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TR: Rae Lakes Loop May 8 - May 11

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TR: Rae Lakes Loop May 8 - May 11

Postby jkl123 » Tue May 12, 2015 9:59 am

Completed the Rae Lakes Loop this past weekend. Conditions were okay for most of the way. The only problem we encountered was some weather and snow on Glen Pass. Day 1 we hiked up to Upper Paradise, where it rained that night
Middle Paradise Valley.jpg
Rainy and Snowy first day on the trail
. The second day we made it up to Rae Lakes, where it was clear and very cold!
Castle Meadows .jpg
Isolated snow and thunderstorms were a constant all weekend
The largest of the lake still has ice on it
Rae Lakes .jpg
A cold night at Rae Lakes
. The third day we climbed Glen Pass. We used crampons and ice axes, but three other guys crossed it with just trekking poles (I would advise bringing an ice axe at least)
Glen Pass.jpg
Soft enough to kick steps later in the day, but exposed and icy in the mornings
. There was some patches of snow from the Pass to the junction with the trail to Junction Lake. Stream crossings are uneventful, even Bubbs Creek and Woods Creek wouldn't be too troublesome to cross. The last day we hiked out from Junction Meadow to Road's End before noon.



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Re: TR: Rae Lakes Loop May 8 - May 11

Postby Bluewater » Tue May 12, 2015 10:28 am

Thanks for your TR and photos. Very little snow at Rae Lakes and Glen Pass looked like it could be done with just microspikes and trekking pokes with some care. It's good to see the what the conditions are like after the latest storm. Thanks again!
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Re: TR: Rae Lakes Loop May 8 - May 11

Postby Hobbes » Tue May 12, 2015 1:10 pm

jkl123 wrote:Completed the Rae Lakes Loop this past weekend.


Wow, that is some great information on trail conditions.

Jim & I have been dancing around whether/when to do a 3-day Taboose->Kearsarge hike this month. We were curious what 10k looked like after the latest weekend storm. Another week+ of weather looks to be headed to the Sierra, but it shouldn't alter the base conditions too much from what your photos indicate. While we're taking spikes for Glen (and maybe Pinchot), we didn't want to be dealing with snow on the ground below 11k and/or completely iced over lakes.

Now we just need to wait for the weather to clear ... May 23rd?
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Re: TR: Rae Lakes Loop May 8 - May 11

Postby maverick » Tue May 12, 2015 1:53 pm

Hi jkl123,

Welcome to HST! Thank you for posting this TR and pictures!

So many members have inquired about doing this loop early this year because of the
drought conditions, these photo's shows them the conditions in the most precarious
part of the route, Glen Pass.

If you have any more photo's of Glen Pass that you could post, in the "Conditions Reports
and Information" section, it would be appreciated.

Also, if you have any shots of the Bubb's Creek crossing at Junction Meadow, that to
would be very helpful.

Thanks

PS If you get the time, and intro would be great :) : viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9329
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: TR: Rae Lakes Loop May 8 - May 11

Postby jkl123 » Tue May 12, 2015 1:56 pm

Hobbes wrote:
jkl123 wrote:Completed the Rae Lakes Loop this past weekend.


Wow, that is some great information on trail conditions.

Jim & I have been dancing around whether/when to do a 3-day Taboose->Kearsarge hike this month. We were curious what 10k looked like after the latest weekend storm. Another week+ of weather looks to be headed to the Sierra, but it shouldn't alter the base conditions too much from what your photos indicate. While we're taking spikes for Glen (and maybe Pinchot), we didn't want to be dealing with snow on the ground below 11k and/or completely iced over lakes.

Now we just need to wait for the weather to clear ... May 23rd?



We didn't go over to Kearsarge, but Charlotte lake was clear and there was spotty snow at the JMT-Kearsarge trail junction. North Faces above 10k are holding snow, but all the new snow melted out rather quickly. Lakes above 11k were all frozen over, but appeared to be melting out.
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IMG_3536.JPG
Lakes were generally frozen above 11k
IMG_3536.JPG (147.29 KiB) Viewed 243 times
IMG_3543.JPG
JMT - Kearsarge Pass Junction
IMG_3543.JPG (120.1 KiB) Viewed 243 times
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Re: TR: Rae Lakes Loop May 8 - May 11

Postby jkl123 » Tue May 12, 2015 2:08 pm

maverick wrote:Hi jkl123,

Welcome to HST! Thank you for posting this TR and pictures!

So many members have inquired about doing this loop early this year because of the
drought conditions, these photo's shows them the conditions in the most precarious
part of the route, Glen Pass.

If you have any more photo's of Glen Pass that you could post, in the "Conditions Reports
and Information" section, it would be appreciated.

Also, if you have any shots of the Bubb's Creek crossing at Junction Meadow, that to
would be very helpful.

Thanks

PS If you get the time, and intro would be great :) : viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9329



WIll do! Although I pumped water on Bubbs Creek at that exact spot I did not take any pictures there. The water was probably no more than knee deep at most and not as swift as you would expect this time of year.
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Re: TR: Rae Lakes Loop May 8 - May 11

Postby Hobbes » Tue May 12, 2015 3:07 pm

jkl123 wrote:North Faces above 10k are holding snow, but all the new snow melted out rather quickly. Lakes above 11k were all frozen over, but appeared to be melting out.


Excellent. When you said it was cold, was it cold during hiking, cold during the night and/or both? When you say cold, was it sub-32 hiking, sleeping and/or both? I've got enough to get down to 25 (20 if I push it) @ night, but I was thinking of taking an add'l poly base layer for hiking if it's difficult to stay warm while moving.

