has the BV500 on sale right now, and I've looked at the Bearikade Weekender. By my math, it would cost $16.77/oz for the BV500 in 10z weight-savings. That's actually not a terrible number, but it would rule out any slight chance of the quilt, which would see more use overall, since Yosemite and SEKI are the only places I know of in CA that don't allow the Ursack. I've looked at renting a Bearikade, but they only deliver 2 days before your trip starts, and if there was a postal mishap, I'd be in trouble. I could pay for extra days to have it delivered sooner, but then I'm paying $60 for a rental. I can't rent a Garcia from the park because I'd have to drive all the way into the Valley to return it when my trip ended. If I can find a trip I like in the Ursack permitted areas and make the mileage work, I'd save ~20z. It'd be nice to take 1.25lb off my back(and save $60) but I won't plan my trip around it.

- Switch my NeoAir small(8.99oz) for a torso-szied cut-down Thermarest Ridgrest(5.68oz). I've learned to sleep on the Ridgerest, but as a side/stomach sleeper, the NeoAir is just better. Haven't had any leaks yet, but I worry about ending up sleeping on a flat NeoAir+ 1/8" CCF on a multi-night trip if it fails. Also, with the potential for 20F and below overnight lows, I wonder if the NeoAir will be warm enough. BPL experience seems to put it's comfort zone at 32F and above.

- ULA Rain Wrap (3.35oz) for the Golite Reeds. ~2oz saving, but I think I'd prefer the full pants if the weather gets bad + the slight warmth of the VB affect they'd provide while sleeping.

-Using my MLD Revelation hybrid frameless cuben pack (9.88oz) instead of the Gorilla for ~110z of weight savings. I kind of prefer the beefier shoulder straps and belt of the Gorilla for a multi-day hike for a starting base+food weight of ~20lbs.

Other things that I could add at a weight penalty:

-slight heavier gloves and/or MLD rain mitts (1.4oz). I used the MLD mitts on the TRT last year, and with the MH gloves didn't notice too much difference with or without them in the rain.

- Spare set of socks, noticing I don't have them on my original list. Could bring the MLD mitts and used them as sleeping socks for the slight VB affect.

- Rocky Goretex socks. Probably not cold enough. On the TRT last year, they worked, then wet out on the inside like any other wp/b gear. They did help keep my feet warmer on 30F mornings despite that.

So I'm 26 oz short of the magical 10lb base weight. 2/3 of that would be resolved by being able to bring the Ursack and buying the Katabatic quilt, but the latter is a longshot, and I don't want to plan my trip around 20oz, since I only get one trip a year back to the Sierra's from NYC. So I'm not going to make it to 10lb, but maybe I can get down to 11?

That's all I can think of for now. Fire away.