TR: Rae Lakes 6/25/16 | High Sierra Topix  

TR: Rae Lakes 6/25/16

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TR: Rae Lakes 6/25/16

Postby tie » Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:39 pm

I was out at Rae Lakes on Saturday, probably went by cdib! (TR: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=14591)
Here's my trip report. Lots of pics below.

I drove up from sea level Friday afternoon. Turning left at Independence, I picked up two PCT hikers. Into my little rented Fiat 500, packed loosely with all my camping gear, they barely fit! The car struggled, too, but made it to Onion Valley at 9200' before dying. Five minutes rest for it, and stress for me, and it started again. Good deal. I packed up a bunch of books and magazines, and hiked to Lake Robinson, at 10,000', to chill for the evening and maximize my acclimatization.

I didn't sleep well---probably the altitude. I watched dawn rise over Onion Valley, and just as the sun was hitting the campground, 6:10am, started up the trail to Kearsarge Pass. Over the pass quickly and I was again in love. I hiked quickly down past Bullfrog Lake and turned up to Glen Pass. I took a break near the junction, then caught up again with a PCT hiker---"Ultralight"---who was carrying both a bear canister and a bear sack. We chatted along the trail for a mile, about the hike, a trail angel party he'd stopped at, the conditions below Whitney and at Forester Pass, etc., then I took off for the pass.

The lakes below Glen Pass were patchily covered with ice. The pass itself was easily made, with a few small snowfields. On the north side, the first traverse was over snow and then it was on rocks, usually on the trail's switchbacks, for almost all the way down. I filled my water bottles with another liter, and took the side trail to Sixty Lake Basin.

The trail up to the ridge has great views of Rae Lakes, but on the other side the views into Sixty Lake Basin are disappointing. I followed the trail down, hoping that the trees would open up a bit. And down, and down. My plan had been to cut off east to hit the JMT at the bottom of Arrowhead Lake. But that would require checking my map, which I was highly reluctant to do. Rae Lakes had a light breeze but here the mosquitoes were swarming. I had resolved to turn around at 50 bites, but at 500 I was losing count. So I did turn back. This time I went a little bit off trail, and found that the upper, southern, part of the basin is fantastic! Few mosquitoes and great views. I thought of climbing over to see Gardiner Basin, but time was passing, so that will have to be another trip.

Headed back to Rae Lakes, I passed three backpackers headed my way. They would surely enjoy the solitude, if not the mosquitoes. I filled another liter (3L for the day), re-upped the sunscreen, then moved easily up to Glen Pass, enjoying the warm day. Unfortunately, at the pass itself and for a mile down I got to breathe someone's cigarette smoke. People are unbelievable. On the bright side, I ran into the PCT hikers I'd given a ride to the day before.

My ankles looked swollen, my right ankle in particular, so I did not push the pace going back to Kearsarge Pass, 11,709'. But I still got there by 3:15pm and didn't see the point in heading down to Onion Valley yet. I still had .25L of water. Last time I was at the pass it was clouded over, but this time the skies were clear, if hazy. So I kept going up, and made my way to Mt Gould, 13,005'. The sky pilot flowers were some of the healthiest I've seen. Pretty butterflies, too! The view from the summit, though, was a bit disappointing; I guess to see into Rae Lakes you need to walk another quarter mile over. Oh well, I dropped easily back down to Kearsarge. (I should say the talus was perfect. It was not too deep, which is nice when you don't have gaiters. There were few of those grapefruit-sized rocks that like to slip and pound your ankle from behind. And there were few shallow areas where you can slip out.)

I flew down to Onion Valley. There by six, I started the little Fiat---phew! Nobody asked me for a ride---probably for the best since I'd spread out---so I just drove down for dinner and free WiFi in Lone Pine.

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tie
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Re: TR: Rae Lakes 6/25/16

Postby maverick » Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:15 pm

Cool TR and picture Tie, thanks for sharing.

Tie wrote:
But that would require checking my map, which I was highly reluctant to do.


Why were you reluctant to check you map?
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

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Re: TR: Rae Lakes 6/25/16

Postby tie » Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:30 pm

My ego doesn't allow it. ;)

Actually, had I stopped I think the mosquitoes would have brought me down.
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Re: TR: Rae Lakes 6/25/16

Postby maverick » Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:37 pm

My ego doesn't allow it. ;)

Actually, had I stopped I think the mosquitoes would have brought me down.


:)
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 6/25/16

Postby BufordT » Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:41 pm

Great pictures and thanks for including the mosquito report.
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Re: TR: Rae Lakes 6/25/16

Postby cdib » Mon Jun 27, 2016 5:42 pm

Tie, I think I saw you at the top of Glen Pass! I was sitting there with the guy who was smoking at the top... We talked about 60 lakes basin briefly. Small world.
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