Cairns in Vee Lake | High Sierra Topix  

Cairns in Vee Lake

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar

Re: Cairns in Vee Lake

Postby balzaccom » Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:57 pm

Good for you! And you are a braver man than I, both for the swim and the bad pun about posteriors!
Balzaccom

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/



User avatar
balzaccom
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1292
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:22 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Cairns in Vee Lake

Postby Cross Country » Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:46 pm

I will never cease to be amazed (actually only alerted) by the mountains made out of molehills. Come on people do you really think this is a big deal?
Cross Country
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1119
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:16 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Cairns in Vee Lake

Postby sekihiker » Tue Oct 04, 2016 5:06 pm

Maybe this belongs in a different thread, but I was very grateful for ducks/cairns I found on seldom used or poorly maintained trails where I hiked this summer.
User avatar
sekihiker
Founding Member
 
Posts: 269
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 2:47 pm
Location: Fresno
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Cairns in Vee Lake

Postby longri » Tue Oct 04, 2016 5:33 pm

Threads drift; it's not a big deal. This one started out about a cairn on an island.

Cairns to mark the way on an otherwise difficult to follow section of a trail is a good use of them. I build ducks/cairns for that reason on occasion.

Marking use trails, xc routes, peak climbing routes, campsites... more debatable. I'm not sure what the official line is but I've seen rangers knocking over cairns on well-traveled xc routes (e.g. en route to the Palisade Glacier).

It's funny though, the most egregious cairns in the Sierra were built by the NPS.


I won't touch the NPS cairns but all the others are fair game. It's fun to toss rocks to knock them over. I think of it as alpine bowling.
User avatar
longri
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 505
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:13 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Cairns in Vee Lake

Postby Jimr » Tue Oct 04, 2016 5:52 pm

I like side kicks, myself
What?!
User avatar
Jimr
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1141
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:14 pm
Location: Redondo Beach
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Cairns in Vee Lake

Postby sekihiker » Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:48 pm

I've knocked over plenty of them, mostly on well traveled trails. There were so many ducks on the east side of 60 Lakes Col when I went over it in 1991 that I could have spent an entire day knocking them over. The strangest part was that I couldn't see a single one that was necessary.

There are two places where I have seen truly monumental ducks marking maintained trails. Ranger Bob Meadows had the ones built on the south side of Elizabeth Pass and the other set was on the east side of Sawtooth Pass descending into Columbine Lake. Both sets were helpful. The largest of the ducks were knee high to waist high.
Last edited by sekihiker on Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
sekihiker
Founding Member
 
Posts: 269
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 2:47 pm
Location: Fresno
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Cairns in Vee Lake

Postby sparky » Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:40 pm

longri wrote:Winter snow will probably take care of the balanced ones.

They're definitely less obtrusive than painted graffiti but in some places the sheer number and continual replacement make them effectively permanent. There's a feature down the hill a bit from Muir Pass that people call the "rock monster" or something like that. I always take joy in tearing it down, knowing that it will be rebuilt again, probably very soon. I walked by it this past summer and there were about 25 people lined up with their phones, taking selfies.

So even though I'll continue to have fun tipping them over I figure it's a losing battle. A lot of people want these things. It's their vision of the wilderness.


ugggghhhh just everything about that visual makes me cringe.

I have taken a selfie or 3 in my day but enough is enough!
There is a million ways to be human, all are worthwhile.

True happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.
-Chuang Tzu.
User avatar
sparky
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 880
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:01 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Cairns in Vee Lake

Postby cgundersen » Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:57 pm

Ok, one vote for a raft and one vote for a swim. I like the raft idea, but I'd rather have the extra weight in chocolate. And, the idea of a 50 yard swim out to the island is not that bad. It's getting back to shore after warming up lifting rocks.....and, then doing it all over again on the second island. Still, if anyone who visits HST wants to solve the mystery, or document the process, well it'd be interesting!
User avatar
cgundersen
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 655
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 1:07 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Cairns in Vee Lake

Postby Cross Country » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:55 am

Everone I read here said that Edith Lake was VERY hard to reach and it is except for one route. The first time I hiked up and out of Edith I ducked about 25% 45-60 minutes) of the way. When I returned the following year I thought I could find the route without close attention to the cairns. I couldn't. After that on my 6 subsequent trips I carefully followed my cairns. The ultimate trip was 15 years after I placed them and only only one was gone. On my route Edith was easy.
Cross Country
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1119
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:16 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Cairns in Vee Lake

Postby kpeter » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:33 pm

I appreciate small ducks and cairns to guide me through portions of trail that have been allowed to revert or otherwise have been poorly maintained--which at this point is probably more than half of all the trails that existed a half century ago. They are certainly less intrusive than the trail itself and can save time and energy if well placed. I remember appreciating them on the hike from Purple Lake up to Ram Lakes, for example, or the old trail from Wood Lake to Deer Lake.

However, now that I carry a GPS I think the utility of ducks will decrease for me. I found it possible to follow old trails and routes that had entirely reverted just by moving right and left to follow the old route on my GPS. And the ability to come here, ask advice for the best route, the best pass, etc. and preset waypoints based upon other people's experiences makes a huge difference.

I agree with those who dislike huge cairns or the needless proliferation of ducks. I find ducks in high traffic areas are always unreliable since all kinds of well meaning people misplace them. But in low traffic areas they can be helpful.
User avatar
kpeter
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 555
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:11 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Cairns in Vee Lake

Postby BigMan » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:49 pm

I don't see any cairns in those pics. I see one rock on top of another.

How do you know they were left there by humans and not by slides or glaciers?
In wilderness lies the hope of the world.
User avatar
BigMan
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 2:17 pm
Location: San Jose, CA
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

User avatar

Re: Cairns in Vee Lake

Postby balance » Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:39 pm

Cairns are generally not that bad.

The soot and debris and carbon encrusted scars on rocks from fires are worse.
User avatar
balance
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 166
Joined: Sun May 04, 2014 12:26 am
Experience: N/A

PreviousNext

Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot] and 13 guests