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TR: Moose Lake 7/11-7/12

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:40 pm
by jokismo
Day 1 - Wolverton to Moose Lake

Easy going on the trail until Alta Meadow, everything was clear of snow. Northern side of Alta Meadow was covered with wildflowers. The forested section between the end of the meadow and the climb to the ridge was tough going. We had to cross a tributary of Buck Creek that was surprisingly raging for how far upstream it was, it seemed to have caused a lot of recent erosion. After making it through the forest we were greeted with the tough climb up to the ridge, a taxing effort in the mid-day sun. Once at the ridge we were greeted with the marvelous view over Buck Creek canyon and the divide, and got a first glimpse of the snow coverage. We were able to pick our way up to frozen Moose Lake avoiding all snow. Weather was beautiful so we found a flat spot out on rock on the south side of the lake to camp overlooking the valley. The sunset was hazy due to the controlled burn going on down in the Giant Sequoia Forest.

Day 2 - Moose Lake to Wolverton via Pear Lake

Our initial plan was to stay up 2 nights at Moose Lake and explore around the Tablelands, but seeing the expanse of sun-cupped snow everywhere, we decided that we would just head out that day. We traversed around the south side of the lake and then followed the north ridge of the lake out into the Tablelands. There seemed to generally be 6-8 feet of snowpack in the area northwest of the lake. We dropped down past a few other frozen lakes, eventually making our way out following the raging Marble Fork of the Kaweah River.

A fantastic way to start the season.

Photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/P98dV8u362tAgZU56

Re: TR: Moose Lake 7/11-7/12

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:16 pm
by TurboHike
Great photos! Thanks for posting.

Re: TR: Moose Lake 7/11-7/12

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:19 pm
by stevet
Very nice. My last visit to Moose Lake...50 years ago. I get one shot each summer and so many other places I still need to see.

Re: TR: Moose Lake 7/11-7/12

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:21 pm
by Rockyroad
Thanks for the TR and great photos. I'm even more excited about going there this Saturday and hopefully up to the Divide. I really appreciated your Pterodactyl Pass photo. Was the snow more on the ice-hard or slushy side? Looked slushy in your photos. Also, did you take the Watchtower trail back?

Re: TR: Moose Lake 7/11-7/12

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:52 am
by tlsharb
Dang that looks more like mid June. I'm in Steve's world...last time there was 1966 (53 years ago). Great pics. Thanks for sharing.

Re: TR: Moose Lake 7/11-7/12

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:10 am
by thegib
I have never seen that Fritillaria before. It's similar to the one that grows around the Bay Area, but different. Very cool. Thanks for posting.

Re: TR: Moose Lake 7/11-7/12

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:40 am
by jokismo
Rockyroad wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:21 pm
Thanks for the TR and great photos. I'm even more excited about going there this Saturday and hopefully up to the Divide. I really appreciated your Pterodactyl Pass photo. Was the snow more on the ice-hard or slushy side? Looked slushy in your photos. Also, did you take the Watchtower trail back?
Snow was soft even really early in the morning, there was a lot of postholing. Took the hump trail because we were tired at that point and didn't want to deal with the supposed questionable conditions on watchtower.

Re: TR: Moose Lake 7/11-7/12

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:29 am
by Rockyroad
Thanks for the intel! How deep were you postholing?

Re: TR: Moose Lake 7/11-7/12

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:43 am
by jokismo
Rockyroad wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:29 am
Thanks for the intel! How deep were you postholing?
Usually just a foot or so, i did go down the full length of my leg a couple times though. Not fun.

Re: TR: Moose Lake 7/11-7/12

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:44 am
by jokismo
thegib wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:10 am
I have never seen that Fritillaria before. It's similar to the one that grows around the Bay Area, but different. Very cool. Thanks for posting.
Thanks for the ID we were wondering what that one was! Only saw one of them.