Rae Lakes Loop - July 4th - River Crossings & Snow levels | High Sierra Topix  

Rae Lakes Loop - July 4th - River Crossings & Snow levels

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar

Rae Lakes Loop - July 4th - River Crossings & Snow levels

Postby SierraTransplant » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:56 am

I'm planning on soloing the rae lakes loop this coming Friday and was curious about the river crossings and snow levels at Glenn pass. I'm assuming I'll need crampons and an ice axe, no sweat there as I climbed Whitney via the mountaineers route a couple of weeks ago. I haven't crossed many rivers though and wanted to know if I'd need to make any changes to my hike or expect any delays. I'll be going clockwise over 3 days, which I'm not sure is feasible in melting snow.



User avatar
SierraTransplant
Topix Newbie
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:48 am
Location: Venice, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Rae Lakes Loop - July 4th - River Crossings & Snow levels

Postby maverick » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:22 pm

Hi SierraTransplant

Welcome to HST!
Have read of damage to the trail, downed trees, on both Woods Creek, and
Bubb's Creek.
Charlotte Creek is supposed to be difficult.
I guess in 3 days, you mean 3 nights, then yes, you might be able to do it, though
a lot will depend on how extensive the trail damage is, and how much this slows
you down.
Enough PCTer's have been over Glen Pass, so going over it will not be an issue
especially since you say you have experience with axe and crampons (which will
not be needed if you go over later in the morning when the snow has softened)
Last edited by maverick on Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: added text
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
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8034
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Rae Lakes Loop - July 4th - River Crossings & Snow levels

Postby Mike M. » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:59 pm

SierraTransplant -- looking forward to seeing some photos and reading a trip report from you.

I read a recent report from a hiker who went up as far as Middle Paradise Valley. He got plenty wet (from waterfall spray) and commented about the extreme fluctuations in stream levels from hour to hour. The snow is melting very fast. Hot weather is predicted for later in the week, after an unsettled pattern moves out. For your loop, all major stream crossings have good bridges. My guess is you'll see lots of snow on the ground above 10,500 feet in open areas and above 8,000 feet in forested areas. As a frame of reference, the snow gauge sensor at Charlotte Lake (10,400') is essentially free of snow (as of Sunday the 26th). Have a great time!

Mike
User avatar
Mike M.
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 475
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 10:50 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Rae Lakes Loop - July 4th - River Crossings & Snow levels

Postby SierraTransplant » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:11 pm

Thanks for the replies. I'm planning on a 2 night trip, Friday through Sunday, but may ask for an extension on my permit so I can spill over to Monday if I need it. I'm packing the SLR and will be sure to post a trip report.
User avatar
SierraTransplant
Topix Newbie
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:48 am
Location: Venice, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Rae Lakes Loop - July 4th - River Crossings & Snow levels

Postby Mike M. » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:27 pm

Here's a link to a recent report that shows what the trail is like going over Glen Pass and down to Wood's Creek:

http://erinspctjournal.blogspot.com/201 ... dmill.html

Mike
User avatar
Mike M.
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 475
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 10:50 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Rae Lakes Loop - July 4th - River Crossings & Snow levels

Postby maverick » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:37 pm

Nice find Mike, Glen can hold snow for a while, and this was from a week ago, so
don't expect a lot of snow to have melted by then, plus there are some chances
of thunderstorms moving in on Sunday, and Monday.
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
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8034
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Rae Lakes Loop - July 4th - River Crossings & Snow levels

Postby Mike M. » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:59 pm

Thanks Maverick. One thing I'm noticing in the photos I'm seeing is more uniformity to the snow than I expected -- e.g., few pronounced sun cups yet. I'm sure this will change in the next week or two, which will make traveling through the snowfields much more strenuous.

I love this time of year and wish I was up there myself (I have to wait until early August).

Mike
User avatar
Mike M.
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 475
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 10:50 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Rae Lakes Loop - July 4th - River Crossings & Snow levels

Postby SierraTransplant » Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:47 pm

I finished up early this morning. I moved quickly as I started at 11am on Friday and finished up at 9am this morning.

