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Report on a Weekend Trip into Western Desolation

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Report on a Weekend Trip into Western Desolation

Postby Vaca Russ » Mon May 20, 2013 7:50 am

Last weekend “Sport” and I made a quick trip up to Forni Lake. Shortly after leaving the trailhead we saw a bunkhouse across a meadow.

1 Bunkhouse.jpg
Van Vleck Bunkhouse


I wonder what it would be like to ski or snowshoe into this place in the middle of winter and spend a couple of nights. :)

About 1.2 miles (YMMV) (This is an acronym used by the “cool kids” :D ) into the hike we came upon this weather station.

2 Weather Station Summer.jpg


I’m glad the weather was nice. It could have been blizzard conditions. :nod:

3 Weather Station Winter.jpg


The hike up to the lake was pretty straight forward. Well, until the last third of a mile. I would like to say the trail was little sketchy after the last stream crossing. Frankly though, we saw no evidence of a trail at all. We had to bushwhack through leg cutting manzanita and deep snowdrifts. We also did a bit of bolder hopping. You might want to consider another hike if you are not comfortable hiking cross country.

Eventually we made it to the lake. As soon as we saw the water we saw the little brookies looking for food. This is another little gem we have in our Sierra.

4 Forni Lake.jpg
Another Sierra Gem!


We managed to find a flat, dry spot clear of snow. We set up camp and started to fish. The trout were very eager to accept our offerings.

5 Silver KM.jpg


6 Brook.jpg


This is the time of year to catch fish! It is funny. Sport has caught many trout. She has even caught goldens! But these brook trout were a first for her. I guess now I have to take her to some Paiute Cutthroats.

We were not the only ones fishing. Another couple was up there tossing lures for the day. There was also an Osprey plying the waters. Both were catching their share of trout.

We ate dinner and prepared for a cold night. One good thing about the cold is that we didn’t see one mosquito that night.

We all snuggled together in our warm tent only to wake to a very windy, very cold morning. Our Quarter Dome T3 Plus held up fine during the blustering gusts. The problem was getting out of the tent. Even after sleeping in for a couple of hours past dawn I got up to a heavy frost on the ground. Our water bottles had frozen. The blustery winds were creating whitecaps on the water.


Poor Sport! She had skinny girl problems. There are times I appreciate the extra 15 pounds of body fat I carry. ;)

7 Sport.jpg
"Skinny Girl" problems!


Sport had on all of her clothes. She wore a tank top, a long sleeve fleece shirt, her down vest, her down jacket, her rain shell and over all of that MY down jacket.

Funny thing about that olive Patagonia down jacket I bought for myself last spring. Everybody but me gets to use it to keep warm. Look at Maverick from last year’s trip to 12,000 feet.

8 Maverick.JPG
Royce


Even Mika uses Dad’s jacket to stay warm.

9 Mika.jpg
My little girl


We decided to pack up and head down to a lower elevation. Once we hiked down 400 feet the weather completely changed. We stripped down to our T shirts and shorts.

The hike out was uneventful except for the crossing of one boggy, marshy meadow. The mosquitos came out in swarms! Some of you might know what I mean. It was double time hoof it while continuously wiping the blood suckers from the exposed areas of skin. This had not happened on the way up.

Good luck with your adventures and thanks for reading my report!

-Russ
Last edited by Vaca Russ on Mon May 20, 2013 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway



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Re: Report on a Weekend Trip into Western Desolation

Postby TahoeJeff » Mon May 20, 2013 8:41 am

Russ, you have been hitting the early season hard! It was a cold windy weekend, and there is still a fair bit of snow up in Deso.
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Re: Report on a Weekend Trip into Western Desolation

Postby richlong8 » Mon May 20, 2013 8:43 am

Thanks for taking the time to posting your report. I enjoy reading about areas I have never traveled. I keep meaning to get into Desolation, but always seem to put it off. If I retire out of California to the Reno area in a few years( ?), those areas will be closer to home. I did spend the weekend in the Sierras, and it was cold, esp. Saturday evening.
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Re: Report on a Weekend Trip into Western Desolation

Postby maverick » Mon May 20, 2013 9:39 am

Thanks for taking the time to post another informative TR.
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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