Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Yosemite NP – Evelyn Lake Loop – August 14 - 15, 2010

The loop trip from Tuolumne Meadows up to Evelyn trip is a great one. I did this trip about 5 years ago and this time I was leading a Sierra Club trip. I was also hopeful that I wouldn’t get totally dehydrated like I did the last time. Our gang hit the trail around 9:30 under cloudy skies. The trip south on Lyell Canyon is one you won’t forget. It’s a really beautiful setting…hemmed in by mountains on both sides and a beautiful river running down the middle of the canyon. Needless to say there were a lot of stops a long the way to take photos. The trip through Lyell was the easy stroll portion of the hike and after turning at the junction we headed up abut 1800 feet. The good news was we had plenty of clouds to keep us cool. When we got to the top of the climb we started to get some good views as well as a brisk wind. The wind followed us and followed us and followed….it was quite exciting. Soon we were at Evelyn Lake, which we had to ourselves. We all passed the test of setting up tents in strong wind after searching for some sites that would be somewhat protected. Most of us were freezing at this point and just wanted to huddle and shiver together. We talked story until dinnertime. Our reward for the blustery conditions was the sunset it was probably the most spectacular sunset I had ever seen. Of course I decided not to bring my SLR along (doh!). The group busted out the cameras and we had a nice photo shoot. After a number of hot tangs I hit the sack and tried unsuccessfully to keep all of the dirt from the blowing wind out of my tent. On Sunday the sun was up early and unfortunately the wind was still going. This was certainly motivation to get packed on the trail. I was so cold I actually had to hike in a long sleeve shirt (shock…). The trip out was very nice, the clouds disappeared and the crowds appeared. The Rafferty Creek trail is a bit like 101 during rush hour given the high sierra camp and great views. We made quick business of the 10 miles and took a break to dip our toes in the river before getting to the trailhead. Since we were out so early in the afternoon we headed out without a beer (shock again) or food. Even though the weather wasn’t the best the company was great and the scenery spectacular.

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