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Topic: Yosemite/Sierra weather?, Trip planned week after next< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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NatalieLorin Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 10 2013, 12:21 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My husband has a conference out in Silicon Valley, and we were thinking about tacking on a side trip to Yosemite and/or Tahoe area. Problem is that we're aren't sure whether to plan on camping or not - the initial forecasts we saw were a little all over the place with regards to temperature. I have a pretty decent down bag, but it won't take me down into the teens like I was seeing forecast earlier.

Thoughts?


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 10 2013, 8:46 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(NatalieLorin @ Mar. 10 2013, 12:21 am)
QUOTE
Thinking of a side trip to Yosemite and/or Tahoe area.... we're aren't sure whether to plan on camping or not -  I have a pretty decent down bag, but it won't take me down into the teens.
Thoughts?

Two options -
Get a better/warmer bag or do not sleep outside.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 10 2013, 1:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yosemite's elevation goes from 2k to 13k so there's a reason for a big spread of temperatures in a forecast. Look at something close to where you'll be actually staying. The park website has a link to a weather service interactive map.

Tahoe is still in ski season....

So are large parts of Yosemite
http://www.yosemitepark.com/badger-webcam.aspx

But not others
http://www.yosemiteconservancy.org/webcams/half-dome

For camping I'd suggest seeing where you could find openings and then see if your equipment fits. Valley or out of the Valley like Hodgdon Meadow. As an FYI Lake Tahoe's shore elevation is over six thousand feet, so 2000 feet higher ( so colder) than Yosemite Valley.

In a Valley campsite with a decent tent and sleeping pad I'd say a reasonable down bag could work, though you never mentioned its actual temp range: what have you used it in? But anywhere higher where it will push into the teens you need a bag, sleep gear, that will keep you warm in the teens. Look at current Valley temperatures for some benchmarks.

I'd say hit recreation.gov and see whether its even possible to get a Valley campsite then think about equipment.

Oh and oh I'm mistaken and you meant backpacking then no you'd definitely need a warmer bag. For backpacking in the Summer I take a warmer bag in the Yosemite and Sierra backcountry.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 10 2013, 1:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Either Tahoe or Yosemite totally worth the drive.

Though south of Monterey and north of Pt. Reyes along the coast are nice as well.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 10 2013, 4:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hey, thanks.

I'll check the interactive map. I've taken my sleeping bag down into the upper 20's (that's a guess) on a trip to Vogelsang one year without any problem. It's a marmot 800 down fill bag. With a ridge rest I sleep pretty warm.

We're also talking about heading south to Death Valley and flying out of LA or Vegas instead and coming back to Yosemite and trying to do a lower elevation backpacking trip (ie North Rim) in May or June.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 10 2013, 7:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(NatalieLorin @ Mar. 10 2013, 4:11 pm)
QUOTE
Hey, thanks.

I'll check the interactive map. I've taken my sleeping bag down into the upper 20's (that's a guess) on a trip to Vogelsang one year without any problem. It's a marmot 800 down fill bag. With a ridge rest I sleep pretty warm.

We're also talking about heading south to Death Valley and flying out of LA or Vegas instead and coming back to Yosemite and trying to do a lower elevation backpacking trip (ie North Rim) in May or June.

Just a ridge rest is inadequate for me in summer - forget winter at elevation in snow, you'll need at least another 3 season pad to layer on it to approach being warm.

A 0 degree bag plus adequate pads do the job into the teens and gives a bit of a safety margin - if the bag is accurately rated - for backpacking, even when there's minimal snow such as it is right now.

Death valley can be below freezing in spring at night, so you will probably be okay there.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 10 2013, 8:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Don't forget 120 through the park is closed so you'll route via further north to get to 395 for the run south to Death Valley, you could scoot around the southern end of the Sierra but that would be far less scenic a drive IMHO.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 10 2013, 9:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The weather forecast for Yosemite Valley this week is 60-70 daytime and 35-45 at night. That is about 10 degrees warmer than normal.

The following week could be about the same
or 50-60 daytime and 25-35 night time if its about average,
or 40-50 daytime and 15-25 night time if we get a cold spell.

The snow has just melted off in Yosemite Valley, so it will be a a couple of weeks until meadows turn green, and a few weeks beyond that for the wild flowers to be in bloom.

The water falls are already flowing nicely and there is a beauty to having snow on the cliffs surrounding the valley.

Hope that helps your planning. Have a lovely time wherever you go.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 11 2013, 9:17 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Unless, of course, it snows again.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 11 2013, 12:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

True, a late season winter storm is possible. Always check the weather report before you go! However right now it is beautiful spring time weather in Yosemite Valley.
Yosemite Webcam
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 11 2013, 6:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(AlmostThere @ Mar. 11 2013, 6:17 am)
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Unless, of course, it snows again.

Your computer screen to the weather god's ears!
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 12 2013, 4:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Grrrr. This is my problem. Weather.com is showing (currently) lows in the teens. This is too cold. Weather underground (linked from the NPS site) is saying lows in the 30's. This isn't too cold. And I need to start packing soon and still don't know what we're doing :(

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 12 2013, 5:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Where is Weathwer.com forecasting for? The park link is for the National Weather Service ( http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/conditions.htm ) the Valley (Happy Isles), which is at a lower elevation than much of the park.
http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClic....0292969
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 12 2013, 5:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ok, maybe that's the problem. Sorry, I've got my "easily confused" brains on today.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 12 2013, 6:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just take the warmest stuff you can pack and go Yosemite Valley. It's only about 4,000' in the Valley, but it doesn't get a lot of sun.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 12 2013, 7:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"warmest stuff ", I'd agree with that. It's my experience that one can always make warm things less efficient and so comfortable enough in warmer conditions, heck when I've felt lazy in packing I've used 0F bags in the Valley in summer when I was planning on spending the majority of my route up high and out in the open! Though not more than my shins were probably covered.... but there comes a point where you just can't adapt things to colder conditions than they are designed for and you'll be cold.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 24 2013, 12:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hope you had a great trip.
Let us know where you went and how it turned out.
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16 replies since Mar. 10 2013, 12:21 am < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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