The least visited lake. | High Sierra Topix  

The least visited lake.

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar

Re: The least visited lake.

Postby mokelumnekid » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:33 pm

One way to tell if you are at a unvisited lake is to look for arrowheads or flakes. If you find them around the lake, odds are that it hasn't been visited by anyone, ever.



User avatar
mokelumnekid
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 446
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:45 pm
Location: Seattle
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: The least visited lake.

Postby oldranger » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:48 am

Maverick

If "tarns" are left out then most if not all of the lakes described in this thread would have to be left out according to the definition of a tarn. From dictionary.com,

tarn   [tahrn]
noun
a small mountain lake or pool, especially one in a cirque.


While I don't take Wickipedia as gospel the article on tarns does show some substantial lakes in Europe that have "tarn" in their name. I think many of us have come to consider a "tarn" as one of those small, sometimes seasonal, shallow ponds often found at the top of a broad pass or off to the side of a high elevation creek. But the key element is one formed by glacial action, carved out of a cirque (but sometime some distance downstream), and sometimes dammed up by a moraine. So I stand by my nomination!

MK

Nice point about obsidian flakes/points. Looking for flakes, or more likely for me, stumbling across them always makes me wonder why a high elevation lake or pond was visited and why it was a campsite. One of my favorite "tarns" was on the rim of Deadman and nowadays does not have a large wildlife population. So I have to assume the "game" was bighorn. Then, though above 10,000 ft and the surroundings barren, the tarn was shallow and subject to midday warming that makes for a comfortable dip. The final appeal was the elevation, with no airconditioning, a family trip to the high country or maybe the guys going hunting in the summer might be a nice way to avoid the oppressive low elevation heat.

Mike
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
User avatar
oldranger
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 2164
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:18 pm
Location: Bend, Oregon
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: The least visited lake.

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:25 am

The arbitrary 11,000 ft limit also makes little sense. All lakes above 11,000 feet are not stark and ugly! A tarn is a lake created at the head of a cirque when a glacier melts and the terminal moraine dams it. A more generic term of tarn is often applied to small high glacial ponds. Tarn is not based on elevation or size, but rather the process of its origin. There are many tarns below 11,000 feet.

Perhaps it would be better to define the lake as a minimum size and require it to be scenic. Something worth going to. Not necessarily with fish, but nice enough that you would WANT to visit and camp there.

Thanks for posting the photo of Ladder Lake and the lower lake on Goddard Creek. I used to do many of my trips without a camera. My old Nikon's light meter broke and I really did not have a suitable backpack camera until about 10 years ago.
User avatar
Wandering Daisy
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 2606
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:19 pm
Location: Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento area)
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: The least visited lake.

Postby SSSdave » Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:59 am

oldranger, I'm with WD haha. That's obviously too broad a definition.

Wikipidia: A tarn (or corrie loch) is a mountain lake or pool, formed in a cirque excavated by a glacier. It is formed when either rain or river water fills the cirque. A moraine may form a natural dam below a tarn.[2] A corrie may be called a cirque.

As for the 11k limit someone could start a thread just for that. There are very few lakes above 12,000 feet in the Sierra. However lakes are abundant just below that elevation. Actually because peakbaggers tend to gravitate towards those places because they are near many of their target peaks, they tend to be more visited than some lower elevation lakes that have no interest to climbers. Same thing with crosscountry backpackers. They swarm all over the high timberline areas except when the pain to reach them is considerable.

The difference between a pond and a lake is a slippery slope. Some named lakes are the size of what most would refer to as ponds. And I for one would tend to call even rather small ponds lakes if they are deep. Of course there are quite a lot of shallow ponds both at timberline and down in forests with many shrinking or drying up by late summer.

This has been an interesting thread as no name bodies of water both lakes and ponds have always attracted this person when I ramble about terrain. For a photographer small ponds often are more aesthetic because one has more opportunity for interesting middle grounds in a frame.
User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1965
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Location: Silicon Valley
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: The least visited lake.

Postby oldranger » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:27 pm

Ok guys, whoops, and gals ;)

This is Crosscountry's thread--my main point is to make sure that we are talking about the same thing, so Tom should define what he means by tarn. It is clear to me that we all have too much time on our hands this time of the year. Shouldn't we doing taxes or something rather than rattling on (though it is fun!)?

Cheers

Mike
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
User avatar
oldranger
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 2164
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:18 pm
Location: Bend, Oregon
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: The least visited lake.

Postby Jimr » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:30 pm

Lake at 10,600 (the upper of a set of lakes) 1 mi. NE of Finger Peak, in the Goddard Creek drainage
Lake 9797 just a few miles farther down the Goddard Creek drainage


I've been to both of these lakes. Camped at 9797 twice. First in '85 and second in '89. There are more visitors here than one would think. In '85, there were 5 or 6 felled trees near a hardened campsite I used. In '89, there was nothing but bark outlines where the trees used to be. I didn't camp at 10,600, but drank from it's cool waters on a descent from Finger Col to 9797, then down Goddard Creek.

I've also been to Lk 10,232 coming from Martha Lk to 9797, then from 9797 to Ionian Basin. Goddard Creek is one of my favorite places until you get below 9797. Then it's just he!!

