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Backpacking trip at Yosemite - recommend anyone?

Backpacking trip at Yosemite - recommend anyone?

Old Mar 28, 14, 6:13 pm
  #1  
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Backpacking trip at Yosemite - recommend anyone?

I won a good bit of money on a sports bet earlier in the year (Thank you my beloved Florida State Seminoles!) and want to do something fun with the money. I want to take a short backpacking trip at Yosemite with my mom. We've both been to Yosemite. Sadly, she did not make it to high country as she broke her wrist exactly two days before our last visit there. I thinking of booking something like this:

http://www.rei.com/adventures/trips/...d.html#global1

I know that some people would suggest forgoing the guided part and doing it alone. I am perfectly comfortable with that. I am not comfortable with that sort of thing with myself AND my mom.

If anyone has any suggestions for backpacking companies, I'd greatly appreciate them. I'm looking for July or August of this year, between 3 and 6 nights.

Thank you!
Andrea Waters is offline  
Old Mar 28, 14, 10:02 pm
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Well, REI would be fine. They are professional and experienced. The only problem I have with the trip you linked is that they don't really say where they will be taking people. I assume they just want to keep their options open. It is apparent they are taking the north route out of Tuolumne Meadows, through the domes but other than that, who knows. If you decide on this option, it will be a good trip in great scenery. Be aware that although the trails in that area are not difficult, the elevation is not to be ignored. Tuolumne is pretty high at 8,600 feet and the trails go up from there. Be in condition.

Another outfit that you might want to consider is the excellent Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides, which has been featured several times on the TV show Motion. SYMG is probably the best in the business.

http://www.symg.com/
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Old Mar 29, 14, 12:19 am
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I have day-hiked and backpacked quite a number of trails at Yosemite. A few questions:

1. How familiar are you with Yosemite?
2. Are there particular areas/peaks/waterfalls/types of terrain you'd like to see?
3. Describe your capability as a backpacker -- number of days, distance per day, how much elevation gain you can handle while carrying a full pack.
4. Do you prefer a guided or self-guided trip, and why?
darthbimmer is offline  
Old Mar 29, 14, 1:47 am
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Originally Posted by darthbimmer View Post
... 4. Do you prefer a guided or self-guided trip, and why?
I think she already answered that in her second paragraph.
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Old Mar 29, 14, 11:44 am
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Originally Posted by abmj-jr View Post
Well, REI would be fine. They are professional and experienced. The only problem I have with the trip you linked is that they don't really say where they will be taking people. I assume they just want to keep their options open. It is apparent they are taking the north route out of Tuolumne Meadows, through the domes but other than that, who knows. If you decide on this option, it will be a good trip in great scenery. Be aware that although the trails in that area are not difficult, the elevation is not to be ignored. Tuolumne is pretty high at 8,600 feet and the trails go up from there. Be in condition.

Another outfit that you might want to consider is the excellent Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides, which has been featured several times on the TV show Motion. SYMG is probably the best in the business.

http://www.symg.com/
Thank you very much for the response. I checked out the SYMG website. The trip I'd most like to take is already full for this summer's dates but I should check out other trips. I totally agree about the elevation - my brother and I hiked through the Cathedral Lakes last time we were at Yosemite. I live in Chicago which as you know is very flat and just a few hundred feet above sea level. Though I was in excellent shape, the elevation killed.
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Old Mar 29, 14, 12:04 pm
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Arrow

1. How familiar are you with Yosemite?

Reasonably. As mentioned in the previous post, we visited for a few days five years ago. Like typical tourists, we spent most of our time in the valley though my brother and I did venture up to Toulumne Meadows for a few day hikes. I'm certainly no expert.


2. Are there particular areas/peaks/waterfalls/types of terrain you'd like to see?

This is a great question. The answer is not particularly. I would prefer wooded areas/lakes/mountains but would really just enjoy being outside for a few days.



3. Describe your capability as a backpacker -- number of days, distance per day, how much elevation gain you can handle while carrying a full pack.

I am very physically capable. On a scale from 1-10 with 1 being a couch potato and 10 being Serena Williams, I'm an 8. I strength train quite heavily almost everyday and do 45 minutes of HIIT on the stairmill or treadmill six days a week. I'm 38 and vanity has taken over my pathetic life. I figure that I have three full months to dedicate to training for the trip. My mom, on the other hand, is probably at a 4 or a 5 but she's up for the challenge.


I'd prefer no more than five nights for a number of reasons. My mom is my best friend but I think I'd kill her after five nights together in the wilderness. I will say that this trip is mostly for her. She's 66. I have reached the point in my life where I know the days with my mom are not limitless, and that I need to do these really active trips with her while she's physically able. I've lived in Chicago for ten years while she still lives in my dreadful home state of Florida. We see each other 8-10 times per year and usually take about 3-4 trips together. We're planning on 2-3 nights at a luxury hotel in SF to end the trip.



4. Do you prefer a guided or self-guided trip, and why?

As I mentioned above, I prefer guided. I fully admit that I am kind of a spoiled city woman who really appreciates life's luxuries. I have no camping or backpacking experience. Zero! I mean, my parents camped with us a lot when I was a kid but that was like thirty years ago at this point.


I greatly appreciate any and all help you're willing to provide. Thank you.
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Old Mar 29, 14, 1:12 pm
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OK, I'm 67 and signed up for the High Sierra camps last summer. I wound up bagging Sunrise as I couldn't make it up the elevation gain.

I love Yosemite. What I discovered is that the High Sierra camps have open dates close in. So if you are willing to take the chance, you can see if you can get tents at Toulumne and then hike up to one or more of the High Sierras. I was there over the 4th of July and managed to get a tent at Toulemne. A back up is to stay at Lee Vining.

Glen Aulin is relatively easy--downhill to the camp. The trail from Glen Aulin to May has a difficult climb up to the camp. May to Sunrise was the killer for me. I had planned to meet up with my son at Vogelsang but he skipped Vogelsang and decided he really wanted to go to Sonoma.

There are hikers buses and you can get to May Lake and Sunrise from the road via a bus. May from the road is only about 2 miles in. Sunrise can be gotten to either from the May Lake-Sunrise trail or Cathedral Lakes. I'd recommend Cathedral Lakes as a bit easier. Vogelsang you can get to from Toulumne.

The advantage to the high sierra camps is that you have less to carry in--a sleep sack, change of clothes, etc. Food and bed are at the camps.

On a fitness level, I live in Memphis which has no hills. I am a bad runner (back to Couch to 5K for the 60th time). I worked hard to get in shape for the hike and couldn't make it. I'd put myself at 4-5.

An idea.
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Old Mar 30, 14, 12:38 am
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Originally Posted by Andrea Waters View Post
As I mentioned above, I prefer guided. I fully admit that I am kind of a spoiled city woman who really appreciates life's luxuries. I have no camping or backpacking experience. Zero! I mean, my parents camped with us a lot when I was a kid but that was like thirty years ago at this point.
Your remarks about lack of backpacking experience, desire for luxuries, your mother's condition and age, and your interest in going out for several nights make me wonder: When you say "guided" do you mean a trip where someone else chooses & carries part of the gear you'll need?

This is not a judgmental question. Just trying to determine what kind of outfitter you need.
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