Omg apparently I am just going to be perpetually 1-2 months behind on documenting my life. But still worth it!!!
A group of us hiked Cloud’s Rest about a month ago. We found an Airbnb near Groveland and drove over on Friday afternoon after work. Arrived around 10pm, and ktfo’d. Woke up early (4:30am!!) to get to the trailhead at around 7am.
Something we were mentally prepared for but didn’t know the scope of, was the water crossing at the beginning of the hike. During the dryer days of the year, there are stones that cross a shallow lake. But after the heavy snowfall and rains, water level was still high in July. We hiked up our pants, held our bags over our head, and crossed. It was a pretty short crossing, only about 3-4 minutes, but the water was freezing cold!!!! I wore quick-dry shorts, and the water went to my hips. It was pretty fun, and a new experience. I found that my Merrill barefoot shoes do great in the water, and dry very quickly.
Basically, the entire hike was an ode to loving my shoes.
We all forgot bugspray, so we got annihilated by mosquitoes for the first and last few hours of the hike at lower elevation.
Because of the snow, we lost access to the trail a lot – much much help from GPS watches got us close to the route, though for a few miles we were just randomly trudging our way through pine groves on snowbanks. Pretty fun, and different than what I’m used to. The altitude put the hike on a whole other level of difficulty; it was completely unexpected for me. I’d take a medium-pace up a medium-hill that felt totally normal for my body, and then all of a sudden I’d be breathing really heavily and needing a break. Most of us were also nursing slight headaches the entire day as well.
We finished around 5pm, which was much, much longer than the expected time from Internet research. We had a lot of delays from the water crossing, plus a lot of breaks from being tired, plus the large group took multiple breaks a lot. We spent about 30 min-an hour at the top, where the sun was bright, no bugs, and a 360 view of Yosemite Valley.
Overall, it was quite fun! I think it’d be more enjoyable in the late summer, since most of it is shady. I’d definitely like to train for more at-altitude hikes though!