TR: Alta Meadow--Moose Lake--Pear Lake Loop, May 18/19 2013 | High Sierra Topix  

TR: Alta Meadow--Moose Lake--Pear Lake Loop, May 18/19 2013

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TR: Alta Meadow--Moose Lake--Pear Lake Loop, May 18/19 2013

Postby vhsvhs » Mon May 20, 2013 11:30 am

Hi Everyone,
This weekend I hiked a loop from Wolverton trailhead to Alta Meadow, to Moose Lake, to Pear Lake, and then returned to Wolverton. The section from Alta Meadow to Pear Lake is off-trail, but the route-finding was relatively easy.

Snow Report: It feels like late-June of a normal snow year. I encountered essentially no snow from Wolverton to Alta Meadow, and then only trivial snow patches on the cross-country climb to Moose Lake. At 10,500', Moose Lake is still frozen, but the shoreline is easily navigable. On the north side of Moose Lake, descending to Pear Lake, there are big snow patches that I could not avoid. These patches, however, were heavily consolidated and rarely deeper than one foot; I found the snow walking here to be very safe, and -- dare I say -- fun. The trail from Pear Lake to the Watchtower is essentially clear, but there are a handful of small snow patches with well-worn boot tracks. The trail from the Watchtower to Wolverton is totally clear of snow.

Mosquitos: none!

Looking east from Alta Meadow, it appears that Kaweah Gap is melted by now. At the very least, I bet Hamilton Lake is a nice place right now.
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The approach to Moose Lake. . .
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Moose Lake, frozen. . .
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Approaching Pear Lake from the north. . .
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Emerald Lake basin. . .
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Some snow remains on the Watchtower trail. . .
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I posted more photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/victorhans ... 757704317/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Last edited by vhsvhs on Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:44 pm, edited 5 times in total.



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Re: TR: Alta Meadow--Moose Lake--Pear Lake Loop, May 18/19 2013

Postby maverick » Mon May 20, 2013 11:46 am

Thanks Vhsvhs for a great TR and pictures. It is striking that in May there is
such little snow to talk about in Tablelands. Interesting how Pear Lake is
completely thawed and a little over 1000 ft up Moose Lake is still frozen.
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Re: TR: Alta Meadow--Moose Lake--Pear Lake Loop, May 18/19 2013

Postby iHartMK » Mon May 20, 2013 1:25 pm

Awesome!
Living On Kaweah Time
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Re: TR: Alta Meadow--Moose Lake--Pear Lake Loop, May 18/19 2013

Postby KathyW » Mon May 20, 2013 3:15 pm

Great photos - just love that view.

I was thinking of heading over Cottonwood Pass this coming weekend, but those photos have me thinking.
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Re: TR: Alta Meadow--Moose Lake--Pear Lake Loop, May 18/19 2013

Postby richlong8 » Tue May 21, 2013 5:27 am

Nice. There didn't seem to be many tracks on the trail from Pear to Wolverton via the Watchtower. My tracks or yours? :nod: I am curious which slope above Pear do you descend from Moose? Love your photos. I posted a TR yesterday. Too bad there is not a better way for HST members to ID each other when out and about.
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Re: TR: Alta Meadow--Moose Lake--Pear Lake Loop, May 18/19 2013

Postby abkerr » Tue May 21, 2013 10:12 am

Thanks Vhsvhs for your trip report. Given the very dry conditions you observed, would you say it's safe to assume the High Sierra Trail from Crescent Meadow to Bearpaw Meadow will be well clear of snow and with navigable creeks? Though I imagine the mosquitoes are a little more active at the 7-8,000 ft. altitude? My family (with an 8-yr-old and 6-yr-old) will be spending 3 nights on a short out and back this coming June 8-11.
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Re: TR: Alta Meadow--Moose Lake--Pear Lake Loop, May 18/19 2013

Postby rscofield » Tue May 21, 2013 5:29 pm

Great photos. Did that loop with my wife last year as her first backpack trip since kids about 20 years ago. Great trip. Was in the Panamints a few weeks ago and it looks like July looking back to Sierras! Russell
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Re: TR: Alta Meadow--Moose Lake--Pear Lake Loop, May 18/19 2013

Postby Ska-T » Wed May 22, 2013 10:48 am

abkerr wrote: . . would you say it's safe to assume the High Sierra Trail from Crescent Meadow to Bearpaw Meadow will be well clear of snow and with navigable creeks? . . . June 8-11.

You will have no snow problems. If a creek or two is difficult for your kids, you could drop your pack and carry them across one by one.
-Scott
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Re: TR: Alta Meadow--Moose Lake--Pear Lake Loop, May 18/19 2013

Postby maverick » Wed May 22, 2013 11:07 am

Hi Abkerr,

Welcome to HST!
You should not have any problems, but you make what to refresh you river/creek
crossing skills by reading this excellent thread on the subject: http://www.highsierratopix.com/communit ... =34&t=6043
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: TR: Alta Meadow--Moose Lake--Pear Lake Loop, May 18/19 2013

Postby manny » Thu May 23, 2013 11:44 am

Thanks for the TR! Perfect timing. Thought that it might be nearly snow free early this year and your TR is confirming this.

Planning a Pear Lk - Tablelands trip June 7-9. Combination start of Sierra season equipment shake down and intro for a couple of newbies. We usually do the Pear - Moose direct route to start the year, but want to take it easy on the new backpackers.

Will post TR so that I can start contributing to this great community.

Manny
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Re: TR: Alta Meadow--Moose Lake--Pear Lake Loop, May 18/19 2013

Postby maverick » Thu May 23, 2013 12:36 pm

Welcome to HST Manny! Looking forward to reading you TR and pictures. :)
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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