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Velma Lakes basin (or Desolation in general) this weekend

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Velma Lakes basin (or Desolation in general) this weekend

Postby windknot » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:00 pm

Hi everyone,

I've seen the couple of reports that members have posted of their trips into Desolation thus far, and I also just called the Pacific Ranger District Station and the Lake Tahoe Visitor Center for any more recent updates about the conditions up there, to varying opinions. One guy said that all he knows is there's snow up there (go figure), while another woman was more helpful:

-You need snowshoes to get into the Velma Lakes past about the first mile
-The road to Wrights Lake isn't open yet
-Getting to the top of Horsetail Falls is fine, but after that she's not sure
-Horsetail and Loon Lake are the only open entry points into Desolation thus far

My question to the well-traveled masses here is this: do you think I really need snowshoes to get into Lower Velma Lake? And if I do make it up there, what are the chances that it'll be open?

Other trips I'm considering are Loon Lake to Buck Island/Rockbound and Horsetail Falls to Desolation Valley/Lake of the Woods. Or to expand outward, Kibbie in NW Yosemite and some of the lakes north of I-80 are also options. Any thoughts? Other suggestions? Looking to do an overnight backpack on July 3-4. On the one hand, the conditions will make it much easier to get a permit over the holiday weekend than would otherwise be possible, and the mosquitoes should also still be pretty tame. On the other hand, snow/wet/ice/no fish.

All input, no matter how tangentially related, is welcome!

Thanks,
Matt
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/



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Re: Velma Lakes basin (or Desolation in general) this weekend

Postby maverick » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:26 pm

Hi Windknot

I do not know if you saw this on an earlier post by Balzaccom, but it may help.
http://desowv.org/trail-conditions
Also there have been some TR's posted by members about the Kibbie Lake area
that may aid in your decision, plus there was an update about the Horsetail Falls
area by a member named "Coops" in the "2011 Back Country Conditions Updates"
thread.
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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Re: Velma Lakes basin (or Desolation in general) this weekend

Postby windknot » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:01 pm

Thanks Mav. I read the Horsetail Falls report with great interest, and also saw the Kibbie reports. That Desolation Wilderness Volunteer website is pretty neat! It looks like Kibbie it may have to be, unless I head out of Loon Lake or jump over to the east side.
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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Re: Velma Lakes basin (or Desolation in general) this weekend

Postby TahoeJeff » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:54 pm

Matt,
I called the USFS to report a broken gate and used the opportunity to inquire about the Velmas. After checking with someone else in the office, the person said they were still frozen over.
My buddy who lives at Fallen Leaf says his friends could not get to Grass due to swollen streams.
Gene St. Dennis on ImHooked.com reports: "Granite lake open, with small and a couple large Brookies makeing rings, that Eric. S. did not keep.Azure froze. Snow Lake Clear, with Brookies Spashing too.." Hope that helps. Jeff
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Re: Velma Lakes basin (or Desolation in general) this weekend

Postby windknot » Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:19 pm

Thanks Jeff! This must be the new FishSniffer site, I'm guessing. Good to know Snow and Granite are free (probably Eagle too). Funny how a lake at 7400 ft (Snow) is ice-free, while a lake just 300 feet higher and in a more exposed bowl (Azure) is not. Maybe this last week will do it...
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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Re: Velma Lakes basin (or Desolation in general) this weekend

Postby TahoeJeff » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:03 am

It's raining pretty hard here at lake level, and word is it was snowing on top of Kingsbury grade. The Intellicast radar shows snow West of Tahoe too....
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Re: Velma Lakes basin (or Desolation in general) this weekend

Postby windknot » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:35 am

Yeah, after scrutinizing photos and rifling through trail reports on the DW volunteer site, I've decided to aim a bit lower (in latitude and elevation) for a sure bet on some thawed lakes. Leavitt Meadow, here I come!
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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