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Topic: Yosemite:Chilnualna Falls backpacking tips/advise, Yosemite:Chilnualna Falls backpackin< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 19 2013, 5:58 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

hi all:

so, i finally got my permit..

it was a challenge to find the right trail since we wanted to enjoy the mouth of the waterfall.. and the ranger said that YOsemite Falls would be dry by the 4th of July weekend. So he recommended chilnualna falls since there is a river (merced), water fall and multiple lakes and meadows along the 21 mi trail..

since this is my first time backpacking thru yosemite in 8 years.. any piece of advice will be helpful.

Bear Cannister: Do we have to have a bear cannister? or can we hang food the old fashioned way (on the tree branches) ?? Can i rent a bear cannister at the wawona office where i pick up my permit ?

where should we camp the 1st, 2nd and the 3rd night ?? we start on the morning of 4th (after picking up the permit at 8:30 AM) and come back on the 7th.. so we have 3 nights to spend.

what is the best way to enjoy the origin of where the waterfall starts ??

like i said, haven't done this in a while and any information will help immensely.

Thank you!
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 19 2013, 8:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Canisters are now mandatory everywhere in the backcountry for food storage when not being prepared or traveling. That means your first day's meals do not have to fit but everything for the next morning onward does, including what thy refer to as. "Smellables", meaning things that smell attractive to bears and would still give thm something of a food "rewards", which the park works to avoid since bears that too much associate people with getting food sooner or later get too aggressive around people and are then killed. That catch phrase, "a fed bear is a dead bear" being literally true in these areas managed for visitor safety.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/bearcanisters.htm

There are canisters cheaply rentable at the park Wilderness Offices where you'll pick up your wilderness permit with 24 hour drop off return at many places including some or all of the entrances. The type they rent are the Garcia 812, not huge or the lightest but it will fit a reasonable number of people days of food (about 6 depending on your choices). One help is repackage everything that is in a stiff package (like freeze dried meals tend to) to get a better fit.

Haven't been out that way, the furthest south for me has been the Illilouette drainage, but its often been tempting as it looks nice.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 19 2013, 8:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yep. Bear cans are required.

From the top of the falls you should be able to do a nice loop to Grouse Lake, Crescent Lake, and around through Royal Arch Lake, Chilnualna Lakes, and back home.

Watch out for that first day.  The climb up to the top of the falls is long, steep and HOT.  Take your time, take plenty of water, and start early in the day.  Once you get up on top, the rest is gravy.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 20 2013, 12:51 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You camp where you find good spots. On durable surfaces (duff or dirt or rock) away from water and the trail, out from under dead trees that can drop branches on you. If you want a fire you should find an established fire ring, not make one. They are only permitted below 9600 feet btw.

Don't forget mosquito defense.

Not sure what you mean by enjoying the origin of the waterfall.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 20 2013, 4:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

hi. Thank You for all your informative responses.. I got a lot of value from all the answers.

AlmostThere: when i say the origin of the waterfall, i mean where the river turns into the waterfall. where the fall begins. I guess the other term would be the mouth of the waterfall ?

Thank You for the reminder about the mosquito defense. What about carrying a bear defense equipment (the red pepper spray the rei-person showed me ?) ?

One of the other concern after speaking to the ranger over the phone is,
if we decide to do the loop (which is the plan) -- from what i understand the distance from the ending point to the start point is a good 45 minute drive. And there are no shuttles available between these 2 points. So how do we get back to the point of origin where our car would ideally be parked ??

Bear Encounter: the worse case scenario if we are face to face with a bear, what should i/we do ?

Thank You again.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 20 2013, 4:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Bear spray is illegal within Yosemite National Park (and, frankly unnecessary as the Sierra black bears are soley interested (at best) in food you may be carrying, their diet mainly consists of vegetation not people, the ONLY animal fatality in Yosemite history involved a deer kicking a child)

"Weapons/Firearms

Other Weapons
The possession, use, or discharge of pepper spray (including bear spray), pellet guns, and BB guns in Yosemite National Park is prohibited."

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/weapons.htm

Here's the park's advice for these particular bears (bears in other regions learn different behaviors):
http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/scarebears.htm

I keep a clean camp and prominently use a canister which helps keep these powerful creatures at a distance to minimize "mistakes". When I see a bear or bears I do NOT approach, even if that means I have to detour or wait until they wander off as I can't tell males from females at a distance and cubs often keep a low profile and so approaching a bear that might have some unseen cubs nearby and thus possibly be mistaken as threatening the cubs is something I want to avoid.

