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Trip Advice to Vee Lake

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Trip Advice to Vee Lake

Postby chellnyb » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:21 am

I have hiked Bear Creek to Lk Italy, & Lk. Florence to Marie & Three Island Lakes. Experienced backpacker, comfortable navigating XC but with 68-year-old knees, not comfortable on Class 3 terrain or rough XC terrain (read: rock leaping) with a full pack. Has anyone hiked up the east fork of Bear Creek to Vee Lake? How far before the trail peters out? Then how rough?
TX for the help!



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Re: Trip Advice to Vee Lake

Postby copeg » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:52 am

Hiked it in 2006 and the 'trail' could have changed a bit since then, but I recall the only messy part being a small section where the trail leads one to skirt a steep rocky section. It was the end of a long day and I just went with it without looking for an easier alternative - but there probably is one if you spend some time looking. I lost the trail a bit higher up just near the first lake...up to that point I recall it fading in and out at times, but manageable to follow.
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Re: Trip Advice to Vee Lake

Postby Troutdog 59 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:11 am

While I will admit it has been quite some time since I visited Vee, (late 80's and again in the mid 90's), I dont recall the trek being any more dificult than those you mention in that drainage. I seem to recall a decent trail to the Seven Gable Lakes and easy walking in the Seven gables chain. On both trips I camped at the larger of the Seven Gables lake and hiked the next day up to Vee and above to the Bear Lakes. I dont recall a trail to Vee, but I also dont recall the route being difficult. Typically Sierra slabs that we just picked a route and up we went. Getting around in the Bear Lakes wasnt that difficult either, but crossing to Italy was a tad challenging.
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Re: Trip Advice to Vee Lake

Postby Carne_DelMuerto » Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:46 am

I hiked up to Seven Gables Lakes in 2001 and to Vee Lake 2004. The trail from the PCT up to the lowest lowest lake is pretty well defined, but does have one section around a rocky crag that requires you pay attention (but no rock leaping). IIRC, the trail follows the creek pretty closely after that and then peters out as you reach the lowest lake. There is a large talus field on the north side that we've traveled across before, but I think you can avoid that entirely. One you are at the lake I think there was a use trail that goes along the west side of the valley, but even that was hard to follow and at that point you can follow the rolling slabs up the hill. Same for the hike up to Vee Lake, just follow the drainage up the rolling, broken slabs. (You'll want to be on the left side of the drainage as you come up as the use trail will be on the north side of the lake once you reach the outlet.)

Seven Gables Lakes has some amazing terrain between the lakes...I could have spent days there just checking it out. Our time at Vee Lake was cut short due to my friend's altitude sickness, but it was amazing as well. I think with your experience you should have no problem getting up there. Enjoy it!

vee_lake_july_2004.jpg
Vee Lake crew, 2004.
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Re: Trip Advice to Vee Lake

Postby maverick » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:54 pm

Hi Chellnyb

Welcome to HST!
I visited Vee and Orchid Lake last year, and the terrain up to Vee was easy going.
There is a decent trail to follow next to the creek up to SGL.
Your knees will not have any rock hopping or rough terrain to endure, and if you
have the time go visit Orchid Lake on the opposite side of the JMT up on the bench
the views from there towards the east into the basin is just absolutely gorgeous.
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Re: Trip Advice to Vee Lake

Postby Kelbaker » Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:16 pm

I hiked to Seven Gables and Vee Lakes area in 2009 with my brothers and sister and like the other posters mentioned the trail is not to bad. There is a knapsack trail most of the way, although I do remember that I would not want to be hiking there at melt out because it looked like the creek would be roaring.
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Re: Trip Advice to Vee Lake

Postby chellnyb » Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:11 pm

TX everyone, for your help; it's greatly appreciated.

CB
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Re: Trip Advice to Vee Lake

Postby quentinc » Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:23 am

I should probably be ashamed to admit this, but when I took the trail up to Seven Gables Lakes, I kind of lost the thread towards the end. The terrain was still fairly easy, but it involved much needless weed whacking. Maybe I got distracted because I spent the whole time wishing I'd gone up over Gemini Pass instead. That route is quite dramatic and beautiful, but particularly if there's snow, you can get into a little Class 3 on the west side of the pass, so you may not want to venture that.
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