35

I just finished Caldwell's book Push. The big walls in Yosemite are essentially vertical deserts. Even in winter they're in the full sun much of the day. It would drop below freezing at night, but during the day temperatures would regularly get above 50 °F (10° C). In the summer the heat can be overwhelming. Aside from the difficulty of performing extremely ...


22

The name change is going ahead, at least for now The Ahwahnee Hotel and other Yosemite National Park landmarks soon will be renamed amid a legal dispute between the government and the facilities' outgoing operator. On March 1, the famed Ahwahnee — a name affixed to countless trail guides and family memories — will become the Majestic Yosemite Hotel. And ...


18

Liam's answer is spot-on, but I would like to add some details. "Dawn wall" is actually not the name of a route, but of a portion of the south-east face of El Capitan, which you can see in the figure below: Figure: the south-east face of El Cap. From www.xRez.com The first ascension of El Cap passing through the Dawn Wall was realized in 1970 by Warren ...


18

Reading the comments and discussing with other users helped me get a much better idea of the possible causes why we hear of so many hard (sometimes free) ascents on El Capitan and almost none on Half Dome. 1. The approach Fig. 1 - The two possible approaches to HD and the Regular NW Face route [From summitpost.org] According to mountainproject.com, there ...


13

May Lake is lovely. Hoffman is a great peak to bag while you're there. As I recall, the camping at May Lake is quite well developed and you should find bear boxes and legal metal fire rings there. It sounds like you have an expectation that when camping, it's nice to have a camp fire. I think a lot of people have positive associations with those things....


10

Check out the website http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildcond.htm As of March 3, 2016, the website said this about General Conditions under the heading Wilderness Conditions Be prepared for winter conditions throughout the park. The current snowpack is about 85 - 100% of average for this time of year, depending on location, a significant ...


10

That is half of an old summit registry box. That one is missing the top and might not be the exact style but the full ones look like this. Source You can see more pictures of them here and a history of the summit registers in the Sierra's here. Its obvious that its aluminum because it hasn't corroded and the point of the "rollers" is to keep the record ...


7

First, the difficulty of a V1 is not consistent everywhere, especially for climbers with limited experience. A V1 crack is a very different animal from a V1 slab. Yosemite climbs and boulder problems, especially in the V1 and 5.10 range are typically very stiff for the rating. These do not compare to gym routes or ratings. The East Buttress starts with a ...


6

They will be a ring of rocks around an area with ashes that has clearly been used for fires before. You can see examples of illegal ones here. Legal ones would look the same, just be already existing and within the location requirements. In order to minimize the impact to park ecosystems and to be fair to the experiences of other wilderness users, ...


6

Based on Olin Lathrop's suggestion, I searched around for coyote scat and found this resource: https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Mammals/Gray-Wolf/Identification It points out that dog scat (compared to coyote/wolf) doesn't have a tapered end and has a very consistent appearance due to commercial dog food. Coyote (or wolf) would have a tapered ...


6

You know one when you see one when it comes to "established fire-rings", but Generally: Complies with the objective rules. Has been used for multiple seasons, with evidence of a deep bed of soot from many uses Thoroughly built up with heavy rocks tall enough to block sparks and do not move when jostled Part of an established, and legal dispersed campsite. ...


6

Actually, I don't remember many fire rings at May Lake, but we always camped well above the Lake. It is the site of a High Sierra Camp, and there is thus an incentive to keep it "clean". Camping near lakes and streams is "illegal" and taken seriously at May Lake. As an aside, I don't remember any fire rings on the approach to May Lake from the May Lake ...


5

You are not allowed bear spray in Yosemite. It is also illegal to discharge a firearm for any reason, but you are allowed to transport your gun through the park (assuming you legally own it). Additionally: Within Yosemite National Park, it is prohibited to possess or use pepper spray (including bear spray and other irritant gas devices), pellet guns, BB ...


5

I was there in early January. While the valley was below freezing, upon the first 50 feet climb in elevation after sunrise, the air temperature was very agreeable (50+ °F/10+ °C) with lots of sun. Rejoice for there was no ice underfoot—unlike on the valley floor. Also, everyone who had been there before were beside themselves with how ...


