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Bear Lakes Basin to Marie Lake ?s

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Bear Lakes Basin to Marie Lake ?s

Postby schmalz » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:45 am

I have a few questions about this area. I'm planning a trip with my dog that would have us going into bear lakes basin over dancing bear pass. We'd make our way down to Vee Lake and then Seven Gables Basin, and then down to the JMT via the East Fork of Bear Creek.

A few questions:

I'm under the impression that moving around the bear lakes basin is pretty easy and should be reasonable for a dog. Is that correct?

Do I have the correct route to get out of the basin moving south? Are there any areas that might give me trouble? Is the east fork nice and worth a visit?

Thanks in advance for any answers. I still owe a trip report from last year which I will get to when I have some extra time.



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Re: Bear Lakes Basin to Marie Lake ?s

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:52 pm

I have only crossed through the Bear Lakes Basin once on the SHR but the area has a more closed in feel for cross country. It's generally easy to travel if you take the right way that is. It's pretty easy to get hung up in little micro cliffs that wouldn't be easy for a dog. Just make sure you study the routes the best you can.
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Re: Bear Lakes Basin to Marie Lake ?s

Postby maverick » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:17 pm

Hi Schmalz,

First here are some previous posts about this area:
http://www.highsierratopix.com/communit ... ass#p51235
http://www.highsierratopix.com/communit ... ass#p47909
DBP is pretty easy, but can have snow on it into the mid season as others have noted.
If your dog is used to cross country travel than there will not be an issue traveling in
this area. Make sure you do some scouting for photo opps, there are a lot of small
ponds not indicated on the map and have great potential if one comes back to them
at the golden hours, with no wind present, and some clouds.
East Fork is okay, a telephoto lens would be quite handy at isolating some interesting
subject matters, especially around Seven Gables and the peak itself (think 70-200 or
100-400). If you decide to descend the EF you must visit the smaller Orchid Lake up
on the the bench opposite of Seven Gables, and the area around it overlooking the
JMT corridor, it will be the photo highlight of your trip, guaranteed! :thumbsup:
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: Bear Lakes Basin to Marie Lake ?s

Postby Mike M. » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:23 pm

Yes, the area is dog friendly if you choose routes with that in mind. It's a fun area for cross country travel and the setting is gorgeous.

Mike
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Re: Bear Lakes Basin to Marie Lake ?s

Postby schmalz » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:32 pm

Yep, orchid is definitely on the list for the trip. That's a big reason I'm going all the way down to the JMT too, aside from wanting to mix up the terrain a bit and let my dog walk on some softer ground for awhile.

Sounds like East Fork isn't anything too memorable, which I'm fine with, as long as I can move through it relatively easily.

Mav - Did you find that both morning and evening light works well in bear lakes basin, or did you prefer one over the other? I'm probably going to spend 2 nights in there and will try to make the most of it.

General Plan for the trip is:

Pine Creek Trailhead

Night One: Granite Park
Night Two: Bear Lake Basin
Night Three: Bear Lake Basin
Night Four: Orchid
Night Five: Piute Creek
Night Six: Moon Lake
Night Seven: Royce Lakes
Night Eight: Royce Lakes (optional)
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Re: Bear Lakes Basin to Marie Lake ?s

Postby maverick » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:38 pm

Schmalz wrote:
Mav - Did you find that both morning and evening light works well in bear
lakes basin, or did you prefer one over the other?


It all depends on the location and terrain. The area above and at the outlet of Bear
Paw has a lot of potential as does Little Bear Lake. Feather Peak will shine at
sunset and Seven Gables at sunrise. Though either can be great at either time
if the light, colors, and clouds cooperate. There are some small ponds/tarns above
Vee Lake on a bench to the northwest, and some other ones as you walk back towards
Little Bear Lake that also can be quite good. Stay open to some b&w opps because
they do present themselves to.
Just my though knowing your interest in photography would recommend you not
rush through the area but stick to Bear Lakes Basin for example. As you know
light, clouds, and even finding the best places by scouting out a location takes time.
Spending one or even two days in one area really is inadequate for a photographer
to really extract the beauty of an area and incorporate ones own style, it really limits
the creative possibilities, unless you catch the tail end of a thunderstorm, but even
that does not always produce satisfactory results.
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: Bear Lakes Basin to Marie Lake ?s

Postby cmon4day » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:55 pm

Make sure your dog's pads are toughened up. Cross country travel up there consists of lots of granite and loose rock. Nothing worse to be back there and your dog suffers a lacerated pad.

