Category: Snow sports

Backpacking the Vogelsang Loop in Yosemite

We really enjoyed being hit by the first storm of the season.

We really enjoyed being hit by the first storm of the season.

I like backpacking in foul weather and rotten conditions. This weekend we were out in the Sierra’s largest September storm that I can remember.

The forecast was spot on. By early afternoon it was blowing sideways. A strong cold front blew late into the night, then crisp blue skies greeted us in the morning. We front-loaded the hiking, choosing to keep walking and do most of the miles on Saturday in the storm. Aiming for a lower, more protected lake was part of the goal. My four-season tent was a good choice.

With 6-8 inches covering the trail we set tracks on the seven miles to the trailhead.

I’d saved this loop for an off-peek period as it’s one of the most popular in the country. We nearly had it to ourselves.

I got to see the Rim Fire on the drive home. My primary feeling is that of disappointment, knowing that the burn extends across ridges and valleys far beyond the eye can see. I’m aiming to do a burn exploration and fungi hunting trip next spring.

Snowshoing in Lake Tahoe

I’ve been on four snowshoe trips so far this winter.

The Eagle Creek Canyon Trail leaving from Emerald Bay was the best. I recommend it to everyone. It’s easy, has views of Lake Tahoe, gets you to a frozen lake that is surrounded by peaks and has other people around. Be sure to check avalanche conditions and know what you’re doing. There are definitely steep slopes around the route.