Page 8 of 13
Long Creek>Upper Merced>Granite Creek 6-15 to 6-26-14
Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:43 am
Long creek, upper Merced, granite creek 4-5, except when wind came up. I am sure we hit the peak and assume that over the next 2 weeks the skeeters will diminish to insignificance except in boggy areas.
Jennie Lakes Wilderness, Seville, Lost, Ranger, Twin June 13
Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:40 pm
Jennie Lakes Wilderness and very western Kings Canyon National Park, June 13 thru June 22, 2014
First to qualify: Whether it works or not (or what it works for - making one less attractive to the little devils, or causing any bites to itch less) we do take vitamin B1 before a trip and on a trip when it is Skeeter Season. Also, our repel method is to A. regret that "Repel" pulled its Lemon Eucalyptus cream lotion product off the market, and B. use Herbal Armor (which yes, when skeeters are bad may need reapplying every half hour). We don't/won't use DEET.
Also, my numbers attempt to reflect the little demons in a no-wind situation. Often we had a breeze that helped a lot. Even at Twin Lakes (worst of the trip) the wind helped a bit when it graced us with its rustling and wisps of wonderfully moving air off the lake.
June 13, Friday (temps at night running cool at high 30s)
Hiking to Weaver Lake not at all bad - 1
At Weaver Lake - 2
June 14, Saturday
Hiking to and thru Rowell Meadow area - 3
At dry camp beyond Rowell Meadow (up a ways on trail to Seville Lake) - 2
June 15, Sunday
Hiking to Seville Lake, plus day-hike to Sheep Lk closest to Lost Lk - 2
At Seville Lake - 2
June 16, Monday
Hiking to Lost Lake via trail - 2
At Lost Lake (camped out in open in "rock face" area by lake) - 2
June 17, Tuesday (temps had warmed some - darn)
Hiking to Ranger Lake - 2
At Ranger Lake - 3
June 18, Wednesday (temps still warmer and stay that way)
Day Hiking to Crescent Lake - (Beville Lk - 4, two lakes after Beville - 3 even on a high ridge looking down at both of them, Crescent Lk - 2)
At Ranger Lake - 3
June 19, Thursday
Hike to Twin Lakes - 2
At Twin Lakes (larger lake, smaller was even worse) - 4
June 20, Friday
Hike to Jennie Lake - 2
At Jennie Lake - 2 (but the "hyenas" were a full 5 - hyenas being the huge, organized group that clod-hopped into the area in the early evening and turned our and a few others' normal camps entire wilderness experience that night into some horrid worst-loudest-yappingly-clueless car-camping like vibe I've experienced in 40+ years of backpacking -- truly an odd bunch!)
June 21, Saturday
Day Hiking back to J.O. Pass and little lake north of pass that's not there now (escaping hyenas, who we then heard mouth-hiking by towards Rowell) - 2
At Jennie Lake - 2 (mostly quiet with the hyenas gone, and a camp visit from a yellow bellied sapsucker was most enjoyed)
June 22, Sunday
Hiking out... - 1
Mineral King>Wallace>Vidette-East Lake 6/17-6/27
Posted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:16 pm
6/17-/6/27 Went through Mineral King through HST to JMT at Wallace Creek and Up to Vidette Meadow and then out to Bubbs Creek and stopped at East Lake and Lake Reflection.
Mosquitoes in Mineral King Area: 3
Around Big Arroyo: 3-4
Kern Canyon: 2-3
Wallace Creek: 4 and potentially 5 at some points..just awful!
Upper Kern Basin (Around LSA): 3-4
Vidette Meadow: 4
East Lake: 3-4
Lake Reflection: 5!! (Worse mosquitoes of the trip and potentially worst I've ever been through). Literally could not get away from them anywhere.
Re: 2014 Mosquito Reports
Posted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:03 am
That's a gnarly report. I'm going in on Tuesday and I was dreading just such.
Re: 2014 Mosquito Reports
Posted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 1:38 pm
My best advice is to keep moving through meadow areas as much as possible. And your best bet is to camp high and away from lush areas. They truly were unbearable in some spots. It's early season and that's just one of the pains we have to deal with. Best of luck!
