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Fall/Winter hiking

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Re: Fall/Winter hiking

Postby markorr » Sun Nov 01, 2009 7:51 pm

I'm trying to find a good trip for "one more time into the mountains before the snows of winter" next thurs or friday thru Sunday
Duration 3-4 days
Distance 12-16 miles per day
Experience: extensive, comfortable with class 2 cross-country
Criteria: Alpine scenery, preferably not in extensive snow (assuming snow line is around 11K at the moment, but the forecast is for days in the 50s and lows in the 30's at 11K, so snow line may be going up a bit)
Locations: prefer SEKI, we've considered going into Piute Pass to Desolation Lake, xc to Granite Park, Italy Pass, Bear Lake Basin, Feather Pass, and out, but there may be too much snow at this point. We've also considered a 3 day west side loop via Granite Pass and Kennedy Pass (is this scenic). The other option is Yosemite, linking Clouds Rest, Cathedral Lakes and Vogelsang. None of these is particularly exciting me other the Paiute Pass trip.
We're coming from San Francisco, so the furthest we'd probably drive is Bishop on the east or Lodgepole or Road's End on the west
And yes I know its November and it could snow, if the forecast changes we'll adjust our trip, and carry all the requisite gear to either hunker down or make our way out. But as of now the forecast looks good. Its too early in the year to start hiding in the city.



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Re: Fall/Winter hiking

Postby gulliver » Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:32 pm

markorr, i, too, am looking for a last chance walk this weekend and have been thinking hard about a rae lakes loop (clockwise) from roads end (i would drive up wed night). the road closes nov 12 and the weather forecast as of today is favorable. if you glean any info about glen pass conditions, please post it! i'm looking to keep snow travel to a minimum. my usual walking buddy is out of commission so i'd be happy to join forces, particularly for the glen pass aspect.
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Re: Fall/Winter hiking

Postby markorr » Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:42 pm

Gulliver, so far I've only heard about the snow at Piute Pass as posted above. IIRC Glen Pass is about 500' higher than Piute, so you might run into snow between the lakes and the Pass. I've been that way in the summer and negotiating Glen wasn't too bad then. Thanks for the invitation to join you, but we've been to Rae lakes twice in the last two years so we'll probably head somewhere else, but it should be a good trip :)
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Re: Fall/Winter hiking

Postby maverick » Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:55 pm

The Granite Lake, Volcanic Lakes, and Kennedy Lakes Loop is a great trip with
very few people visiting this area, though this time of the year it would not be
a problem any where you go.
If you do decide to do this trip do not bother trying to follow the un-maintained
trail following Kennedy Creek down, and then up Dead Pine Ridge, it is non-existent
in a lot of places and you will waste a lot of time trying to look for it, it may be
covered by snow anyway so it may not be issue.
This area is very scenic and should be worth your consideration.
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Re: Fall/Winter hiking

Postby markorr » Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:56 pm

Thanks. do you have any good photos of that area? What are the photographic high points?
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Re: Fall/Winter hiking

Postby maverick » Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:52 pm

Kennedy Lakes, Volcanic Lakes, and Granite Lake are all photogenic areas, and
believe me, neither will disappoint.
You can google these areas to get some photo's of them, Tehipite Tom has visited
the area and has some pic's on-line too.
With that said I would expect snow all the way, so if you did not want to deal with
snow, this trip might be best done at an other time.
Last edited by maverick on Tue Nov 03, 2009 7:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Fall/Winter hiking

Postby John Dittli » Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:29 pm

I was just up at Mono Pass south today. There is quite a bit of snow in upper Little Lakes Valley, between what I saw today and the other day up at Piute, I think you would be in quite a bit of snow over at Bear Lakes.

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Re: Fall/Winter hiking

Postby markorr » Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:43 pm

thanks. we either need to rethink our destinations or rethink what kind of trip we want to do. I talked to Bishop Ranger station today and they said snow line around there is about 9500 +/- which fits with what you're saying. I had called them last Friday as well but the person manning the phones then didn't know anything. How far did you go into Little Lakes Valley?
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Re: Fall/Winter hiking

Postby John Dittli » Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:30 pm

I actually went up just short of Mono Pass (above Ruby Lake). From that trail is a good view into LLV. Looked like pretty solid snow from Chicken Foot lake on up. 9,500 seems low, maybe on north facing. More like 10-10,500.

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Re: Fall/Winter hiking

Postby Skibum » Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:23 pm

I was on Whitney during the recent search. Snow and ice was starting to thin out. Descended the west side to our camp at Guitar lake with no problems. Have not had any real wx since. Friend hiked to Pear lake and back yesterday. Trail was clear. Cloudy and chilly right now, but no precip.

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Re: Fall/Winter hiking

Postby maverick » Sat Nov 07, 2009 5:58 pm

Thanks Skibum and JD for the backcountry update.
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Re: Fall/Winter hiking

Postby markorr » Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:56 pm

Just returned. Went from Sabrina Lake up to Echo Lake, patchy snow above 10,000 becoming more solid around 11,000. We also stopped by Little Lakes Valley. The trail has patchy snow to Chickenfoot, although easy to navigate. The drainage from Long Lake up Treasure Lakes was snowfilled. We made it up without snowshoes, although we punched through quite often. Great weather all weekend.
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