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Mt. Lyell backpack questions

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Mt. Lyell backpack questions

Postby Yashesh » Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:02 am

Hi,
I am new to this forum & this is my first post. Apologize if some this has already been answered before.
I am planning to backpack upto Mt. Lyell this weekend (Jun 23/24) & had a few questions about the Lyell Canyon campground & the climb itself-

1). Has anybody been there recently? How are the snow conditions on Lyell glacier? Do you need crampons, ice-axe, etc?
2). We plan to camp at Lyell Canyon (mostly lower canyon). Does this campsite have bear-safe food storage compartments? It would be nice if we don't have to carry bear canisters.
3). Can we refill water at or around the campsite?

Appreciate the help.
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Re: Mt. Lyell backpack questions

Postby webenji » Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:44 am

I've been looking to get out to Lyell myself and have been scavenging any information I might get over the last week or so. Here are my best answers for you:
1) The most recent trip report dates back from last week-end (June 16-17) and can be found at http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,56832. As you can see (especially from the last picture), the trail is mostly snow-free, although muddy, until you get near the Lyell-Maclure saddle. There seems to be plenty of snow on the saddle and Lyell Glacier. A summitpost user also posted a zoomed picture a while ago (dated June 2nd): http://www.summitpost.org/phpBB3/north-peak-conness-conditions-t62321.html#p878364. It is always recommended, although not always necessary, to bring crampons and an ice-axe for Lyell, but looking at the picture and knowing that it is still early season, I would say that they will be very useful for this week-end. They will also offer you a greater number of options once you get there... No word on the snow condition there, but I think they would good assuming you get there early enough.
2) There are no established campgrounds along Lyell Canyon. It is a backpacking destination with dispersed camping. As such, there will be no bear lockers and you will have to carry and store your food inside a bear canister.
3) There is plenty of water all along the trail and many lakes. I don't think that water will be a problem. You get to choose your camp, so pick one with easy walking distance to a water source (remember you have to camp at least 100 feet from water sources).

Did you get wilderness permits for your trip? Will you be going for a 1st come 1st serve permit? My main constraint for climbing Lyell is getting permits for it and I have been pessimistic getting a permit for a week-end. I would love to get some beta on the 1st come 1st serve (week-end) permits...

Hoping this helps...
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Re: Mt. Lyell backpack questions

Postby Yashesh » Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:20 am

Thanks! The snow on the saddle does look quite thick. I am just a little critical about all that weight.
I was able to get a permit from an online group of folks heading there this weekend. Judging by the crowds, I'd say the first-come, first-serve quota would run out within the hour they were made available.

In case I end up going, I will make sure to share my experience here.
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Re: Mt. Lyell backpack questions

Postby artrock23 » Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:27 pm

Yashesh wrote:Thanks! The snow on the saddle does look quite thick. I am just a little critical about all that weight.
I was able to get a permit from an online group of folks heading there this weekend. Judging by the crowds, I'd say the first-come, first-serve quota would run out within the hour they were made available.

In case I end up going, I will make sure to share my experience here.


I usually get my permit in advance, via telephone or online (it's worth the small fee). Anyway, i'll be looking for your HR.

Does anyone here approach the ascent from the East side (starting from Silver Lake)? It appears to be a considerably shorter route, if i'm not mistaken.
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