TR: Kibbie Lake, Flora Lake (NW Yosemite) 5/26-28 | High Sierra Topix  

TR: Kibbie Lake, Flora Lake (NW Yosemite) 5/26-28

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TR: Kibbie Lake, Flora Lake (NW Yosemite) 5/26-28

Postby tomba » Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:18 pm

Trip Report: Kibbie Lake, Flora Lake (NW Yosemite) 5/26-28/2012

The weather forecast suggested that Friday 2/25 was supposed to have the worst of the snow storm, and things were going to be steadily improving on subsequent days. We camped Friday evening at the Shingle Springs trailhead after driving on the bumpy gravel road. Conditions looked good: wet ground but no snow, and no precipitation.

Saturday as we went up the forested trail to Kibbie Lake it started snowing and fog came in. Snow was granular, not snowflakes, making sound as it hit our rain gear and bouncing off and rolling down rocks and trees and accumulating in small piles at their bases. According to people coming back, Fri. weather was better. So much for forecast. We Circled Kibbie Lake at a distance on west side. Open granite slabs, ridges, little cliffs. Snow became intermittent in the afternoon and fog was lifting sometimes revealing the landscape in a dramatic fashion. We went over the hills on north side of the lake, towards the cliffs below Many Island Lake, crossed Kibbie Creek, climbed a little in SW direction and set up camp on a sheltered sandy flat area between granite slabs. Shoes, socks and outerwear were wet, but kids were in good spirits, despite the cold (wool socks instead of cotton socks help keep feet not too cold despite being wet) and despite terrain around the lake being somewhat challenging to cross. Changed to dry socks, removed wet clothes, hang it under the fly, and went to sleep in warm sleeping bags.

Click on pictures to see larger versions.

Snowed flowers
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Snowed flowers

Fog
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Fog

Climbing out of Kibbie Lake
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Climbing out of Kibbie Lake


In the morning - sunshine! Now the weather was sunnier and warmer every day, like the forecast predicted. We spread our things on the sunny rocks and small trees to dry. No need to put on wet clothes/shoes for hiking. We went over a pass to Lakes at Bartlett Creek. Because the word "Bartlett" is right next to the lakes on 7.5' topo, I call them Bartlett Lakes. We climbed the overlook SE from hill 7563' looking towards Spotted Fawn Lake and upper part of a canyon with Bartlett Creek. Then we back-tracked to the lakes and went to Flora Lake. On the way kids played in Bartlett Creek flowing through pools and cascades on smooth granite. Terrain is mostly open rocky areas with some trees, not unlike timberline at much higher elevation. We set camp on NE side of the lake and had a small fire in an existing fire ring. No mosquitoes.

Walking towards pass above Bartlett Creek
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Walking towards pass above Bartlett Creek

View towards Spotted Fawn Lake (not visible)
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View towards Spotted Fawn Lake (not visible)

Pools and cascades on Bartlett Creek
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Pools and cascades on Bartlett Creek


After sunrise steam was raising from the lake and ponds. We circled the lake on the east and climbed granite slabs towards the unnamed lake NW. We were on a look-out for signs of an old trail that I read about on this forum. It is marked on some old maps, but they seem inaccurate. We went a bit too far north and overshot the little lake. Wider views opened up with snowy peaks in the distance. We started climbing over forested area. Initial climb was quite bushy, but it got better later. We went below Kibbie mountain, followed a ridge with nice ridge-top long valleys (there was a faint trail there). Then we met the trail between Lk. Eleanor and Kibbie Lk. We didn't see the old trail except perhaps at the end. We descended north until the trail turns NE when it leaves the forest and reaches a flatter area, then we went cross-country on granite slabs NW, crossed Kibbie Creek, went west and reached the trail. In a sunny late afternoon the trail looked so different than in fog and snow 2 days earlier, that youngest kids had hard time believing that it was the same trail. Back to TH.

After Kibbie on Sat. we didn't see anyone, although our group of 5 was plenty of people.

Camp at Flora Lake
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Camp at Flora Lake

Morning at Flora Lake
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Morning at Flora Lake

Crossing a wet area with sprouting mule ears
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Crossing a wet area with sprouting mule ears

Little long valley on top of a ridge
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Little long valley on top of a ridge
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tomba
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Re: TR: Kibbie Lake, Flora Lake (NW Yosemite) 5/26-28

Postby maverick » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:47 am

Thanks Tomba for taking the time to post this pretty TR and pictures. Have
always enjoyed the Bartlett Creek area, and Flora is a very pretty lake, one
of my favorites in the area.
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: TR: Kibbie Lake, Flora Lake (NW Yosemite) 5/26-28

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:01 pm

I think we saw you on the trail. We had a great time, too. :) We wondered if you made it wherever you were going, there were a lot of wet folks out there but not too many with kids.
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