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Kibbie Lake TR

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Kibbie Lake TR

Postby SSSdave » Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:44 pm

Returned from our 3-night Kibbie Lake backpack, Sunday afternoon. So last night feeling somewhat wimpy on the 4th got to hear a few hours of loud bangs about my very urban neighborhood here in Silicon Valley. Someone had too many long lengths of Chinese firecrackers.

I had phoned in for a WP reservation Thursday morning and set up a night box pickup that we grabbed at the Groveland RS on the drive in about 7pm. By time we got to the Kibbie Ridge trailhead and dealt with gear issues, twas already 9:20pm or about two hours past what I hoped for. But off we two went with flashlights. My bro Joe is not as enthusiastic a night hiker as I am haha but it went well. About 11:45pm we reached the destination about 2 miles in that required about a quarter mile crosscountry through some unpleasant burned areas from 2003(?) with downed logs and too much whitethorne. Slept soundly about a wide expanse of dry granite bedrock and gruss. Thankfully squeets were asleep enroute though we were in full battle gear and juiced up.

Slept well, woke at dawn, did some pre-sun photog. A bunch of smoke was billowing up from a fire. Maybe was a controlled burn because it was gone by afternoon for good. Fire in the Big Oak Flat area(?) and began moving up the Kibbie drainage making for an unpleasant smell. Otherwise a fine sunny day with usual afternonn breezes. Then made our way the rest of the way to Kibbie Lake at 6560 feet that is about 4.5 miles and 1k feet from the Shingle Springs TH. Wildflowers were just now peaking everywhere in the landscape in this cool delayed early summer so it was a good choice. The expanses of glaciated granite bedrock, many joint cracks, and granite sand flats between bedrock, had considerable pussypaws, mountain pride penstemon, Sierra onion, whiskerbrush, Bridge's gilia, Layne's monkeyflower, and pretty face. Many flats were covered by just rising short green grasses during this brief annual period of greenery in what by mid summer is bright, hot, brown, and unpleasant. Forest areas and moist meadows had many more species including dense mats of Brewer's lupine.

Image

On a leisurely pace stopping for pics, we reached our campsite at the lake about 10am, set up camp legal lakeside in a shady lodgepole grove at a point one can see up and down the west shore, then went fishing for lunch. A couple other groups were already at the 3/4 mile long lake but more would arrive the next couple days. Well I rigged up a #14 flying black ant and within an hour had caught a nice 11 inch rainbow. Joe tossed out a Kastmaster and reeled in a nice 13 inch mature fish with terrific coloration that lake is known for, plus a 10-inch fish. Enough for a lunch, he did the frying and I made the rice. Mosquitoes were few during most of the day, in part due to large numbers of damselflies and dragonflies. So we lounged about shirtless in shorts for hours. However early and late when the former fly not, minor numbers of mosquitoes were out so during those hours we wore appropriate clothing, head gear. Only applied some DEET a few times and got bit just twice all trip. Lots of fun the rest of the afternoon. Water temp was pleasantly in the low 60s so we were in and out a few times each day. Lakeside western azalea were all budded out with maybe 20% showing their big very fragrant white flowers. Made for a nice fragrance about our shore:

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Next morning we rambled north along the shore and while Joe fished, lugging my view camera I climbed up a big dome to expose a sheet of film down along the west shore. Note the triangular cliff at midground that rises maybe 70 feet was where someone cliff jumped while making a grainy YouTube video. The lake has many major cliffs directly into deep water though access to the east side of the lake is an unpleasant bushwhack. A place I've camped at nonetheless a few times in the past.


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Down below my bro did well catching his 5 fish limit up to 12 inches. And a bit later that made for a second big fish lunch. Joe had brought along some semi-dry mangos to which he added a bunch of the abundant Sierra onions all over sand flats to my rice. This pic a wider image from my G10 showing most of the lake. No snow anywhere in the drainage but streams and seeps had good flows reflecting the wet cool spring.

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We had an enjoyable afternoon with more water fun and explorations. Sunday sunrise a diablo wind was blowing from the east. We packed up, left, and had hiked out in about 3 hours. Along the way we met Joe A'n, an old timer volunteer wilderness ranger who checked our permit. We traded some amusing stories for about fifteen minutes. We'd seen a couple groups camped way too close to the lake and a couple groups had built firerings and fires which are illegal now at Kibbie. Would be amused to hear how dealing with those groups went.

David
Last edited by SSSdave on Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:11 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: Kibbie Lake TR

Postby Shawn » Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:54 pm

Beautiful pics and TR; thanks for posting......
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Re: Kibbie Lake TR

Postby gary c. » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:55 pm

Graet report and pictures, thaks' for posting.
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
-- Lionel Terray
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Re: Kibbie Lake TR

Postby hikerduane » Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:35 am

Thank you Dave, very informative. Like that last shot, took some hiking to get those.
Piece of cake.
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Re: Kibbie Lake TR

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:45 pm

Seeing that last picture, from there a nice variation is to keep heading up the canyon to Many Island Lake. There are some small lakes and some of the largest expanses of unbroken glacier polished granite you will find anywhere. The cross-country is very easy except at one little manageable choke point. A good day-hike from Kibbie L.
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Re: Kibbie Lake TR

Postby Ozark Flip » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:27 am

Too bad campfires are no longer allowed at Kibbie (second or third year) but it is simply getting a ton of traffic. My next Kibbie trip I will be camping at least ¼ mile from the lake and day hike to fish, swim, etc. Or, possible camp at Cherry and day hike to Kibbie. I too love the last shot and realize what it took to get that view.

Thanks,

Flip
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Re: Kibbie Lake TR

Postby SSSdave » Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:08 am

The southwest granite bedrock shores that are far more uneven than this image indicates due to deep joint cracks. We camped behind the lodgepole forest lower mid right just past where the shore is bright bedrock.

Image

View towards the northeast bay where the main stream flows in. One of the best places in the Sierra to see rainbow trout spawning during may while snow is still about in the shade.

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Yeah quite the feast Saturday noon with pieces of mango and Sierra onion. We often remove all the bones seen below at right, stirring in flesh into a mix of rice.

Image

Cliff Peninsula between the Northeast and Echo Bays. Lots of tall cliffs dropping into deep waters. Many flat granite sand flats to potentially camp atop though I've never ever even seen a person at that area though have explored it myself. Triangle Cliff at right is maybe a 70 feet jump.

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The north side of Echo Bay with its overhanging cliff. In the 80s three of us fished there one late May day and caught a fat stringer of fish. There is an aspen grove along the shore and one can also find those trees here and there elsewhere along the shore as well as up the ne stream.

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Re: Kibbie Lake TR

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:24 am

SSSdave:"The southwest granite bedrock shores that are far more uneven than this image indicates due to deep joint cracks."

I have not been there for a while but this does remind me. I have a favorite camp there. It is a ways from water, but I always bring a lightweight water bag. To find the camp, near a grove of trees near the water, I followed one of those joints, a small one, back up the (granite) hill a ways until at the top I am standing on three foot drop to a platform that is next to about a 10 foot cliff (the same one that backs that whole slab granite area near the shore). There is earth there for tent pegs, and at one time a fire ring. Beyond the cliff through the trees you can see a small tarn. You get shade from the trees growing next to the cliff.
One moonless night I went down for water and lost my camp! After searching a while, I finally found it.

Some years ago every year as soon as the TH was open, we would do Kibbie as an early season training hike. I have been turned back by snow on Kibbie Ridge. Many Island Lake is one of my favorite lakes in the Sierra (along with Flora Lake), and I was tempted to go there this year. I am planning something else instead (for next week). Thanks for jogging my memory SSSdave. ;) Nice pictures.
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Re: Kibbie Lake TR

Postby maverick » Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:27 am

Thanks Dave for the memories.
Love those granite cliffs, and I to like Flora Lake area.
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Re: Kibbie Lake TR

Postby SSSdave » Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:56 pm

Doyle, Many Island with all its islands is special. Like other lakes without spawning, rainbow trout died out quickly decades ago once planting stopped. It has ideal conditions for an eastern brook fishery except for the certainty it would contaminate the precious rainbow fishery down in Kibbie.

