/ 12 Week trip to Yosemite/Indian creek/?
My two main objectives are climbing in the valley with the hope of getting something big done and going to Indian Creek to get some classic crack action but I'm also open to suggestions.
Plan is to fly to SF and try and hitch/get public transport from there to the valley to start the trip then head to indo after it gets cooler.
Is it better to plan solidly and book places or is it ok to try and freestyle it for the best part (I'm not very good at planning ahead)?
I'm aware that the maximum length of the trip on a holiday visa is 90 days - are there any other visa issues or any other technicalities I should be aware of?
I'd do Sept in the Valley and then jog out to IC for October. Best months for both. If you want to spend extra time over here, come a bit earlier and spend the first weeks in Tuolumne (as mentioned above) and then migrate down to the Valley in Sept (or earlier if the temps are nice). Enjoy.
Depends on the temps in the Valley. If the Valley is roasting, then a fair share of folks will head up to Tuolumne. There's a message board up there as well, but understandably it doesn't get anywhere near the traffic as the Camp 4 board. You can always check the Camp 4 board as well right when you get in, there are usually a couple posts on there for folks looking for Tuolumne partners. Another option is to hook up with partners beforehand via Supertopo or MountainProject... I know lots of people who have gone that route and met great climbing partners (note: avoid rockclimbing.com like an ebola-infected monkey). Tuolumne is a phenomenal place to climb - very different vibe compared to the Valley.
If I head out at the beginning of September, will there be places to climb through November? Will there still be people around in certain areas?
September is prime-time. I went out years ago on Sept 9th - the day all my teaching mates went back to work. I had 10 weeks, started in Tuolomne, had a three weeks in Colorado, back to Tuolomne then down to the Valley about a month. Pretty much brilliant weather throughout, trip of a lifetime.
So you managed to climb through the best part of November then? That's good news!
Also look at flying in and out from different airport - saves the round trip and gives you more options. We've done this on a number of long trips and it works well.
One of the best things about long trips is that you can go to some off the beaten track venues - buy rock and road and go native! Have a few headline places to go, but be fluid. This can lead to just fantastic places and experiences.
I'd also consider buying a vehicle for that length of time - adds more fun to the trip. You meet some cool people when trying to repair a cheap vehicle.....
November in Indian Creek is PHENOMENAL. You can most definitely climb there during November. I usually squeeze in at least 2 trips during the month. Thanksgiving (4th Thursday in November) tends to be the closing trip of the Creek season for most people, as it does get chilly after that, but I've climbed there in December as well... as long as the sun is out and the wind isn't howling, it's climbable there.
As for people to climb with, definitely. You can post up on the message board or just walk around the Bridger Jack camping area. Definitely also see if you can get some folks lined up beforehand to meet you there. Climbing at the Creek can be 'interesting' in terms of having enough gear... think of Incredible Handcrack, which can eat up ten #2 camalots (#3 Friends) with ease. Same goes for other cracks and their respective sizes. So it's important to pair up with someone that has access to a sizeable rack. Again, Mountainproject.com is a great place to get partners. And don't miss Castle Valley on your way in/out of the Creek... Castleton Tower is not to be missed.
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