Meeting time (trailhead) 8:00 am
Distance 10-14 miles (depends on condtions, speed of group etc...)
Elevation Gain around 3500 feet.
Difficulty, strenous, for regular advanced hikers only!!
Meetup Fee $1
Parking Fee $ 6 or free (car shuttle, one lot free, other has fee)
Closed hike , you need to answer the questions which come up when you Rsvp and go on the waiting list.
you should have done similar hikes lately, this is not a beginner hike, and you should **not** make this your first sierra hike!!
I will be picky who to add to the yes list,
Group limit 12 (wilderness regulations)
top pic is from last year, lake aloha and lake of the woods seen from ralston, second pic desolation lake with the "blue Ice", from less than 2 weeks ago, third is upper part of horsetail falls less than 2 weks ago.
This will be a somewhat similar to the hike I organized 2 weeks ago http://www.meetup.com/SuperFab/photos/2077881/ , the difference will be I included a peak (Ralston Peak 9235 feet, ) which will give us a nice view of Desolation Wilderness and part of lake tahoe. We will be hiking several miles on snow.
Here is the same hike from last year, but we went the other direction, (and be advised there is little snow in the pic's , there will be a lot more this year!!)
we will start the hike with a long climb to Ralston Peak about 4 miles and 2800 feet, we continue down on the other side towards the PCT and depending on conditions, time of day etc.... I will make a decision which route we take, there are several options, all the way to Lake Aloha and return along American Lake, desolation lake to ropi lake and down horsetail falls., this would be the prefered route and the longest one.
Shorter options would be via lake of the woods and towards desolation lake and down along the ropi cascade to ropi lake and down horsetail falls.
shortest lake of the woods straight to ropi lake and horsetail falls
IMPORTANT THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW , before you even think about signing up.
** SNOW** and lots of it ,
**there may be "post holing"
** caution needs to be exercised when stepping from snow onto rock and rock onto snow, watch for hollow spaces, use a hiking pole to check if you have doubts that the snow will hold up.
You should have hiked under condtions like this!!
** Rock scramble down horsetail falls
** Bouldering down horsetail falls.
picture links http://www.meetup.com/SuperFab/photos/2077881/34889771/#[masked]
(5 pic's #100 to #105)
Group Effort!! Unlinke most of my hikes I have to insist that nobody goes ahead, (at least most of the time), since I have a certain route in mind, and once we hit the snow the trail will be most likely disappear.
I am also planning on (maybe) not following the trail all the way to ralston peak, I would like to try the route towards cup lake and then turn left to the peak.
some via a log, across a dam, maybe a slim chance we have to take shoes off. ( 2 weeks we walked across a dam, waterproof shoes did the trick for most, we are not crossing this dam, but others)
** waterproof shoes (or socks ) are recommended ( a few muddy areas and lots of snow to walk on )
** hiking poles are highly recommended as they help you on the snow.
** sunglasses, sunscreen.
**food, water, dress in layers
*** you should have hiked in the mountains and know what to bring
Trail head is at Horsetail falls. http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=200+Ygnacio+Valley+Blvd,+Walnut+Creek,+CA+94596+(Walnut+Creek+Station)&daddr=Twin+Bridges,+CA&hl=en&ll=38.810294,-120.124286&spn=0.005902,0.008637&sll=38.382819,-121.086117&sspn=2.00213,3.208008&geocode=FTZhQgIdTmi5-A%3BFXE2UAId1gvX-Cmtj1fgR4qZgDEIpn6FM6dV6g&mra=pe&t=h&z=17 .
Est. driving time from Walnut Creek 2hrs 40 / 150 miles
Trail head is located on Hwy 50 just a few miles beyond the small town of Strawberrry. the parking lot is on the left, you are passed the parking lot when you reach the point where Hwy 50 has a sharp curve to the right and starts going up steeper.
I probably will meet at my Condo in Walnut Creek, unless there are a lot of us meeting in walnut creeek.
Meeting time walnut creek be 5:20 and leave at 5:30
Carshuttle we need to carshuttle for this hike, the plan is to leave at least one car at horsetail falls and then drive up to the ralston peak trailhead 2-3 miles away.
Waiver: review and sign my copy at the trailhead