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holiday backpack check in

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holiday backpack check in

Postby SSSdave » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:11 am

July is finally here and many of us no doubt have backpacking plans for this holiday weekend. Given the Sierra snow/water conditions, I would be amused to hear where some of you have chosen to visit. So when, where, and why are you going?

I just phoned Stanislaus National Forest when they opened up this morning for a 3 night wilderness permit for two of us into Kibbie Lake from the Kibbie Ridge trailhead. There is a 25 person quota and only 9 people had picked up a permit yesterday afternoon to start in today. Certainly the quotas will fill up the next couple days. Kibbie is a destination I've visited over the long years a few times on Memorial Day holiday but this year with conditions likely to be a good choice for Independence Day weekend. An unusually low elevation at 6650 feet glaciated granite lake with tall dome cliffs at lake edge and deep waters on its eastern side. The lake has strong colored rainbow trout that have distinctly evolved and stabized in that body of water since being introduced in the late 1800s. The lake has a pretty good late spring spawning stream though Kibbie Creek sometimes completely dries up late season. The 3/4 mile long lake is rather difficult to circle around because on the north and east sides one needs to climb up a few hundred feet up and down domes with brushy bushwhack areas about. Late afternoon we'll be picking up the permit then starting up the 4 miles of trail about sunset night hiking with flashlights though will not go all the way in tonight. I was at 5k to 7k elevations of Yosemite last weekend and found that to be optimal, somewhat dried with peaking vegetation and wildflowers and lots of creatures out enjoying their peak yearly bounties. So for me this is a better idea than visiting the wet, snow melt squeetery areas higher up that I'd normally visit on the holiday.



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Re: holiday backpack check in

Postby TehipiteTom » Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:57 pm

Good choice for a (de facto) early-season trip. Lots of other destinations from that trailhead would be suitable right now: Cherry Creek, or any of the lakes east of Kibbie Ridge (Flora, Spotted Fawn, etc.).

I was trying to figure out where to go, and pretty much all of the non-snowbound backpacking locations I could think of were places either I'd already been (Kibbie Ridge & environs, e.g.) or wasn't interested in. So instead I'm doing a wildflower-hunting road trip with dayhikes in the Northern Sierra, up via Quincy and back over Carson Pass.
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Re: holiday backpack check in

Postby Jaeger » Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:29 pm

I'm planning to scout around the Wishon area this weekend. I called the High Sierra station in Prather. They said they haven't had any reports from their people for the area yet but the trailheads are free of snow along McKinley Grove Road. I'm hoping snow line will be about 9000 but that may be wishful at this point. I do know the creeks will be running high. I'm going to try to avoid the big ones as much as possible. We'll see what happens. Really looking forward to exploring this area.
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Re: holiday backpack check in

Postby Timberline » Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:05 pm

TehipiteTom wrote:I'm doing a wildflower-hunting road trip with dayhikes in the Northern Sierra, up via Quincy and back over Carson Pass.


Hey Tom,
Would love to hear about the flower conditions at Carson after your return. We were just up there yesterday, but didn't have time to stop (and smell the flowers! yeah I know). This should be a banner year at the pass, but is it still too early?

Would appreciate any feedback; Thanks a bunch O:)
Let 'er Buck! Back in Oregon again!
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Re: holiday backpack check in

Postby diesel » Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:53 pm

I might backpack this weekend if i pull something together at the last minute, but just this last weekend I hiked the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River in Yosemite starting at White Wolf. It's a great time of year for this trip, so might be one to consider for those of you who are thinking about switching to a different trailhead due to snow
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Re: holiday backpack check in

Postby hikerduane » Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:13 pm

Non-Sierra bp with a younger friend and his dog B into the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness out of Ides Cove for two nights. Once again, when the High Sierra Music Festival is in town, I head out.
Piece of cake.
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Re: holiday backpack check in

Postby giantbrookie » Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:53 pm

I am currently scrambling to save what had been a planned family backpack to our "usual" (would be 3rd year) easy-to-reach trailless spot. We were there last 4th of July weekend and were the only ones there. Unfortunately I had word today that the access road is gated off and won't be open until next week. Option no. 1 scratched. Option no. 2 (another off trail hike; bit tougher for the kids) Is the log that blocked a certain access road several weeks ago still there. Answer: was still there a week ago, no word on whether its been removed. I'm not taking that chance. Option no. 3 Somewhat longer on-trail hike to 1st Dinkey (requires a bit of improv and off trail to avoid certain-to-be bad stream crossing at beginning). Nope--- snow still blocking road as of yesterday. Option no. 4 Pryor Lake. Access road seems favorable (have insider report from USFS geologist (former student) that it isn't blocked until well past the starting pt for Pryor). Do we really want to go there? I need to review the magic database. Gut feeling says no. Option no. 5 pending, but doubtful. This is an off trail option very similar to no.1 in degree of difficulty and seclusion (and, according to one report, fishing quality) but the access road, although S. facing, goes quite high. Moreover, drop into lake may feature some snow that would be a bit scary with small kids. Option no. 6 punt and move trip to next weekend. Odds of option no. 6 at this point is greater than 50 percent (facing third and about 18).

