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Rae Lakes Replacement Trip Ideas??

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Rae Lakes Replacement Trip Ideas??

Postby ErikTurner » Thu May 28, 2009 4:18 pm

I had planned a trip to Rae Lakes Loop for mid-June. I just read, however, that the North side of Glenn Pass will likely be difficult without crampon/ice axe (skills I don't have yet) until mid to late July!!

So I'm scrambling to find anything for a 4-5day backpacking trip anywhere in the Sierras (minus Mineral King, as I was just there for Memorial Day). Probably prefer something somewhat "Southern" though as I'm from LA area.

Anyone here have suggestions for such a trip? Any favorite early season backpack trips you've done in the past? Any input would be greatly appreciated

Erik



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Re: Rae Lakes Replacement Trip Ideas??

Postby maverick » Thu May 28, 2009 4:42 pm

Hi Eric

Why not do an out and back trip to Rae? It will still be worth seeing without the
crowds.
An alternative would be Seville Lake and Lost Lake out of Sunset Meadow, or
Cottonwood Lakes in southern Inyo NF(trav867 has a TR posted with pic's).
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Re: Rae Lakes Replacement Trip Ideas??

Postby copeg » Thu May 28, 2009 7:45 pm

maverick wrote:Hi Eric

Why not do an out and back trip to Rae? It will still be worth seeing without the
crowds.

Also a side trip to 60 Lakes Basin, and Gardiner Basin is well worth it if you do head towards Rae - this of course if you are comfortable going x-country (heavy use trails in 60 lakes and the terrain to Gardiner is relatively mellow). You may also be able to close the loop over Gardiner Pass, but this time of year may have the same problems Glen Pass has.
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Re: Rae Lakes Replacement Trip Ideas??

Postby Mike M. » Fri May 29, 2009 4:05 pm

Erik, I wouldn't worry too much about the north side of Glen Pass. There may still be snow on the north shoulder of Glen Pass in mid June, but it is not so steep that you would need an ice axe or crampons. The area gets good sun exposure, and if there is consolidated snow there, it will soften up by mid day. Firm footing is not an issue. Rae Lakes is a great early season hike -- you will enjoy the solitude and the extra effort involved in trudging through the snow is more than repaid by the stunning scenery, made all the more beautiful by the presence of snow and ice on the lakes.

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Re: Rae Lakes Replacement Trip Ideas??

Postby ErikTurner » Fri May 29, 2009 10:02 pm

Thanks very much for all your replys. The reason I chose the Rae Lakes loop in the first place was to try and get a loop trip... but after thinking about it I will definitely at least do the out and back through Woods Creek via Paradise Valley. (Do I really need to switch my permit if it says the entry trail should be Bubbs Creek??)

I am intrigued by the loop still though... The warning from NPS about Glen Pass read as:

"Winter conditions exist. Not expected to be passable without winter moutaineering skills and equipment until mid to late July."

By my preferred direction of travel I'd be going DOWN the North side. Is this just the NPS being very careful?? I'm not really the weakest person in my group so I'm a bit nervous to head on out via Bubbs Creek because my main goal would be to see the 60 Lakes Basin.

Any input/encouragement/discouragement from more experience Sierra men and women would be much appreciated

Erik
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Re: Rae Lakes Replacement Trip Ideas??

Postby Mike M. » Fri May 29, 2009 10:46 pm

Erik, I hiked to the Rae Lakes Basin in late May of 1977 from Bubb's Creek with no special equipment. We foolishly took snowshoes but never used them. The top of Glen Pass was mostly clear of snow. There were patches of snow here and there, with snowfields more prevalent on the north side of the pass, especially as we got lower in elevation. The trail was visible up high for the most part. The route down to the lakes was obvious, safe and fun. The lakes were frozen. We spent a couple of days exploring the area, including a side trip to Sixty Lakes Basin. After a few days, we headed up to Baxter Lake and camped there. Then we headed down to Wood's Creek and out to Paradise Valley. Stream crossings on this loop are all safe, with good bridges where you might expect to encounter high water.

We didn't need any special equipment. What snow there was made for a great adventure. You have to work a little harder in the snow, but the effort is well worth it. Be sure to bring a lot of sunscreen!

Mike
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Re: Rae Lakes Replacement Trip Ideas??

Postby MountainMinstrel » Sat May 30, 2009 9:41 am

ErikTurner wrote: (Do I really need to switch my permit if it says the entry trail should be Bubbs Creek??)

Erik


Erik, If you decide to go the other way (Paradise/Woods), you will need to change your permit as they are considered different trailheads.

Also, it seems to me that the NPS tends to be overly cautious when giving trail conditions and advise. I think this is to avoid possible lawsuits.

I know that in the last of July 2007 there was not a sign of snow at Glen Pass. I would think that Mike M's experience should hold true for this year too.
Just an old musician who loves the Mountains.
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Re: Rae Lakes Replacement Trip Ideas??

Postby markorr » Sat May 30, 2009 9:23 pm

last year we went over Glen Pass the first weekend of June. there was snow on the North Side, but nothing special. there was a good track put in by all the PCT'rs going north. I'd say for it.
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