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May 17-19: Desolation Wilderness or Emigrant Wilderness?

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May 17-19: Desolation Wilderness or Emigrant Wilderness?

Postby drleong » Wed May 14, 2014 10:51 am

Hi everyone. I'm new to the forums and have enjoyed browsing some of the topics you all have posted. Wanted to get some advice/opinions on a 3 day/2 night backpacking trip this weekend. Group of 3 of us, in our late 20's, with moderate backpacking experience. Looking to challenge ourselves.

We're considering doing a lollipop loop out of Echo Lake going past Lake Aloha to Dick's Lake around Dick's Peak and then coming back going past Lake Schmidell, Lois, Clyde and over Mosquito Pass and out.

Alternatively, thinking a loop in Emigrant Wilderness going out of Crabtree to Gem Lake and then out to Deer lake, Wood Lake, Pingree Lake and then loop back.

My biggest concern is probably trail conditions and if we'll be clear of enough snow to make it to these places. Anyone been out to either of these places or have some thoughts on which trek sounds more feasible? I've been to DW in late summer but never this early in the year and I've never been to EW but have always wanted to check it out.

Thanks!
David



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Re: May 17-19: Desolation Wilderness or Emigrant Wilderness?

Postby TahoeJeff » Wed May 14, 2014 11:15 am

This report shows a lot of snow still in Deso:

viewtopic.php?f=34&t=10926&p=82563&hilit=DESO#p82563
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Re: May 17-19: Desolation Wilderness or Emigrant Wilderness?

Postby maverick » Wed May 14, 2014 11:21 am

Hi David,

Welcome to HST! Please read: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4205
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

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: May 17-19: Desolation Wilderness or Emigrant Wilderness?

Postby scap » Wed May 14, 2014 12:41 pm

I was thinking about going on a short trip to Crabtree trail as well but Crabtree road is still closed according to the rangers at Pinecrest. One of them said there is a snow drift that is impassible by car but to call back on Friday to see if they are able to open up any roads.
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Re: May 17-19: Desolation Wilderness or Emigrant Wilderness?

Postby maverick » Wed May 14, 2014 12:45 pm

Hi Scap,

Welcome to HST! Thanks for helping a fellow member out with your information. :thumbsup:
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

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: May 17-19: Desolation Wilderness or Emigrant Wilderness?

Postby drleong » Wed May 14, 2014 12:55 pm

Thanks for the info Scap and for the welcome Maverick.

Backpacking experience: Lvl 2
Terrain: mainly trail, some river crossing exp
Main interests: High lakes, photography, big mtn scenery, and peak bagging (looks like it might be a little early for that).
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Re: May 17-19: Desolation Wilderness or Emigrant Wilderness?

Postby Vaca Russ » Wed May 14, 2014 1:23 pm

drleong wrote:My biggest concern is probably trail conditions and if we'll be clear of enough snow to make it to these places. Anyone been out to either of these places or have some thoughts on which trek sounds more feasible?


David,

Welcome to HST. Your planned trip to southern Deso is going to be in snow and ice. My GF bagged Ralston yesterday and she said everything is still frozen that way. Jeff showed you my pictures.

Hey, why don't you consider Northern Deso? It has been clear of snow for quite a while now.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=10826

053.JPG


064.JPG


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-Russ
” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
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Re: May 17-19: Desolation Wilderness or Emigrant Wilderness?

Postby drleong » Wed May 14, 2014 2:05 pm

Thanks for your advice, Russ. The photos of North Deso definitely make it seem a lot more doable compared to those of South Deso. I'm not as familiar with the north. Any specific trails, loops, you'd recommend in north Deso? We're looking to do around 25-30 miles and are up for some peak bagging if the opportunity arrises.
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Re: May 17-19: Desolation Wilderness or Emigrant Wilderness?

Postby Vaca Russ » Thu May 15, 2014 7:41 am

David,

Check out Acme Mapper:

http://mapper.acme.com/

You could take Icehouse Road to Loon Lake Campground. The gate will probably be shut and locked. Park there, at the gate. This will add about a half mile trek to the Rubicon Trail TH. Follow the trail along the southern edge of Loon Lake. Follow this trail past Spider Lake and Buck Island Lake to Rockbound Lake. This is about a 7 mile hike. You could go as far as Rubicon Reservoir. That is a 9ish mile hike.

This puts you in the Rockbound Valley. I’d be willing to bet you could hike all the way to Campers Flat before you see any snow (probably farther). The only problem will be mimicking Julius Cesar by “crossing the Rubicon”. With the recent warm temperatures you can expect maximum runoff. I bet the Rubicon is really booming right now!

I would turn around and retrace my steps after exploring the Rockbound Valley. But you could do a loop if you are willing to climb off trail in snow. You could cross country up to Highland lake and hop over the ridge to Forni Lake. This route would offer you the opportunity to bag McConnell Peak and Tells Peak (both on the Ogul List). From Forni you could take trails and old logging roads back to Loon Lake campground.

If you wanted to be really adventurous you could take the trail up to McConnell and Leland lakes and then hop over the ridge to Lake #3. This route would offer you the opportunity to bag Silver and Red Peaks (both on the Ogul List). From Lake #3 you could take the trail back to Van Vleck and then follow the winter cross country ski trails back to Loon Lake campground.

If you do decide to bag these peaks you might strongly consider bringing along crampons and an ice axe.

-Russ
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Re: May 17-19: Desolation Wilderness or Emigrant Wilderness?

Postby drleong » Thu May 15, 2014 11:10 am

Thanks for all the great info, Russ! =D> =D> =D>
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Re: May 17-19: Desolation Wilderness or Emigrant Wilderness?

Postby FeetFirst » Thu May 15, 2014 4:53 pm

Russ,

Re northern Deso, mums the word. :-#
I'm still rather convinced that you can achieve more than you've ever dreamed of if you just lower your standards.
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Re: May 17-19: Desolation Wilderness or Emigrant Wilderness?

Postby FeetFirst » Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:19 pm

FeetFirst wrote:Russ,

Re northern Deso, mums the word. :-#


Of course I was kidding, mostly. ;) Anyways, I recently visited Highland Lake for a night starting from Van Vleck TH and bagged Tells Peak on the return trip. I should have moseyed on over the ridge to McConnell Peak, but time was short. Highland Lake is an absolute gem and I had it all to my lonesome on Labor Day weekend. I'll post pictures & short report soon.

Image

Image
I'm still rather convinced that you can achieve more than you've ever dreamed of if you just lower your standards.
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