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Big Pine Lakes Conditions?

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Big Pine Lakes Conditions?

Postby jmac » Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:08 pm

I have a 4 day/3 night backpacking trip planned starting June 27, 2011 in the Big Pine Lakes Basin and plan to base camp at 5th lake. I was wondering if anyone has been in the area recently or seen a TR somewhere that could provide information regarding trail conditions as far as snow/ice and if the lakes have thawed. I have seen info regarding areas with similar elevation and they seem pretty snowed in still.
I have experience with many backpacking trips, but I only have minimal experience with snow travel using my ice axe and crampons and I don't want to get myself into any dangerous situations. I feel comfortable with my crampons/ice axe on gradual to moderate inclines, but have never used them with a large pack. Large snow patches are okay with me, but I may feel uncomfortable with winter-like conditions especially if the terrain is steep.
I contacted both the White Mtn. RD and Glacier Lodge and they were unable to give me any updated conditions. The only info I got was that, "there might be snow starting at first lake, but I'm not sure".
Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.



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Re: Big Pine Lakes Conditions?

Postby Snow Nymph » Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:27 pm

A friend was going to South Fork last weekend, but said the bridge over the creek was washed out and wasn't sure they could get across and she was looking for somewhere else to go.

But if you're going from the hiker parking lot, you wouldn't have to cross the bridge. Not sure if this helps or not.
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


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Re: Big Pine Lakes Conditions?

Postby jmac » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:00 pm

Thanks. Taking the North Fork Trail. Should have been more specific. I think I read that as well about the bridge.
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Re: Big Pine Lakes Conditions?

Postby DAVELA » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:12 am

I was up there on the weekend of june 10- i was headed up the South Fork to willow lake but South Fork bridge is washed out.So i left area.
People told me Big Pine lakes were thawing out or thawed out and the North Fork trail was clear.
This was 2 weeks ago.
Anyone know what bishop pass conditions are like?
Last edited by DAVELA on Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Big Pine Lakes Conditions?

Postby jmac » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:26 am

Thank you.
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Re: Big Pine Lakes Conditions?

Postby Rainman » Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:40 am

I am planning a backpack up to Third or Fourth Lake on July 30th. I would like to also take the side trail up to Palisade Glacier. Anyone have any idea of the condition of the side trail to the glacier?
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Re: Big Pine Lakes Conditions?

Postby maverick » Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:50 pm

Hi Rainman

Welcome to HST!
Jmac submitted a TR: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6551
When doing this trail several years ago (July) it still had snow on it, and this was
during a lower snow year, so this year you should count on there being a whole bunch
on it being at 11700 ft.
Jmac's report indicates Sam Mack Meadow being covered with snow, which the Glacier trail
travels through, and then ascends another 700 ft to the moraine.
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Re: Big Pine Lakes Conditions?

Postby Rainman » Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:31 pm

Thanks Maverick! I guess I'll need to bring crampons.
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Re: Big Pine Lakes Conditions?

Postby hikerdmb » Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:31 pm

I just returned from a 3 day trip up the North Fork, July 11-13. Mosquitos were a 2 and there were very few people. The parking lot was less than half full. I stayed one night at Second Lake and a night at Summit Lake. Went off trail down to Black Lake and then took that trail back to complete the loop. There was no snow until after Third Lake and then it was very very patchy. Only crossed a couple of snowy patches getting to Summit Lake. The creek was flowing full and fast. The only bad part of the trip was the first 2 miles on Monday afternoon. There is no shade and it was hot. Hope this helps your plans.
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