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Prospects for the summer, 2012

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Re: Prospects for the summer, 2012

Postby Jimr » Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:35 pm

I think I'm set on Tehipite Valley, up and back from Rancheria in four days. Do I need a roll of chicken wire to keep the marmots away from the hoses and wires?
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Re: Prospects for the summer, 2012

Postby Carne_DelMuerto » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:31 pm

So let me see if I can distill this down to a few bullet points for the less experienced crowd here. (In the summer of ’77 I was more concerned with Star Wars than the Sierra. I was five.)

The PROs
• Mosquitoes hatch early and don’t last into late summer
• High country is accessible earlier
• High lakes are fishable earlier
• Easier stream crossings

The CONs
• Water harder to find late in season
• Vegetation will be dried out/brown by late season
• More prone to forest fires
• Air quality can suffer (due to point above)

As I look at this, it seems this list could apply to any low snow year, not just one following an exceptionally wet year. Is there some combination of the two that makes for a truly unique season?

My schedule usually dictates early season trips, so I’m excited at the prospect of a low snow year. (The ski bum alter-ego just shakes his head at that last statement.) Other than the Bear Lakes Basin trip I’ve mentioned, I’m looking at possible trips to the Hoover Wilderness, Silver Divide, and Emigrant Wilderness. As I write this, showers are passing through Auburn and we seem to be entering a cycle of weak storms every week or so.
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Re: Prospects for the summer, 2012

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:16 pm

Jimr wrote:I think I'm set on Tehipite Valley, up and back from Rancheria in four days. Do I need a roll of chicken wire to keep the marmots away from the hoses and wires?


????

Tehipite is down from that trailhead. Which isn't in Mineral King, so am not certain why you are concerned for marmots....

I am planning a route from Saddlebag Lake to Florence Lake. Also short trips to Tehipite, and an Evolution/Goddard loop.
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Re: Prospects for the summer, 2012

Postby oldranger » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:30 pm

CDM

Last september I did an off trail pass from n to s that was just a little over 10,000 ft. and was confronted with several hundred feet of snow capped with a cornice on top. I don't think that the snow diminished that much before it got cold. So even with minimal snowfall I would expect that n-s passes and cols are likely to be covered with some really hard dense snow much later than this season's snowfall would suggest.

Mike
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Re: Prospects for the summer, 2012

Postby Jimr » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:23 am

I couldn't recall which trail head on the western side had the unusual marmot diet, but I knew it was one of the TH's I had planned a trip start from many years ago, but have not yet done it. Now I recall. About 25 years ago, I wanted to start at Mineral King, hit the Kern via Rattlesnake Cr, then work up to Whitney and out the portal. Those were my ambitious days when I thought nothing about spending two days placing vehicles for trans-sierra routes. These days, I prefer my vehicles to be on the same side of the range.
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Re: Prospects for the summer, 2012

Postby lahai1dj » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:59 am

With the snow melting earlier, I'm considering the Jennie Lakes Loop in late May/ early July. Also, I'd like to hike the Circle of Solitude (Sphinx Creek Trail to Cloud Canyon over Colby Pass to the JMT North to Bubbs Creek and returning to Roads End) and the bugs along this notorious route may be more tolerable in early August or late July.

I welcome any comments on the accuracy of my assumptions. Thanks!
David

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Re: Prospects for the summer, 2012

Postby oldranger » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:13 am

Laha....

If you include early season Jennie lakes as having bugs early you are correct. Right now it looks like late july on skeeters will be light. Anyone know how yellow jackets/meat bees etc. respond to dry years.

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Re: Prospects for the summer, 2012

Postby bbayley80 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:39 pm

[quote="tim"][quote="sparky"]I dont have any plans of yet, a new SO has taken priority. She has never backpacked before or been to yosemite so i plan on BPing there with her early summer. Any suggestions there I would appreciate.

Sparky-
like Tim i would recommend a similar loop-May Lake-Glen Aulin-Tuolumne Meadows.
i've done this trip with my wife many times-and is always a winner! very good intro. you get beautiful lakes, views, river walks, peaks etc.

i/o of May Lake for night 1 -which is great, but always crowded due to proximity from the road(a 1.5 mi hike in from the lot off Tioga) push past roughly 1.5 miles to Raisin Lake. very small, secluded lake on right of trail-very easy to just walk right on by- but you will likely score it to yourself.

Glen Aulin HSC for night 2, while always packed, finds great people to share the communal fire ring
with. the hike out on day three follows the river the whole way back offering great views of Tuolumne area peaks/wildlife.
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Re: Prospects for the summer, 2012

Postby maverick » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:12 pm

Sparky wrote:
I dont have any plans of yet, a new SO has taken priority. She has never backpacked
before or been to yosemite so i plan on BPing there with her early summer.


Hi Sparky,

What ever you decide on, just make sure you do not take your SO at the height of
mosquito season, otherwise they will never go again.
Also make it as easy as possible, 20 Lakes Basin or Little Lakes Valley comes to
mind, and though LLV is super easy, the views will have your SO hooked, and
yearning for more, which is what you want, right?
If your SO feels strong than day hiking up towards Mono Pass, great overlook on
the way up is worth doing, as is hiking towards the southern end of the LLV.
Remember that the hike is about your SO, and not about you, which is something
we guys forget sometimes. Comfortable sleeping bag & mattress, good food, warm
clothing, and mainly an attentive SO, all makes for a great trip!
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: Prospects for the summer, 2012

Postby lahai1dj » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:52 pm

Thanks Mike

As for early season at Jennie Lakes, I suspect the snow should be cleared by late May. You are right though that the bugs will likely be awful.
David

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Re: Prospects for the summer, 2012

Postby EasternSierra » Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:08 pm

I plan to take advantage of this summer by doing the Rae Lakes trip with some folks 6/30 - 7/4. I am hoping Glenn Pass will be open then. I guess you can apply for permits starting tomorrow (3/1). Does anyone know if the permits fill up pretty quickly for this trip? 1st choice is starting on the Woods Creek trail, 2nd choice is the Bubbs Creek trail. It looks like there are 25 spots per day per trail and 18.75 (75%) of these spots are reservable. Does anyone know how competitive these spots are? Do I need to fax in the reservation or is mailing it pretty safe? I'm applying for 8 people, btw.
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Re: Prospects for the summer, 2012

Postby oldranger » Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:55 pm

8 people? popular trip and holiday weekend plus dry year. If it was me I would make reservations. If max number of reservations are already made then you are likely to be SOOL by my calculations. You might take a chance if you can get reservations for part of your group. Don't know how SEKI works but if walk up permits are issued a day before then you would have to have someone arrive a day early if you can't make reservations.

When I used to hike out of Cedar you used to get your walk up permit on the day you started. Then they gave you the talk. then it was 9 am before you could start and every trail was dusty/sandy, and it was hotter than h---! starting at 5,00ft. elevation. I thought the permit process back then was pretty stupid. As a front country ranger back then I would wrangle a permit a couple of days early and start hiking on my friday after work, the trails were dusty/sandy and it was hotter than h---! After busting my butt for an hour and a half I would take a beer/water break, then continue hiking til after dark. I could go farther after work back then than I can go in a whole day now.

Mike
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