You probably already know this but I thought I would offer it up.
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Re: Bear Lakes Basin to Marie Lake ?s

Postby schmalz » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:17 pm

maverick wrote:
Schmalz wrote:
Mav - Did you find that both morning and evening light works well in bear
lakes basin, or did you prefer one over the other?


It all depends on the location and terrain. The area above and at the outlet of Bear
Paw has a lot of potential as does Little Bear Lake. Feather Peak will shine at
sunset and Seven Gables at sunrise. Though either can be great at either time
if the light, colors, and clouds cooperate. There are some small ponds/tarns above
Vee Lake on a bench to the northwest, and some other ones as you walk back towards
Little Bear Lake that also can be quite good. Stay open to some b&w opps because
they do present themselves to.
Just my though knowing your interest in photography would recommend you not
rush through the area but stick to Bear Lakes Basin for example. As you know
light, clouds, and even finding the best places by scouting out a location takes time.
Spending one or even two days in one area really is inadequate for a photographer
to really extract the beauty of an area and incorporate ones own style, it really limits
the creative possibilities, unless you catch the tail end of a thunderstorm, but even
that does not always produce satisfactory results.


I appreciate the advice and I will take it to heart. Part of the reason why I plan these trips out so far in advance is it gives me time to contemplate my goals and hone in on exactly what I'm setting out to do.

While there is certainly a lot to be said for patiently exploring an area and waiting for the right conditions, I find that approach doesn't always end up being an enjoyable experience for me. I think part of it is that I'm still relatively young and I like to be active, and it also stems from there being so much of the Sierra that I've never seen. While I probably have decades to explore all of these areas to look forward to, I can never be sure so I find myself trying to carve out relatively big chunks to see. I also plan on going back to most of these areas again with my wife and son (who was just born, speaking of not having time to write trip reports). So, these trips are also partially to scout out the best spots to take them.

This is also my only trip of the year, so I know that I'll want to see a few places with different types of terrain.
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Re: Bear Lakes Basin to Marie Lake ?s

Postby schmalz » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:19 pm

cmon4day wrote:Make sure your dog's pads are toughened up. Cross country travel up there consists of lots of granite and loose rock. Nothing worse to be back there and your dog suffers a lacerated pad.

You probably already know this but I thought I would offer it up.


Absolutely. That is extremely important advice that can't be re-iterated enough. My dog is a year round trail dog and I'll make sure she's ready. I also bring emergency stuff for her in case things go bad, which has not happened yet.
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Re: Bear Lakes Basin to Marie Lake ?s

Postby rlown » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:20 pm

Granite Park night one? Most TR's here show Honeymoon as the logical stopping point for Pine creek. Not questioning your ability but, kudos!
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Re: Bear Lakes Basin to Marie Lake ?s

Postby schmalz » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:24 pm

rlown wrote:Granite Park night one? Most TR's here show Honeymoon as the logical stopping point for Pine creek. Not questioning your ability but, kudos!


I was in the area last year, and while I stopped at honeymoon, I think granite is definitely reachable. I really want to shoot sunrise there so it'll be a priority. The hard part will be doing that after driving up from LA that morning with no acclimation. I guess it's fair to say that I'm in pretty decent shape during the summer :)
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Re: Bear Lakes Basin to Marie Lake ?s

Postby chrisdiercks » Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:43 pm

Going back to the OP, I've had my dog all over that area with no problems, although I used a rope with her at Ruskie pass. If she is carrying her own weight (food, ect.), you may want to remove this weight for the second class (and up) stuff depending upon how she is moving. i think you will know cause she will be struggling a bit. Make sure you have something to put on her feet if they start weeping blood and don't be shocked when they do. That is a pretty rocky area. Another gem of an area to hit! Good luck with the trip.

I have a german shorthaired pointer and she has hard pads and nails. She gets taken out on trail all the time, but above treeline with all that rock, her feet will weep if I don't take care of them. She just sands the pads thin. Anyway, that's why I'm on about that.

Chris
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