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We Just Walked in to see what Condition our Condition was in

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We Just Walked in to see what Condition our Condition was in

Postby Take-a-Hike » Sun Jul 11, 2010 5:58 pm

But, that wasn't our intention. We meant to get across Bear Creek, up to the Apollo Lakes area. But that didn't happen. First clue was the Rangerette picking up the permit..."Bear Creek is very dangerous. A through hiker was swept downstream for (X) yards before she could get out". Later, driving up, I dismissed as being a 2-3 week old horror story. Then, on the trail, we ran into some youngsters, (mid 20's), doing the Florence to Bear Div Dam loop, almost done, said that the creek was pretty bad and a lot of snow on top w/Lake Marie all frozen over w/snow a considerable distance below there. One gal said there was a rope across the stream somewhere just below the trail crossing but the rope was under water. It did make for a successful crossing though, water about up to their waists.
So, we camped at the falls, had a good time, went up to past the Lake Italy turnoff, putzed around, couldn't find anyplace I felt like encountering trying to cross Bear Creek just to climb up to Apollo area, didn't feel like putting wading shoes on getting across a side stream to go higher up, (was required on streams that normally you can rock hop across), so we camped again overlooking the JMT and Bear Creek. 3rd day we aborted and came out...arriving home July 4th.
However, not all was wasted:
1. How can you go wrong camping in the SNF?
2. Weather great, bugs as expected: most times a 1-2, spiked like crazy around the swamps/wet areas. We managed to find two camp areas where they peaked at 2.
3. Packs heavy; Planned on 4 nites out, so it was a good conditioning hike for our biggie in Aug..over Isberg Pass and into Yosemite for 8 nites.
4. Wife is always a trip...but unfortunately, this time literally. Coming out, about 8 miles, all downhill, she jumped in the lead as I stopped to p. She was motoring along, head down, tough to keep up. I was wondering what she'd do when the JMT/Bear Creek trails split...she was looking for the camping area about 1/2 mile below the split. She came to it, stopped, then said, where's the split in the trail? I said, about 1/2 mile and 10 minutes back. She said, boy, I was moving right along. I said, yes, but w/no idea where you were going. She said, I guess it's tough to do both. Later, with about 1/4 mile left to the parking lot, me in the lead, going slower than she was, I heard a "KATHUMP", and a big moan and cry....she had fallen flat on her nose, but in the softest spot around. I had to help her up, but she had a little cut on her nose where her sun glasses were. She said she heard her nose crack...was a little out of breath and shaken, but none the worse for the wear. We stopped at Mono Hot Springs on the way out, got some ice,a beer (well, a couple) she took a pill and 30 minutes later was feeling no pain. Sure enough, a couple of days later it was puffy, some bluing under the eys, and x-rays showed a slight break. She has an appt this week to see what they want to do about it....hopefully, nothing. I told her she'll look like Barbara Streisand soon enough. Never a dull moment with her around...
Just another Sierra adventure....but she liked it cause I took our time (mostly) and had no where to go to in a hurry.



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Re: We Just Walked in to see what Condition our Condition was in

Postby windknot » Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:58 pm

Thanks for the informative and entertaining report! I've been wanting to visit the Apollo Lake area for a few years now and have toyed with the possibility of routes from Bear Diversion Dam (crossing the creek at the dam and then heading up the ridge from there) or from Hooper Diversion Dam (contouring up and then around to hit the unofficial stock trail).

Matt
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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Re: We Just Walked in to see what Condition our Condition was in

Postby Take-a-Hike » Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:38 pm

I had asked for suggested routes...only response was to go up to almost the Italy cutoff trail, cross Bear Creek there and follow the outlet stream up to Apollo. I think there might be a ok route cutting across, in normal times, from where the Bear twin falls are and following the ridge up from there, which looks a bit easier than from down around the BDD. I almost considered crossing the creek just above the falls, but chickened out. It was deep, but not as swift as in other areas. Problem I had was the water was so stinking cold, body went numb pretty quick and my wife is a bit slow and unsure of her footing....and I wasn't in the mood to go fish her out somewhere. It would have been a nice "E" ticket ride down the falls, most likely not that serious of an adventure w/a nice hugh pool in which to drag one out of, but a little more fun in some warmer water.
However, while in the parking lot next to the damn, we did run into a couple of kids who did a trek in from around Florence and came up from the back way, showed me on a map and that looked doable as well, given the time in which to do it in. They seemed quite adept at cross country and skipping around through passes, ridges and cols more so than us in an off trail environment. I think the entire area is relatively easy in off trail travel given the aptitude and time in which to do it, and w/streams more cooperative.
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