Here's a pic of 10,600
hisierra9.JPG



Here's a lake I nominate. It's on a PG & E road that shortly terminates to the road leading to Wishon Reservoir. I drove to it.
hisierra12.JPG
What?!
User avatar
Jimr
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1122
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:14 pm
Location: Redondo Beach
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: The least visited lake.

Postby paul » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:09 pm

mokelumnekid wrote:One way to tell if you are at a unvisited lake is to look for arrowheads or flakes. If you find them around the lake, odds are that it hasn't been visited by anyone, ever.


Not recently, you mean ;-)
User avatar
paul
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 442
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:35 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: The least visited lake.

Postby Ikan Mas » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:33 pm

I have found obsidion many places in the Sierras. Although the numbers of Native Americans in the mountains was probably never large, they were there for 10,000 to 20,000 years, depending on what theory you subscribe to. Of course for some of this time the mountains were under glaciers, but they were here for a long time. They knew all the major passes and probably roamed quite widely.

Two years ago as my brother and I hiked down Kerrick Meadows we noted that we found obsidion at every place we stopped. So we began to think about it more deeply. We liked to stop a places with a nice view and water nearby. We also liked to find a nice smooth rock to sit on. We realized that our needs were the same as theirs. Think about about this a you pull over for a break. The somewhat sparse grass cover in Kerrick made finding the obsidion very easy.

Last summer at Summit Lake above the San Joaquin River, one end of the lake was thoroughly covered with obsidion. I took this spot as a trading or rendevous point. There must of been lots of people here over the years.
User avatar
Ikan Mas
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 338
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:43 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: The least visited lake.

Postby mokelumnekid » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:22 am

I was just teasing of course, but my point was for the gang not to get too fixated on the notion of "least visited." I spotted this gem (below) a few years ago about ten feet off of a major use-trail along the N. Fk. Mokelumne, very close to Monty Wolfe's upper cabin site. Like everybody I've found obsidian flakes in the most seemingly remote places. If folks really hanker getting off the beaten track I recommend the North Cascades or the mountain of BC.

I was working in a very remote "lost" mountain range in northwest central Argentina a few years ago (still am in fact) and after a few days travel with backpacks and spike camps, out of NOWHERE glides this guy on a small horse, with heavy chaps, etc. He doesn't say a word, just passes us and disappears.Straight out of a Twilight Zone episode. My take home was that even the most seemingly hostile and remote environments may have people living in them...or at least passing through.
Attachments
rare-find.jpg
User avatar
mokelumnekid
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 446
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:45 pm
Location: Seattle
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: The least visited lake.

Postby Hobbes » Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:43 pm

Funston?

I'm always going out of Horseshoe, either via Cottonwood or (New) Army passes, to hit Calipedder's planned destination. (And to paraphrase Terry Hatcher, "it's real and spectacular".) Funston just sits out there all by itself (I don't count the proximity to Rocky Basin lakes), around 6 miles x-country off the PCT.

I'm thinking of adding an extra day to loop the 12 miles in/out the next time I'm up there this summer. I searched HST, and all I came across was an old rumor that while it might not be on the gill net list (like the GT watershed to the south ie Chickenspring, Rocky) it may now be non-maintained.

Does anyone know if this is true? Or whether it matters? It's a nice size lake - about the same as Sky Blue - so it might be self-sustaining. OTOH, by the looks of things, there ain't much/any water the whole way there or back towards Rock Creek across Siberian. And given this dry year, it could be a slog.
User avatar
Hobbes
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 678
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:09 am
Location: The OC
Experience: N/A

Re: The least visited lake.

Postby Cross Country » Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:12 pm

The problem with this thread is that I worded it poorly. My choice of words invites one to nitpick. There has been plenty of that but none as bad as my poor wording. Only one response made me winch, but after all that person seems to lay in wait to criticize things I write. "makes no sense" is an opinion, not a fact. This however WAS my fault. I like the idea but it got taken apart too much. On the positive side, there were a lot of interesting (my opinion) responses. I enjoy reading about remote lakes since it was a driving force for my backpacking adventures.

I believe, that after reading all the responses there is only one lake that no one on HST has been to and it's the one by Grays pass. Their have been at least 2 pictures of it taken from above but NO ONE claims to have been there! --- It is the apparent champ (at least that's my opinion).
Cross Country
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1119
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:16 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: The least visited lake.

Postby cgundersen » Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:48 pm

This thread was buried for a while, but as I was watching storm clouds collect over the Ragged Spur (roughly the western boundary of Ionian Basin/Enchanted Gorge) a couple weeks ago and peering at my topo maps, I realized that there is a little lake (tarn?) trapped high (well, above 11 k) on the Ragged Spur a bit north of the peak 12414 (see attachment). It looks to be nearly as remote as the lake Mav mentioned (which I agree is one that I am confident very few people have seen), and probably even harder to reach. If anyone has photos of that beastie, please share!!!
Thanks,'
cg
Attachments
ragged lake.jpg
ragged spur lake
User avatar
cgundersen
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 655
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 1:07 pm
Experience: N/A

PreviousNext

Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: dschmierer, MSNbot Media [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 11 guests