Report on a Weekend Trip into Western Desolation | High Sierra Topix  

Report on a Weekend Trip into Western Desolation

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!

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

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

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

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

Even Mika uses Dad’s jacket to stay warm.

9 Mika.jpg

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!

You must register an account and login to view the files/photos attached to this post.
Last edited by Vaca Russ on Mon May 20, 2013 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"...Or have you only comfort, and the lust for comfort, that stealthy thing that enters the house a guest, and then becomes a host and then a master?"

Kahil Gibran.

User avatar
Vaca Russ
Topix Expert
Posts: 780
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:12 pm
Location: The Nut Tree
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

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.
“Scholars have long known that fishing eventually turns men into philosophers. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to buy decent tackle on a philosopher's salary.”

RIP Patrick McManus
User avatar
Topix Expert
Posts: 789
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 11:03 am
Location: South Lake Tahoe
Experience: N/A

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.
User avatar
Topix Expert
Posts: 737
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:02 pm
Experience: N/A

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.
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member:
User avatar
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
Posts: 9662
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: apeman45, cloudlesssky, Google [Bot] and 7 guests