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30863Re: [John Muir Trail] Half Dome Logistics

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  • Erica
    May 27, 2013
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      Thanks Alex! We're actually camping at/right past half dome junction before hiking halfdome, so we should be in a prime position to just jump on half dome trail first thing in the morning. I was actually wondering where the closest/best camping spots to the junction might be? And about how long it takes to summit without anyone one the trail (if we left at 5am for example from the junction about how long it might take).

      The (lack of) water issue those first 2 days really has me nervous - if anyone has any suggestions for a plan of attack that would be awesome!

      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Alex Cheng <ralexcheng@...> wrote:
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      > Here is my stab at answering your questions.  See my answers in CAPS below...
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      > --- On Thu, 5/23/13, Erica <xericamunsonx@...> wrote:
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      > From: Erica <xericamunsonx@...>
      > Subject: [John Muir Trail] Half Dome Logistics
      > To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
      > Date: Thursday, May 23, 2013, 7:57 PM
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      > We're planning on doing Half Dome early on day 2 (Labor Day weekend) - I was told that with a Sunrise/Merced permit we could camp anywhere past Half Dome Junction. To avoid crowds, and get a good start on our day I want to go first thing in the morning.
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      > A few questions:
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      > - What's the best place to camp that first night that will have us close enough to the junction to jump on the trail first thing in the morning?THE BEST PLACE TO CAMP THE NIGHT BEFORE YOU JUMP ON THE JMT IS THE BACKPACKERS CAMPGROUND IN YOSEMITE VALLEY.  IT'S QUITE CLOSE TO THE HAPPY ISLES TRAILHEAD.  (ALL THE OTHER CLOSER CAMPSITES ARE CAR CAMPING SITES THAT ARE ALREADY BOOKED.)  YOU CAN EITHER CATCH THE SHUTTLE TO THE TRAILHEAD OR TAKE A 20 MINUTE HIKE TO THE TRAILHEAD.
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      > - The sunrise that morning is 6:30am - what time would be recommended to start up? Breakfast on the trail? How long (without traffic jams) does ascent/descent back to JMT junction usually take?THE FIRST PART OF THE TRAIL WOULD PROBABLY BE CROWDED STARTING AROUND 8AM.  IT'S QUITE NARROW UP TO THE VERNAL FALLS BRIDGE.  IF YOU THEN DECIDE TO TAKE THE MIST TRAIL, IT'S VERY NARROW (BUT VERY SCENIC & WITHOUT ANY HORSE POOP) AND CAN GET QUITE CROWDED IN THE LATE MORNING.  THEN THE TRAIL FROM THE TOP OF VERNAL FALLS TO THE TOP OF NEVADA FALLS IS USUALLY NOT AS BUSY, BUT QUITE EXPOSED TO THE SUN.  AFTER NEVADA FALLS, THE TRAIL CONTINUES TO BE QUITE HOT STARTING AT MID-DAY.  IT WOULD PROBABLY BE NICE TO HAVE YOUR BREAKFAST AT THE TOP OF VERNAL FALLS.
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      > - Based on the dry year, I'm trying to figure out the best water plan for these first 2 days. I need to make sure I have water to re-hydrate dinner and breakfast with, to ascend half-dome and get us to Upper Cathedral Lake that night. From what I've gathered on the forum there won't be water at Sunrise Camp (might Sunrise Creek be totally dry?). What would be the reliable sources between LYV and Upper Cathedral?THE MERCED RIVER WILL ALWAYS HAVE WATER, BUT ONCE YOU LEAVE THE MERCED RIVER, THE CREEKS AND STREAMS COULD BE DRY.  YES, BOTH SUNRISE CAMP AND SUNRISE CREEK COULD BE DRY ON LABOR DAY.  IN NORMAL YEARS, I'VE SEEN SECTIONS OF SUNRISE CREEK NEARLY DRY IN SEPTEMBER.  
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      > - In the Erik the Black book there is a water source off the half dome trail. Is this a reliable source?I'M NOT FAMILIAR WITH THIS SOURCE.  I'VE NEVER LOOKED FOR IT.
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      > I should mention that I'm not totally married to the idea of Half Dome, if water looks to be a potential issue.
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