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Ansel Adams Wilderness 3day/2nights backpacking

  • Aug 31, 2013 · 8:00 AM

READ the event description before signing up!
Also read these pages if you haven't done so already since you joined the group:

This event is about:
Take pictures of Sunset, Milky Way, Startrails at a scenic location in Ansel Adams Wilderness. This is a two nights backpacking event with camping in wilderness on Labor Day weekend.

For this event is very strenuous hiking required at elevation above 10000ft! Hiking total for 3 days 18-23miles and elevation gain/climb of 4000+ft.
Before starting any training to be selected for this event please contact the wilderness office and ask them if permits are still available as it shows up now as reserved!

- meet in the morning on Saturday August 31st in Mammoth Lakes (ready with backpack packed)
- hike to 1000 Island Lake = 6.5miles with around 3200ft elevation gain
- exploring the area, looking for shooting locations and setup tent
- Sunday September 1st we decide on which area to continue and explore for the day where to setup for the night, options are Garnet Lake, Waugh Lake, Gem Lake
- hiking on Sunday can vary from 4-8miles depending on where we go, elevation gain will be less than 1000ft
- on Monday morning we hike straight back with planed arrival early afternoon
You'll receive a more detailed itinerary after you have been selected.

Event Host:

Event RSVP/waitinglist, attendance, limit etc:
The waiting list at this event is to allow people to show interest and to select the people that meet the requirements. There will be NO lottery. The first 3 people who meet the requirements will be selected and set to going.
People with the most recent
no-shows or who have proved troublesome to deal with will get the lowest priority at the selection process.

  • Event limited to:   4 people (incl. event host)

If you change to a "NO" status less than 3 days prior to the event you are counted as a No-Show.  I'm tracking no Shows for this event. Guests are not permitted.

Requirements that need to be met to be selected!:
- Answer all questions that are asked when signing up on waiting list
- You need to have done a backpacking trip
- You need to have completed before August 12th a hike of at least 5miles at elevation above 8000ft and elevation gain of at least 1000ft with backpack (packed with content/weight you will have at the backpacking trip); suggestions for Yosemite: Cathedral Lakes (upper Lake), Sunrise Lakes (upper lake), Elizabeth Lake  .... more here
- need to know your plan what you'll do to stay fit for the trip

Get required wilderness permit (after you have been selected):
Select as permit type Overnight and entry date August 31st. For permit issuing station select Mammoth Lakes Visitor Center and NOT the Mono Basin Center.


  • Wilderness permit: $5/person + $6 reservation fee (to be paid directly on
  • Bear canister: can be rented in Yosemite for $5/week or other places that rent approved bear canisters

Accommodation suggestions before/after event:
Read here:

required(after you've been selected):
- purchase the wilderness permit within 2 days and email receipt as proof to me
- complete Emergency Contact Form and return it to the event host
- complete a
Waiver of Liability and return it to the event host

- camera with wide angle lens (with effective focal length of 24mm or less) + standard zoom lens
- for taking Milky Way pictures you need a camera that handles ISO 2000 well (or acceptable for you)
- 1-2 spare charged camera batteries or battery grip or external power source
- sturdy/solid tripod where nothing wiggles or is lose
- for taking star trails you need an intervalometer which can be one integrated in the camera (max 30s shutter speed) or external intervalometer
red light! (or flash light that can be switched to red light) + spare battery and/or spare light
- comfy and warm hiking shoes, warm layered clothing, knit hat, light gloves, heavy socks : from day to night temperatures will drop up to 45°F
- water at least 64 fl oz
- water purifier
- enough food for 3days
- camping gear (tent, sleeping bag...)

recommended to bring:
- insect repellent, itch relief
- 2nd camera with wide angle lens (if you want to take startrails and Milky Way pictures at the same time)
- mat/pad to sit or knee on
- extra socks
- energy drink if you need it ...

More suggestions and tips about backpacking here:

Sunrise: 6:28am Sunset: 7:24pm
Moonrise September 1st/2nd (illumination 18%/10%): 2:57am/3:53am
Civil 6:00am  7:52pm
Nautical: 5:28am 8:23pm
Astron': 4:55am  8:56pm
Milky Way: visible from around 8:30pm


Driving time from East Bay to Mommoth Lakes area around 5hours.
Carpooling is strongly recommended. There is a National Park fee (to get through Yosemite) per vehicle of $20 (valid for a week).

Q&A about nightphotography:

If you want to do star trails and haven't done it yet you may want to read up on that,

There are also plenty other blogs/articles about that on the Internet.


Join or login to comment.

  • Hai T.

    It was a great 2-night photography. Thanks to everyone!

    September 4, 2013

  • Laura Northrup P.

    Thanks for planning this Enrico, and then re-planning it when the weather interfered with the first plan! Very enjoyable trip.

    September 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Nonetheless, it was a great trip! Thanks Enrico for setting this up and coming up with a backup plan.

    September 2, 2013

  • Enrico

    It was unfortunate that we couldn't go backpacking because of the T-storms the whole weekend. But I had a great time with you guys at this impromptu event in the Eastern Sierras.

    P.S. I cannot change the event name/description once the event started.

    September 2, 2013

  • Laura Northrup P.

    What's the bear canister situation for this trip?

    August 29, 2013

    • Enrico

      haven not seen anything on their website...

      August 29, 2013

    • Laura Northrup P.

      I called. For anyone else curious- they rent them there for $1/day minimum $5.

      August 29, 2013

  • Deb


    do we have to get our own permits ? if I get selected to join this meetup and don't get the permit then what happens ?

    August 10, 2013

    • Deb

      okay...i must have all jumbled up and thought I need to get permit before signing up (that's what was my question too before)..we did Cathedral lake last yr (not sure if you remember) and have done day hikes to CL before...I possibly won't be able to do CL before August 12th (which happens to be incidentally today). I am hoping that I can join you guys next time but have a request that you post these events a bit earlier, if that is possible.

      August 12, 2013

    • Enrico

      The event description clearly says the wilderness permit after you have been selected. I set this event up on july 16th (almost 4 weeks ago).

      August 12, 2013

  • Patrick K.

    Glad to see there's some backpacking photographers in this group! I may sign up for a future meetup. This weekend, I am going to McGee Pass with another group, which is not far from where you will be going at the end of the month.

    1 · August 7, 2013

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