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Smoke in Evo/Goddard? Matterhorn/Kerrick instead?

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Smoke in Evo/Goddard? Matterhorn/Kerrick instead?

Postby trailnerd » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:07 pm

Anyone have a sense whether the skies are likely to be smoky in Evolution Valley or Goddard Canyon next week? We’re planning a weeklong trip into the area, starting this Saturday. (Thanks to everyone who answered my earlier questions about Evolution/McGee/Goddard, by the way—you’ve been *incredibly* helpful.) Reading some reports about smoke from the Lion fire (like this one: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/johnmuirt ... sage/17748) makes me wonder whether we should go to our Plan B, which is a Matterhorn/Kerrick loop out of Bridgeport. Haven't been to either area. Smoke aside, Evo/Goddard sounds like more fun. Thoughts?



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Re: Smoke in Evo/Goddard? Matterhorn/Kerrick instead?

Postby ManOfTooManySports » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:23 pm

The posts on the Yahoo site were for 7/29. We got a lot of smoke in Woods Creek canyons, as well. The monsoon from the SE changed everything. If we go to normal prevailing winds (if!) then you may see some haze late in the day in the Evo area, but nothing debilitating. Also, the rain has since dampened the fire and the forest service has apparently decided to limit its spread.

I'd base my decision on which trip I'd rather do, keeping a close eye on weather and fires.
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Re: Smoke in Evo/Goddard? Matterhorn/Kerrick instead?

Postby balzaccom » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:44 pm

Matterhorn and Kerrick is a pretty great trip, too.
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Lion fire

Postby Hobbes » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:08 am

trailnerd wrote: Reading some reports about smoke from the Lion fire makes me wonder whether we should go to our Plan B

I've got a quick 4 day strike planned this weekend for the GTW, but I've been considering alternatives further north due to the Lion fire. I've been obsessively checking the cams, but the images from this morning are beginning to make me think I'm going to have the scrap the trip:

Image
Image

I understand the forest service's position on allowing it to burn (I've seen reports where they're gonna let it slowly burn all summer & into fall - it still has 3k acres to go to their 'drop dead lines'), but on the other hand, there's no reason for me to drive to conditions like these when I get to enjoy them on a fairly regular basis in SoCal.

The entire crew is heading up to the Lee Vining region in 3 weeks anyway, so it wouldn't make sense for me to do that long of a drive just for a solo attack and then repeat it a few days later.

However, if I was planning a group function, I would definitely try & stay north of Tom's Place (Sherwin grade).
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Re: Smoke in Evo/Goddard? Matterhorn/Kerrick instead?

Postby cgundersen » Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:57 am

Trailnerd/Hobbes,
The rain helped for a couple days, but the Lion came roaring back yesterday. These photos make SoCal look Ok. I'm aiming north myself, but am even concerned that Yosemite will be affected. Arrrgh!
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Re: Smoke in Evo/Goddard? Matterhorn/Kerrick instead?

Postby Hobbes » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:12 am

cgundersen wrote:These photos make SoCal look Ok.


When are they going to call a Stage 3 smog alert?
Image
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Re: Smoke in Evo/Goddard? Matterhorn/Kerrick instead?

Postby wildhiker » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:55 pm

Hi Trailnerd,

I think the upper reaches of Matterhorn Canyon are every bit as beautiful and spectacular as Goddard Canyon, but actually a little harder to reach. What route were you planning? Many folks go out of Twin Lakes to Peeler lake, then Kerrick Canyon, then Benson Lake, then a really long climb out of the Benson Lake hole to Smedberg Lake, then down to Matterhorn Canyon, up it and back over a couple of passes to Crown Lake and then back to Twin Lakes. This route has two big climbs - Twin Lakes to Peeler Lake, and Benson Lake to Smedberg Lake.

If you have two cars, you can do a shuttle trip that avoids the big climbs and visits more beautiful high country lakes and canyons, by starting at Virginia Lakes trailhead (9800 ft elevation!) on the east side south of Bridgeport and coming out at Twin Lakes. We did this shuttle trip in 2007 in five days, camping in upper Virginia Canyon at about 9800 ft with beautiful open meadows with great views of big mountains (go up the side trail about 1/2 mile after coming down from Summit Lake); the unnamed lake elev. 9418 just east of Miller Lake (you see it from the trail and there is a use trail down to it) which had good views by scrambling up the granite ridge to the east; upper Matterhorn Canyon just at the treeline - about 9600 ft; and Crown Lake (cross the outlet stream and get up on the granite knob to the NE). But check with Yosemite Park wilderness office first about how high the stream crossings along this route are running this year.
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Re: Smoke in Evo/Goddard? Matterhorn/Kerrick instead?

Postby maverick » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:29 pm

When going thru Yosemite on 7/28 the smoke was horrible, could barely see
Half Dome from Olmstead Point, and the entire crest of the Sierra was covered
in smoke, making the second line of peaks indiscernible all the way down 395 to
Bishop.
Luckily the monsoonal flow cleared things up the next day for my trip, but if things
get like they were you should be concerned, even if you go to northern Yosemite.
Check with the the ranger station near Bridgeport for the current conditions a day
before your trip, and also check the weather to see if any monsoonal flow or system
is moving into the area which may help with visibility.
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: Smoke in Evo/Goddard? Matterhorn/Kerrick instead?

Postby trailnerd » Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:25 pm

Looks like we’ll be heading to Yosemite … unless things turn really bad, and we need to think about even further north! Assuming conditions look OK in Yosemite, we’ll do the big loop out of Bridgeport, with the two big climbs. The shuttle does sound appealing, but we'll only have one car.
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Re: Smoke in Evo/Goddard? Matterhorn/Kerrick instead?

Postby maverick » Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:55 pm

Hi Trailnerd

You don't need a shuttle starting from Twin Lakes to Crown Lake, then over
Burro Pass and hike down Matterhorn Canyon, over Benson Pass to Smedberg Lake
area, then to Benson Lake, over Seavey Pass, and up Kerrick Meadow, over to Peeler
Lake, and back to the car.
Seavey Pass area has a lot of pretty hidden lakes scattered around worth checking
out.
Also even though Smedberg is pretty, Surprise and Sister Lakes are even better, and
good alternatives if there to many people.
Also be prepared for skeeterz, especially in the Smedberg-Seavey section.
Enjoy the views of the Sawtooth Ridge, and if your into climbing there is an easy
class 2 route up from Burro Pass to Matterhorn Peak.
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: Smoke in Evo/Goddard? Matterhorn/Kerrick instead?

Postby trailnerd » Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:00 pm

Some (relatively) encouraging information here: http://smokeblog.gbuapcd.org/
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Re: Smoke in Evo/Goddard? Matterhorn/Kerrick instead?

Postby cgundersen » Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:54 am

trailnerd,
Very helpful link with some amazing photos; good luck with your trip and if you have a chance, please post a report whenn you get back!
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