TR: Big Pine Basin - Day Hike to Second Lake

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shan1203
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TR: Big Pine Basin - Day Hike to Second Lake

Post by shan1203 » Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:01 pm

Happy New Year!

We've never been to the Sierras in winter, so when our New Year's Eve Grand Canyon trip was cancelled due to weather, we decided to cruise up the Sierra Eastside and look around a bit. Santa brought us each a pair of snowshoes for Christmas and we thought this might be the perfect place to find a use for them. We decided to see if we could make it up to the Lakes in Big Pine Basin and it proved to be a splendid way to spend the day.

We started off early, but not *too* early so the sun could shine a bit and chase off some of the cold. The first mile or so was relatively snow free and once we hit the snow, it was well packed and there was no need for the snowshoes.
First Lake.jpg
We didn't see a single person on the way up (not counting the friendly man we bumped into at the trailhead) and decided to stop at Second Lake for lunch and to enjoy the views. Everything was blanketed beautifully in snow and ice, it was a lovely site to see.
20150103_124503.jpg
As we snacked on our lunch, the lake made an interesting symphony of sounds that was clearly due to the ice/snow, but we couldn't quite put our find on what was going on...there was creaking and loud groans and occasionally the sound of two things colliding. The sun was shining strongly on the portion of the lake not in the shadow of Temple Crag and we spent about an hour there from noon to 1PM. We imagined the sounds were due to the ice contracting/expanding but were hoping that someone might have a more sound (punny, punny!) explanation.
Second Lake Surface.jpg
We didn't end up needing the snowshoes for this hike, but would've if we'd decided to press on past Second Lake or had we gone the counterclockwise direction towards Black Lake. It was a wonderful intro into Sierra Nevada winter hiking.

Happy Hiking,
Shannon
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Re: TR: Big Pine Basin - Day Hike to Second Lake

Post by giantbrookie » Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:07 pm

Thanks for leading off the year. Most of us are in our off season daydream mode. Someday I should do a winter hike like this. It wouldn't be so difficult for me to get to some nice west flank high country.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: TR: Big Pine Basin - Day Hike to Second Lake

Post by maverick » Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:23 pm

Very cool (pun intended) TR. Any shots of Second Lake with Temple Crag in the
background Shannon?
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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, an HST member: http://reconn.org

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Re: TR: Big Pine Basin - Day Hike to Second Lake

Post by shan1203 » Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:35 pm

Hi Maverick,

The sun was right over Temple Crag, so it was a bit tough to get a good pic looking in that direction. I also only had my point-and-shoot, although I did contemplate carrying the dSLR. Here's two of the best that I managed to get with Temple Crag in the background.
Second Lake w Temple Crag.jpg
Second Lake Pano.jpg
My husband may have a few better ones, we'll post more later if so.

Happy Hiking,
Shannon
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Re: TR: Big Pine Basin - Day Hike to Second Lake

Post by maverick » Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:49 pm

Thanks a lot Shannon.
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, an HST member: http://reconn.org

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Re: TR: Big Pine Basin - Day Hike to Second Lake

Post by Pulpit » Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:07 pm

Thanks for posting, I really enjoyed the winter photos and descriptions of the area.

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