OMG the Views!

We woke up in the next morning refreshed and ready for a day of great hiking, filled with breath-taking views and new experiences. Our destination for the day was the top of Upper Yosemite Falls where we were to setup camp then head off on a day hike to explore the area and practice some off-trail navigation. We essentially skirted the rim of the valley the entire way taking in some awesome views all around us, crossing a few creeks before heading down to our camp site.

The hike was relatively easy going. We stopped a lot to take in the views especially once we got to Yosemite Point where we took some extra time for a pack break and take a lot pictures. As we started down toward Yosemite Creek I started to notice the impact of the high altitude and from my relatively light dinner the dinner the night before. I needed to eat and drink more water and get some extra rest, I was starting to doubt going on the day-hike that afternoon.

The water in the creek was high from all the snow melt and the falls were a flowing at peak which was awesome. We had to be extra careful when we went down to filter water. I decided to stay at camp along with other other hikers and take it easy that afternoon. I ended up cooking the dehydrated dinner I was suppose to cook the night before for lunch to get some calories in me and take a nap. After some good food and rest it was time to explore the area a bit more and go check out the top of the falls. It was truly epic and a bit frightening as the only thing protecting us from 2000 foot drop was a little hand railing.

We had another great happy hour that evening and stayed up late to check out the majestic night sky, I busted out my astronomy skills to show some of my fellow hikers some of the great stargazing there was to offer. It was sad that our adventure was slowly coming to and end the next day but I don’t think many of us knew what was in store for the hike down the Yosemite Falls trail.

Geronimo!

The next morning after a quick dinner and packing up all our stuff it was time to head down and by down I mean 2000 feet down! We all extended our trekking poles to allow us better stability on the climb down and took it easy. My knees hurt the most, the constant stepping down on hard rocks with a ~40lb pack on your back will take it’s tole on you after awhile. We stopped a lot to take in the great views of the falls and valley below. There was a lot of hikers heading up the trail too which we let pass by. I don’t think I would ever really want to hike up this trail, it was STEEP!

Once we started to get near the bottom we surprisingly had to hike up a few times as the trail follows along the ridge before dropping down near infamous Camp 4. That was brutal after all that hiking downwards. But as we saw on our hike down, our destination was the Yosemite Falls Lodge pool and showers. Nothing under estimates a shower after a few days out in the wilderness and also a quick swim in the freezing cold pool, which felt great! We were renewed and fresh, ready to get on the bus and head back to civilization.

Reflections

This was an awesome trip and I gotta hand it to the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club for putting it together so flawlessly. It was very well organized and everyone had a great time. I met some great people on the trip that I have managed to keep in contact with then, hopefully we will get to go on some more great backpacking trips in the near future.

Looking back on the trip as a whole I packed way too much, too much food and extra clothes. I treated all my clothes with permethrin since we were expecting an infestation of mosquitos that really didn’t come. But it’s better to have everything you need since when you go into the wilderness you never know what to expect. I hope to go on more trips with the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club soon and I keep an eye on their activities calendar quite regularly for upcoming backpacking trips. Be on the lookout for more post of past trips I have taken, there are many more to come!