Route: Entered in at Tioga Road and the South Fork of the Tuolumne River, Exited at TH#8 - "Big Oak Flat Road"
Duration: 4 days
Date: 3 weeks after Tioga Road opening
Plenty of water, no mosquitoes
Author: Jason Lucero
Our first trip of the season was an off-trail exploration in an section of Yosemite National Park that we've been curious about—a trailless area north of Fireplace Bluffs. During the early part of Yosemite's temperate backpacking season, we tend to stick to lower-elevation trips. We knew that water would be in short supply in this area pretty soon, so the timing seemed right for this trip.
After leaving Ardeth Lake, we repaired to Jack Main Canyon to retrieve the Bear Vault bear canister that we had stashed six days earlier.
This is part 4 of 4. Here is part 1.
We were psyched to be back in Jack Main Canyon. We were heading north, past Wilmer Lake. Our plan was to scope out a good line to take off-trail to the Otter Lakes. This is part 3 of 4. Here is part 1 and part 4.
We found a mostly pleasant route along the south side of the Vernon basin, but that did not stop me from getting really butt-hurt. A series of circumstances finally merged and I became a cranky hamster. Nancy named this delightful, private little pond Butthurt Pond, in my honor. The next morning, I felt much better and we started a very nice hike up the Branigan cascade.
This is part 2 of 4. Here is part 1.
On our wonderful 14-day unsupported trip, we looked to the north-west part of Yosemite National Park for places we'd long sought to visit, and a special place for our wedding.