TR: 2012-05-12 Cottonwood Lakes loop dayhike | High Sierra Topix  

TR: 2012-05-12 Cottonwood Lakes loop dayhike

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

TR: 2012-05-12 Cottonwood Lakes loop dayhike

Postby jimmeans » Sat May 12, 2012 11:25 pm

Wade C. and I made the Cottonwood Lakes loop dayhike today. Nice mid 50s temperatures were a relief from the 90s in the Owens Valley. Our loop took us up the North Fork of Cottonwood Creek on the New Army Pass trail alternative. We followed this trail until we hit the outlet creek from Long Lake, and then we returned via the South Fork of Cottonwood Creek. We ended up covering 12.2 miles in about 7 hours including a nice lunch break at the highest of the South Fork Lakes.

We encountered very little snow on the trail going up. There was one downed tree across the trail about 1 mile from the trailhead, but it was easily bypassed. The only place that snow was really a problem was when we were trying to find the trail coming down from Cirque Lake to the lowest of the South Fork Lakes. Even in this area there wasn't really much snow, but because we we doing some boulder hopping the snow was adding some danger because snow and boulders don't mix well this time of year.

We didn't hike north from the New Army Pass trail, so we could only see Cottonwood Lakes #1 & #2. Lake #2 still had some ice on the south end, but this was the only ice we saw on any lake today.

Although there were about 10 cars at the trailhead, we didn't see a soul until we were within a mile of the trailhead on our return. We did encounter a hitchhiker on the drive up to the trailhead in the morning, and this turned out to be Dave Turner returning to the top after one of his paraglider descents.
Attachments
P1010185.jpg
View of Mt. Langley from south of Cottonwood Lake #1
P1010197.jpg
Ice on Cottonwood Lake #2
P1010209.jpg
Macro view of New Army Pass area
P1010191.jpg
Closeup of New Army Pass
P1010222.jpg
We saw a lot of these critters



User avatar
jimmeans
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 6:47 am
Location: San Diego
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

User avatar

Re: TR: 2012-05-12 Cottonwood Lakes loop dayhike

Postby windknot » Sat May 12, 2012 11:29 pm

Thanks so much for the report! Looks like you had a great day.
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
User avatar
windknot
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1348
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 10:07 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

TR: 2012-05-12 Cottonwood Lakes loop dayhike

Postby Bluewater » Sun May 13, 2012 5:35 am

Thank you for your trip report and photos! Beautiful weather yesterday. Is that a photo of NAP with snow/cornice along the top?
User avatar
Bluewater
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 530
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:33 pm
Location: Laguna Beach
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

TR: 2012-05-12 Cottonwood Lakes loop dayhike

Postby Hobbes » Sun May 13, 2012 6:43 am

Bluewater wrote:Is that a photo of NAP with snow/cornice along the top?


Here's what the view from NAP looked like last Sept. I guess this year it will look like this by July (if not earlier).

Image

This year, July 1st is on a Sunday. The area might look like Crowley.
User avatar
Hobbes
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 678
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:09 am
Location: The OC
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: TR: 2012-05-12 Cottonwood Lakes loop dayhike

Postby jimmeans » Sun May 13, 2012 7:16 am

Bluewater wrote:Thank you for your trip report and photos! Beautiful weather yesterday. Is that a photo of NAP with snow/cornice along the top?



Yes, the third and fourth photos are my attempt to show NAP. Since I've never been over NAP (I've been over OAP several times), I'm not sure exactly where the pass crosses the ridge.
User avatar
jimmeans
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 6:47 am
Location: San Diego
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

User avatar

Re: TR: 2012-05-12 Cottonwood Lakes loop dayhike

Postby markskor » Sun May 13, 2012 7:55 am

jimmeans wrote:
Bluewater wrote: Is that a photo of NAP with snow/cornice along the top?


Yes, the third and fourth photos are my attempt to show NAP. Since I've never been over NAP (I've been over OAP several times), I'm not sure exactly where the pass crosses the ridge.

On the close-up shot of NAP, the trail crosses the "cornice" at the far right side of picture - next to that single big rock among the white snow, jutting into the sky-line.
Been over NAP a few times and from the picture and past experience - conditions look quite do-able from the photo...have crossed over Nap on much harsher conditions. Looks open enough for me.
Mountainman who swims with trout
User avatar
markskor
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
 
Posts: 2047
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 5:41 pm
Location: Mammoth Lakes
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: TR: 2012-05-12 Cottonwood Lakes loop dayhike

Postby maverick » Sun May 13, 2012 12:59 pm

Thanks Jimmeans for the TR and pictures.
What a difference from a year ago in June when Quentinc posted his TR from this
area. viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6366&p=44119#p44119
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
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8029
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: TR: 2012-05-12 Cottonwood Lakes loop dayhike

Postby jimmeans » Sun May 13, 2012 1:18 pm

markskor wrote:On the close-up shot of NAP, the trail crosses the "cornice" at the far right side of picture - next to that single big rock among the white snow, jutting into the sky-line.
Been over NAP a few times and from the picture and past experience - conditions look quite do-able from the photo...have crossed over Nap on much harsher conditions. Looks open enough for me.


Markskor,

If I understand your description, the trail crosses the the ridge near the big rock in the center of this picture:

P1010212.jpg


Is this accurate?
User avatar
jimmeans
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 6:47 am
Location: San Diego
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

User avatar

TR: 2012-05-12 Cottonwood Lakes loop dayhike

Postby Bluewater » Sun May 13, 2012 1:20 pm

Thanks for the details and photos of NAP. This forum is great! Your info is very much appreciated.
User avatar
Bluewater
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 530
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:33 pm
Location: Laguna Beach
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: TR: 2012-05-12 Cottonwood Lakes loop dayhike

Postby markskor » Sun May 13, 2012 3:38 pm

jimmeans wrote:
markskor wrote:On the close-up shot of NAP, the trail crosses the "cornice" at the far right side of picture - next to that single big rock among the white snow, jutting into the sky-line.
Been over NAP a few times and from the picture and past experience - conditions look quite do-able from the photo...have crossed over Nap on much harsher conditions. Looks open enough for me.


Markskor,

If I understand your description, the trail crosses the the ridge near the big rock in the center of this picture:

P1010212.jpg


Is this accurate?

A few long traverses/ switchbacks on the way up - trail not visible in picture but obviously dry and easier as you go up...In the end, maybe 30 feet of snow to cross...The final approach found us with the big rock mentioned on our immediate left. POC
Mark
Mountainman who swims with trout
User avatar
markskor
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
 
Posts: 2047
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 5:41 pm
Location: Mammoth Lakes
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: TR: 2012-05-12 Cottonwood Lakes loop dayhike

Postby quentinc » Thu May 17, 2012 5:48 pm

Thanks for the report Jim. I hope to get up to Miter Basin this weekend.
User avatar
quentinc
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 890
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:28 pm
Location: Los Angeles
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: TR: 2012-05-12 Cottonwood Lakes loop dayhike

Postby Hobbes » Fri May 18, 2012 7:35 am

quentinc wrote:hope to get up to Miter Basin this weekend.


Are you planning on going over New Army, (Old) Army or Cottonwood? Did you see these pics of Army taken last weekend that were posted @ the MW forum?

http://www.whitneyportalstore.com/forum ... #Post90381

Image

Army hairs me out. I'd like to do a trip from HM to Symmes in July over Army, but if there's still any snow/ice, I'll re-route over NAP.
User avatar
Hobbes
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 678
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:09 am
Location: The OC
Experience: N/A

Next

Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests