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Rae Lakes, 60 Lakes Basin Backcountry Feasible in June?

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Rae Lakes, 60 Lakes Basin Backcountry Feasible in June?

Postby MarmotPrince » Mon May 23, 2011 1:10 am

I'm interested in a route up Kearsaage page, into the 60 lakes basin. Is this feasible in late June? I know the snowpack is massive. Anyone been up there recently or done similar backcountry trips? I snowshoe.



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Re: Rae Lakes, 60 Lakes Basin Backcountry Feasible in June?

Postby MarmotPrince » Mon May 23, 2011 1:38 am

I'm experienced on summer snow, neve. I've worked on 45 degree snow slopes. have crampons, snowshoes, ice axe. Done routes, scottish winter grade 2. Can climb low 5th class, done many trails at 2-3. I'm a solo backpacker.

Looking for 3-5 day trip. I would like to bag some of the accessible peaks. Cotter?
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Re: Rae Lakes, 60 Lakes Basin Backcountry Feasible in June?

Postby Mike M. » Mon May 23, 2011 10:40 am

Yes, it is feasible. Just expect to encounter lots of snow this year and come prepared for it. Snowshoes probably won't be much help. You'll need gaiters for sure. By mid June the snow should be well consolidated and deeply rutted in places from melt -- you'll come across steep sun cups. Travel is easier in the morning. You will find substantial areas that are free of snow. Skeeters will be out in force.

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Re: Rae Lakes, 60 Lakes Basin Backcountry Feasible in June?

Postby maverick » Mon May 23, 2011 11:34 am

Since you mention you have experience with snow travel, all the techniques, and
tools that go with it, you should have a great trip.
Cotter is a class 2-3 from SLB, so you should have no issues with it.
Here is short right up about it with some photo's.
http://summitpost.org/mount-cotter/302847
I would make it a 5 day trip because of the elevation, snow that will slow you down, and
you will want to take time to enjoy the great views.
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Re: Rae Lakes, 60 Lakes Basin Backcountry Feasible in June?

Postby MarmotPrince » Mon May 23, 2011 12:51 pm

maverick wrote:Since you mention you have experience with snow travel, all the techniques, and
tools that go with it, you should have a great trip.
Cotter is a class 2-3 from SLB, so you should have no issues with it.
Here is short right up about it with some photo's.
http://summitpost.org/mount-cotter/302847
I would make it a 5 day trip because of the elevation, snow that will slow you down, and
you will want to take time to enjoy the great views.

Beautiful trip report.

Mike M. wrote:Yes, it is feasible. Just expect to encounter lots of snow this year and come prepared for it. Snowshoes probably won't be much help. You'll need gaiters for sure. By mid June the snow should be well consolidated and deeply rutted in places from melt -- you'll come across steep sun cups. Travel is easier in the morning. You will find substantial areas that are free of snow. Skeeters will be out in force.
Mike

I'm surprised I won't need snowshoes. I might try an approach and summit Mt Clarence king...are you sure snowshoes will be unneccessary in this backcountry? I certainly hope so but would like to make sure.
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Re: Rae Lakes, 60 Lakes Basin Backcountry Feasible in June?

Postby Mike M. » Mon May 23, 2011 1:05 pm

Nothing is certain, but I believe you would find snowshoes more of a hindrance than an aid -- just unnecessary weight on your back, since they don't really help you travel through the kind of snow you are likely to encounter. That has been my experience hiking at higher elevations in SEKI in late spring/early summer and specifically in the areas you are planning to visit.

Mike

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Re: Rae Lakes, 60 Lakes Basin Backcountry Feasible in June?

Postby maverick » Mon May 23, 2011 1:31 pm

I agree with Mike, I have never needed to use snowshoes on a Spring or Summer
trip, hiking poles on the other hand come in handy.
Now my crampons, and ice axe have gotten plenty of use, especially when traveling in
the morning hours when the snow is rock hard, but if feasible I will just wait till
it softens up later in the day before going over a pass or climbing a steep section.
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Re: Rae Lakes, 60 Lakes Basin Backcountry Feasible in June?

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Mon May 23, 2011 2:50 pm

I doubt that mosquitoes will be out in force in June. This year I will not expect them in numbers until late July and early August.
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Re: Rae Lakes, 60 Lakes Basin Backcountry Feasible in June?

Postby East Side Hiker » Mon May 23, 2011 4:41 pm

Snow, snow, and more snow. I'd be a beautiful trip, there's no doubt. Especially getting into and through 60 Lakes Basin. By the way, great pictures Mike.
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Re: Rae Lakes, 60 Lakes Basin Backcountry Feasible in June?

Postby Mike M. » Mon May 23, 2011 7:49 pm

Doyle wrote:
I doubt that mosquitoes will be out in force in June. This year I will not expect them in numbers until late July and early August.


They will be out for sure earlier than you think. The little black buggers like to follow the receding snow line and you'll find them anywhere water tends to pool. These guys zoom right in and sink their noses into you with no compunction and no dawdling. Basins with meadow-like terrain attract a bigger, more leisurely sort of mosquito, the kind that will pause a moment on your shoulder before striking. The worst scenario is when you find yourself in a high altitude meadow populated with the little black high altitude skeeters that don't care to stop and smell the roses, but rather just swarm on you, striking instantly. Laurel Creek, north of Mono Creek, is one such place.

Mike
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Re: Rae Lakes, 60 Lakes Basin Backcountry Feasible in June?

Postby MarmotPrince » Tue May 24, 2011 1:42 am

Anyone have information on shortcuts into the Basin, ie, Dragon Pass?? (North Dragon Pass?) where are they and will they be in condition in June?
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Re: Rae Lakes, 60 Lakes Basin Backcountry Feasible in June?

Postby maverick » Tue May 24, 2011 10:10 am

Here is a recent thread on alternative passes : viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6222
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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