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Fall South Lake - North Lake Doable?

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Fall South Lake - North Lake Doable?

Postby Johnvon » Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:09 pm

Hi: I am hoping to hike South Lake to North Lake this fall. Due to a work assignment I can't get away until the week of Oct. 9. Has anyone hiked this loop in mid-October? I'm planning on 7 days.

Many thanks.

-John von



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Re: Fall South Lake - North Lake Doable?

Postby kpeter » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:29 pm

I have not hiked that late. I don't see why the loop would not be doable--and easier than it is now with all the snow gone from Muir Pass etc. Days are a lot shorter, so you may want to get up by flashlight and hike at first light.

However, all the usual weather precautions about hiking in October apply. Do your trip as early in October as you possible can. Monitor the weather very carefully. Cancel if the weather is not perfect. Take clothing and shelter to survive a freak snow storm.

October can be a nice time to hike, but an early snowstorm in October can be very dangerous. Such a storm took the life of a member of this board. Another famous story is Charlie Hench, who hit an early October storm. He missed Italy Pass from the west and headed over a cliff--became the subject of an episode of "I Shouldn't be Alive." Not to be too scary, but October trips demand even greater care and safety than usual.
Last edited by kpeter on Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Fall South Lake - North Lake Doable?

Postby rlown » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:39 pm

and to add to kpeter's comment. If you get stuck, your vehicle is stuck and you cant get down to the gate. quite the hike out then. Watch the weather closely before you close on your plan. My mantra.. "Don't die stupid." It doesn't matter at some point where your body is.
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Re: Fall South Lake - North Lake Doable?

Postby LMBSGV » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:50 pm

As someone who loves going to the Sierra in October, I’d like to add to kpeter and rlowns sage comments. Take at least two or three days extra food. If you are unfortunate enough to get a snowstorm, depending on where you are in relation to a trailhead, the best thing to do is often to hunker down and wait it out for a couple of days. Also, take some sort of emergency location device, such as an InReach, SPOT, PLB, or satellite phone. If you’re confronted with a real emergency situation and require help to get out safely, don’t hesitate to ask for that help. Be sure to use the ReCon form on this site and leave it with someone. Finally, as they both said, watch the long-range weather forecast closely. If the forecast is unsure, you might want to car camp and dayhike. I’ve rescheduled three October trips and cancelled one due to the forecast. You can also get really great weather. One of the best trips my wife and I had was over Columbus Day: sunny and in the 70s every day (but cold every night).
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Re: Fall South Lake - North Lake Doable?

Postby rlown » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:08 am

Johnvon wrote:Hi: I am hoping to hike South Lake to North Lake this fall. Due to a work assignment I can't get away until the week of Oct. 9. Has anyone hiked this loop in mid-October? I'm planning on 7 days.

Many thanks.

-John von


We all should have said, welcome to the HST forum!

Also, if you do go, please post a TR.

Russ
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Re: Fall South Lake - North Lake Doable?

Postby Space Cat » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:11 am

Last year we headed over Piute Pass on the last weekend of September. Temps dropped to 10* in Humphrey's basin. We were caught a little off guard but it was fine. Just FYI, it can ge bitterly cold overnight that time of year
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Re: Fall South Lake - North Lake Doable?

Postby The hermit » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:52 am

I've done that hike after Oct 15th. Great time. Like others have said BE PREPARED. I only saw one other person on the Jmt section. If something goes wrong it could be a long time before someone finds you. Nowadays I carry a PLB
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Re: Fall South Lake - North Lake Doable?

Postby Johnvon » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:39 am

Really appreciate the advice. Keep you posted with a trip report.
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