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Aspen Fire forces trip move, how far south should I go?

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Aspen Fire forces trip move, how far south should I go?

Postby TCHN DAD » Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:59 am

Hi,

The growing Aspen Fire has forced me to change my plans. :( I called the Clovis office 20 minutes ago. All of Kaiser Wilderness is closed viewtopic.php?f=34&t=9715 I was going to go to Twin Lakes beginning this Monday, July 29, but that won't happen this year. It was going to be my first foray into backpacking.

As a result, I am considering moving south and going to Jennie Lakes. Will that be far enough away to avoid the smoke or even the moving fire?

I was also considering June lakes area on the east side, but, smoke doesn't recognize the demarcation between the west and east sides of the Sierra. Is June lakes too close?

I am in the Los Angeles area.

Thanks

Rod



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Re: Aspen Fire forces trip move, how far south should I go?

Postby rlown » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:15 am

Depends on the wind patterns for when you go. Looked hazy on the Bishopweather.com view as well.

If west side, you could consider chain lakes. How far do you want to drive?
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Re: Aspen Fire forces trip move, how far south should I go?

Postby maverick » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:19 am

Check the webcams in different areas in the Sierra to get an idea of the expected
conditions, but don't forget these can change with wind. http://www.sierracamnetwork.com
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: Aspen Fire forces trip move, how far south should I go?

Postby TCHN DAD » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:34 am

rlown wrote:Depends on the wind patterns for when you go. Looked hazy on the Bishopweather.com view as well.

If west side, you could consider chain lakes. How far do you want to drive?


I am trying to keep it under 350 miles at max.

Rod
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Re: Aspen Fire forces trip move, how far south should I go?

Postby giantbrookie » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:45 am

Hi Rod,

See also my PM to you earlier about possible Plan B options. It is very hard to predict which way the smoke will go from these fires. I recall once when there were huge fires just south of Seki (2002) that at one point obscured the sun and dropped mid afternoon temperatures. Much of that smoke stayed high and obscured the high peaks locally, such as the Great Western Divide, whereas it hung high over the Kaweahs, giving the sky this evil brown tint, which along with the general dark gray tones of the Kaweahs led my group to call the Kaweahs "Mordor". I recall another time (near Labor Day weekend 1987 I recall) when fires on the west flank that had closed 120 near Groveland spewed smoke that then poured eastward over the crest, dropping visibility in places such as Lundy Canyon and the June Lakes loop although, not so badly that we couldn't see where we were going.

The bottom line is that it is very difficult to predict which way the smoke will go. It looks to me that they're not closing Kaiser Pass road, so the Plan B options I sent you that way (say Devil's Bathtub and Dutch lake) are both viable, still. Jennie Lakes is certainly not going to be closed down either. You mentioned June Lakes loop on the E. side but why drive so far northward from SoCal when you can go to the Cottonwood Lakes area (as suggested by some on the earlier thread)? Cottonwood is a much shorter drive for you and the hikes are easier for beginners than June Lakes loop. The hike coming out of Silver Lake of the June Lakes loop is a pretty good grunt up that first set of switchbacks to Agnew and then Gem Lakes. North of Cottonwood, there are good beginner hiking options out of the Bishop Creek drainages (out of South Lake and North Lake in particular) and Rock Creek (Little Lakes Valley).
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: Aspen Fire forces trip move, how far south should I go?

Postby tim » Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:02 pm

Barring a shift in the wind, Cottonwood Lakes is less likely to have smoke than areas near Mammoth, where smoke can get swept up the San Joaquin river gorge. You shouldn't have any problems with walk in permits either
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Re: Aspen Fire forces trip move, how far south should I go?

Postby zorobabel » Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:39 pm

Thank you very much for posting this link!
maverick wrote:Check the webcams in different areas in the Sierra to get an idea of the expected
conditions, but don't forget these can change with wind. http://www.sierracamnetwork.com
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Re: Aspen Fire forces trip move, how far south should I go?

Postby HighPlainDrifter » Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:45 pm

the wind is all over the place in the high country right now.

Just got back from 3 nights in Mono creek/Cascade valley/Duck pass and the wind direction was variable. AM was a nice south east wind, fresh and clean, followed by strong PM (15-20mph) sustained west/southwest that would push the smoke from the Aspen fire right into the valleys turning the sun red and making the air burn.

Still that air (for me) beats the heck out L.A. smog/traffic etc... :D
Be Safe. Keep Calm. Think Clearly. Act Decisively.
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Aspen Fire forces trip move, how far south should I go?

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:52 pm

a friend at Hume emailed and told me Kings Canyon is full of smoke. from Fresno this morning, the whole range was obscured by haze.
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Re: Aspen Fire forces trip move, how far south should I go?

Postby maverick » Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:39 pm

Hi HighPlainDrifter,

Welcome to HST! Thanks for the info. :thumbsup:
Big Spaghetti Western and Dirty Harry fan here! :nod:
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: Aspen Fire forces trip move, how far south should I go?

Postby SSSdave » Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:55 pm

Analyze this:

http://www.narrowbandimaging.com/Jet_st ... t_page.htm

Given the record dry conditions and the ever increasing human development fueled by real estate sales on our lower and mid Sierra Nevada western slopes below public national forest lands , I've been afraid the latter part of the summer of 2013 might be unpleasantly smoky.
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Re: Aspen Fire forces trip move, how far south should I go?

Postby rlown » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:00 pm

south westerly flow?
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