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Circle of Solitude in early July in a low snow year

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Re: Circle of Solitude in early July in a low snow year

Postby thegib » Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:31 am

Gallats can be extraordinary in scenics - and mosquitos. I recommend continuing over the shoulder of Thunder Mtn, going to Talus lake, and descending that stream until you can traverse to not far below Colby lake. Also agree LSA is boring/desolate. Much rather spend days exploring Milestone Ck.



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Re: Circle of Solitude in early July in a low snow year

Postby stringbop » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:35 am

Hey Levi, did you by chance go over Colby Pass or Milestone Pass on your trip, and if so were micro spikes needed? Also, how was the crossing at Bubbs Creek to get down to East/Reflection Lakes? Any info provided would be greatly appreciated mate!
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Re: Circle of Solitude in early July in a low snow year

Postby levi » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:03 am

[trip report forthcoming]

-Bubbs Creek crossing to East/Reflection Lakes was a mild wade, about thigh deep - cross west of the trail, in the meadow, rather than east in the forest. A NPS trail builder recommended crossing on logs further upstream/east, but they were sketchy. Also, there is now a small fire burning in that area, though I believe the trail is still open (heard this via maiathebee on the Sierra Nevada Current Conditions Facebook group: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5904/)
-cornice over Longley was no problem at all, all class 2. will post pics soon.
-Colby Pass was snow free. Chose to save Milestone Pass/Creek for another trip, though the area was friggin gorgeous.
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Re: Circle of Solitude in early July in a low snow year

Postby stringbop » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:27 pm

Did you even have to use your micro spikes on your trip?
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Re: Circle of Solitude in early July in a low snow year

Postby levi » Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:07 pm

We used them briefly while trying to approach Mt. Brewer from South Guard Lake (we didn't succeed, and turned around when the snow became crampon worthy). For the rest of the loop, we didn't need them.

Also, for clarity, our loop ended up being: Onion Valley start - Junction Meadow - Lake Reflection - South Guard Lake - Big Wet Meadow - 2 miles nw of Gallats Lake - Bighorn Plateau - Bubbs Creek east of East Vidette - Onion Valley finish.
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Re: Circle of Solitude in early July in a low snow year

Postby maiathebee » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:51 am

levi wrote:Maiathebee, I may have misinterpreted one of your notes in your Circle of Solitude blog post about Gallats... "swampy"... my bad :P


Oh yeah, I just meant it doesn't fit what the map shows, which is a legit lake. It's more like a meandering river / marshy grasses area, but there are granite platforms throughout to camp on (which is what we did). I would be wary of mosquitos when you're rolling through though!
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Re: Circle of Solitude in early July in a low snow year

Postby levi » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:40 pm

Yup, totally! Mosquitos were a general problem in nearly every meadow, but we ended up camping a few miles from Gallats where the water was flowing briskly, sparing us the worst. When we did hike through Gallats, it was quite early, and frost continued to spare us. It was definitely pretty there in the morning light :)
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