5 Comments

  1. Peter Hirst
    Peter Hirst June 7, 2016 at 4:01 am

    Another interesting aspect of the Lyell Fork is where the water comes FROM. In August of 2013, at the height of the drought, I spent a leisurely day wending my way up Lyell Canyon, noting among other things, how desperately low the Lyell Fork and its tributaries (Rafferty Creek, e.g.) were. What really hit home was the thought of how fragile a river is compared to how we often think of it. Old Man River is really not old at all: he’s no more robust or eternal than this year’s runoff. Next day, after crossing the even more fragile and depleted section among the headwaters lakes, I ran into a real anomaly in a drought year: a cascade of pure, clear water, flooding and rushing across the trail: it seemed to be flowing at a rate equal to that of the entire stream that I had just crossed. I had to reassess my observation of the previous day as I realized that what I was crossing (and dipping my Sierra cup in) is indeed a good percentage of what is flowing to Hetch Hetchy, the San Joaquin and San Francisco, and its not this year’s runoff at all. It represents what is left of Lyell Glacier. Old Man River is really Old Woman Glacier, and she is dying.

  2. Kathy
    Kathy June 7, 2016 at 8:30 am

    Excellent post, and excellent comment from Peter Hirst!

  3. Ray Alvarez
    Ray Alvarez June 29, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    Hi Mr rippel I am finding it difficult to get a permit out of yosemite could I go further south entering a lower trailhead and hike back into yosemite then start the journey to Whitney?

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