Did you use your crampons/axe to go straight up Glen, or did you traverse following the trail route? We're taking spikes/poles since we're going to traverse the basic trail route; probably take along GPS to locate/follow the trail.
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Re: TR: Rae Lakes Loop May 8 - May 11

Postby maverick » Tue May 12, 2015 3:20 pm

Hobbes,

You'll be fine with poles and spikes from the picture that was posted, time your ascent/descent later
in the morning when the snow is starting to soften.
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Re: TR: Rae Lakes Loop May 8 - May 11

Postby jkl123 » Tue May 12, 2015 3:25 pm

Hobbes wrote:
jkl123 wrote:North Faces above 10k are holding snow, but all the new snow melted out rather quickly. Lakes above 11k were all frozen over, but appeared to be melting out.


Excellent. When you said it was cold, was it cold during hiking, cold during the night and/or both? When you say cold, was it sub-32 hiking, sleeping and/or both? I've got enough to get down to 25 (20 if I push it) @ night, but I was thinking of taking an add'l poly base layer for hiking if it's difficult to stay warm while moving.

Did you use your crampons/axe to go straight up Glen, or did you traverse following the trail route? We're taking spikes/poles since we're going to traverse the basic trail route; probably take along GPS to locate/follow the trail.



We hiked in long pants and light fleece pullovers during the first two days (it was probably in the 50s around 8k and in the mid 40s at 10k). It warmed up a lot when the sun came through, but when the clouds came in and the wind kicked up it got cold quickly. When we slept at Rae Lakes it was cold enough that a thing layer of ice formed on the lake and in the tent it was cold enough for our water bottles to get a good layer of ice. I would guess that lows were in the upper teens. I was fine with a 15 degree down bag and I wore a pair of fleece pants and a sweater. When we camped lower it was much warmer (in the high 30s or low 40s at night) Once the sun came up it warmed up quickly and we were all sweating buckets while going up Glen Pass. When we went up the pass we kinda followed some of switch backs until we could traverse to the low point on the pass. We used crampons and an ice axe, but the crampons weren't really necessary. Micro spikes would work fine it you want the extra traction. It was warm enough to kick in steps and use trekking poles, but I like the security of being able to arrest a fall so we used an ice axe (plus we had carried it all the way there, so might as well use them!). Poles and spikes is all you need. When we got back to the car at Roads End it was 65 at noon.
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Re: TR: Rae Lakes Loop May 8 - May 11

Postby jenreyn » Tue May 12, 2015 3:47 pm

NWS just hoisted Winter Storm Watch for this Thursday. Another foot of snow expected. Also, at this point, another storm to follow through after this one.....I was thinking of doing this loop here in the coming weeks however will have to see what happens with the new snow.
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Re: TR: Rae Lakes Loop May 8 - May 11

Postby Hobbes » Tue May 12, 2015 4:57 pm

jenreyn wrote:NWS just hoisted Winter Storm Watch for this Thursday. Another foot of snow expected. Also, at this point, another storm to follow through after this one.....I was thinking of doing this loop here in the coming weeks however will have to see what happens with the new snow.


jkl123, that is great information. Jen, exactly - it's looking like a no go until at least Fri 5/22:

Image

I spoke to an Inyo ranger yesterday who said the HM parking lot was melted out the next day after this recent storm. JKL's photos also indicate the coverage isn't too bad, so the gamble will be the next storm doesn't alter the basic pack to any great extent.

Mav, over the last few years doing quickie, early season SOBO JMT section hikes, I must sound like a crotchety broken record advising NOBO PCTers I come across to hit the passes early in the am. Do they listen? No way - if it's the afternoon, they're not laying up to wait an extra day. LOL - until they posthole a sprained ankle.
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Re: TR: Rae Lakes Loop May 8 - May 11

Postby maverick » Tue May 12, 2015 5:14 pm

Snow is expected all the way thru the 19th according to the NWS in the Glen Pass area Hobbes, possibly
beyond that date (only shows 1 week ahead):


Tonight:
Partly cloudy, with a low around 27. Breezy, with a west wind 20 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph.

Wednesday:
Mostly sunny, with a high near 43. Southwest wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Wednesday Night:
Partly cloudy, with a low around 22. Windy, with a west southwest wind 20 to 30 mph decreasing to 10 to
20 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 40 mph.

Thursday:
Snow showers likely, mainly after 11am. Some thunder is also possible. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 32.
Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow
accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.

Thursday Night:
Snow showers likely. Some thunder is also possible. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 19. West northwest wind
10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

Friday:
Snow showers likely, mainly before 11am. Some thunder is also possible. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 31.
West wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

Friday Night:
A 40 percent chance of snow showers. Some thunder is also possible. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 22.
North northeast wind 5 to 10 mph.

Saturday:
A 30 percent chance of snow showers. Some thunder is also possible. Mostly sunny, with a high near 39.
North northwest wind 10 to 15 mph.

Saturday Night:
A 30 percent chance of snow showers. Some thunder is also possible. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 27.
Calm wind becoming north northeast around 5 mph after midnight.

Sunday:
A 30 percent chance of snow showers. Some thunder is also possible. Partly sunny, with a high near 41.
South wind around 10 mph.

Sunday Night:
A 30 percent chance of snow showers. Some thunder is also possible. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 27.
West southwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming light west in the evening.

Monday:
A 30 percent chance of snow showers. Some thunder is also possible. Partly sunny, with a high near 41.
South southeast wind around 5 mph becoming southwest in the morning.

Monday Night:
A 30 percent chance of snow showers. Some thunder is also possible. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 28.
South southeast wind around 10 mph.

Tuesday:
A 30 percent chance of snow showers. Some thunder is also possible. Partly sunny, with a high near 43. South
southwest wind around 10 mph.
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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