At Kibbie there are myriad excellent granite sand flats up on the sloping bedrock west of the lake shore. Love those kind of treeless campsites as long as shade is otherwise available. Last weekend we wandered about some of those areas. A few areas have sizeable eratic boulders that can provide good shade at all times of the day.

I was up at Flora in 1979 when I heard a report that the last rainbow trout in that lake, a lunker, had just been caught. Been to most of those noname ponds and now barren of fish waters, Boundary, Little Bear, Spotted Fawn, the Infernos, and looked down the big cliff into Evelyn.
Last edited by SSSdave on Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kibbie Lake TR

Postby SSSdave » Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:09 pm

Wanted to do some web research before adding the below interesting raptor sighting. While we at Kibbie, we noticed a mostly white with black coloration raptor flying back and forth along the lake. It would appear every hour or so and sometime make a high pitched squeal. I have rather poor knowledge of California birds and can recognize just a modest number of species by sight. At one point we see it flying with something down below in its claws maybe like a dark snake. But when it finally gets close enough we recognize it is one of the lake's trout and in fact a good sized one. So that's when I start thinking osprey, a bird I don't believe I'd knowingly seen before in the Sierra. The next day we saw it dive down to the water but veer away at the last moment. And then a second larger osprey appeared and were flying about several hours. And indeed read the following on a Yosemite bird website:

Pandion haliaetus; Osprey, Fish Eagle
...Summer R., principally along the coast and on larger lakes. C. V. to Yosemite region; most likely to be seen at Hetch Hetchy and Lake Eleanor.

Kibbie Creek is a tributary to Lake Eleanor that is actually a reservoir just a few miles to the south so it is not surprising those birds spend time at Kibbie since it has had an established rainbow trout fishery since the late 1880s. I wonder where the osprey nest and would expect the many cliffs at Kibbie might interest that species though the massive cliffs at Hetch Hetchy would be far more interesting. Would also expect osprey visit Lake Vernon and Evelyn Lake.
Last edited by SSSdave on Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kibbie Lake TR

Postby rlown » Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:55 pm

SSSdave wrote:Wanted to do some web research before adding the below interesting raptor sighting. While we at Kibbie, we noticed a mostly white with black coloration raptor flying back and forth along the lake. It would appear every hour or so and sometime make a high pitched squeal. I have rather poor knowledge of California birds and can recognize just a modest number of species by sight. At one point we see it flying with something down below in its claws maybe like a dark snake. But when it finally gets close enough we recognize it is one of the lake's trout and in fact a good sized one. So that's when I start thinking osprey, a bird I don't believe I'd knowingly seen before in the Sierra. The next day we saw it dive down to the water but veer away at the last moment. And then a second larger osprey appeared and were flying about several hours. And indeed read the following on a Yosemite bird website:

Pandion haliaetus; Osprey, Fish Eagle
...Summer R., principally along the coast and on larger lakes. C. V. to Yosemite region; most likely to be seen at Hetch Hetchy and Lake Eleanor.

Kibbie Creek is a tributary to Lake Eleanor that is actually a reservoir just a few miles to the south so it is not surprising those birds spend time at Kibbie since it has had an established rainbow trout fishery since the late 1880s. I wonder where the osprey nest and would expect the many cliffs at Kibbie might interest that species though the massive cliffs at Hetch Hetchy would be far more interesting. Would also expect osprey visit Lake Vernon and Edyth Lake.


I've seen Osprey and Golden Eagle in Virginia Lk, and Golden Eagle at Evelyn.

Might not see an Osprey again at Virginia. Amazing how many Eagles you get blurred in your pics when you didn't plan on it.
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