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H20 available on Bear Creek Tr. (not Bear Diversion)?

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H20 available on Bear Creek Tr. (not Bear Diversion)?

Postby sierramel » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:00 am

Can anyone comment on the old trail east to the JMT junction from the dam on the south side of Edison Lake? I know it is in the forest for the most part, but my maps do not show any water sources until south of the junction of the JMT on the south side of Bear Ridge. It looks like a dry, five and a half mile uphill stretch.
Thanx...
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Re: H20 available on Bear Creek Tr. (not Bear Diversion)?

Postby TehipiteTom » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:55 am

I did it in 2007 in early August, and my recollection is that at least one of the small streams shown on the topo was running.
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Re: H20 available on Bear Creek Tr. (not Bear Diversion)?

Postby bcrowell » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:05 am

5.5 miles without water doesn't seem to me like much, but another option would be to take the trail along the north side of the lake. The lake is accessible from that trail. Or you could even take the ferry.
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Re: H20 available on Bear Creek Tr. (not Bear Diversion)?

Postby maverick » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:03 am

I vaguely remember there being some stream on the way up, and this year
because of the higher than normal snow pack it should not be an issue.
Just carry water if needed, and get an early enough start to beat the heat, and you
will be fine.
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Re: H20 available on Bear Creek Tr. (not Bear Diversion)?

Postby TehipiteTom » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:16 pm

maverick wrote:I vaguely remember there being some stream on the way up, and this year
because of the higher than normal snow pack it should not be an issue.
Just carry water if needed, and get an early enough start to beat the heat, and you
will be fine.

Second the early start. I was on the trail before 7 am and got to the top (the junction) before the day got warm, which made a huge difference.

By way of contrast, the day before I had done the Bear Valley cut-off and didn't start until nearly 9 (dang ranger station doesn't open until 8), and that was much more arduous just because of the heat.
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Re: H20 available on Bear Creek Tr. (not Bear Diversion)?

Postby SSSdave » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:58 pm

Would recommend those asking for advice link to topo maps for discussions like this so members can go beyond vague advice.

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.36542,-118.96241&z=15&t=T

One can see three streams crossing the trail before it reaches the PCT/JMT at about the 5 mile point. Late August 1987 I took that trail enroute to nights at the little Recess Peak lakes and the 11221 peninsula. Since your post is now late July, your intent is likely for a visit after this date. By November if the rainy season hasn't begun, all three are likely to be dry as a bone. But I'm guessing your probably talking near term say in August. Stream #1 crossing the trail at 8000 is obviously the most rigorous but since its so close to the trailhead, is not likely to be of interest as one would not be thirsty at that point.

Stream #2 crossed at 8560 looks pretty small but I'd bet it is a consistent source. Notice how the basin above off the Horseshoe BM peak is mostly north facing and steep. Thus keeps snow later into summer. I can also see the terrain where the word "Bear" shows also flows into that basin. Although water at the trail may dry up in September, I'd bet if one rambled up to where the 8620 line crosses the obvious upper stream channel that water would be seeping out here and there. Also note the steep little knob with a tiny 9000 point just SE. Map shows a small avalanche runout into the forest. Would be the kind of spot I might night hike up to from the trailhead in order to bivy after a long drive on a Friday evening in order to get an easier start Saturday.

Trail crosses stream #3 twice at 8875 and then at 9420. No north facing ridges to keep the sun from melting snow in that drainage. However it has a rather large west facing gradually sloping area of lodgepole pine forest in granitoid soils for seeping water to drain from. This year I'd bet the first crossing will still have a little water flowing well into September but not the upper crossing.

Note Volcanic Knob higher up to the east. Some volcanic soils begin to show here and there above 9600 feet that make for pockets of interesting flora. Note the red word "Scenic" at 9800 on the PCT. The little light green dots is a good sized area of quaking aspen within a quite wet seep zone that usually also has abundant wildflowers in August. More aspen west between 9400 and 9600 as the area above there is wet with seeps. A good spot to camp would be the barren nose just SE of the little pond at 9480 as water is near and one has excellent views straight up Bear Creek canyon to Seven Gables. Unlike 95% of most backcountry visitors who are usually along trails or destination lake edges, I often camp at such open view points well away from trails.
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Re: H20 available on Bear Creek Tr. (not Bear Diversion)?

