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Emigrant Wilderness 6/11-6/15
Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:30 pm
6/11-6/15 Emigrant Wilderness
Route- Crabtree TH, Piute Meadow, Gem & Jewelry lakes, Deer Lake, Buck Lake, Red Can Lake (x-c), Leighton Lake (x-c), Coyote Lake (x-c), Big Lake (x-c), Cherry Creek x-c( from creek from Big Lake to Lord Meadow), Hyatt Lake (x-c), "Pingree Valley", old pack trail to Woods Lake trail, Gem Lake, out same as going in.
conditions very spotty, from 1 to 3 depending on location, wind, time of day. Generally wind picked up in afternoon, so not bad as long as walking. Still mornings (2-3). Since I forgot my head net, more than a few minute rest break was possible. Lots of swampy standing water up higher (8000 feet +) and swarms of newly hatched tiny skeets. The worst location was on the top of the "pass" from Pingree Valley to the trial to Woods Lake, where there are bogs and swamps and mosquitoes old enough to be biting. None down on Cherry Creek as long as I was on the granite slabs. The few wooded areas down by the creek (jungles of ferns, downed logs and flood debris) were thick with mosquitoes. VERY hot so mid-day mosquitoes thicker in shady spots.
Emigrant Wilderness 6/14-6/16
Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:25 pm
My friend and I were a couple of days behind WD and the mosquitoes were worsening by the day. We did not make it to Gem Lake but several exiting groups warned us of a mosquito Armageddon. It was enough to divert us from the high trail and to head for the low trail where they said they had fewer problems.
We camped by W Fork Cherry Creek cascades (surrounded mostly by granite) for both nights. At sundown and sunrise the mosquitoes would reach 3-4 status. We headed for our tents by about 7:30 and could count dozens of them on the netting. The rest of the day they were much reduced, particularly if breezes came up.
Local conditions were critical. The worst mosquitoes we encountered were on the old unmarked trail from Buck Meadow Creek south to the Pinagree/Big Lake area--when passing by a meadow they reached a 5 even in the middle of the afternoon--one swat killed several and came away bloody, a couple of dozen landed on each of our hats, etc. But a short ways away on the Golden Staircase above Big Lake we saw none. Pinagree looked like it ought to have a lot of skeets but we encountered none at mid day. We did see an entire air force of dragonflies and damselflies--perhaps they had dealt with the bloodsuckers.
WD and we seem to have had roughly the same experience. The skeets in Emigrant will probably be worsening before they get better. The ranger we encountered indicated they had just hatched. Many were small.
Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:44 pm
From Wolverton TH to the lakes - none. Before Pear Lake - occasional. At Pear lake head nets went on, till 10,200 ft above Table Meadow. Camped at 10,500 - almost none in the evening, but they came out in the morning - head nets on. Day 2: Towards the ridge above Ferguson Meadow, no mosquitoes above 10,800 ft. Tablelands Pass - none. Camped at Buck Creek Canyon at 11,000 ft - none. Day 3: Pterodactyl Pass, then back across Buck Creek Canyon at about 10,600 ft to Moose Lake - none, except a few below the outlet of Moose Lake. Day 4: At Moose Lake they came out in the morning - head nets on. They followed us on the route to Pear Lake till almost the point 10824T on the 7.5' topo map. Then almost none towards Pear Lake and none on the hike out. Day 3 was breezy.
Snow was not an issue. Patches mostly avoidable.
JMT north of Reds, June 17-19
Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:34 am
Reds Meadow>JMT north to Island Pass>return Middle Fork San Joaquin to Agnew Meadows
Surprisingly few with no protection needed at camps Shadow Lake nor Island Pass, but small clouds of mostly young ones along the trail, always near the water sources. One exception: the last three miles into Agnew Meadows was pretty bad and those without protection in our group got a lot of bites, albeit small bites. I lost my headnet and was not very happy about it.
Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:12 am
Bourland>hyatt lake>big lake>N cherry creek>boundary lake>cherry creek (N+E) > W cherry creek
Heavy at dawn and dusk Hyatt, N cherry but not much during the day: 2-3?
too cold/windy at boundary lake and cherry creek: 0
Seems before or after on West cherry and thousands of damselfly's at big lake: 1
Little pockets here and there but not bad overall, every area seems to be in a different stage of development.
95% of my bites came from maybe 1 hour in the forest between 5 acre lake and north cherry creek: 5 in that area
Angora area + Desolation Wilderness 6/18-6/19
Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:13 am
Angora Lake TH and Angora Ridge trail - 1
Cathedral Lake - 2
Mt. Tallac summit & plateau - 1
Gilmore Lake - 3
Glen Alpine Spring - 1 (!)
There were also some about (a scant level 2) about on the trail between the Susie-Gilmore Lakes junction and Glen Alpine Spring. I should note that we were only day hiking, so folks overnighting in that area might find they have more unwelcome company in the evening.
Rock Creek area - 6/18 & 19
Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:54 pm
Tamarack Bench, Little Lakes Valley and Rock Creek Upper Pine Grove campground: skeeters @ 1 -- at lower elevations babies are thinking about it but there was a light frost both of these nights. They will be hungry soon however!
Paradise Valley 6/15, Courtright 6/19, Dinkey Lakes 6/21
Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:27 pm
Dinkey Lakes west side June 21 was solid 3, even up on Three Sisters Mountain if the wind stopped. Courtright Resevoir a few days earlier was a 1-2. Kings Canyon at the bottom on June 15 was a 1 all the way to Paradise Valley on a dayhike. Wishon area was 0-1 a week ago, but got worse with elevation on my way up to Spanish Mountain.
Grouse Lakes area, Tahoe NF, ~7000 ft, 6/23-6/24
Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:28 pm
Did a short backpack from Carr Lake trailhead to camp on an open rocky area at about 7000 ft elevation above Island Lake in the Grouse Lakes roadless area on the Tahoe National Forest on June 23-24. Also took side hikes to Round Lake and Crooked Lakes. Mosquitoes were essentially absent (#1) during the day everywhere. Late in the afternoon, some started to buzz you in damp forested areas (#2). At our camp in the open, we had none, even at dusk.
Woodchuck Lake / Duck Lake 6/23-6/24
Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:38 pm
Woodchuck Lake, Duck Lake and everywhere in between were both a 3 to 4 this past weekend. Permethrin treated clothing, Picaridin on skin, and headnets worked pretty well.
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