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Central Valley Hiking Group Pages

The best of the best - patch worthy hikes-

The Dirty Dozen (moderated by Carlos)

1) Mt. Langley
2) Moose Lake
3) Cloud's Rest from the Valley
4) Bunnel Cascade
5) El Capitan via Upper Yosemite Falls
6) Alta Peak
7) Diving Board
8) Mt Silliman
9) Sawtooth Peak
10) Yosemite North Rim (Upper Yosemite Falls-North Dome-Snow Creek-Valley)
11) Half Dome
12) Copper Creek (Roads End to Granite Basin)
13) 4-Mile and Pahono to Tunnel View
14) Trans Sierra (any route)
15) Mineral Peak

Magnificent Ones (moderated by Karol)

1) Redwood Canyon - moderate
2) Mist Falls - moderate
3) Panoramic Trail from Glacier Point to Valley Floor - moderate
4) Snow Creek Trail from Rd 120 to Valley Floor - moderate
5) Mosaic and Golden Canyon with Gower Gulch Loop - moderate, little rock scramble
6) The Mixed Bag - Moro Rock, Buck Rock, and Buena Vista Peak Moderate
7) Balconies (Pinnacles NP) - Moderate
8) Bear Gulch - Bat Cave to Reservoir (Pinnacles NP) - Moderate
9) Pier to Rock - Cayucos to Morro Bay - Moderate
10) Monterey to Asilomar SP - Moderate
11) Saddlebag and 20 Lakes Loop - Strenuous
12) Montana de Oro Cliffs Trail SP to Disney Point (Buchon Point) - Easy/Moderate
13) The Valley Floor Loop - Moderate
14) Red Rock Canyon - Easy/Moderate
15) Mist Trail to Nevada Falls - Strenuous

Tenderfoot (moderated by John W.)

1) Lady Bug
2) Mirror Lake Loop
3) Kaweah Oak Preserve
4) Potwisha to Hospital Rock
5) Sentinel Dome/Taft
6) Lewis Creek Trail
7) Nelder Grove
8) Million Dollar Mile to Stevenson Creek Bridge
9) Tokopah Falls
10) Fresno Dome
11) Chicago Stump Trail and Boole Tree Loop
12) Two for one - Buena Vista Peak and John Muir Grove
13) Hetch Hetchy: Wapama Falls
14) Wawona Meadow Loop
15) Shadow of the Giants Loop

Every hike must be with an recognized organizer or event host with Central Valley Hiking Group and open to members through Meetup Software.
Must be able to prove, by means of historical attendance in CVHG Meetup software, including picture, you have completed 12 of the 15 hikes to earn a patch with stated group title.
Dirty Dozen allows complete club history to qualify for patch.
Both the Magnificent Ones and the Tenderfoot require the conditions have been meet starting September 2014.
You will need to pay for the patches you earn - the earned patches must be purchased through the committee while the plain logo patch you can purchase through the vendor.

First and Always:

You should always leave with someone reliable your itinerary - where you are going, when you will be back, who to call if you aren't back by that time (the Forest Service, the National Park Service in the park of your destination, a State Park, or any combination of those if you are backpacking through various jurisdictions).

Any descriptive information (or a picture on a camera phone!) of you, what you are wearing and/or what you are carrying helps too, so write that down as well so if you are lost, the caller can provide that information to search units. As helicopters do sweeps of large areas, information on your tent model and coloration helps too. Write down where you are starting your hike and where you will come out of the wilderness. Include the type of shoe you are wearing and what size.

You should do this when you hike with groups, when you dayhike, when you are camping, when you are backpacking, OHVing, kayaking, mountain biking - any time you are going into the wilderness, whether it's 1, 5, 10 or 50 miles. Don't assume your spouse, mom, sister, uncle, etc will remember anything about you or your clothing or gear, or where they dropped you off/said you would park the car. Provide good information. If your itinerary changes at the wilderness office when you're picking up a backpacking permit, call and leave a message for your reliable person at home who will report you missing if you are not back on time.

Take this seriously. It can save lives. Odds are good you'll never have a problem - but if you do, this makes a Really Big Difference to the people who will be going out to find you!

Second, But No Less Important

PAY ATTENTION. Awareness can rescue you before you need rescue.

Watch where you walk - from holes to tripping hazards to snakes, you need to be aware of where you're stepping, and whether the rock or root is stable before putting your weight on it.

Pay attention to where you are. Know what direction you are going, note the position of the sun and any major landmarks around you, glance back at the trail behind you - be aware of where you are! This takes some practice but it will decrease your chances of getting turned around and taking the wrong trail or going the wrong way if you go off trail for some reason. Prevent yourself getting lost! Don't assume the group/person you are with is doing this for you. Don't rely on having a clear trail with big signs that tell you where to go. Have a map, look at it before you start walking, and be attentive - maps age, trails degrade, people create "use trails" that are not going to be on the map, signs fall down or mysteriously disappear, not all signs list all destinations on a route - paying attention alerts you to such things when you need to know them - BEFORE you are lost.

Be a good group member. If the group you are with appears to be off track or going the wrong way, SAY SOMETHING. Don't assume that the person at the front of the line knows where he/she is going - anyone, regardless of navigation ability, is capable of being lost or turned around or just off the planned route. It's better to double check your position often. Wait for others at trail junctions and don't go off on your own. If you say you will wait in a particular spot - wait there. Don't wander off.