What are the two points? Without that it's hard to offer suggestions other than rather than doing a one way to another trailhead do a lollipop with repeat of only that first/last few miles before/after the falls... maybe head out one way towards Buena Vista Peak and return on the obvious other route...

ETA: BTW, modifying your exit point doesn't effect your wilderness permit the way changing your entry would.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 20 2013, 5:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Oh and it's usually reffered to as the "top" of the waterfall while the place where the falling water ends it's drop is called the "bottom".
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 20 2013, 7:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thank You High_Sierra_Fan!!! Thank You bunches!

so i called Yosemite to find out what the names of the starting and the ending points were. And the ranger i spoke with was very knowledgeable and he said, "We could do a 8 Loop".. this way we won't be seeing the same things we saw on our way up. This solves the issue of getting from point B to point A. So now, the start and the end point will be Wawona Township. Problem Resolved.

Water Filteration device: Any recommendation on which one should i buy ?? how do i find out how much water i should carry before i will be able to find a stream where i can refill.. ?

Thank You!
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 20 2013, 7:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I started hiking Yosemite after many years of hiking in the deserts of the SW US.  It took me about 2 weeks to learn I no longer had to carry 2-4 L of water.  If you don't mind filtering more often, but less water each time, you can get away with carrying 1-1.5 L between water stops.  Fill your belly at the source, then carry 1L to the next source.  Most trips in Yosemite, this has become my routine.  Check your map and go from there.  I seldom can go an hour without crossing another water source there.  

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 10:04 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Where you're going? You could get away with a liter, but I always carry two. You are supposed to be drinking a liter for every couple of hours of hiking. You dry out fast up there.

That falls is not a single fall but a series of them. Pick the top of one. For a really good view of the lower cascades, stop along the side of the road in Wawona (in front of the hotel) and walk up the road through the meadow to the west edge, right where the meadow trail junctions with the road. Turn around and look up at the falls. You won't get that perspective from anywhere on the trail on the way up.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 11:32 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We use a katadyn hiker pro water filter, and it has worked quite well for us over the years.  Just make sure to pre-filter through a bandana if the water is at all cloudy or silty.
We like the fact that the filter let's us taste the lovely water in the Sierra

Tablets are a lighter option---but have a flavor.

Your route should have you at a lake every three or four miles---which is every couple of hours that you are hiking.  So you won't have any concerns about water.  take just enough to keep you hydrated on the trail, and then tank up at each lake.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 12:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(WhyNot @ Jun. 20 2013, 4:23 pm)
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Thank You High_Sierra_Fan!!! Thank You bunches!

so i called Yosemite to find out what the names of the starting and the ending points were.......

I don't understand this, both those locations would have been chosen by you when you filled out your application for your wilderness permit.

That having been said I'll strongly recommend you have and understand the detailed topographic maps for your route and it's surrounding area so that you will be able to successfully complete your hike safely. There are few to no signposts even on the trails in the Yosemite backcountry so your location and directions are very much your responsibility.

The maps will also answer your question about how much water to carry from one permanent water source to the next, I mention "permanent since this is another dry year and serasonal streams will be low or dry early. Count on lakes and bigger ponds and main branches of rivers but those blue dashed lines or the seasonally dry streams are unreliable.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 22 2013, 12:12 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(WhyNot @ Jun. 20 2013, 1:47 pm)
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when i say the origin of the waterfall, i mean where the river turns into the waterfall. where the fall begins. I guess the other term would be the mouth of the waterfall ?

The top is called the "brink" of the fall.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 9:57 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's the top. Who cares what you call it?

- Hike up in the morning, have lunch at the falls, and keep going - and you'll avoid the hundred day hikers who start too late in the day to avoid sweating their buns off.
- Camp on duff and not grass - it will decrease condensation in the tent and satisfy the request of the ranger for you to camp on durable surfaces. and there are fewer bugs in less green areas.
- Don't set up in illegal campsites that break the rules.
- Feel free to pack out any trash you might run into. Including and especially your own, INCLUDING used toilet paper as they request. (I encountered a pair of underwear this weekend. Picked it up with the end of my trowel to get 'em into the trash bag.)

you'll have a great time....


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 11:19 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(AlmostThere @ Jun. 24 2013, 6:57 am)
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Feel free to pack out any trash you might run into. Including and especially your own, INCLUDING used toilet paper as they request. (I encountered a pair of underwear this weekend. Picked it up with the end of my trowel to get 'em into the trash bag.)

