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TR Desolation 8/6-8/8

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TR Desolation 8/6-8/8

Postby gochicagobears! » Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:45 am

Headed out into Desolation on 8/6 with the wife for a quick weekend in some of my favorite territory. There were hordes of people at the Echo Chalet and we were both wondering if we made the right decision on where to go. Fortunately, as we left the boat taxi very few went towards Aloha. At the boat taxi dock was a very purposeful sign talking about the whole eradication of trout to benefit the yellow legged frog, which was a pretty common topic with the fishermen I spoke to on the trail.

There's still quite some snow on the higher peaks, but all in all an easy hike in.

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Tamarack and Ralston Peak


Our permit was for the far end of Aloha, technically the Mt Price area, which was good because there were quite a few hikers camped on the east shore of Aloha, and the mosquitos near the trees were pretty constant. As we got closer to Mosquito pass the wind was more prevalent and they were manageable. We saw at least two different marmots scampering about the trail, which was a pretty cool sight, especially since my wife's never seen one.

However, literally twenty minutes after we put our tent up on a barren stretch of rock 200 yds from the pass a father and son came along and put their tent up ten feet from the trail. I went over to them to mention the rules (hated being "that guy," but it was pretty ridiculous) and saw them hanging their food in a tree directly over their tent. Seriously. After reviewing the regs with him, and basic common sense regarding their placement of food, they moved a bit closer to the rocks and away from the trail, and more importantly, us.

It got pretty windy that night, but it was a clear, warm evening in the Sierras. The next day we hiked towards two well known and pressured lakes to do a bit of C & R. We ran into a ranger who said the marmots were super active and much more of a nuissance than any bears in the area. She also said there's been quite a few instances of people having fires in Deso and wanted us to get the word out to whomever we camped with that this was clearly not allowed. Anyway, back to the fishing: nothing at the first lake so we went to the second. No hits for at least the first twenty casts, then I remembered my last few trips to this lake and changed up my technique. I let the Kastmaster drop all the way to the bottom (I was fishing in what I think is at least 20 feet of water), then I reel in the slack and pop the lure up, let it drop again, and keep doing this as my retrieve. Sure enough, the first three casts in a row after changing techniques resulted in five straight strikes and three landed fish. None were that big, the biggest maybe 10" at most, but they fought pretty well and were let go to fight another day. At both lakes there were small trout in the water, 2-4 inches, and in the second lake there were hundreds in the "warm" shallow water near the shoreline. Nice to see the fish are regenerating on their own!

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We did a bit of exploring around the lake and my wife was just thrilled at the views, having never been to this part of Deso before.

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When we got back to camp it was nearing dinner so I chilled our beverage and readied my trusty Snow Peak for our dehydrated Indian curry with naan (seriously, those meals are suprisingly delicious!).
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amazingly refreshing! :)


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Dinner with a view


The bugs were more noticeable Sunday night due to a decrease in the wind coming across the lake, but with a generous amount of deet they pretty much left us alone.

We packed up our stuff the following morning and headed out, all in all a great weekend. In retrospect, I can't believe how lucky I am to have a wife that likes to do this kinda stuff. Sure, we're not hitting the most remote areas of the planet, but she loves it, it's all new to her and it does a great job of recharging our batteries and allowing us to appreciate the place we live and the luck in how close we are to such beautiful country.

Hope everyone's having a good summer hiking!

Al



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Re: TR Desolation 8/6-8/8

Postby TahoeJeff » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:22 pm

Great report! Good job changing up the presentation to get on to the fish.
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Re: TR Desolation 8/6-8/8

Postby madeintahoe » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:52 pm

Just beautiful! Thank you for posting your pictures! They make me so homesick. Did you happen to go swimming? Just curious how cold the water is.
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Re: TR Desolation 8/6-8/8

Postby gochicagobears! » Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:32 pm

madeintahoe wrote:Just beautiful! Thank you for posting your pictures! They make me so homesick. Did you happen to go swimming? Just curious how cold the water is.


My wife got in at Heather and was immediately frozen. There's still a lot of snow runoff. In fact, at the edge of the outlet there's what looks like a glacier 10' thick on the edge of the lake. An exceptional year.
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Re: TR Desolation 8/6-8/8

Postby windknot » Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:25 am

Thanks for the report and pictures! I'm glad to see that you and your wife had a good time.
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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Re: TR Desolation 8/6-8/8

Postby guyd » Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:40 pm

''I can't believe how lucky I am to have a wife that likes to do this kinda stuff. Sure, we're not hitting the most remote areas of the planet, but she loves it, it's all new to her and it does a great job of recharging our batteries ''

Having posted a TR with my wife and her first backpacking I certainly agree with you. That is great!
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