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Advise needed

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Advise needed

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:26 am

I am planning a 5-6 day trip starting tomorrow or Saturday. I will be prepared for snow and intentionally will go to higher elevations to avoid mosquitoes. I will bring fishing gear but fully expect some of the higher lakes to be frozen. I have extensive experience on snow, both climbing and backpacking and have been on all the routes mentioned below. Which trip I take may also depend on getting a permit. I will have all route maps with me when I stop at Mono Lake Visitor Center to pick up a permit.

I am debating between two routes; 1) Dusy Basin and Lower Treaure Lake from South Lake with possibility of one night over Knapsack Pass into lower Barrett Lakes, or 2) Granite Park and French Lake from Pine Creek with the possibility of a side trip to Royce Lakes (for photography, not fishing). Do those who live in the area, or have been on either of these routes recently, think one is more reasonable (less snow) than the other?

My two alternate routes if neither is a good idea, is the Beck Lakes- Anonna Lake area from Devil's Postpile, but I fear this area would be full of mosquitoes; or Pioneer Basin, which should be OK given that it is open and facing the sun and breezy enough to keep mosquitoes down.

The reason I am not considering anything in Emigrant, Hoover (N Yosemite) or Desolation, is that I have done tons of trips in these areas in the last two years and am saving the full descent of Cherry Creek for this fall. Anything south of Bishop is just too far of a drive for the time I have.



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Re: Advise needed

Postby giantbrookie » Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:11 pm

I've been to the destinations but not this early in the season, although I've been to the Treasures and Dusy later following heavier winters when the conditions may have been roughly comparable to this coming weekend. In terms of snow, the start and first lakes are higher on the South Lake entry, be it the Treasure Lakes or whether you do the main trunk. I'm figuring the lowest two Treasures will be ice free but the ones further up may still be frozen. The flip side is that it's so much more of a grunt to get to the first lake (Pine Lake) out of Pine Creek.

Once you get to Granite Park, I'm guessing they'll be a lot of snow, just as I figure there's quite a bit of snow at the Treasures. I suspect the Dusy's will be frozen except for the lowest ones.I figure the highest and biggest Granite Park lakes are probably frozen over and certainly the Royces except for the lowest one. French may have open water owing to its exposure, even though it's high.

Note that all but the three highest lakes of the Treasures have had their fish removed. The Barretts have also had their fish removed (or they're finishing the job), but that's probably a moot point because they're almost certainly frozen owing to their high altitude.
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Re: Advise needed

Postby maverick » Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:25 pm

If your main interest is in photography (snow and ice mix), you may want to include Big Pine North Fork into the mix, though it is a little south of Bishop, it's faster access makes it ideal, and with the Palisades as your backdrop, it will give you many fine opportunities to make some fine sunrise shots, without any major mileage needed.
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Re: Advise needed

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:34 pm

NF Big Pine is a good destination for this time of year. I have been there many times, includeing two years ago and have some good photos. Thus, it was not on my "list" of alternatives.

I sort of have an "agenda" regarding Dusy and Granite Park. I have run through Dusy so many times, but have never really spent time there to explore all the lakes and have few if any photos. I have been over Thunderbolt Pass twice 4th July in past years to climb the Palisade from the west. We actually camped on top of Thunderbolt Pass to climb Thunderbolt, before dropping to Barrett Lakes. I caught fish in the Barrett Lakes in late 1990's.

And my last trip to Granite Park was the one where I took the wrong memory card (with only enough memory for 3 photos) last year, and many years ago, in the days of poor memory cards and batteries, my battery went dead when comeing out via Granite Park. I feel "photo jinxed" with respect to Granite Basin. Thus, I really have few photos and I really like this area. The big elevation gain is not a real issue for me. I made it up to Pine Lake last trip quite quickly.

This is my last trip in the Sierra before going to Wyoming for the rest of the summer. Otherwise, I would just wait a few weeks. I am going to be battling mosquitoes in Wyoming for a few weeks, so I would rather deal with snow this next trip than mosquitoes.

Thanks for the replies. Looks like I will be leaving very early Saturaday. I procrastinated too much today to leave tomorrow. Wherever I go, I will do a trip report when I get back!

It has been very hot lately and the weather report for the next week is also very hot, so I suspect lakes may de-ice pretty soon.
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Re: Advise needed

Postby mort » Fri Jun 24, 2016 7:11 pm

Hi WD,
I guess I love Dusy & Palisade basin best, but Granite Park is fine. I'm just reminding you to check your driving plan. 395 may be closed at about Lee Vining due to the Marina fire. The detour around Mono Lake must take a while.
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Re: Advise needed

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:21 pm

I saw your photo of the fire. I will check Caltrans tomorrow. If the road is colsed I will go through Yosemite and over Tioga Pass (will check that too in case the fire turns south). It is a grass fire, so I would think it may be out by tomorrow. Thanks for the "heads-up".
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Re: Advise needed

Postby Fly Guy Dave » Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:37 pm

The fire is more than just grass. Here's another pic I took as I drove by:
Image
That being said, it was burning up the ridge and away from 395, so hopefully it will be open by the time you want to drive through. :)
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Re: Advise needed

Postby oldranger » Sat Jun 25, 2016 6:17 pm

Daisy

From the TRs I've seen I'd consider further S.

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Re: Advise needed

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:08 pm

I am back from the trip- went into Dusy Basin. Snow was NO problem. Bishop Pass is now clear with only the top flat snow patch. ALL the lakes on both sides (Dusy and South Lake) were open. Dusy Basin is mostly clear and easy to get around. Best of all, few if any mosquitoes! But if my last day is any indication, the little devils are going to really get on in the next week or so. I will do up a trip report in the next few days.

Thanks everyone for your input.
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