Courtright Res 6/20 /Dinkey Lakes 6/27-6/28
Posted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:42 pm
6/20 Near Courtright Res, elev approx 8200-9000'. Dayhike. Away from car about 10 am to 4 pm. Consistent breeze with very few mosquitoes. The worst was actually at the trailhead at 10 am when my son Lee and I killed about a dozen apiece while getting our dayhiking gear on. There were brief let ups in the breeze at the lake we visited where a few mosquitoes would pop up but essentially a non factor. The zero bites (I think) recorded by me and Lee, which is very rare for a trip at this time of the year. The breeze is the key.
6/27-6-28 near Dinkey Lakes Wilderness at elevations of about 8600-9100'. Rating 3. If the wind died down it was intense with hundreds of mosquito kills recorded in an hour. 6/27 was better because there was a more consistent breeze during the day. The late evening of 6/27 and early morning of 6/28 were pleasant because it was sufficiently cold to put the bugs down. The later morning of 6/28 was pretty bad because a breeze hadn't popped up yet and it was warm enough for the blood suckers to spring into action. In spite of my vigorous self-defense, I received about 50 bites--I am an itchy fool right now. Lee, who really gets upset when under attack, probably sustained 30 bites or so. Dawn may have been bitten as much as I do, but she doesn't seem to care. Judy did fairly well and may have sustained about 20 bites. As is usual for the summer it's all about the consistency of the breeze and the nightime temps. No matter where one is the Sierra (below about 14000), if it warm at night and there is no breeze, it is trouble. I will never forget the early July 1996 trip I took with Judy when I sustained my highest altitude mosquito bite ever (13500' on Mt Barnard) and we were swarmed on the TOP of New Army Pass.
Re: 2014 Mosquito Reports
Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:18 am
'tis the season of mosquitoes.
Going up this week (thurs)
i'll be sure to report here when I get back.
Crescent Mead>Precipice>9 Lakes>Lonely Lake>Tablelands 6/24-
Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:24 pm
6/24- Crescent Meadow to Nine mile Creek. 1-2. A few at dusk.
6/25- Nine Mile to Precipice Lake. 0-2. A few at Hamilton Lake. windy all day
6/26- Precipice Lake to Little Five Lakes. 0-1. windy all day
6/27- Big Five Lakes day hike, to Nine Lakes Basin, day hike to upper lakes. 0-1, except for Big Five Lakes where it is much wetter and 2-3. windy all day
6/28- Nine Lakes Basin to Lonely Lake area. 2-3 once into Lone Pine Creek drainage. relatively calm. pesky near Lonely Lake at dusk
6/29- Lonely Lake to Wolverton TH. 3 in Tablelands. relatively calm. 1-2 once down to Pear Lake. 0-1 below The Watchtower.
MUCH less problem than I had anticipated. The wind helped keep them down. The only place where they were really a problem was Big Five Lakes (very wet ground there). I suspect that without wind Big Five Lakes could be 4-5. Never a problem when walking at any location.
Humphreys Basin 6/22-6/26
Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:08 pm
Humphreys basin 6/22-6/26. Mosquitoes were 0-1. If it was breezy they were nil (most of the time). When it was calm and you were around runoff streams they began to poke their heads out.
Overall way less than I expected for this time of year.
Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:38 am
6/19-6/23 Leavitt Meadows TH->Tower Lake->Cinko Lake->Fremont Lake
On Sunday the 22nd is when everything blew up to 4 level, before that things were a 2. I had to start wearing my bug net even while hiking and they were still swarming. I managed to find a high camp Sunday night where it was windy and had some solace.
6/26-6/29 Green Creek TH-> Gilman Lake-> Summit Lake-> Virginia Pass-> West Lake
We had some rain on the 26th which kept them at bay for a few days but they are back to 4 levels now and I talked to the other backcountry rangers (one was around Peeler Lake out of the Robinson Creek TH and the other was out of the Leavitt Meadows TH) and they both said the mosquitos were horrible. I think that Green Lake tends to stay breezy because it's in the middle of the drainage which can act like a wind tunnel so they didn't seem quite so bad there but our trail crew who was up at Gilman Lake told me that even up there which isn't far from Green at all it was pretty nasty.
So be warned, if you are coming to the Hoover for the 4th the bugs are real bad. Also, we are in fire restrictions so NO campfires in the backcountry.