If I could backpack anywhere I wanted to this weekend? See TahoeJeff Desolation report in fishing.
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: holiday backpack check in

Postby Jaeger » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:04 pm

Hey GB, to give you a little info on your option #4. I was up at Pryor Lake on May 29th and 30th this year. We hiked the access road (Forest Route 7S81) due to the snow but I would imagine it's totally thawed by now. The lake was just icing out and the snow on the hike in averaged about 2 to 5 feet deep. I would imagine its nice and thawed by now. I wouldn't mind going back myself. The only disappointing part was that I couldn't fish (and it was COLD). Other than that it's a beautiful little lake in a great setting and the hike shouldn't be too bad for the kids either. We were the first one's in this season. Here's a few photos. Hope you find a good trip for the weekend.
Pryor_01.JPG
Pryor Lake - frozen

Pryor_02.JPG
Snow camping

Pryor_03.JPG
Fun hike
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Re: holiday backpack check in

Postby TehipiteTom » Fri Jul 02, 2010 7:55 am

Timberline wrote:
TehipiteTom wrote:I'm doing a wildflower-hunting road trip with dayhikes in the Northern Sierra, up via Quincy and back over Carson Pass.


Hey Tom,
Would love to hear about the flower conditions at Carson after your return. We were just up there yesterday, but didn't have time to stop (and smell the flowers! yeah I know). This should be a banner year at the pass, but is it still too early?

Would appreciate any feedback; Thanks a bunch O:)

Will do! I'm guessing it's a little early for the big sweeping carpets of flowers you get up there, but I'm sure there'll be something worth looking at. And even without flowers, it's a great area for dayhikes.

I'm going to be stopping at a bunch of different places at different elevations, so I'm hoping to hit at least one of them at peak.
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Re: holiday backpack check in

Postby giantbrookie » Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:24 am

Jaeger, thanks for the feedback and photos. I also heard from someone who visited Pryor in a past season. That report was enough to persuade me to save Pryor until I can personally look at this on a dayhike (before taking the kids up--a potential issue may be ease-of-fishing/potential rate of success for my son.)

Unless my wife changes her mind it looks like we've decided to do a short dump off pass (NOT one of the 5 options up there) on 3rd and long and see if we can get the first down that way; tad more distance than Pryor or options 1 and 5, considerably more people (unless folks are really put off by this late thaw) owing to its on-trail nature and ease-of-access. If we do this trip, you'll read about it on the fishing forum come Monday. Now it's time to head for the weight room for my last workout of the week. Need to stay strong to lift the 75 lb pack on the back for the family trip.
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: holiday backpack check in

Postby f212 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:06 pm

I'm doing a little reverse psychology and not going out of town this weekend - Angelinos are creatures of habit, and everyone leaves the city on the 4th. I'll probably do a nice hike in Griffith park and not run into a soul.

Seriously, though, I usually do the Cottonwood lakes this time of year, but hear that the upper ones are still snowed in.

Instead I'll probably be going out next weekend into the upper Golden Trout Wilderness. Up and over Cottonwood pass, knock around the back country there, and come back over trail pass. Never done that before but I'll bring my fly rod and see what happens.
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Re: holiday backpack check in

Postby windknot » Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:57 am

Jaeger wrote:I'm planning to scout around the Wishon area this weekend. I called the High Sierra station in Prather. They said they haven't had any reports from their people for the area yet but the trailheads are free of snow along McKinley Grove Road. I'm hoping snow line will be about 9000 but that may be wishful at this point. I do know the creeks will be running high. I'm going to try to avoid the big ones as much as possible. We'll see what happens. Really looking forward to exploring this area.


Hey Jaeger,

Sorry to catch this too late to help you out, but snow line is higher than 9,000 feet for the west slope central Sierra as of this Wednesday. I visited a lake off Kaiser Pass Road sitting at just over 9,000 feet on a north-facing slope and the trail was 99% snow-free. The lake looked to have been thawed for at least a few weeks. Hope you have a nice trip!

Matt
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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