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Trip Report-Sunset Lake, June 2013

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Trip Report-Sunset Lake, June 2013

Postby richlong8 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:52 pm

I haven't posted on High Sierra Topix since last summer, and I have missed reading and posting on what I believe is one of the best sites out there for the wilderness traveler. Unfortunately, my High Sierra hiking season was limited to 4 weekend trips last year. I injured my back in June, and ended up having 2 back surgeries in the fall. Back to work for a couple of months, thank the Lord, but a long ways off from being able to backpack. But with spring just around the corner, I have been thinking much about the mountains, like I normally do, and hope to do a few day trips this year, to places like Yosemite valley, Kings Canyon floor, Tuolomne Meadows, etc; but serious backpacking will have to wait until 2015. Anyway, I thought I would post this weekend trip from last year to the Baboon Lakes/Sunset Lake with a few pictures.
I met my friend, climber Randy Powers, at the Sabrina Basin trailhead on Saturday morning. We made our way up to Blue Lake, seeing noone, and after catching a few trout, headed around the lake until we reached a junction with a trail going off to Baboon Lakes. This trail makes its way to the head of Blue Lake, and as we climbed above the lake, we hit snow, and the faint trail was not in sight. We kept heading up, and a little to the left, and eventually reached the outlet stream and first Baboon Lake, probably about midday.
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After hanging out there awhile, and finding a couple of decent campsites, we decided to push on ahead to Sunset Lake, and make our camp there. We fished selectively and made our way with occasional signs of a trail, staying to the left, around the Baboon lakes, heading for the obvious inlet creek of the upper lake. We followed this inlet creek up a beautiful little valley, crossing back and forth, in snow much of the time until we hit the outlet stream and shores of 11000+ Sunset Lake.
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Sunset Lake was about half iced out. Fortunately for us, the ice was on the opposite side of the outlet stream, and we fanatically fished for a few hours the abundant ravenous brookies. There was adequate room to camp on the rocky knoll above the lake shore.
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During the night it was interesting to listen to the wind and ice. We woke up the next morning to find that the ice had coalesced during the night and the open water was now iced over. Quite beautiful, and if we had stayed past midday, I think it might have opened back up again.
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We left Sunset Lake about 10am, quickly traveling down to the Baboons, wandering, and fishing for half a day or so before traveling back down to the trailhead. We left the High Sierra about 6pm, to make the long drive back home. A great weekend trip, seeing about 4-5 people in the area the whole weekend. For fishermen, no lunkers, but the brookies were not what you would call stunted either. A lot of fun, in a beautiful setting.
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Re: Trip Report-Sunset Lake, June 2013

Postby rlown » Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:11 pm

no fish pics? Beautiful time of year otherwise.. maybe a week early but still sweet!
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Re: Trip Report-Sunset Lake, June 2013

Postby richlong8 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:24 pm

1 mediocre fish photo
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Re: Trip Report-Sunset Lake, June 2013

Postby gary c. » Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:37 pm

Very nice pictures of some beautiful country.
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
-- Lionel Terray
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Re: Trip Report-Sunset Lake, June 2013

Postby intrek38 » Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:24 am

Thanks for posting those pic's. The snow and ice seem to really add to the solitude of the area that time of year. Thanks
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Re: Trip Report-Sunset Lake, June 2013

Postby texan » Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:24 pm

Sunset Lake was a good fishing lake a long time ago. I haven't been there in over 20 years but you brought back some good memories. Thanks for sharing.

Texan
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Re: Trip Report-Sunset Lake, June 2013

Postby hikerdmb » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:26 pm

That little valley heading up to Sunset is very nice indeed. Been up there a couple of times with amazing flowers. Great photos. Hope you are back on the trail soon.
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Re: Trip Report-Sunset Lake, June 2013

Postby RiseToADry » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:31 pm

Out of curiosity, do you remember when in June you went on this trip?

Thanks for the report!
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Re: Trip Report-Sunset Lake, June 2013

Postby richlong8 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:11 pm

I believe it was June 8-9(Sat/Sun) acc. to the photos.
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Re: Trip Report-Sunset Lake, June 2013

Postby maverick » Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:07 pm

Thanks for the great TR, love the photo's, good time of the year for photography. Happy
to read that your able to backpack after your surgery, this is really good news Jim!
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Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Trip Report-Sunset Lake, June 2013

Postby richlong8 » Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:35 pm

No, unfortunately, Maverick, no backpacking until 2015. But I think I can do some "flat" walking without a pack this summer, if there is such a thing in the Sierra!

Regards, Richard.
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