We picked up permits and spent the night at a motel in Mammoth, then took the shuttle to Agnew Meadows and began the trip. We hiked directly to Garnet Lake on the trail since this was where the gang had ended the trip last year. The next morning began the high route proper.
I will write a proper day by day description of our trip someday (perhaps). For now I am just listing some high points:
I was experimenting for the second time with a no-cook scheme, and found that I was perfectly happy eating stick cheese, crackers, almonds, and trail mix. I also found that 1.0 pounds per day of this worked out just fine for me. We had several days where temperatures dropped below freezing and ice formed in our water bottles, but I was fine with my down quilt and a bivy bag.
Along the way we began pondering the issue of crossing the "no-camping zone" around Tuolumne meadows. The way things were shaping up, we awoke at our camp at Vogelsang lake and began hiking, but realized that we were going to arrive late in the day and face the need to hike to a legal campsite considerably on the other side of Tuolumne. Our group was carrying a satellite phone, and made a call to his wife, who then made some calls and managed to get reservations for our group that night at the "lodge" at Tuolumne. This was a delightful (and unplanned) break in the hike. We had showers, a night in a tent cabin, a fine dinner at the lodge with nice folks. On the hike the next morning, I realized that once we were on the north side of the road and following the trail through dense forest, it would be quite possible to do a night of stealth camping without hiking as far as the legal limit, but that would skip a shower as well as a nice dinner and breakfast.
Tom's hiking pages / firstname.lastname@example.org