What is the deal with that?  The last 4 hikes I have done in Yosemite, I have brought back someone else's underwear, mostly women's.  Glad they go straight into the trash, as it might make the wife a bit suspicious for it to keep happening.  


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 5:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ol-zeke @ Jun. 24 2013, 8:19 am)
QUOTE

(AlmostThere @ Jun. 24 2013, 6:57 am)
QUOTE
Feel free to pack out any trash you might run into. Including and especially your own, INCLUDING used toilet paper as they request. (I encountered a pair of underwear this weekend. Picked it up with the end of my trowel to get 'em into the trash bag.)

What is the deal with that?  The last 4 hikes I have done in Yosemite, I have brought back someone else's underwear, mostly women's.  Glad they go straight into the trash, as it might make the wife a bit suspicious for it to keep happening.  

People often dry things they've rinsed off the back of their packs and it's my observation those items are often not all that well secured, perhaps out of concern for damaging "delicates"?

I switched to a very light mesh bag for when my socks need extra drying after overnight hasn't completed the job for additional security.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 7:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Good enough explanation.  I was putting the blame on the men.  They are more likely to only bring one pair, and wear them for a week or 2.  I figured the women would be more prone to clean undies.  

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 9:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Jun. 24 2013, 5:57 pm)
QUOTE

(ol-zeke @ Jun. 24 2013, 8:19 am)
QUOTE

(AlmostThere @ Jun. 24 2013, 6:57 am)
QUOTE
Feel free to pack out any trash you might run into. Including and especially your own, INCLUDING used toilet paper as they request. (I encountered a pair of underwear this weekend. Picked it up with the end of my trowel to get 'em into the trash bag.)

What is the deal with that?  The last 4 hikes I have done in Yosemite, I have brought back someone else's underwear, mostly women's.  Glad they go straight into the trash, as it might make the wife a bit suspicious for it to keep happening.  

People often dry things they've rinsed off the back of their packs and it's my observation those items are often not all that well secured, perhaps out of concern for damaging "delicates"?

I switched to a very light mesh bag for when my socks need extra drying after overnight hasn't completed the job for additional security.

That doesn't explain why, when I wandered off into the boulder field west of the summit of Alta Peak, I found a bit of cloth on the ground and pulled - and up comes a king size pair of cotton boxers.

Who the #### buries their boxers up there? I don't really want to know - whoever you are, you can go dig in the bearproof trash can at the trailhead if you want 'em back.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 9:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Did you feel threatened?  Cotton kills, you know.  :)

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 11:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I was indeed frightened...

A hiker that big on a barren peak wandering around without his chonies?

OY.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 27 2013, 1:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

so, a week away and am excited.. Can't wait!!!
so now i am in the preparing mode.. here is the list of stuff that i have.. am wondering if there is anything that i am missing.

i have the following,
backpack
a down 32 degrees sleeping bag
sleeping pad
tent
stove and fuel
water filter
a day bagpack
food that will fit in a bear canister
flashlight and headlamp
first aid
mosquito repellant
clothes, beanie, socks etc..
Poles
a topographic map
a compass
bungie cords.
ziplocks, toilet paper

are there any other essentials that i am missing ?

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Exploration. Whether it's food, travel, the outdoors or the arts. Keeps life interesting and makes everyday an adventure! I've learned that you don't have to go very far to find adventures - there are usually plenty right in our own "backyards". It just takes the right attitude to go explore!
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 27 2013, 3:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Pot to boil water and add food or a kettle to boil water to add to a Mountainhouse style pouch? Eating utensils, bowl etc?

Water carrying/storage container(s)? Bottles, bladders etc.

Sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 27 2013, 5:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Matches or a lighter.  

No joke.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 28 2013, 12:08 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Layers of clothing to wear... it can get colder than 32 degrees. Though it's not too likely in the next few weeks at that elevation... but you don't want to be driven into the tent at dusk necessarily, just to stay warm... moongazing and stargazing are nice to do, and you might have to get up and out in the middle of the night...

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 04 2013, 11:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

The source of Chilnualna is up at Buena Vista Peak and surrounds. Early season the water sheets off the granite coming down and you can hear it running under your feet and under the snow as you hike down the slabs.  Several creeks join forces along the way creating the spectacular falls.  There's great early season hiking up there for those that aren't bothered by hiking in snow...:)

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