Baxter creek crossing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLA9GX_GUak

Here are the important things I noticed going clockwise:

- The creek a mile or two before woods creek crossing was nearly waist deep and swift. A little sketchy.
- Rattlesnakes are out, I nearly stepped on one.
- The trail after crossing the creek at upper paradise is gone / hard to find because of all the fallen trees. It took a lot of time to follow the trail / navigate over the trees.
- Everything above 10k feet is still snow covered or partially snow covered. Snow is dimpled but still hard enough that you're not postholing much.
- Baxter creek is about thigh deep.
- The switchbacks are free of snow leading up most of the way to Glenn's pass; there's only about 1/4 mile of climb + traverse in the snow. I'd recommend an ice axe, but the snow is soft enough that you don't need crampons.
- The trail disappears above Charlotte lake and then again before the switchbacks leading down to Vidette meadows. I ran into quite a few people lost or turning around because they couldn't follow the trail. There's no distinct foot print path. Bring a map.

Day 1: Roads end to woods creek crossing - 7h30m
Day 2: woods creek to halfway down bubbs creek - 11h30m
Day 3: Back to roads end 2h45

The hike is spectacular, especially with the creeks / rivers in full flow. An awesome experience and one I'll be doing again.
User avatar
SierraTransplant
Topix Newbie
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:48 am
Location: Venice, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Rae Lakes Loop - July 4th - River Crossings & Snow levels

Postby Michelettib » Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:31 pm

Your trip sounded great! I am heading up to Rae Lakes in a week and was wondering how the skeeter population was? I figure it can't be much worse then a trip I had last summer in Yosemite High Sierras. It won't deter me but was just wanting to be mentally prepared. Thanks!
User avatar
Michelettib
Topix Newbie
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:57 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Rae Lakes Loop - July 4th - River Crossings & Snow levels

Postby quentinc » Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:42 pm

Thanks for the report. I'm thinking of heading that way next weekend (but coming from Kearsarge).
User avatar
quentinc
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 890
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:28 pm
Location: Los Angeles
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Rae Lakes Loop - July 4th - River Crossings & Snow levels

Postby rcymbala » Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:27 pm

@Michelettib, almost no mosquitoes where I hammocked July 1, 2 and 3, Friday near Mist Falls (a no-no), Saturday by the granite benches just before Woods Creek intersects PcT/JmT, and Sunday in a stand of massive trees above from Charlotte Lake. Did the Rae Lakes Loop last 4th July 2011 weekend clockwise (started Friday 6pm and got back to Road's End Monday 4pm). Going up the north side of Glen Pass was the best. I stuck to the left of the left-most rock outcrop and got an amazing view of the frozen lake w/ blue outer ring under Painted Lady -- it looked almost straight down (gulp). There were lots of hikers. There were about 5 fast stream crossings (easily crossed by the experts). In the afternoon I didn't need crampons to easily walk on snow surface to get up the north side of Glen Pass (an ice axe helped for balance & pulling uphill). Two PCT hikers coming from Mexico lost the trail due to spotty snow above Charlotte Lake so I gave them my Mt Clarence King 7.5" map. Going counter-clockwise, the last mile up the south side of Glen Pass should be easy with all that snow and footprints.
User avatar
rcymbala
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:39 pm
Location: Topanga, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Rae Lakes Loop - July 4th - River Crossings & Snow levels

Postby SierraTransplant » Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:47 pm

Michelettib wrote:Your trip sounded great! I am heading up to Rae Lakes in a week and was wondering how the skeeter population was? I figure it can't be much worse then a trip I had last summer in Yosemite High Sierras. It won't deter me but was just wanting to be mentally prepared. Thanks!


Skeeters were pretty pad below 9k feet. I didn't notice them as much above. I camped next to a few groups each night and they seemed to handle them better than I did. I pretty much setup my tent and immediately hid inside of it, but I also intentionally hiked as late as possible so I'd have little down time at the campsites.
User avatar
SierraTransplant
Topix Newbie
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:48 am
Location: Venice, CA
Experience: N/A

Next

Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot], MSNbot Media [Bot] and 2 guests