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Plan B if smoke rolls into Ansel Adams Wilderness?

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Plan B if smoke rolls into Ansel Adams Wilderness?

Postby dreamer1 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:01 pm

My buddy and I have been looking forward to a 5 night backpacking trip in the Ansel Adams Wilderness area for well over 6 months (and many of you were most helpful in helping finalize our itinerary). However, with the uncertainty surrounding the Rim Fire and recent episodes of dense smoke covering some of the area (and markskor's post on conditions earlier today), I am starting to think we need a plan B as our permit is for Sept. 16 which is fast approaching. Our flight in from Canada was booked months ago as was time off work so we are committed to the trip and hence making the best of it. We are flying into Vegas and have an acclimatization day to day hike and finalize supplies (eg., gas for the stove).

We are essentially looking for a 4 or 5 night trip with 1 or 2 layovers for interesting day hikes. Experience level is 2-3 and class 2 for terrain. About 7-10 miles/day would be fine (more of needed) and lakes & big mountain scenery are a plus. No fishing gear.

From what I have read last night and today, Kings Canyon sounded like a good option and I'm considering Onion Valley TH (reasonable drive from Vegas and a search on INYO shows permit availability for Kearsarge Pass Trail) to Kearsarge Pass and into Sixty Lakes Basin west of Rae Lakes. Is this a reasonable option? Not having a detail map of the area, are there suggested places to set up camp and/or to head out on day hikes? Open to any suggestions or alternate routes.

Many thanks and hoping for the best.

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Re: Plan B if smoke rolls into Ansel Adams Wilderness?

Postby Enginerd » Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:39 pm

I just got back from a 6 day trip out of Onion Valley last week and would definitely recommend it. I'm in the process of writing up a trail report but it's not ready yet. You could easily go in over Kearsarge and Glen passes to Rae Lakes / Sixty Lakes Basin. Some day hike ideas could be Dragon lake and 60 Col pass overlooking upper Gardiner lake. Our trip was basically Onion Valley to Gardiner Basin to Sixty Lakes to Rae and back out to Onion. For me it would be a little too ambitious for a 4 day trip since there is no real trail in Gardiner basin and GPS with a pre-loaded track would be highly recommended.

I will PM you a link to my web album, a more structured TR to follow soon.
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Re: Plan B if smoke rolls into Ansel Adams Wilderness?

Postby balzaccom » Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:50 pm

Bear in mind that you shouldn't have too much trouble getting a permit that late in the you should have your pick of destinations. I think you are right to keep this in the back of your mind, but don't give up on AAW yet. Play it by ear.

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Re: Plan B if smoke rolls into Ansel Adams Wilderness?

Postby bluefintu » Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:39 pm

My son and I went backpacking last week, I picked up our permit in Lone Pine and where we were supposed to go, had lots of smoke coming over the mountains. I canceled my original plan and did another trip out of Bishop. Google INCI Fires and it can tell you all about fires in the area. Have fun on your trip !!!

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