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Memorial Day Weekend: Desolation

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Memorial Day Weekend: Desolation

Postby gochicagobears! » Thu May 13, 2010 6:32 pm

hi guys, good to see some familiar names posting. i hope you all had a great winter and are ready (at least mentally!) for the backpacking season!
I'll be heading out for my first trip of the year Memorial Day weekend to Desolation, snowpack permitting...
from Glen Alpine to Gilmore, then day hikes to Half Moon and Fontanellis in search of Mr. Brookie... tight lines everyone!
TR and photos to follow!
:)

al



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Re: Memorial Day Weekend: Desolation

Postby hikerduane » Thu May 13, 2010 6:52 pm

It ought to be wet. I was snow camping over a month ago, the snow wasn't as deep as I thought it should be, but it hasn't been that warm in the area, with snow this week. I want to do another trip about this time of the year sometime, I'm thinking I went just a tad early for what I wanted to see. What ever that was.
Piece of cake.
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Re: Memorial Day Weekend: Desolation

Postby giantbrookie » Fri May 14, 2010 1:06 pm

I suspect that the lakes you are targeting will be frozen over and you will have to audible to lower elevation targets (to use the football metaphor). According to the snow course measurements, this year is heavier than 1997, 2000-2004 and 2007-2009, but less than 1998, 1999, 2005, 2006 and similar to 1996 (calibrated with the DWR Echo Summit and Lost Corner Mtn. historical data using the May snowcourse measurements that were taken at the beginning of this month or near the end of last month). I only tried one Gilmore trip "early" and it was July 3, 1999. My notes state that this was approximately one week after the thaw: the lake had been 100 percent frozen over two week earlier (aerial information provided to me by DFG that year). I would guess that Gilmore doesn't thaw until mid June or so this year. The only lake that has a chance of being thawed in the Glen Alpine drainage by Memorial Day is Grass Lake.

The one group of lakes in the area that is likely to be thawed Memorial Day is the Buck Island-Rockbound group. Given that 1996 is pretty similar in this area (see above) my notes for Buck Island as of 6/8/96 say that the lake had apparently been thawed since a few days before Memorial Day weekend. Accordingly, if I was headed to this area to fish Memorial Day weekend, that is where I'd go. Otherwise I'd head down the east side to places such as Secret, Poore, Lane etc., although those lakes will be pretty crowded Memorial Day.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: Memorial Day Weekend: Desolation

Postby SSSdave » Fri May 14, 2010 9:03 pm

Agreed, too much snow. Snow visited the high country every week this April inhibiting the melt in shady exposures significantly. Alot of people making plans this year are going to get a cold wet surprise.
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Re: Memorial Day Weekend: Desolation

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat May 15, 2010 7:06 pm

Today I hiked to Italian Bar from Forest Hill Ridge. This is at 5000 feet elevation, west of Desolation. After the hike we drove up the road and there is about 3 feet of snow at 5,500 feet in patches and it becomes soild snow at about 6,000 feet. The view of Desolation from the ridge was one of total snow! Unless we get two weeks of 90-degrees+ I think you will hit quite a bit of snow in Desolation on Memorial Day. One area that may work, however, is a trip out of Loon Lake, if you stay lower.
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Re: Memorial Day Weekend: Desolation

Postby gochicagobears! » Sun May 16, 2010 6:34 pm

thanks for the suggestions and recent trail info everyone!
i think we'll have to audible and keep it to a lower elevation...
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