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Conditions mid-June in the Cottonwood lakes area this year?

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Conditions mid-June in the Cottonwood lakes area this year?

Postby Hobbes » Sat May 12, 2012 9:56 pm

markskor wrote:Just ask the captain.


Captain T?

Image

Without revealing too much, there are some lakes in the region, besides the most popular on the main route, that provide pretty good fishing. They're not part of the CW watershed, so they're not subject to the 7/1 restrictions.



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Re: Conditions mid-June in the Cottonwood lakes area this year?

Postby Slugman » Sun May 13, 2012 11:59 am

We've decided to get the two-day licenses, so we can fish Sky Blue and Iridescent and Crabtree pass lakes. I like how we can get them online and print them out instantly. The real issue was hauling the gear, would it be worth it.

markskor, thanks for the route info on getting to Sky Blue.
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Re: Conditions mid-June in the Cottonwood lakes area this year?

Postby bluefintu » Mon May 14, 2012 9:28 pm

Hi Slugman,

I would love to join you guys. I'm kind of a slow hiker tho, that's because I carry crazy weight. Last year when my son and I went, I also carried a two pound raft to Sky Blue, we had a blast with it, but we didn't catch any fish on it because it just got to windy to control the raft. When you going? I'll let you know where we stayed at sky blue, but may have snow and ice. We went last year in August and had ice, but it was a good snow year.

If you go up and over crabtree pass, the north face may be a challenge. I don't know the condition of the area yet. I would think crampons would or help you from sliding down the steep pass, but for a six day trip, stay in the Mitre Basin. I just may join you guys because I want to go too!!

Don
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Re: Conditions mid-June in the Cottonwood lakes area this year?

Postby Slugman » Tue May 15, 2012 1:14 pm

Pm sent, blue. Be advised: I am called slugman for a reason, that reason being that I am slow, very slow, without even the excuse of a heavy pack. But I stick to it, and get there eventually. Certainly your having been there before makes you an attractive addition to our friendly little crew. We are only five, so you (and your son) would be most welcome. We are all in our late 30's to early 50's, no youthful shenanigans or drunken idiots in our group, just experienced backpackers with a love for the high country and a respect for others and for Ma nature.
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Re: Conditions mid-June in the Cottonwood lakes area this year?

Postby amaxoxo » Sat May 19, 2012 9:30 pm

This sounds like a great loop! I'm looking for a similar 6 day trip in mid June (June 11-17) and wondered what the mileage of this loop is? We're both experienced backpackers, but would like to hike for 3-4 days and lay over a few days, too. Can you tell me what the total miles of this loop would be? Thanks!
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Re: Conditions mid-June in the Cottonwood lakes area this year?

Postby Slugman » Sat May 19, 2012 10:15 pm

The "minimum" loop, Cottonwood pass, up to Sky Blue, back over New Army pass, and out is something like 26 miles (per online sources and Nat Geo TOPO!). But plan on more, with side trips that are practically mandatory, if you are already up there. Primrose lake, Iridescent lake, Mt Langley, and Cottonwood basin, if you went to all of them, might bring you close to 35 miles. Add in Pickering and Crabtree lakes and you might be able to squeeze in 40. Definitely 40 if you wanted to see all the lakes in the Cottonwood basin, including Muir.
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Re: Conditions mid-June in the Cottonwood lakes area this year?

Postby Hobbes » Sun May 20, 2012 7:27 am

amaxoxo wrote:This sounds like a great loop!


The only problem is the distance you'll need to drive from Santa Cruz. All the east side THs before Bishop, like Horseshoe/Cottonwood, can be reached in under 5 hrs from SoCal. (Under 4 if you drive like a maniac ... ahem.) If you're coming from the Bay Area, you'll need to either go over 120/108, or drive all the way down to Bakersfield and loop back up the 395.

A couple of popular west side hikes you might be interested in are either Rae lakes or High Sierra. If you're really ambitious, you could take the HST and exit @ Whitney. Getting back however is a b!tch.

My brother is in the same boat as you; what he typically does is spend a night around Tioga to both acclimate and break up the drive. It's only 2.5-3 hrs from Tuolumne/Saddlebag to Cottonwood @ that point, so it makes for a real pretty early morning cruise.
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Re: Conditions mid-June in the Cottonwood lakes area this year?

Postby amaxoxo » Sun May 20, 2012 12:56 pm

Thanks for the input. Yeah, I do an east side trip every year in August, but usually stay one night at Tioga or at the trailhead to acclimatize, which we'll do if we go to the east side in June. We have an extra day for that. When you say Rae Lakes via the west side, do you mean going in at Cedar Grove? Last year I went in Onion Valley to Kearsarge Pass and then down to Whitney and out at Whitney Portal, so I'm familiar with going in to Rae Lakes from that side, but not from the West side. I've heard Rae Lakes is beautiful and would love to go there. What TH were you thinking of for going in from the west?
Much thanks...such a delight to find this website and hear all of your expertise. And my apologies if I was one of those putting out a too-general request for info. I do usually pour over maps and books and the web first, but got excited at the chance for expert input!
Diane
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Re: Conditions mid-June in the Cottonwood lakes area this year?

Postby tim » Sun May 20, 2012 10:50 pm

amaxoxo wrote:This sounds like a great loop! I'm looking for a similar 6 day trip in mid June (June 11-17) and wondered what the mileage of this loop is? We're both experienced backpackers, but would like to hike for 3-4 days and lay over a few days, too. Can you tell me what the total miles of this loop would be? Thanks!


I would think a trip over Cottonwood Pass to Chicken Spring Lake and then on to Soldier Lakes would suit you very well if you are willing to drive that far. Several day hikes from there into Miter Basin and up to Mt Langley. Your main problem may be the skeeters by then. It's about 19 miles plus whatever you add in day hikes.
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Re: Conditions mid-June in the Cottonwood lakes area this year?

Postby quentinc » Tue May 22, 2012 8:12 pm

I was in Miter Basin and Langley this past weekend. Conditions are like mid-July, it is astonishing! Only real snow I hiked through was above Sky Blue Lake, on a hike up to Crabtree Pass. The only way you'd know it's May is that SBL is still frozen.

NAP is apparently no problem, according to a couple I crossed paths with on Langley. I did Cottonwood Pass.
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