Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lembert Dome - 3

Wilderness Permits Sign - Yosemite  2012

Walking Back to Truck on Tioga Road - Yosemite  2012

From yesterday: "Time went by, and although the sun was still fairly high by then it was after 3 PM: time to start back down. That's where Mike’s earlier failure to mark his return spot started to get him into trouble."

Mike’s theory for the descent was that since he had moved way over in one direction, he should move way back in the other direction. So he started to descend, downwards and to the east, the descent difficult in spots, even with Vibram soled shoes. Down below he spotted what he thought were the trees marking the trail entrance.

The slope grew progressively steeper and steeper, at various points requiring him to sit down and, yes, butt-slide, creeping cautiously downward. Alas, by the time he could recognize that he was coming down in the wrong spot, it was really too late to turn back. So he decided to at least get off the granite and onto solid ground, the thought flashing though his mind that he didn’t have a phone and that nobody knew where he was. A few last moments of steep butt-sliding, plus a last-minute back-to-front flip leading to a scary traverse of the granite, and he was off the rock and on the ground.

But on the ground where? Looking around he perceived what appeared to be the remnants of a trail: it was a trail, and almost might have been put there for the purposes of Mike. In retrospect, Mike should have followed the trail to his left in order to regain the main trail. But he didn’t know that. He started out to his right, and the trail started descending through the forest, sometimes blocked by fallen trees, but always reappearing. It wasn’t too long before he started hearing a familiar sound: the sound of traffic speeding by on highway 120. Eventually he was able to glimpse cars whizzing by and then the road, and across from the road, the Wilderness Permit office, quite a distance from where he had parked his truck! So he had come straight down from Lembert Dome to Tioga Road on a long-abandoned trail. After reaching the road he crossed over and walked back on the shoulder to his truck.

Afterwards, did Mike return to his campsite and have a beer? Probably, yes.


judit said...

Maybe even 2 beers. There's a time and a place.

Mike Mundy said...

I think a beer upon campground arrival.

Then, later, a nice red wine, maybe zinfandel, with the beanie-weenie dinner.

judit said...

Ah, a well thought out pairing.