Pay attention to weather conditions and check with Forest Service or Park Service before going out! People assume that summer here is summer up high - there is still a lot of snow at high elevations while it's hot down low, and crossing steep snow fields without proper gear is dangerous! Always check conditions for your destination.

Carry your 10 Essentials!! They don't call them essentials for nothing! I like to keep a lighter and a small pocket knife **in my pocket**. If all else fails, I'm probably going to hang onto my pants. Day hikes are the most important time to carry the 10 Essentials. On the little 4-5 hour day hike the last thing you are expecting is to be lost or injured. I call it the "Gilligan's Island Scenerio." That's when you need to be prepared! Read about the 10 Essentials Here.

When Attention Isn't Enough - Now I'm Lost, Maybe.

Have a plan of what to do in an emergency and follow it - don't be in denial that it couldn't happen to you. It can and does happen, even to experienced backpackers! Never assume that a simple four mile dayhike is completely safe. There is always the possibility of getting turned around and off track - you can merely decrease risk by pre-planning, learning map/compass basics, and having adequate emergency provisions in your pack.

There are two stages of lost - stage one is when you THINK you're lost, and stage two is when you KNOW your lost. During stage one, people will inevitably try to self-rescue, which is good. If you haven't been doing it before (obviously), Stop and Look Around. Sit down, eat something, take a good drink of water, relax, and think about where you might have gone wrong. Don't be afraid to use the whistle. You may be a little embarrassed to discover you're only a few feet from the trail, but it's preferable to spending the night.

Stage two is when denial has given way to panic. This is the time to STOP MOVING. Find a safe spot, get comfortable, and STAY PUT. Fortunately, you had the foresight to bring your 10 Essentials. You have basic shelter, fire-starting capability, a little bit of nourishment - you can hang out for several days, if necessary. Enjoy the solitude of the forest, and interrupt it regularly by blowing your whistle in bursts of three (you brought a whistle, right?). The odds of dying are small, but you need to exercise mental discipline. Imagining you are going to be stuck here for a week will give you a useful perspective, and encourage you to plan. When the rescuers get there and find you relaxing in your makeshift lean-to on a bed of fragrant Fir boughs, reading a magazine, enjoying the crackle of the campfire, munching on a succulent trout that you caught with your bare hands, they're going to think they found the wrong person.

Oh, and do something to be seen. Put out the red emergency poncho in the meadow with SOS in rocks on it. Set up the yellow tent in an open area. If you hear aircraft get out there and wave your arms. Have this plan in mind before you go - make yourself more likely to actually do it. People who are lost frequently don't.

Other Considerations

Regarding snow travel, I'm sure everyone is aware of so-called snow bridges. A lot of people don't realize that they often occur in the trail tread, in tiny little snow drifts that you wouldn't think twice about. You're not going to fall to your death in them, or be swept head-first down a roaring torrent, but they can be very hard on ankles. tib/fibs and knees. Never assume that snow is sound. Tread lightly.

When crossing streams in high flow, use the buddy system. Two or three people crossing, facing upstream with arms linked, is considerably more stable than crossing by yourself. Unbuckle the waist strap and sternum strap on your pack, and loosen the arm straps before entering the water. If you are swept off your feet you need to get out of the pack as rapidly as possible, and you don't want to be fumbling with buckles. Believe me, nothing you are carrying is worth your life.

Assess log crossings for stability - rock crossings too. If you are wearing a pack and walking on wobbly rocks, what are the chances of getting hurt? Weigh options and choose the safest. Wading is not as dangerous as a spindly pine tree cracking in half when you are 10 feet up and halfway across. Cold feet is a nuisance, a cracked skull is an immediate life-threatening emergency. And if that row of wet rocks is on the edge of a steep and precarious dropoff into boulders, do you want to walk on them, or wade farther upstream where a fall merely results in getting wet?

Bottom Line

Don't be afraid. Be prepared and have less to be afraid of. Having a plan reduces panic, which reduces the chances of charging through the wilderness desperately driving yourself to exhaustion thinking about how no one knows where you are.

Stay hydrated, stay warm, stay informed (about conditions and basic skills that contribute to prevention of lost/injured/poor decision making ability) - stay happy and have fun. Think of these things as a safety net you'll never have to use, if you prepare adequately and take a few simple steps to not get into a bad situation in the first place.

Some resources:

Backpacker's Field Manual
CDC on water purification methods
Altitude Sickness
Heat Exhaustion

The top two killers in Yosemite National Park:
Falling off rocks
Falling into water

There have been injuries caused by animals in Yosemite. One death - due to an encounter with a deer.

Don't go near the animals. Don't let them go near you - yell and wave arms. Teach them to be wild.

Am I in danger from mountain lions?
Am I in danger from bears?

Table of Contents

Page title Most recent update Last edited by
Change Your Profile Picture September 28, 2016 11:22 AM anonymous
About Central Valley Hiking Group February 2, 2017 9:02 PM anonymous

Fresno, CA

Founded Nov 17, 2007


Karol Seabolt, Carlos Lorenzo, Cathey Withrow, Greg Hutchings, John, John P, Lee, mark d

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