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Rae Lakes current conditions

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Re: Rae Lakes current conditions

Postby markorr » Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:23 pm

should be fine w/o crampons or ice axe unless it turns cold between now and then

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Re: Rae Lakes current conditions

Postby tory8411 » Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:21 pm

Thanks markorr for the 411. Here's our trip report:
June 20
Left Fresno 430a, got to the trailhead and set out at 721a. Mosquitos were very mild if at all, and once on trail didn't notice any. The day was beautiful, and although they were doing a controlled burn in Cedar Grove, the smoke stayed in the valley from the trailhead west so it we had no smoke issues. Temp was perfect, we were going to shoot for the first of the Rae Lakes today so we were on a mission. We stopped for lunch for about an hour about 11 miles in. Just up from the river. We got to the JMT junction about 330p and stopped for about 30 minutes to get our last water before we stopped for the night. Ran into two PCT'ers that started early May, nice guys that hooked up for a few days together both started out solo (what an experience that must be). Water was raging pretty good, it was beautiful. Mosquitos started to pick up around 530pm and 2 mi short of Dollar. Walking wasn't bad but any stoppage and you were toast. Heard there were 10 people or so at Rae and we were rapidly deteriorating so we decided to stop at Arrowhead. Mosquitos were pretty bad but the deer were sure fun to watch. It was like watching the Rudolph special live, there were about six just frolicking around our camp. Very cute! Very little snow into Arrowhead. Feet never got wet on any crossings.

Next morning we got up lazily, only trying to make Sixty Lakes Basin for the next day. Hit the trail around 9am and went straight to the saddle above Sixty. We wanted desperately to get out of the skeeters so we decided to stay just below the saddle on a point overlooking Sixty. Quite spectacular. One small snowfield on the way up to the saddle and one solid snowfield just above the lake before the saddle. No issues whatsoever. Patchy snow all through the basin, especially on the northern slopes of the ridges. How about this one: passed a dude (young, computery looking), energy level off the charts on our way up to Sixty saddle. He was coming out. Here's the kicker, he was on a dayhike from Onion Valley trying to Summit Clarence King!!! He started in the dark, two passes and a summit, we figured it had to be 30+miles round trip if he summited which he said he didn't make, "he bit off more than he could chew", he said he was 2 hours from the summit and turned back. Now, we passed him near the middle Rae Lake around 1130a. That dude hauled! It was like watching a deer bound down the hill. Of course, we cursed him after, hah! It was a beautiful afternoon, and because the valley was 110! we caught the edge of a thunderstorm that hit Charlotte. We actually had a mix of snow and sleet off and on for about 30 minutes. It was very cool.

Next morning, got up around 530a and hit the trail. We wanted to hit the snow on the pass around 10am to catch it right, all we took were poles with snow baskets. We actually made pretty good time and made the pass at 930am. Really wasn't any problem, we stayed mostly to the trail, east of the snow fields until the final cross which was only about 70 yards long. We passed a couple from Quebec doing the JMT, another couple doing the PCT and a guy going to Oregon. Fascinating! I rolled my ankle pretty bad coming off the pass and decided the best course of action was walking and keeping it loose. After another few miles it went basically numb and didn't bother me much after the initial excruciating pain. Seemed to work. It was a beautiful day down, we got to the truck at Road's End around 645p. Saw one rattlesnake just off the trail about 6900' between junction and Sphinx. Little guy, no troubles. Everyone was pretty wore out, feet hurt quite a bit. 20 up the first day and 21 out took its toll, but guess what, one week, fully recovered and hungry for the next trip.

Pizza at the Squaw Valley joint was great and much anticipated since day one. Plus we heard the news Fresno State baseball made the CWS finals. All in all a great trip. I'd post some pics but I'm not sure how.

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