Work shipped me out to california again this week so I took advantage and came out early, spending 3 days in Yosemite.
I got into San Fran Thursday night and planned on leaving super early Friday morning. As the car rental was set up through work it turned out I had to wait till 7:30 to get the car :twisted: . Well they came to the wrong hotel and were an hour late....ugh 8:30 I'm FINALLY on the road. About 1/2 hour later I realize I left my trail shoes in the room...grrrr! 1 hour later I'm back where I started on my way to the park....hoping I can get my permit for the area I wanted to hit...Young Lakes.
I get the the park, drive the Tioga Pass (road at 10,000 ft), dive into the ranger station and pull the last available pass for Young Lakes...for the following day though. It was 2:30 and I had the rest of the day to hike, so I decided to tackle Mount Dana, the 2nd highest peak in the park at 13,053.
No trail, no switchbacks, just straight up. I've done some hiking to 10,000 feet and noticed no ill effects, but I usually had a night to acclimate. I started that day at sea level, parked at 9,000 ft 4 hours later, and was huffing and a little dizzy by 12,000. It was amazing though....great views, and cold cold temps. The terrain was similar to the Presidentials but the rocks were much more jagged and VERY VERY loose. I had to climb up a near vertical class III section with snow and exposure and the rocks were sliding on hand holds and feet. Not fun but relatively short. I pressed on to the plateau, and finally the summit. It was the greatest view I've ever had from any summit. Temps were in the 20's and the sun was setting so I didn't stay long, snapped some pics and headed down right before dark.
I stayed overnight in the backpackers's camp site near my trailhead. I basically set up camp, ate a cold dinner, and went to bed. Pretty uneventful until a bear came into camp that night and was rooting around right outside my tent. I woke up right as my neighbor saw it and scared it off. It managed to grab someone's pack who didn't store it properly. Back to bed and then another came in a half hour later and raided the camp site next to mine. Eventually everyone ran it off with shouting and pots. Okay...so it was then an eventful night.
Next morning I start out to Young Lakes in the Tuolumne area of Yosemite. It was only 7 miles through pine forests and alpine meadows so I decided to leave the trail and climb up through a mountain pass that decended to the lakes rather than hike around it.
The main peak of the ridge was Ragged Peak at ~10,900 ft. Not one to pass up an exciting opportunity I hike up to the scree, stash my pack and bear barrel, and start climbing. It was a really fun scramble/bouldering session to the spire like summit. The views were stunning.
Great view of the Cathedral Range and the Lyell Glacier
I hiked down, decending down the pass, and start hunting for a nice place to set up camp. It was then I realized I didn't have my bear barrel. I forgot to grab it when I came off the summit! it was sitting back up the pass near the scree! After 5 minutes of profuse swearing I turned around, climbed back up, found my barrel, and climbed back down. It actually ate up the late afternoon so it wasn't all that bad.
Set up camp overlooking the first lake, Ragged Peak, and totally surrounded by granite. Trout started busting the surface all evening, I had a beautiful sunset, a cold but bearless night, and a gorgeous morning. Easy hike out after one amazing weekend solo in the Yosemite backcountry. This is truly a magical place.......