Hiking Yosemite

After a small Friday student party on campus with burning benches and free drinks for everyone, which was eventually stopped by campus security, we set off really early for Yosemite on Saturday (two weeks ago). “We” as in Pablo, Katja & Debora (two of his English course classmates), me, and Rick’s car.

Four hours of driving and two Mountain Dews later we arrived in the park to pick up our Wilderness Permit and bear canister. Together with camp gear we had rented from REI, we were ready to rock.

We started the hike from the trailhead “Mirror Lake towards Snow Creek” a little later than planned, and it also didn’t help that nobody told us that the original path had been destroyed by a rock slide. So after getting lost a little, we crossed the creek (it’s always deeper than it seems!) and found the trail again.

Finally, the real part of the hike started: a pretty steep elevation change of about 800 meters. You can have a look at the trail map if you’re interested. Even if it doesn’t seem too long, it’s pretty exhausting with a backpack carrying a tent, sleeping bags, food, etc, and even more exhausting with two—because after a while, the girls obviously couldn’t carry theirs anymore. But the views were definitely worth it, even though there wasn’t really time (and especially energy) to take pictures.

We somehow understood why this was called the most strenuous hike in Yosemite by some people, and it made sense that this was one of the few ones where Wilderness Permits had still been available. On the whole hike up, we met not much more than three people. The other 100,000 seemed to prefer staying in the valley.

In the end, we were really happy to arrive at the rim of High Sierra, where we found a very nice place to put up our tent, with a ready-to-use fire ring. Italian Dry Salami tastes even better after being carried with about 25 kg of other stuff for six hours! And, believe it or not, we even had two tiny bottles of wine to celebrate our success.

As it became dark very quickly, I made good use of my newly purchased Black Diamond 75 lumens headlamp.

When camping in Yosemite, you have to store all your food, sunscreen, soap, etc, in a special bear canister, which we hid under some branches. Interestingly enough, it was in a different spot on the next morning. Apparently a bear played around with it during the night, although we didn’t see or hear anything. But who or what else could it have been?!

The hike down on Sunday was twice as fast as the way up, as expected. This time a thunderstorm provided the little adventure factor.

After taking a freezing and therefore rather quick bath in Merced River, we started our drive home. Stopped in Oakdale for some juicy Jack-in-the-Box burgers.

Really tired, but filled with nice impressions and good air, I fell into my bed.