TR June 15-26, 2014--Isberg TH, Long Creek,Upper Merced,Isbe | High Sierra Topix  

TR June 15-26, 2014--Isberg TH, Long Creek,Upper Merced,Isbe

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Re: TR June 15-26, 2014--Days 8-12

Postby oldranger » Sun Dec 06, 2015 10:38 am

Day 8 One fish all day until after dinner when I noticed little dimples all over the water. Tried fly and bubble and found out most of those little dimples were caused by 15” goldens! Took a pic of one and then as I released it my camera fell out of my unzipped pocket and into the lake! Dumb! Typical Adair Sunset over the Cathedral Range.

Day 9 Retraced our steps and returned to Merced Peak Fork, went around w. side of Red Devil for the first time, just as complex as e side! No pics today as I was waiting for camera to dry out!

Day 10 back on the trail and seeing people for the first time since day 5.
Heading to lake 10005 based on Balzaccom’s report from 2013 that the lake contained nice fish.
Well I don’t know where they went. All I could catch were stunted brookies--lots of them. Also found the flat spot with horse turds all over that someone described in another TR. Just below that was a little flat spot with nice setup and no turds.
Despite the disappointing fishing this evening resulted in the 2nd highlight of trip. After dinner I talked Matt into putting down his book and accompanying me up to the top of the ridge to the nw to view the sunset. After topping the ridge the entire Upper Merced basin and Peaks to the North were bathed in the warmth of the setting sun.
While not the last night of the trip it did seem almost like the conclusion, a fitting one at that.

Day 11 Up pretty early and off to hike over Isberg Pass and then down to Saddler Lake.
As usual Matt left me in the dust. Isberg pass has got to be the worst maintained trail in Yosemite seeming to be quite easy to wander off it. Whoops as I got to the top I noticed something missing in the trail--Matt’s footprints! Down I went, anxiety increasing with every step. Then almost down to Upper Isberg Lake his tracks appeared again, then around the corner there he was sitting by the lake waiting for me. Sure enough as he neared the pass he wandered e. then down aways before he realized he was off trail. He looked at the terrain and said what the hay its just as easy to head straight down so he did. Somewhere around Isberg lakes when he was ahead of me, which is all the time even though he carried more than his share of the gear, he again spotted the two coyotes, this time again running toward Isberg peak, but from the other side of the peak.
We arrived at Saddler Lake early enough to give me time to inflate the raft and do some fishing with the hopes a catching one of the legendary big browns the used to lurk in the lake. Instead I caught and released lots of 9-10” brookies, better than Lake 10005 but not exactly what I would call a target lake for fishing. As for the browns I would suspect with the lack of function of the dam at McClure lake that fall flows are now not sufficient for successful brown trout spawning.

A large Outward Bound group was camped a short distance away so our last night was certainly not one with a remote feeling.

Day 12 About 4 AM the pitter patter of rain woke us up, damn! I quickly jumped up an made sure that everything was undercover. The rain continued until daybreak and continued through breakfast, breaking camp, and as we headed down the trail. For the 1st time in my hiking career I dressed too coolly for the conditions and after a couple of miles I had to stop and put on my sweater and consume a few hundred calories to warm me up. Refreshed I headed down the trail much more comfortably until the sun came out and I had to shed poncho and sweater. Some people we met on the trail informed us that a couple of days previously the Sierra National Forest had been closed to campfires. So our fire the previous night was illegal. You’d think they’d send a helicopter up to inform us!

Matt, of course, was waiting for my arrival at the car. We headed down to Fresno, got a hotel for the two nights while we waited for Matt to catch his flight back to Florida. It wasn’t too bad though, we caught a Grizzlies game, visited brew pubs, visited old friends and I introduced him to Armenian Food but it wasn’t as good as my Armenian friends and neighbors made when I was a kid.

After two nights in Fresno I dropped Matt off at the Airport then headed over to Mammoth in hopes that Markskor would be healed enough for one last 2014 adventure together. (he was and the trip commented on in 2014 (post titled "markskor scores!") and that will be ‘nuff said about it!)

Happy Holidays!

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Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!

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Re: TR June 15-26, 2014--Isberg TH, Long Creek,Upper Merced,

Postby markskor » Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:30 pm

Hey meat -
Nice job and (surprisingly) a great read too. Always a delight to re-visit again via photographs a few of those remote lakes/ routes previously explored....(even those done with you along). Hiking with your son Matt must have been a real treat, (a welcome change for you?)....being with someone who probably cares/ has to listen to your complaining, will eat your well as carrying the lion's share of the gear too.
Sorry about my sunburned ankles and that this trip was one unfortunately missed but...

Whatever, still a real nice TR and one made even nicer without my ugly mug mucking up your pictures.
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Re: TR June 15-26, 2014--Isberg TH, Long Creek,Upper Merced,

Postby sekihiker » Thu Dec 17, 2015 10:37 pm

Great trip report, especially the fishing coyotes.
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Re: TR June 15-26, 2014--Isberg TH, Long Creek,Upper Merced,

Postby windknot » Fri Dec 18, 2015 11:14 pm

Great writeup! Worth the wait, especially after hearing several bits and pieces over the past year. :P
A few backcountry fishing pictures:
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