Kearsarge Pass and Rae Lakes - July 1st - 4th, 2012 | High Sierra Topix  

Kearsarge Pass and Rae Lakes - July 1st - 4th, 2012

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

Kearsarge Pass and Rae Lakes - July 1st - 4th, 2012

Postby David and Karen » Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:26 pm

*** David Here - this is a cross post of a report my wife just submitted to nwhikers.net - this forum was a great help to us when we were doing research. ****

Better late than never right? This is first installment for a 16 day trip that involved 3 backpacks in the California Sierras in July 2012.

All the signs were there that pointed to the Sierras as the place to be for early season 2012 due to historically low snow levels. Fool me once in 2010 when I attempted to organize a similar trip during a late snow year. I would not make this mistake again and this year was all about redemption!

I’ve hiked at elevation before and knew flying from Seattle meant we needed to car camp at a higher elevation the night before to acclimatize. I also planned a very modest itinerary for the first two days.

Image

I found the road up to Onion Valley to be very unique. It gains over 5000 feet of elevation and as you drive into the mountains you strain your eyes to see where the road is going, you can’t figure out how it could possibly keep going in this direction.

Image

It was clear to us that the high elevation hiking combined with a 4 day pack was going to be a challenge.

Image

I had felt fine until we hit Gilbert Lake where we stopped for some photos and then it hit me. All of a sudden I was weak and felt like I was going to toss my trail mix.

Image

After a breather I hoisted the pack again and we made our way up a side trail to Matlock Lake, the one lake I had been looking forward to the most on this whole backpack. When I finally stumbled into camp feeling like I had been out partying all night I dropped my pack into the dirt and promptly fell on it. I tried several times to get up and at least set up my camp, but it was a good 2-3 hours before I could even muster up the energy to do it.

Image

I had hoped to wander up above to Bench lake and visit a tarn below University Peak but I didn’t fell like pushing it, I had three more days to go! So Tisha went exploring on her own and I enjoyed the solitude of this gorgeous lake. While other lakes in the Sierras are chock full of people, this one is a bit off the main trail so we had this one to ourselves.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

The next day was to be another “easy” day.

Image

We were to attain Kearsarge Pass (11,845) and drop to camp at the lakes below.

Image
Image
Image
Image

We huffed and puffed our way up, but I felt much better this day. Again Tisha would wander to some other lakes after we setup camp but I elected to rest again hoping to be fully recovered for our next day which was to be much harder. Hopefully she shares some pics because it looked really nice where she went.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

There are two ways to complete the next part, a high and low route. We would take the low one right by Bullfrog Lake on the way there and the high route on our way out.

Image
Image
Image


We would climb for what seemed like forever until we finally reached Glenn Pass at 11,978 ft.

Image
Image
Image

We dropped to Rae Lakes and set up camp.


Image
Image

We debated at length as to what to do from here. Our original hope was to climb up to Dragon lake and travel cross country around Mt Gould (13,005) and loop back to the trailhead via Golden Trout Lakes. We decided to check out Dragon Lake pack free and that confirmed our suspicions. Dragging a full pack up that loose rock was going to be a huge undertaking and it would be easier to return the way we came. If it was the end of our trip, sure maybe we could have done it, but we had 2 more backpacks to think about.

Image
Image
Image

The hike out the next day was a long, full day


Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

We spent one more night car camping in Alabama Hills.

Image
Image
Image
Image

In the morning we would take it easy, wander around taking photos and then head up to Keough Hotsprings and get a shower, food and relax in the springs before embarking on our next backpack.


Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Last edited by David and Karen on Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:45 am, edited 2 times in total.



User avatar
David and Karen
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:34 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Kearsarge Pass and Rae Lakes

Postby balzaccom » Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:21 pm

Nice report! Thanks for posting.

You can post those photos directly in your text if you lead each one with thisL [img]and%20after%20each%20one%20you%20put%20this:[/img]
Balzaccom

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
User avatar
balzaccom
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1292
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:22 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Kearsarge Pass and Rae Lakes - Now w/ thumbnails!

Postby maverick » Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:06 pm

Thanks for posting this lovely trip report to the Rae Lakes area, and here on HST we
appreciate any and all TR's at any time!
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: 8049
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Kearsarge Pass and Rae Lakes - Now w/ thumbnails!

Postby Bluewater » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:20 pm

Thanks for your TR and photos. The Dragon Lake area is beautiful!
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: Kearsarge Pass and Rae Lakes - Now w/ thumbnails!

Postby bluefish » Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:47 am

Wonderful TR. My wife and I did a similar trip in 2007 to celebrate her recovery from breast cancer.
We were stalled at Gilbert Lake also by my wife's altitude sickness. I took the downtime to catch a gazillion brook trout. Thanks for the great pics . We fly in from the east coast and it's a hard thing to take the acclimation time when you're raring to hit the trail. Thanks God for high trailheads with backpacking campsites. Looking forward to seeing your other trips!
User avatar
bluefish
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:45 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Kearsarge Pass and Rae Lakes - July 1st - 4th, 2012

Postby mello » Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:15 pm

Thanks for posting! I'm looking forward to this one!
User avatar
mello
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:49 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Kearsarge Pass and Rae Lakes - July 1st - 4th, 2012

Postby maverick » Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:34 pm

Hi Mello,

Welcome to HST!
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: 8049
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Kearsarge Pass and Rae Lakes - July 1st - 4th, 2012

Postby mello » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:46 pm

Thanks maverick!
User avatar
mello
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:49 pm
Experience: N/A


Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot], Quercus23, sekihiker and 18 guests

cron