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Cathedral Lakes TR

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Cathedral Lakes TR

Postby copeg » Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:13 am

Some may not recognize the screen name, but I finally decided I'm ready to let go of that old screen name 'trailblazer', and blaze a new path forward. For better or for worse, its gonna take some getting used to. Anyway, onto the trip report...

I had originally planned out a somewhat complex loop through Yosemite, beginning at Tuolumne Meadows to Cathedral Lakes, across to Nelson Lake, over Rafferty Peak and down into Lyell Canyon and back. Starting my hike in the on-and-off rain and thunder in the distance I immediately had hesitations on this ambitious route. Soon the trail became lost under the snow, but a few footprints led me in the right direction. The weather got better as the footprints disappeared, and before I knew it I was at task to find a snow free campsite at Upper Cathedral Lake. Climbing up along the ridge above the lake I found an incredible site - snow free with views to die for. I spent the afternoon enjoying the sun and exploring the upper and lower parts of Tresidder Peak. An early dinner and evening came, the sky lighting up like a burning fire.

Early the next morning the sleet started, turning to snow, then rain. 5am and I was up exploring once again. For whatever reason I felt magnetized to this area, and giving up all hopes of completing my loop I just explored, watched the birds, enjoyed the view, and ducked into my tent during the on and off deluges.

Somehow I managed to break out of my laziness, and decided to move camp down to the lower lake. That might sound easy but working my way through the snow I was on a slip-n-slide one second, then sinking in knee deep another - with each sudden change making my guttermouth well known to the forest. Finally reaching lakeside I had another obstacle - the flushing lake inlet. Last year on a trip in similar conditions I had opted for trail running shoes, using a bit more common sense this year I wore some hefty boots I usually reserve only for snowshoeing, boots which somehow kept my feet dry while hopping across the inlet.

With a number of dry campsites to select from, I climbed a bit higher above the lake for the views. Much of the afternoon was spent alternating between short walks, relaxing around camp, and ducking into the tent - each of which timed with the changing weather. A climb up the knolls east of Meldicott Dome being the longest hike away from camp that afternoon, I was accompanied by Pheasant drumming, a pair of dear, lots of birds, and surprising glimpses of Half Dome to the west.

Back at camp for an early dinner, the smell of campfire made me realize I wasn't alone - not a surprise for this area but the first sign of other backpackers since I left the trailhead. It started to rain. I had scouted a place to photograph the sunset down by the lake earlier in the day and with the sky clouded over and lack of creativity it turned into a guessing game. A few moments later I found myself sprinting through the rain towards the far side of the lake - the faster I ran the brighter the sky became. Running across the troublesome inlet (once again dry feet - those boots rock!) and suddenly it became one of those sunsets that breathes life into the phrase "range of light". Everything lit up...I mean everything! And as quick as it came it was gone. Left standing there in the rain with my mouth gaping open, something woke me from my trance and there I was stumbling back to camp in the dark, slipping and sliding across the snow, and crossing the inlet in such a trance I didn't care whether my feet and boots got completely wet (which they did). Moments later there I was sipping my hot chocolate in the rain, finally giving up and ducking into my tent to listen to the rain and hail for much of the night.

Morning came quickly, and at 5am I was standing beside the lake in the sprinkles, once again watching another light show. The sky finally cleared as I ate some cereal and drank my stale tasting coffee, during which I had a chance to dry much of my gear out. Not wanting to leave but facing reality with a stern mind, I timed my hike out just right: a visit to Mono Lake to watch the nesting Osprey, and just as I got hungry a late lunch at Whoa Nellie Deli for a sweet lunch.

Behind in going through my photos, I saw some colors in the sunsets that I didn't believe...

Dogwoods blooming along Hwy 120
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Sunset from camp on the ridge between upper and lower Cathdral Lakes
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Sunset over Lower Cathedral Lake
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Sunset over Cathedral Peak
Image



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Re: Cathedral Lakes TR

Postby DriveFly44 » Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:18 pm

Those are killer photos Greg. Thanks so much for posting that trip.


Ladd
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Re: Cathedral Lakes TR

Postby hikerduane » Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:07 pm

Ditto! You and Hikin Mike took some great photos.
Piece of cake.
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Re: Cathedral Lakes TR

Postby The Other Tom » Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:22 pm

Great pics, Greg. Thanks for posting.

By the way, care to enlighten us on Copeg ? Trailblazer I understand, but Copeg ?
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Re: Cathedral Lakes TR

Postby ERIC » Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:45 pm

The Other Tom wrote:Great pics, Greg. Thanks for posting.

By the way, care to enlighten us on Copeg ? Trailblazer I understand, but Copeg ?


co⋅peg [koh-peg]
–noun
1. A small subordinate peg
2. Partner or associate to another peg
3. To the same extent or degree of another peg

:lol:


I couldn't resist, Greg! lol
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Re: Cathedral Lakes TR

Postby copeg » Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:58 pm

That's hillarious Eric :lol: Actually never looked it up - can I change back?!? Just kidding.

Tom: last name Cope, first name Greg. Put together and you've got copeg...well, kind of. I've had usernames galore on different sites, just wanted to consolidate down a bit.

Glad you all enjoyed the photos.
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Re: Cathedral Lakes TR

Postby sierranomad » Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:32 pm

Great shots! Hope you don't mind, I made the Cathedral Peak at sunset my screensaver. Really...fantastic shots.
Jon

"When one tugs on a single thing in nature, he finds it's attached to the rest of the world". - John Muir
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Re: Cathedral Lakes TR

Postby The Other Tom » Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:06 am

copeg wrote:That's hillarious Eric :lol: Actually never looked it up - can I change back?!? Just kidding.

Tom: last name Cope, first name Greg. Put together and you've got copeg...well, kind of. I've had usernames galore on different sites, just wanted to consolidate down a bit.

Glad you all enjoyed the photos.

Got it, thanks
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Re: Cathedral Lakes TR

Postby maverick » Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:10 pm

First I thought someone was using your pic, but then I realized your using your
alter-name from the photo sites.
Great pic's!
I was out from Fri -Tue and had thunderstorms every day though they did not drop
the same amount of moisture as during the monsoon season, which are tropical.
While driving back on 120 on Tue I could see thunderheads to the north and
south as far as I could see, even in the Bay Area, which was a surprise this time of
the year.
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Re: Cathedral Lakes TR

Postby MooseTracks » Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:23 pm

Amazing pictures, Greg. What a treat to be out in that weather and exploring. I can't wait to spend some quality time in the backcountry this summer... :D

-Laura :cool:
"Why do I climb? Quite simply because the mountains and I had to meet." - Colette Richard

http://www.flickr.com/photos/moosepics621
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Re: Cathedral Lakes TR

Postby KC JED » Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:53 am

Maybe he chews Copenhagen?????
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Re: Cathedral Lakes TR

Postby STRETCHMAN » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:12 am

As always,GREAT pictures Greg. =D>
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