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Trail Report: Gianelli to Y Meadow Lake 7/4-7/6

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Trail Report: Gianelli to Y Meadow Lake 7/4-7/6

Postby gochicagobears! » Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:33 pm

Just got back from a weekend trip into the Emigrant Wilderness with the girlfriend (our first in that area) leaving from Gianelli. All in all, an excellent experience with plenty of "lessons learned."

Day 1:
Started with a nice breakfast fundraiser in Mi-Wuk Village to support the local fire station. Delicious, and a great cause. Drove to the Pinecrest Ranger station that AM to get our permit because the Supervisor office was closed on Friday the 3rd in observance of the holiday weekend despite my previously confirming with them that they'd be open the day before the 4th. Anyway, the rangers at Pinecrest were awesome and we were in/out in 10 minutes.
(FYI: there's two current fires in Yosemite that were blowing a ton of smoke into the Pinecrest area that day. The rangers said one was near/affecting White Wolf so you better check out the access if you're planning on heading there over the next week or so. Trailes are closed in some areas due to both.)
Headed out of the ranger station and was surprised at the condition of the road leading up to the Gianelli trailhead. I should've inquired prior, but thought it'd be a paved or at least smooth road. Nope. My girlfriend's Camry took a beating the approx 12 miles in and it delayed our departure by a good amount of time.
The trail to Y Meadow Lake was much more difficult in terms of ups/downs than we anticipated and we were both pretty beat by the time we got to the junction fo Y Meadow Lake (we'd initially toyed with the idea of trying to go all the way to Wire Lakes the first day for the fishing.) That was clearly not to be. We ended up staying at Y Meadow, passing several groups on the way out that warned of the mosquitos. We got to the lake by around 3:30 and the mosquitos were already out in force. We both had mosquito net hats, or as I called them "Mosquito Burquas."

Day 2:
Hiked over to Granite Lake and did a bit of fishing. They were rising all over the place, but didn't take to my fly/bobber routine. Hooked a very nice 'bow that jumped three times clear out of the water like he was imitating a smallmouth! Lost him as he threw the Kastmaster as I was reaching into the water to grab him. Had two other strikes, but none landed. Gorgeous lake that clearly had a lot of fish in it. I saw quite a few cruising the shallows and breaching the surface in search of food.
The entire time the mosquitos were on us like you wouldn’t believe. So much so that we decided to cut the trip short and hit the trail the following day.

Day 3:
Departed Y Meadow Lake at about 10:00 AM, gave a ton of food to a group of campers near the end of the lake and made it to the trailhead at about 2:00. Got back to Mi-Wuk Village at about 3:00 and spent the night at a friend’s cabin.

Despite being chase out of the area by that bloodsucking pestilence, we had a great time. Being our first trip to Emigrant we were both awed by it’s beauty, and decided to head there again in August when we assume the bugs will be a bit more tolerable. Seeing only a fraction of what’s out there, we’re both excited about the prospect of more gorgeous scenery and good times on the trail.
Thanks to all who helped out with their advice over the past month as I joined this ‘board!

Lessons Learned:
1. double/triple check ranger stations to make sure they’ll be open when they say they will.
2. be prepared for the worst possible mosquito conditions. We both layered in Deet and headnets and I still have 17 bites on my right calf, the girlfriend 22 on hers.
3. don’t be overly ambitious in estimating and certainly don’t get disappointed if you don’t go as far as you want! It’s still better than being at home!
4. check on fires. Those in Yosemite didn’t affect us at all, but we were still unaware of them at all until we got to the ranger station.

Gear Review:
Brought a 15” Sven Saw with me. Awesome tool that chewed through the downed wood. Definitely part of my “take-with” list now.
Snow Peak Giga wind shield: Great addition to what I think is a great, light stove. Cut down on the boil times immensely in my estimation.
Bug hats/nets: worth every freakin’ penny!
Big Agnes Lulu 15 (woman’s): girlfriend thought it cold the first night when there was frost on the ground that AM. Next night, very comfortable. I’d say the temperature rating is VERY generous.
Osprey Aura (woman’s): girlfriend liked it for the most part, but took some adjustments for it to fit to her frame. Could use more hooks/daisy chain on the outer to make attachments easier.

See you on the trail!
Al



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Re: Trail Report: Gianelli to Y Meadow Lake 7/4-7/6

Postby rlown » Tue Jul 07, 2009 8:58 pm

Yeah!! mosquito bait. Just how i remember it. I'm dying to sometime try it late season, with hungry fish and no skeeters. Wire is doable in a day, but you have to really, really want to get there. Sometimes, not possible. Y-Meadows was a good call for a place to stop.

Great TR!!

Russ
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Re: Trail Report: Gianelli to Y Meadow Lake 7/4-7/6

Postby SSSdave » Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:38 pm

Eastern areas of Emigrant Basin like Huckleberry and Lertora Lake have perhaps more skeeter breeding areas in the way of warm shallow stagnant ponds than any place in the Sierra. And in the worst years by late June whining clouds form daily.

I've been successfully backpacking in prime mosquito season for years. When they are so thick that several dozen land on your pant legs after sitting down 15 seconds, I too will admit that even though I may not get bitten, they make simple chores such a pain that I too may choose to leave. Like getting in and out of a tent, eating outside a tent while wearing a head net, changing clothes, jumping in a lake to wash off, and more. Wash your food utencils and unless one reapplies DEET to hands and wrist they will land there and bite. However most people get bitten alot when skeeter conditions are less serious. Just a few tips.

When skeeters are really bad, go with high percentage DEET thus not the usual drug store weak concoctions.

The strategy is to present as little skin as possible that ought be just one's hands and face that will be DEETed.

Military style mosquito head nets for lounging around camp. The kind that a stiff ring keeps the net off your face. Not practical while hiking.

Use a safari style hat/cap with a neck/ear protector for hiking, fishing, photography and other activities. Skeeters zero in on animal ears and neck where they are not easily seen. And do not tend to land on faces while a person is moving forward.

No cotton t-shirts and shorts. This is the rule most break. Wear materials that mosquitos cannot stick their probosci through to reach one's skin like dense weave nylons or heavier cottons like new blue jeans.

Keep tent netting doors closed except to enter. Squish any that manage to enter inside.

Camp in zones skeeters dislike as exposed windy, open bright sunny granite bedrock areas. Even those places often have a few trees or boulders to find some shade at. A few skeeters may be marooned there. Squish those few and there will be none.

Take a dip in a lake or stream after getting sweaty each day as they love stinky people while they are almost unaware of clean just washed people.
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Re: Trail Report: Gianelli to Y Meadow Lake 7/4-7/6

Postby maverick » Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:25 am

How were the flowers?
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Re: Trail Report: Gianelli to Y Meadow Lake 7/4-7/6

Postby gochicagobears! » Wed Jul 08, 2009 1:09 pm

thanks for the comments, guys.
the flowers weren't in bloom yet at all. the only ones we saw with any significance were heading back to the trailhead on Monday in the area around Powell Lake.
this was pretty minimal, however.
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Re: Trail Report: Gianelli to Y Meadow Lake 7/4-7/6

Postby maverick » Wed Jul 08, 2009 1:09 pm

Thanks, it was what I expected, but it is good to hear my suspicions confirmed.
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