Advice for east side backpacking June 11-15

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Re: Advice for east side backpacking June 11-15

Post by jimmeans » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:52 am

I have a friend who lives in Briceland who has been bugging me for years to come up and hike the Lost Coast. A couple of months ago when I realized what was going to happen with June backpacking in the Sierras we put the wheels in motion for a Lost Coast trip and are going from June 12-19. Definitely different planning when you have to consult tide charts to time your passage through the areas that are not passable at high tide.

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Re: Advice for east side backpacking June 11-15

Post by markskor » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:25 am

Just to take this thread in another (non Coe) direction...
Now that school is out (thank God!), my Sierra calls out but...
In case many do not know, Yosemite likes the arts...During the summer months, YNP brings in world-famous artists to teach daily, 4-hour classes in its Valley classroom - (in the old B of A building located in the Village).

What usually happens is that the featured artist (BTW, who changes every week - list of all artists on file on YNP website), gives a short 30 minute presentation/talk and then 10 students (class size is limited) all head out to some close designated Valley area and create/ do their stuff under the direction of the Artist... Very casual, one-on-one instruction in a great setting. Yosemite does ask for $5 per person/ per class to cover their costs but normally, these type art classes elsewhere cost ~$150 a session...if you can get in. Got to love a subsidized art program. Anyway, the watercolor artist Robert Dvorak (Google him...he has serious game!) is coming to Yosemite June 3 - 10th for his annual week. Since I dabble in watercolor too, I am going to Yosemite for a couple of his sessions...hopefully some of his techniques will rub off.

The problem is, after the classes and since I am already there, I definitely want to head out for a few days backcountry but where to? I am already packed and have a week...really want to fish, but there is that snow level thing.
I already have a North Dome wilderness permit (June 11- 13) making me Valley BP camp legal, and hopefully by then Tioga (120) will be open, but if not, maybe up the mist to Washburn and some ice-off fishing, or drive up to Hetch Hetchy/Cherry and low level camping. As it is still early season and I am solo, I do not foresee any problem snagging a Next Day permit anywhere.
Perhaps Waterwheel?...or? ...any thoughts?
Anybody want to tag along?
Mountainman who swims with trout

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Re: Advice for east side backpacking June 11-15

Post by Mike M. » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:38 pm

To the original poster: if you are fit and strong and reasonably comfortable plodding through snow, I wouldn't be deterred by the late snow pack. June 11 is early for the high country in even a normal snow year; expect more snow this year and just enjoy it.

Condition reports are hard to come by. The Inyo National Forest site posted this report last week (May 25th):
BACKCOUNTRY: Backpackers should be prepared with mountaineering gear for snowy/icy terrain, cold temperatures and sudden weather changes. Snow conditions make trails difficult to locate and passes very slick. Mountaineering and navigation skills are required. The snow level on the Whitney trail is approximately 10,000 feet (lower on north facing slopes). In Yosemite National Park, the current snow level is approximately 6,500 feet.
A hiker was up on Kearsarge Pass two weeks ago and posted these photos: ... assDayhike#" onclick=";return false;

I had read that the road to the Onion Valley trailhead was closed, but this hiker's report clearly shows it is open -- cars are shown in the parking lot and one hiker slept overnight there.

Hey, if I were you, I'd give South Lake and Bishop Pass a try. If you find the conditions are just too difficult, there are plenty of other options at lower elevations to keep you entertained.

Have a blast!


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Re: Advice for east side backpacking June 11-15

Post by quentinc » Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:41 pm

Thanks for the link to those pictures Mike. The slope down to Big Pothole looks just a tiny bit unnerving.

But now I see that their trip was on May 14, so now it will be 3 weeks of less slope to go sliding down on into oblivion. :)

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