Tablelands 6/7 - 6/9 | High Sierra Topix  

Tablelands 6/7 - 6/9

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Tablelands 6/7 - 6/9

Postby manny » Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:58 pm

Went into the Tablelands via the Lakes trail. Very dry all the way to Table Meadows with lots of wildflowers and swarms of mosquitoes from Heather Lake onward.

Carpets of Blue-Eyed Mary and Mustang Clover on the lower part of the Lakes Trail. Nice displays of other flower also. Flower photos are on Picasa: http://tinyurl.com/kbl2q5b

Watchtower part of the trail was virtually snow free with a couple of very small patches off the trail.
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Mosquitoes were swarming, and biting, starting at Heather Lake with a little relief in the open areas when the wind came up - like here just below Pear Lake:
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Snow was nearly gone around Pear Lake with water coming down from above toward Alta Peak.
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Only about four campsites were occupied at Pear Lake. The usual aggressive marmots were around, so we did hang our packs in a tree when we were not nearby. Had to cover up to keep the mosquitoes at bay.
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Headed over the saddle to the Tablelands to see that the snow from a couple of weeks ago was gone.
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Easy going in the Tablelands - keep to the north side of the river though. It's mostly granite slabs there. Lots of great cascades and beautiful pools in the river.
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Table Meadows is clear and dry. No relief from the mosquitoes here. They were still swarming and biting.
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We saw one couple while in the Tablelands. They were on a day hike from Pear Lake. Otherwise, we had the place to ourselves.

Mosquitoes or not, it's always great to be out there in the Sierras! Another great trip.

(hope I figured out how to get the photos in here. We'll find out when I hit "Submit")

Manny



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Re: Tablelands 6/7 - 6/9

Postby Shawn » Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:00 pm

Hey Manny , great photos and thanks for the TR. I've been up to Alta and Pear Lake a few times, have yet to get to the Tablelands.

Cheers,

Shawn
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Re: Tablelands 6/7 - 6/9

Postby SweetSierra » Sat Jun 15, 2013 2:44 pm

Thanks for the trip report and great photos. I think I see a portion of our route to Moose Lake (from Big Bird Lake) way in the background of one of your photos.
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Re: Tablelands 6/7 - 6/9

Postby SSSdave » Sun Jun 16, 2013 6:47 pm

Thanks for the report Manny. We have a permit for a 9-day trip a few miles to the southwest over Sawtooth now 4 weeks away in mid July. The amount of snow and conditions I see in your photos look to be just enough to melt off, dry out, squeeters to go through their cycle and die, and allow all to green and flower up to the peak I was hoping for this year.
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Re: Tablelands 6/7 - 6/9

Postby tim » Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:54 am

Looks great. Where did you camp the second night? Back at Pear Lake or up in the Tablelands? I'm interested in doing the Alta Meadow-Moose Lake-Pear Lake loop over 3 days next month and am wondering whether to spend the second night at Moose Lake or go up into the Tablelands.

Heading out of Pear Lake it looks like you contoured left (above the ski hut) round the ridge on the east side of the lake? How is that route? When I was there a couple of years ago (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=7169), I took the use trail directly above the lake which heads right (southeast) into a stream gully to reach the small lake on the ridge itself. It was a relatively straightforward and well beaten path that was much easier than it looked from below and seems to work well if you are heading for Moose Lake, but I guess its not so useful for going to Table Meadows.
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Re: Tablelands 6/7 - 6/9

Postby manny » Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:59 am

SSSdave - Though it was a very dry winter, I was still hoping that we were early enough to miss the skeeter hatch. Guess we hit it at the worst time. Should be great once they've run their course.

tim - On the second night, we were in the Tablelands about 1.5 miles up from Pear Lake. Thought the mosquito situation might be better up there (not the case). Nice area to camp though.

If you start at Pear Lake, head in the direction of the saddle, but stay up higher to avoid the steep slabs - it's a bit easier going. From the top, go to the left of the meadow to the river. Follow the river on the north/west side for easier travel - mostly flat slabs. The river does have some beautiful cascades and pools, so take a look over there once in a while. If you head directly back toward Pear Lake, you can just head straight for the Ranger Station/Ski Hut and head back down the Lakes Trail from there.

A nice loop that I've done is to to to the head of the Tablelands then follow the ridge southwest to Moose Lake. Stay on the ridge (~10,800') for easy travel and great views. You can return to Pear Lake directly (sounds like you've taken the direct route) or drop down to the south then contour west to Alta Meadow.

Another trip that I want to do is to drop down into Ferguson Meadow from the top of the Tablelands. Then maybe go through Deadman Canyon and back over Elizabeth Pass. So many plans, so little time.......
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