5

When I wanted to hike Half Dome, it was too late to apply to the lottery you mentioned. Therefore, upon arriving in California in September, I tried to get a last minute "daily" permit through the Park Service's web site. When I got this permit, it was for the next day, and of course I didn't have a camp site. I drove to Yosemite with my wife, and within ...


5

Based on decades of camping in the Yosemite backcountry, I can promise you that there is never a real problem finding an acceptable place to camp when backpacking. Of course, you can't be ultra-picky about what is acceptable. You may not find an absolutely flat place, but a few degrees tilt is not going to prevent you from sleeping if you are tired enough. ...


5

March in Yosemite is considered winter, so you need to be prepared for cold temperatures and for snow. A sunny but cold day in the snow can be gorgeous and fun, but you have to also be prepared, so if the weather turns, you won't find your self in a situation where you are struggling for survival. Trails on the valley floor may be open, but the high trails ...


4

It's going to depend on you, the terrain and how long it takes to set up camp. If you can set up in the dark and don't need a lot of perfectly flat terrain then you can definitely keep walking until you get tired and then set up. There have been plenty of times where I hiked into the night and then pulled just off the trail to sleep. The only times where I ...


4

A dormant spring started up again due to the winter's snow and rain underneath the road and loosened up the underlying soil to the point that the road slid downhill. An underground seasonal spring that began flowing again after being dormant for years was the cause of a 200-foot long fissure resembling an earthquake fault that closed U.S. Highway 120 into ...


4

Based on your estimation of size, they're definitely cougar. Bobcat tracks should be half (or less) that size. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has a nice track comparison page 9with dimensions): Distinguishing Cougar, Coyote, and Bobcat Tracks. Those tracks are pretty fresh, too. That's a nice find and well photographed.


3

@WeatherVane has already posted the permit link in a comment. Get your permits ASAP since you are at the 24 week window about now. They go fast - looks like Happy Isles TH is full through the current 24-week mark (9 Sep). You can get walk-up permits but lines are usually long and you won't have flexibility in your dates unless you're willing to hang around a ...


3

If you look at the historical data the latest in the year that's its opened is July 1st, and in 2017 which was a very similar year for amount of snow it opened June 29th. That year the road was left completely closed after it had been plowed to let things dry out first, it sounds like this year they are letting people drive through but not stop. The only ...


3

I have never been to yosemite so I cannot answer about this part based on experience. There is however a question about backpacking in april which suggests that there will be still a lot of snow in March. If you consider this enjoyable is a matter of personal opinion. I personally probably would only enjoy this with a warm and cozy camper van, but others ...


2

Well, this article in National Geographic provides a clue - a number of key areas on the face have become unstable, and a large rockfall has destroyed a section of the Normal Northwest Face. Doesn't sound like fun. Here's some of the rubble at the base of the cliff:


2

Update: Route 120 into Yosemite Valley opened on May 1, 2017. The road crews were still putting finishing touches on the area of the collapse a week later, with short delays. Delays at the el Portal entrance to Yosemite were in the one to two hour range on the last weekend in April. A ranger described the 120 closure as "a disaster for the el Portal ...


2

The NPS announced that the road will open unrestricted on July 1st (conditions permitting).


2

Climbing technique wise, I am certain you are fine or need minor brushing up , most folks who get to a certain level of climbing and can boulder honest V5 would have enough in their tool belt and muscle control to tackle any given pitch or problem on a classic moderate trad route like east buttress. However, Endurance and trade skills are something else. ...


2

You can backpack from the valley (up the Mist Trail, or the John Muir Trail) to a Half Dome (HD) "base camp" area called Little Yosemite Valley (LYV), where you would bivouac in a site overnight then hike up to and ascend HD the next day. Bear canisters and special toilet arrangements are not required at LYV because there are fixed bear-proof food storage ...


2

If you are just planning to visit the valley and are not an experienced cold weather camper, I would recommend looking at staying at Curry Village (temporarily renamed Half Dome Village) instead. They have both heated and unheated tent cabins, which are wooden platforms with insulated canvas sides and beds inside. They come with sheets and piles of wool ...


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