Your Mosquito's From Hell Trip | High Sierra Topix  

Your Mosquito's From Hell Trip

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

Your Mosquito's From Hell Trip

Postby maverick » Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:17 pm

It looks like from the reports that the mosquito's are starting to get bad, and will only
get worse in the next couple of weeks. :snipe:

On that note would love to hear members worst encounters with these blood
sucking vampires, we are talking about that one trip where the mosquito rating was
off of the HST mosquito scale!
Would be interested in the where, when, and how it has effected your backpacking
strategies during mosquito season ever since.
Do you avoid backpacking in mosquito season since this incident? Has anyone you know
been completely turned off from backpacking/camping after such a nightmarish experience?
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: Your Mosquito's From Hell Trip

Postby balzaccom » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:20 pm

We've had a few--but if you want to see the mountains this time of year, mosquitoes are just part of the package. Two trips with the most mosquitoes were 4th of July Weekend in the Red Mountain Basin a few years ago...we met people who were leaving simply because they ran of out bug spray. But we used head nets, bug spray, camped away from moist areas, ate in the tent from time to time, and still loved the trip.

Image

And last year, Nelson and Reymann lakes in Yosemite were unbelievable. Here's a photo of Reymann Lake..with mosquito in place. We had them flying into our mouths as we hiked:

Image

And my hat at 10,000 feet, two miles from the nearest water:

Image
Balzaccom

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
User avatar
balzaccom
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1288
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:22 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Your Mosquito's From Hell Trip

Postby jessegooddog » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:50 pm

Blue Lake (out of Sabrina) in July about 40 years ago, spent the whole time in the tent as they were flying in our mouths. Completely stupid about everything backpacking, we camped right on the lake, no headnets, no repellent, packed our packs like grocery bags with the heavy stuff on the bottom, did not drink enough water, drove straight up from LA and started hiking, sick all night... When I found myself single a few years later, I always remembered that trip and never again wanted to visit the sierra! Now I live here by choice, and plan to do the same hike this July (for the wildflowers), sans backpack, with Herbal Armour, a repellent that works great for me and has no poisons to breathe or soak in. And I may pick up a headnet.
User avatar
jessegooddog
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 240
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 3:39 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Your Mosquito's From Hell Trip

Postby schmalz » Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:51 pm

In 2010 I went up to 1000 Island Lake in the 3rd week of July. The swarms in that area were the worst I've experience. We had nets on constantly and did eat in our tent. Here's a pic I took.

Image
User avatar
schmalz
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 460
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 9:18 am
Location: Altadena, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Your Mosquito's From Hell Trip

Postby oldranger » Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:15 pm

1982--All season at Rowell Meadows, my first season as a backcountry ranger for NPS. It was a weird situation. Park Service Employee, Forest Service Land, California Water Resources Snow Survey Cabin! Actually I spent Sun-Thurs backpacking in Ranger Lakes and Sugarloaf Creek tribs. But there were Mosquitoes at Rowell the day I arrived in June and they were still nasty in September when I left. The next year there must have been a cold spell in August because even though it was a super wet winter the mosquitoes were gone by Labor Day. One week in 82 I went through a whole spray can of GI issue Deet.

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: Your Mosquito's From Hell Trip

Postby oldranger » Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:17 pm

The worst single day of mosquitoes has been walking (make that running) past Upper Mattie Lake in june and early July--little did I know I was running away from some big fish, too!

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

Re: Your Mosquito's From Hell Trip

Postby Cross Country » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:24 pm

Speaking of Upper Mattie -- and yes that's me catching some nice fish out of there.
Attachments
Mattie upper.jpg
Cross Country
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1119
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:16 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Your Mosquito's From Hell Trip

Postby whrdafamI? » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:47 pm

Last year in August around Golden Trout Lake. The worst I had seen in many years. Thank goodness for REI Jungle Juice! We were real popular with those who didn't have any or had run out. One guy was so grateful he bought our dinner at Las Casitas in Bishop.
Better to have it and not need it than it is to need it and not have it!

