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Trip Report Summit Lake Hoover Wilderness

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Trip Report Summit Lake Hoover Wilderness

Postby EastSideClimb » Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:54 pm

What a summer! Or should I say What? A summer? Late snows derailled my JMT trip (although I must say my wishy washiness played a part too. All I could muster other than several Car camping fishing sojourns was a return to my "sacred grounds." Summit Lake in the Hoover Wilderness has always been a spiritual spot for my family and I. I don't know if it's the many arrowheads to be found there or it being perfectly situated between beautiful Wilderness areas, but it has always been a perfect Out and Back from Virginia Lake TH. So my buddy soon to relocate to the urban wilderness of NYC decided to take a quick 3 day trip in the middle of a July Heat wave.

After encountering an "equipment problem" (left being bear canister full of food on Sonora Pass) we hit the trail at about 1pm. Love the climb up to the pass above Blue, Cooney and Frog Lakes....great bang for your buck as the TH is already 9,000 ft plus. I was suprised to see the snow had rapidally melted since my June fishing trip to the same area.

We pushed up the pass, dropped down to the "hole" between the pass and Summit Lk, and made a great site at the west end. I was glad to find eager brookies on the protected from wind side of the lake. You know your in the right spot when you get a good 12 incher on the FIRST CAST. 4 fish were "invited to dinner" and we ate a delicious meal.

The next day we did a scramble across the NW ridge of Gabro peak to the upper reaches of Virginia Canyon. Naturally we found beautiful cold water bath tubs in the meandering and still swiftly flowing creek. After a bath and some sunning, we scrambled up the West end Valley and had some exquisite views looking south. After a long hike down the valley and back up to Summit Lake we were ready for a snack and hit the hay early.

In he middle of the night we were awakened by a sickening crunch and crack followed by a water fall off rock hitting the lake. Apparently the warm night and days of above average temps must have loosened up some snow/rock on the South wall of the lake, sending rock and scree down into the lake...needless to say that sound was pretty freaky and caused a little tossing and turning.

Next day we made our way back up and over the pass amid clouds of mosquitos in down into the Virginia Lakes basin and into 85+ degree weather....AT 10 AM!!!!!!! Definitely on of the hottest day's I've ever had over 10,000 ft. Then it was off to the baptism ritual in Tenya, a few IPAs and El Jardin in Oakdale for a great meal! In all, an enjoyable albeit short trip.

Here is a link to my pics:

http://picasaweb.google.com/jcwilson227 ... directlink

ESC



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Re: Trip Report Summit Lake Hoover Wilderness

Postby maverick » Sat Oct 30, 2010 3:48 pm

Nice TR, and pic's.
My sister and her husband really like that area.
Glad you got out, and shared some time with your buddy before he leaves NYC.
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Re: Trip Report Summit Lake Hoover Wilderness

Postby bheiser1 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 5:11 pm

I'm looking at the photos and imagining being up there :).

I'm curious ... how did you solve the "equipment problem"?
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Re: Trip Report Summit Lake Hoover Wilderness

Postby Herm » Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:32 am

ESC;
Thanks for sharing, your pictures bring back some great memories. In 2008, my wife and I camped in that exact spot at Summit Lake, and enjoyed a few days hiking down Green Creek and up Virginia Canyon. We had limited success for small brook trout at Summit Lake.
And we witnessed a rather large bear swimming along the southern edge of Summit Lake one morning, on its way into Yosemite.
Cheers,
Herm
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Re: Trip Report Summit Lake Hoover Wilderness

Postby windknot » Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:35 am

Nice shots, thanks for the report! That sunset shot over Summit certainly lends itself to that sort of "mountains as cathedral" feeling which you describe.
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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Re: Trip Report Summit Lake Hoover Wilderness

Postby EastSideClimb » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:22 am

bheiser,
About the equipment problem...there was one solution: Backtrack to our previous layover on the backside of Sonora Pass. I can now tell you with certainty how long it takes to get from the Virginia Lakes TH to about 1 mile from the pass and back. The good news is we got there ahead of schedule and only lost about an hour of trail time.

We heard about bears being seen in the area earlier in the year, but I must say in the maybe 12 days I've stayed in the in the area (and the 20 days+ I've stayed in Hoover) I've never seen one of our furry friends. Of course, I come from a family of uber planners and proper bear bag hanging/cannister stuffing is a right of passage.
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Re: Trip Report Summit Lake Hoover Wilderness

Postby Vaca Russ » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:20 am

EastSideClimb,

Great report!

EastSideClimb wrote:In he middle of the night we were awakened by a sickening crunch and crack followed by a water fall off rock hitting the lake. Apparently the warm night and days of above average temps must have loosened up some snow/rock on the South wall of the lake, sending rock and scree down into the lake...needless to say that sound was pretty freaky and caused a little tossing and turning.


That reminds me of a night I spent in LYV years ago. It was a rain/snow storm that caused repeated avalanches of rock, ice and snow all night long.

-Russ
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Re: Trip Report Summit Lake Hoover Wilderness

Postby Herm » Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:07 am

ESC;
We too are well practiced in proper food and scented item storage, so our bear encounter was not one that involved an invasion, merely a wildlife sighting from a respectable distance. Nonetheless, a thrilling encounter. Here are a couple pics of that encounter in July 2008

Image
a good sized black bear exits Summit Lake at its southwestern shore

Image
a zoomed in view, as the bear climbs the ridge heading west toward Yosemite

Image
here is that same campsite

Herm
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