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Trip Report 2014 to East Lake

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Trip Report 2014 to East Lake

Postby bandguy5686 » Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:36 am

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Right off the bat: After reading this forum for awhile, I know that many of you are HIGH adventure. I've always been a trail hiker and have done very little off-trail hiking. You all have me interested. I apologize if this ON TRAIL report is not that exciting to many of you, but the trip was a real eye-opener for me and I thought I'd share.

I re-started my Backpacking career with a trip out of Road's End to East Lake in June 2014. I had just finished my yearly teaching assignment and was ready for some quiet times. I arrived at Cedar Grove the night before and packed my trusty old Kelty Tioga:

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Dang heavy! I'm learning all the time. Much lighter THIS year (2015) but still working...I had owned this pack and gear since the 60's as a teen! (Yes, those peace signs are contemporary...gifts to me in 1969!

I started from Road's End in the morning and humped up into upper Bubbs Creek. I was on a fish mission, so several stops yielded some nice Rainbows. this lovely pool sent me into joyland:

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The view down canyon:

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I have to be honest: Hiking this trail after so many years off kicked my booty. But at the same time, on arrival at Junction Meadow I was "re-hooked" on this activity. (I got a good dose of humility when I awoke the following morning when I met some young people who hiked up in HALF THE TIME it took me and were headed on a climb around Mt. Bago THAT DAY. Studs all!)

Day 2 was the trip up to East Lake and Lake Reflection. Good cup of coffee and some oats and I'm ready to go-sore but excited! Crossed Bubbs and made my way up the trail to the East Creek bridge (what a view):

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Hiked slowly up the hill and arrived at East Lake in the early afternoon on a beautiful clear day. This is why we love it isn't it? =D>

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In fact, it was so beautiful I decided to just lay over at East and fish my way up to Lake Reflection. So much deadfall made the stream fishing difficult but once I got to the lake I got on em. Small brook trout mostly but maybe I caught a golden? I'm not sure but it sure was a pretty fish. I was afraid to have my phone out there so no picture! :angry: I had a fly rod and I got out on the lake for some distance. But there's a limit with the flyrod. I'll take this up on the "fishing hole" forum but welcome any comments.

When I arrived at Lake Reflection is when the change happened. I stopped complaining internally about the workout and said to myself "this is the thing!" Yes, it's difficult physically but I bet it is for all of you. I looked around and just wanted to go on! I'm not super proficient with compass, so I'm worried about off trail but I think I NEED to go on from a place like this to see what is out there. I saw this view:

ImageUntitled by Kirk Clague, on Flickr

...and I know there is more out there to explore. So I hope to do that. I returned to East Lake and had a wonderful evening. Caught, cleaned and ate two lovely brown trout out of the lake...yummy!

Day 3-Pounded my way all the way out. I needed to get back for an appointment but I knew I would be back. And now (in 2015) I did. I"ll report on that trip later, but for now...onward:

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Re: Trip Report 2014 to East Lake

Postby rlown » Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:49 am

NIce report! Leave the peace signs on! At least you're back out there :thumbsup:
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Re: Trip Report 2014 to East Lake

Postby maverick » Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:09 pm

Hi Kirk,

Thanks for the entertaining TR and pretty photo's, especially the East Lake shot. We here at HST appreciate all adventures into the back-country, whether it is on, or off-trail. :nod:
Nice Kelty. ;)
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: Trip Report 2014 to East Lake

Postby copeg » Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:21 pm

Thanks for the trip report! That area is well worth the effort to get there.
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Re: Trip Report 2014 to East Lake

Postby crazyexplorer » Thu Aug 06, 2015 4:32 pm

great report. brings back memories of last year trip to East Lake and Reflection.
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Re: Trip Report 2014 to East Lake

Postby deadeyes » Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:10 pm

Nice report, and I LOVE the peace signs! You may want to migrate them to a more contemporary pack though. ;)

When you are ready to venture off trail, do it safe in the knowledge that a little preparation will help you see how easy it is to navigate around in most parts of the Sierra. It truly is a special place.
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Re: Trip Report 2014 to East Lake

Postby giantbrookie » Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:59 pm

Nice report. Love that pack. My own external frame pack of that era (imitation Kelty= REI) more or less "blew up" in 1982 when I ran down a slope with it--apparently accumulated fatigue in the welds built to failure when I did so much bouncing. I ended up hiking out of a spot in the Marble Mtns with my pack lashed together with cord.

One doesn't have to go off trail to thoroughly enjoy the High Sierra---plenty of great trips can be had on the trails--and one certainly doesn't need to apologize for an "on trail" report. I've been to East Lake twice, in 1979 and 1994, both on rather memorable trips. The '94 trip was also a funny indication of how a fish can "grow" by successive hand offs of stories. I caught a nice rainbow there (only rainbow among the gaggle of medium sized browns my wife and I caught) and by the time my wife and I had hiked out to Road's End, the circulating stories along the trails had increased the size of the fish to the point it would have truly been the fish of dreams. In any case nice report, and like everyone else here "welcome back to the High Sierra".
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
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Re: Trip Report 2014 to East Lake

Postby Sittingbull » Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:41 pm

That's a beautiful trip report. I'd love to do that trip!


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Re: Trip Report 2014 to East Lake

Postby bandguy5686 » Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:00 pm

giantbrookie wrote: I've been to East Lake twice, in 1979 and 1994, both on rather memorable trips. The '94 trip was also a funny indication of how a fish can "grow" by successive hand offs of stories. I caught a nice rainbow there (only rainbow among the gaggle of medium sized browns my wife and I caught) and by the time my wife and I had hiked out to Road's End, the circulating stories along the trails had increased the size of the fish to the point it would have truly been the fish of dreams".


Thank you giantbrookie! I would call it "fish inflation" but the reaction from the board could be severe! I had a blast for sure. Can't wait to get back out and try some Cross Country. I read yours about your AMAZING Golden-what a trip!


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Re: Trip Report 2014 to East Lake

Postby bandguy5686 » Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:03 pm

deadeyes wrote:Nice report, and I LOVE the peace signs! You may want to migrate them to a more contemporary pack though. ;)

When you are ready to venture off trail, do it safe in the knowledge that a little preparation will help you see how easy it is to navigate around in most parts of the Sierra. It truly is a special place.


Thank you deadeyes. Yes, it's time to move them over to my Osprey.

And yes, I am with you. I have to learn what that prep is and I'm ready to roll!!


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Re: Trip Report 2014 to East Lake

Postby bandguy5686 » Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:09 pm

maverick wrote:Hi Kirk,

Thanks for the entertaining TR and pretty photo's, especially the East Lake shot. We here at HST appreciate all adventures into the back-country, whether it is on, or off-trail. :nod:
Nice Kelty. ;)


And Maverick, thank YOU and your compatriots for this great forum. Nice work! I had a rally nice trail trip this year too (TR coming!) to Rae & Sixty Lakes. Tons of people but it was still wonderful. Guess I'm "re-hooked!


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