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Bear lakes, bear basins, bear creeks south of Lake Italy

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Re: Bear lakes, bear basins, bear creeks south of Lake Italy

Postby Mike M. » Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:49 pm

Elizabeth, sounds like a great trip. It's hard to pick out a favorite Bear Lake Basin lake. The area is beautiful and offers easy cross country travel. Try to spend at least two nights there. Vee Lake is especially photogenic, with Seven Gables as a backdrop. It was really hot the last time I was there and we found a nice beach for swimming.

Royce Lakes is a worthy destination and very easy to get to. When I was there, a storm swept in. The lake is extremely exposed -- we were camped at the famous sandy beach and were pummeled with gale-force winds all night, but got very little precip. We did get an incredible sunset out of the storm, and the next morning was bright and clear.

Like Rlown says, Goethe is a godforsaken pile of talus. Good camping can be found for your last night up in the basin between Muriel and The Keyhole, next to tarns and brooks. Great views of Mt. Humphreys and no people.

Mike



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Re: Bear lakes, bear basins, bear creeks south of Lake Italy

Postby mokelumnekid » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:08 pm

Granite Bear Pass is snow filled well into Sept. in normal years and I wouldn't recommend it without ice axe, see pics posted on this site and elsewhere. Ruskie Pass can have some class 3 sections right at the top on east side especially hard to suss-out going from west-to-east for first time, as you would be looking down on the steepest part. Pic below is going east-to-west.

I agree with SSSDave, the Bear Lake Basins can be a bit austere. Areas around east end of Vee lake and east side of Seven Gables Peak are more welcoming in my book.
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Re: Bear lakes, bear basins, bear creeks south of Lake Italy

Postby SSSdave » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:56 am

mokelumnekid wrote:Granite Bear Pass is snow filled well into Sept. in normal years and I wouldn't recommend it without ice axe, see pics posted on this site and elsewhere...


Just read your Aug 29, 2010 post on Granitebear Pass.

The immense gruss sand flat at 11,700 feet 4/10 mile northeast of Granite Bear Pass is one of my favorite places. We call it the Baseball Field and the prominent peak north of the pass, The Tower. I notice some passes in that region have been recently added to the below site though as usual do not agree with some of the ratings like LaSalle Col where you fall you croak. Reality has always been that peakbaggers in particularly due to their ego, tend to under rate difficulties as though rating a pass or peak higher is an indication THEY had difficulty.

http://sierrabackpacker.com/ItalyPass.htm

Twice early August on normal years I've eyeballed that plugging snowfield wondering if there was a way to squeeze between the rock wall and the edge of the ice. It is obviously only the rated class 2 during years it melts out late season like last summer. The route via Italy Pass and Dancing Bear is not that much longer although requires more ups and downs. We've also crossed Whitebear Pass which to remain class 2 requires an indirect approach north of the pass and then traverse to avoid the class 3 headwall that tends to get groups in trouble that don't navigate by reading topos.
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