Friday, 5 September 2014

Little Yosemite Valley to Sunrise Creek

8.39 Miles
748m Ascent

I had a much better night’s sleep, probably due to being tired, all that fresh air!  The campground was awake early, but it was after 9 before I got going.  My lack of training was reflected in my lack of camp routine.  I was just slow getting organised. 

The trail heads up towards Half Dome and hits a nice 300m climb up switch backs within half a mile of the camp.  Despite being fairly early it was getting warm quickly.  Something I was worried about.  My pack felt good and didn’t feel overly heavy, yet my pace was stupidly slow.

At the top of the switchbacks the trail splits away from half dome and instantly got quiet.  Up towards half dome the trail was very busy, yet just after the junction there was solitude.  From this point on I saw 9 people in total.

The path flattened out but felt like it was constantly climbing.  I was going slowly and felt pretty wiped out most of the day.  I was drinking, probably 5 litres at least all day yet it seemed like it was pouring out me faster.  My shirt was wringing wet.  My GPS said I averaged 1 mph, yet it felt slower!

The views down into the valley were great.  There was a small fire over at Starr King but by all accounts it was being left to do its own thing.  Two days later it burnt 4000 acres, led to hundreds being evacuated and burnt through the very place I was stood.

I had intended to reach Sunrise High Sierra camp but at around 17.00 I decided to pitch camp just after crossing Sunrise Creek.  I had good water and a nice camp.  It was around 4 miles to Sunrise HSC and at my current pace it would have been dark before I got there.

The camp was a great spot, but it hit me quite soon how alone I was.   It was miles to the nearest person and I have to confess I was unnerved a little.  Eating my tea (I had to force it down, I just wasn’t hungry) I noticed movement to my side.  Two coyotes came down to the creek, drank and wandered off, seemingly oblivious to my presence.  Of course my camera was over by the tent!
Sadly I think this whole area was hit by the fire two days later.

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