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Minaret Lake TR

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Minaret Lake TR

Postby copeg » Wed May 30, 2007 6:57 am

Saturday I hiked up to Minaret Lake. Hard to believe how little snow there was for May - I encountered only a few easily managed sections of snow along the trail. Very few mosquitos hiking in up to the lake, and camp was pretty much bugless. While the lake was still frozen, there was little snow and tons of bare spots to set up camp.

Sunday I hiked over to Deadhorse Lake where I had hoped to camp the following night, but with the amount of snow that covered every inch of ground and not prepared to sleep on snow I remained at Minaret Lake, spending the day lounging and slowly walking around the lake. With fishing pole in hand, I found a few spots of thawed lake, where I surprisingly caught a few small ones. I saw tons of Coyote tracks, a coyote below the lake (overlooking what looked like bloody snow?), and was serenaded both nights to a coyote very close by, its calls answered only by echos through the basin.

Sunday I slipped on a rock with camera in hand and almost slide down some snow into the lake. Later while setting up for a shot I tried to turn my polarizer and it wouldn't turn. I looked at it and it was completely smashed in - must've taken a hit in the fall: at least it wasn't my lens, or my head :(

In all of three days, only saw a group of two dayhikers on Saturday. Got relatively cold both nights - below freezing - but it is still may.

Hiked out Monday, giving a pct hiker a lift into mammoth and arriving just in time to get a late lunch at whoa-nelly, and drove through Yosemite very slowly, spending some time to fish, soak up the views, and watch wildlife.

Hope to get more photos online soon, I'm still going through some shots and also waiting for my film to get developed, but here are a few (Couple more photos are on my Minaret Lake webpage):


Outlet of Minaret Lake
Image

Sunrise
Image
Last edited by copeg on Tue Jul 10, 2007 11:33 am, edited 3 times in total.



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Postby maverick » Wed May 30, 2007 8:09 am

Thanks for the TR and pic's. Looks really pretty up there right
now.
Did you get any info from the pct hiker about conditions in SEKI
by any chance?
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Postby copeg » Wed May 30, 2007 9:22 am

maverick wrote:Thanks for the TR and pic's. Looks really pretty up there right
now.
Did you get any info from the pct hiker about conditions in SEKI
by any chance?


Thanks maverick.
I had tried to get info from him. He had said the passes were all relatively easy and that he never used his ice axe. No problem with stream crossing, and I'm guessing based upon his pace that the conditions were quite easy for this time of year. He was very surprised given the conditions at how few people there were in the backcountry (he mentioned he saw something like only one or two parties between Crabtree and mammoth).
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Postby maverick » Wed May 30, 2007 9:54 am

Its still quite early for pcters to be coming thru in May. I guess from
what he said of not using an ice axe on any of the passes is a
testament in its self of how little snow there is in the backcountry.
I may be able to do some trips even earlier than I was hoping to!
Even from your pic's you can see this, though I saw someone elses
pic's of 1000 Is Lake which was still frozen a week ago.
Someone just posted some pic's looking into Humphrey's Basin on
SummitPost which show that the higher lakes are still frozen.
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Postby SSSdave » Wed May 30, 2007 11:29 am

I have a favorite 35mm SLR pic shot from August 1982 from that outlet bay with those two trees on the side of the vertical frame and Clyde Minaret at center almost identical to your framing. A couple years ago during a solo August trip to Minaret Lake, I experienced what I'll remember as maybe the most incredible coyote yelping one night. Surprising coyotes would be up at that altitude in late May with snow about since there are few green things for little rodents to peek up above the snowpack for. ...David
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Postby mountainLight » Wed May 30, 2007 12:12 pm

Love that first shot. The depth is great with the flowing water sending you right out into the view. Love it. Good news about the skeeters. I intend to be up in Yosemite on Sunday this week and can't wait.
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Postby copeg » Wed May 30, 2007 1:13 pm

Thanks all!

Maverick, agreed its early for PCT hikers. This one said he was only the second to pass through this year. Don't let these shots fool you though, the lake was still 99.9% frozen, as was Deadhorse Lake and all the surrounding lakelets.

Dave, I'd love to see the photo. Your coyote experience sounds a little like mine. Insane howling very close to my tent, then an hour later more howling further up the lake. So amazing. Wasn't surprised though, lots of food around for them (and what looked like a patch of lots of blood in the snow below the lake was evidence of this).
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Postby doug395 » Wed May 30, 2007 1:23 pm

Beautiful images TB, that bear posing for you at Yosemite is just awesome, very cool encounter. Glad you had a safe trip and only replacing a polarizer.
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Postby KathyW » Wed May 30, 2007 7:30 pm

Trailblazer - once again, you took some beautiful pictures. It's nice to hear that you found some solitude on a busy weekend.

Kathy
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Postby Hikin Mike » Wed May 30, 2007 8:44 pm

Great photos Greg. Too bad you broke your CP, but it could have been worse!
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Postby calvin23 » Wed May 30, 2007 9:18 pm

Great pics Greg. I like the one of the bear too and the one of the owl on your website is amazingly sharp!

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Postby Trailtrekker06 » Wed May 30, 2007 10:44 pm

Beautiful shots, they make me feel- I don't know- renewed and calm (like I feel when I'm out there) Nice TR. Sounded like a peaceful time (except for the slip!) Thanks!
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