Postby sierramel » Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:57 pm

Thank you much.
It's a rather involved situation. I have a TRASHED lower back. 20 years of backcountry travel between Yosemite and the Golden Trout Wilderness, carrying a 70 lb. pack a major contribution. (people had never heard of the "Ray Way" in 1979) The last 12 years I have been leading a couple of llamas carrying my gear and food ( I live about 5 miles north of the Mc gee Pass Trail). Then, because of major illness I have been off the trail the last 3 years.
I had planned (and started) a trip from Reds' Meadow to Whitney which I began on July 12. After 4 days out, taking it easy on the single llama and me (and this is after my first epidural about the beginning of July), my sciatic nerve went into overdrive. So I had to abort my planned 40+ day trip so I could come back out and see my orthopedist and get a 2nd epidural.
I had to reconfigure my trip. I've been home since July 22nd.
Now, I'm going out on the Mono Pass Trail on Aug. 6th. We (the llama and I) are going to fool around and go slow the first few days to see how my back is working. If it works, we will hit Quail Meadows on August 11. I have a resupply to pick up at the VVR (which I had to postpone from it's original pickup date of July 21) on August 12th. Believe it or not, "we're" going to try to take the ferry if they will have us - (anyone know the VVR's policy about taking llamas across the lake on the ferry?) to the resort.
We'll be there 2 nights.
I have another resupply at the Muir Trail Ranch on August 21 (also delayed by three weeks), so obviously I'll be heading south across the dam, then east back toward the JMT on the Bear Ridge Trail.
We're now doing the JMT section from Bear Ridge through Evolution Valley and over Muir Pass, and coming out at South Lake (Bishop Pass) at the end of August.
I've been all over the JMT and eastside passes a zillion times, but never made it over to Vermilion Valley. Since I'm going to reload the llama with a new food stash there, and we're both a little past our prime (however he's 12, younger than me in llama years), we're going to head east to the JMT slow and easy. I plan to camp before we get to the JMT Junction on B.R. But H20 for him, and cooking for me, would be nice. The topo map I have and usually use, does not show any H20 on that stretch between the Edison dam, and the JMT on the south side of Bear Ridge.
Once I get back on the JMT, I know where all the campsites and water are for the next 125 miles. Joppa (the llama) and I will be happy if we don't have to turn around and go back over Mono Pass after four days out.
Thanx for the input........
"Some places remain unknown because no one has ventured forth. Others remain so because no one has ever come back."
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Re: H20 available on Bear Creek Tr. (not Bear Diversion)?

Postby Hikin Mike » Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:12 pm

Just want to say HI Mel...nice to 'see' you posting again!
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Re: H20 available on Bear Creek Tr. (not Bear Diversion)?

Postby sierramel » Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:41 pm

Hey! Hi.... Where do I know you from? Trail Talk? Have you been out on any hikes with me? I have forgotten a lot of peoples' trail names.. Just burnt out brain cells, you know.

Kisses....Mel
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Re: H20 available on Bear Creek Tr. (not Bear Diversion)?

Postby ERIC » Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:43 pm

sierramel wrote:Hey! Hi.... Where do I know you from? Trail Talk? Have you been out on any hikes with me? I have forgotten a lot of peoples' trail names.. Just burnt out brain cells, you know.

Kisses....Mel


If I'm not mistaken, you used to participate on these forums many moons ago? Think you used to have a Website, too, no?
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Re: H20 available on Bear Creek Tr. (not Bear Diversion)?

Postby sierramel » Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:51 pm

Wow! HI!
Feels like old home week.
Yep, had the website, did some llama packing business and became a real social butterfly. Then had my back crap out, got sick, dropped off the radar and into a hole it's been hard as hell to climb out of. Still working on it and not ready to give up yet. Now that I've found this site I'll be hanging around whenever I can't get out.
Keep your fingers crossed I don't have to crawl back out over Mono Pass 10 days after I head out.
Oh. I will be hating life then.
"Some places remain unknown because no one has ventured forth. Others remain so because no one has ever come back."
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Re: H20 available on Bear Creek Tr. (not Bear Diversion)?

Postby Hikin Mike » Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:29 pm

sierramel wrote:Hey! Hi.... Where do I know you from? Trail Talk? Have you been out on any hikes with me? I have forgotten a lot of peoples' trail names.. Just burnt out brain cells, you know.

Kisses....Mel


I met you in October 2002. You didn't hike, but you let a few of us camp out in your front/side yard before heading out to the Dingleberry Lake hike. Windwalker and I slept that night in an old camper/trailer.
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