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Easy-ish Yosemite backpack in July+few skeeters=possible?

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Easy-ish Yosemite backpack in July+few skeeters=possible?

Postby thetanch » Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:57 am

Hi all.

My brother and I are trying to plan a 1 or 2 night backpack in Yosemite on the weekend of July 17.

He and I are Level 2 experience, but 3 other Level 1ers will be joining us.

The two of us have dealt with Class 2 terrain, but the others, not so much. I think doing 4-6 miles a day would be reasonable.

Our main interest is having fun in the Sierras, which does not include being massacred by mosquitos. Is there anywhere this might be possible? Or did we pick the worst weekend imaginable?

Somewhere in the park would be our first choice, but we're open to other areas too.

Thanks!



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Re: Easy-ish Yosemite backpack in July+few skeeters=possible?

Postby SSSdave » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:02 pm

Mosquitoes will be bad everywhere except the top of windy ridges when the wind is blowing although some places are certain to be worse than others. So either don't go or learn to enjoy the outdoors despite mosquitoes. I'm out in mosquito season every year and rarely get bit. Each year several of us post advice on strategies.

As for a fun destination? Try Kibbie Lake at 6.6k at 4 miles from Cherry Lake TH. By mid July most snow in that area will have melted while usual more popular timberline areas will still be in the peak of melt and squeeters. The lake has lots of cliffs right at the lake edge, is a challenge to hike around due to climbing around domes and some bushwhacking, has naturalized very evolved rainbow trout, and wildlife.
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Re: Easy-ish Yosemite backpack in July+few skeeters=possible?

Postby rlown » Sat Jun 26, 2010 1:05 pm

thetanch wrote:Our main interest is having fun in the Sierras, which does not include being massacred by mosquitos. Is there anywhere this might be possible? Or did we pick the worst weekend imaginable?

Somewhere in the park would be our first choice, but we're open to other areas too.

Thanks!


Ok.. If you don't want to be eaten alive, but wouldn't mind snow, go high. Anywhere below 8500 right now is about to bloom with skeeters. As SSSdave said, learn to love the skeeter in the early season, or to be specific, long sleeves, repellent, tents..

I would think that Kibbie if gonna be really heavy per your date. the skeeters follow the melt.

What do you really want to do in the Sierra? "Have fun" is assumed, but be more specific: fishing, photography, climbing, site-seeing..
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Re: Easy-ish Yosemite backpack in July+few skeeters=possible?

Postby thetanch » Sat Jun 26, 2010 1:53 pm

Thanks for the advice guys.

Site-seeing is what we want more than anything else. We're from LA and NYC so just being amongst the trees, mountains, lakes, (mosquitos), is what we're after. Fishing could be cool, but not mandatory by any means.

Kibbie looks beautiful. We're not really prepared for snow camping, so it sounds like we just need to suck it up and follow the mosquito avoidance techniques mentioned in this forum.

Any other options/opinions are much appreciated. Thanks!!
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Re: Easy-ish Yosemite backpack in July+few skeeters=possible?

Postby tim » Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:59 pm

You could do worse than copying my Rancheria Falls trip (2 nights with a dayhike to LeConte Point) last week: http://www.highsierratopix.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5136

It will probably be pretty hot in July (Rancheria Falls is at 4500ft), but if the skeeters are starting to ease anywhere then it might be there (assuming you pick the right campsite). No problems with permit availability either. You have beautiful views but limited options for swimming. The walk in along the reservoir (7 miles) is all on trail - its pleasant and quite well shaded. The day trip to Le Conte Point (5-6 miles) is mostly on trail with a bit of very easy and fun cross-country (and far less bushwacking than I expected from other write-ups).
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Re: Easy-ish Yosemite backpack in July+few skeeters=possible?

Postby thetanch » Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:54 pm

Really appreciate the advice.

We're pretty concerned that the city folk coming with us will be miserable if we're dealing with swarms of mosquitos. At this point we're considering abandoning the Yosemite trip for somewhere lower elevation where the melt has long since passed and mosquitos have hopefully moved on. Or is this just wishful thinking at this time of year?

How about Kings Canyon/Sequoia? Would that be any better?
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Re: Easy-ish Yosemite backpack in July+few skeeters=possible?

Postby ndwoods » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:18 pm

I would 2nd Kibbie...possibility it will be lower than the skeeters by the 17th. Sequoia and KC trails are pretty high tho near Roads End for car camping the skeets should be gone. Not sure about south of there in Golden Trout...maybe along the Kern, but I think you mostly have to go high to get to the lower kern river area....
Bring headnets, tents and deet and enjoy is my advice...
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Re: Easy-ish Yosemite backpack in July+few skeeters=possible?

Postby rlown » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:22 pm

i think the skeeters havent moved on from the lower elevations yet. In fact, they're just getting started.

One thought which i haven't researched (this year) is off of 88 to round top lake. It's not a bad hike, and it's probably still above skeeter range. City folks might not find that area too challenging. Pretty area, and if you choose to drop over to 4th of July lk, it's not that bad. I've been there about 5 times in two decades, and it's very nice. Skeeters are down low and follow the melt by about 3 weeks. I think round top is at 9400', the ranger station is right there at the entry for permits, and you can always go an easy off-trail to emigrant lk.
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Re: Easy-ish Yosemite backpack in July+few skeeters=possible?

Postby maverick » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:45 pm

If you are really worried about the skeetrz ruining your friends experience
then wait till later in the season, otherwise prepare yourselves with the proper
skeetr deterrence techniques.
I know of people who really let skeertz mess with there minds, and will not go
until late August or September because of bad experiences in the past.
It is to bad because July and early August are the best times for wildflowers.
I just got back from Yosemite and there were no skeetrz to talk about in the upper
Tuolumne River Canyon down to Waterwheel Falls area, but the Meadows had areas
that they were swarming, if this was an indicator on what is to come than it will be
pretty bad in a few weeks.
I heard the Valley was getting pretty bad.
Last edited by maverick on Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Easy-ish Yosemite backpack in July+few skeeters=possible?

Postby ndwoods » Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:25 pm

If they are bad in the valley now per the previous poster, they should be bearable 4-5000 ft mid July if that helps...
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Re: Easy-ish Yosemite backpack in July+few skeeters=possible?

Postby thetanch » Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:20 am

Thanks for all the help guys.

We ended up going to Jennie Lake, and we had a blast. The hike in was a little more challenging than anticipated, but well worth it.

P1000872.JPG


Mosquitoes weren't bad for the most part, though close to the lake, streams, and meadows they were pretty heavy. The advice on this forum helped tremendously to keep them at bay.

On day 2, my brother and I climbed the peak. Wow!

P1000852.JPG


Thanks again. I'll definitely keep an eye on this forum for future trips.

-Aran
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