Get busy living or get busy dying.
User avatar
whrdafamI?
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 205
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 10:31 am
Location: Ontario, California
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Your Mosquito's From Hell Trip

Postby LMBSGV » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:11 pm

When I was growing up I spent summers in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area on the Minnesota/Canada border. I’ve never experienced anything in the Sierra that compares to the horrific mosquitoes I encountered there. There were times they would be so thick, it seemed they came close to blotting out the sky. My wife grew up dealing with mosquitoes in Michigan and New Hampshire, while not as horrific as northern Minnesota, can be worse than anything in the Sierra. So avoiding the Sierra during mosquito season has never entered my/our minds. My wife and I have been going up in June for years and consider them a nuisance, but never a deal breaker - we just try to camp where they aren’t too horrendous.

That said, in the Sierra, the worse I’ve encountered is in 1982 with my wife at Emeric Lake in Yosemite and 1998 solo at Gladys Lake in the Minarets. For my wife and I, just saying Emeric Lake is a catchphrase for bad skeeters. In both cases, simply entering the tent was a futile attempt to try to unzip the mosquito netting and slip inside with as few skeeters as possible coming in before the netting was zipped back shut. Then I slapped the air for a few minutes, always squishing several with each slap. Something that can really drive me nuts when trying to sleep is a skeeter buzzing around my ear.
User avatar
LMBSGV
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 579
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 8:42 pm
Location: San Geronimo, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Your Mosquito's From Hell Trip

Postby quentinc » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:46 pm

The worst for me was probably in Kaweah Basin, August a few years ago. Every day of that trip featured afternoon thundershowers, and the steady drizzle in KB kept washing off any amount of DEET that I would apply. The Basin wasn't all that wet in August, but the mosquitoes were relentless. There must be some brand of water-proof DEET, anyone know?
User avatar
quentinc
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 890
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:28 pm
Location: Los Angeles
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Your Mosquito's From Hell Trip

Postby oldranger » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:52 pm

Crosscountry,

That isn't upper Mattie! Upper Mattie is much smaller and more wooded.

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: Your Mosquito's From Hell Trip

Postby kpeter » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:58 pm

I have previously posted on my two worst mosquito trips.

The worst in the Sierra was the second week in July at Blue Lake, 2009. Stupidly, I picked the wrong week to try to introduce my two children to backpacking, and they spent almost the whole time cowering in the tent. The worst of it was that the mosquitoes never let up. Hiding out in the tent for an evening is one thing, but when they follow you down the trail, landing and biting as you move--in full sunlight at mid day--then the fun can go out of the trip.

My worst trip ever was in the St. Joe wilderness in Idaho in 1974--and it made Blue lake look like nothing worse that purgatory compared with the 9th circle of hell. The St. Joe is lush, green, swampy, and low enough in elevation (under 6000 feet) to support a lot of game, which in turn supports a lot of mosquitoes. As we dropped into one lake basin (Bacon Lake) we saw a grey mist rising above the lake. But as we got closer, we realized to our horror that it was not water vapor but clouds of insects reflecting in the sunlight.

Soon we had voluminous, billowing swarms of them pursuing us down the trail. They got in our eyes, flew up our noses, flew in our mouths, and would land and bite as we moved. We had no nets but did have deet. Deet helped us avoid some of the bites but did nothing to ease the kamikaze mosquitoes or lessen the increasing irritation that began to turn into an irrational panic. At one point we began jogging (with our packs on) in the hope that moving faster would somehow allow us to leave the mosquitoes behind. But of course it just meant we were moving more quickly into new populations of skeeters.

When we set up camp we got in our tents as soon as we could, and spent hours killing the bugs that came in with us. The doorway netting turned so black that we could not see through it. If I moved my hand near to the netting, thousands of little mosquito probosci (proboscuses?) would forlornly poke through in the direction of my warmth. In fact, I could "pet" their probosci by moving my finger along very near the net. Looking out the side windows I could just see that my formerly white guylines had turned black with roosting mosquitoes.

By the time we got out of the basin, my eyes were partially swollen from the bites, and people probably thought I had been attacked by some kind of disfiguring skin disease.

I will say this about that trip--we eventually found the best huckleberry patch ever, and picked more than a quart of those intense blueberry relatives, baked hot bisquick biscuits over a fire, and had ourselves fresh huckleberry shortcake. By that part of the trip the mosquitoes were tolerable, and the desert was exquisite.
User avatar
kpeter
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 555
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:11 pm
Experience: N/A

Next

Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 11 guests