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JMT family trail questions

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JMT family trail questions

Postby varnes-epstein » Wed Jun 28, 2006 12:35 pm

Hello again all,
Our trail date is fast approaching (Aug 9th Happy Isles) and I have some logistical tidying up to do. You may remember that we have a 7, 9, and 10 yr old and are traveling w/ another family of 4. Looks like we can do the whole thing in 30 days including 3 layover days and reasonable mileage (avg 8 mi/day). We'll resupply at Tuo, Reds, VR (walk in, ferry out), and some L.A. cousins are going to walk in a resupply at Onion Valley (YEAH!!!). Because our mileage is not typical of most hikers, there are a few areas we need to camp near that I have not seen referred to very much. The first area is the unnamed lake about 1.5 mi north of Forester pass. We'd like to camp here, get over the pass in the AM and get to the 2nd area I'd appreciate some comments on. This one is located midway btwn Tyndall Creek and the High Sierra Trail Jxn. I see a small, unnamed lake. Starr's guide says this area has one of the most beautiful panoramic views. That's great but I'd like to know if the water is any good here or if we should load up on the nights supply of H2O at Tyndall Cr. The lake water appears to be fed by a tributary of the Kern River. Lastly, where exactly do you camp when resupplying via Onion Valley. Snow Nymphs TR said don't go to Charlotte Lake and hike out fully loaded (sound advice). I saw Bullfrog lake...? Where's a good spot for a nice leisurely layover and some day hiking (to C. Lake, perhaps).
Well, thanks everyone and enjoy your respective adventures this summer.
Lisa



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Postby burtonfm » Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:03 pm

For your first question, I think you are referring to the small lakes on the flat tarn area where the JMT takes a short easterly direction. Even though the Tarn looks flat, there are no good camping spots near the small lakes. However, there are two nice camping spots (where I stayed) that would work well for your group. Just as you arrive at the tarn and the JMT takes a short easterly direction, turn right (south) and cross over little Bubbs Creek. There are a group of small trees about 100 yards off the trail. That's where you'll find the two camp sites. This location is a great starting point for Forrester Pass. The lakes beyond this spot on the JMT are pretty rocky and exposed.

For your second question, again, not sure if I have the right lake in mind, but I think you are referring to the lake on Bighorn Plateau. The water in the lake is fine to drink (I drank some last August) and is clear. The plateau area is quite large and you can take your pick of spots to camp. But, it is exposed (no shade) and you're visible to all JMT hikers (no big deal). The view from this lake is awesome.
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Postby copeg » Wed Jun 28, 2006 2:55 pm

I'll add to Burton's post, that the area between tyndell and hst junction called the Bighorn Plateau has an amazing view. But like burton said it is quite exposed. In pleasant weather I wouldn't mind camping up there, but in windy weather or during a thunderstorm, I would hesitate to camp up there. Another option are the lakes just south of the Tyndell creek junction (http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?z=11&n= ... atum=nad83)

As for a kearsarge resupply, Bullfrog would be great but is closed to camping. You may want to check out the limits for camping with the park service, there are a few small lakes below Bullfrog which may be legal to camp at.
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Postby Baffman » Wed Jun 28, 2006 6:12 pm

As far as the Onion Valley resupply goes, I'd stay at Kearsarge Lakes. You've got bear boxes there, plenty of camping sites and the lakes are nice. Charlotte isn't too bad for a resupply. A bit far for your friends and then you have the extra mile down to the lake. Again, Kearsarge Lakes is the ticket. Take the trail alongside Bullfrog to avoid any unneccessary elevation gain, plus it's much nicer.
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Re: JMT family trail questions

Postby Snow Nymph » Wed Jun 28, 2006 9:00 pm

varnes-epstein wrote: Lastly, where exactly do you camp when resupplying via Onion Valley. Snow Nymphs TR said don't go to Charlotte Lake and hike out fully loaded (sound advice). I saw Bullfrog lake...? Where's a good spot for a nice leisurely layover and some day hiking (to C. Lake, perhaps).


I think there were a few spots to camp near the junction but to the north (coming from Glen Pass). Charlotte Lake was nice, but it seemed like a long way down (el loss), and with 8 more days of food, the packs were heavy. Plus it adds mileage for your resuppliers. I think next time I would go towards Kearsarge Lakes. We were acclimatized and it would have been easy to hike the extra mileage with light packs. Our resuppliers were pretty beat by the time they got to camp with our stuff.
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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Postby BSquared » Thu Jun 29, 2006 6:44 am

trailblazer wrote: Another option are the lakes just south of the Tyndell creek junction (http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?z=11&n= ... atum=nad83)


Yes, those are called the "Frog Ponds" by the locals, and there are many excellent places to camp there. I recommend camping on the east side of the lakes for a great sunset view... There's a bear box where the JMT passes closest to the lakes (on the west side of Lake, unfortunately).

The night before that, we camped close to the junction with the Center Basin Trail south of Vidette Meadows (bear box, large, fair campsites). That's a bit farther from Forester Pass than you want, but we found that the day from there to the Frog-Ponds campsite was fairly short. By that time you're likely to be thoroughly acclimated, so I doubt that Forester will be a big deal (except for the psychological thrill of being on the highest pass of the PCT!).
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