Please report here any fires or encounter smoky conditions during a recent trip to the Sierra.
Good idea, as we were left wondering about the nature of the recent Lions Fire.
We had arranged to pick up our permit in the night drop box, and so never spoke to a ranger. We saw a fair amount of smoke approximately 15 miles to the south of our route, but nothing dramatic to indicate a raging fire, so we proceeded cautiously on.
We saw a few folks that first day, but got pretty shaky info from them. They had heard that the fire was "50 miles west of Mammoth, and contained, when from Mav's reports, we now know it was closer, and had not been contained. In fact, it soon doubled in size. After we crossed North Glacier Pass, we met no one else for 6 more days and nights.
Had we checked in here at HST before leaving, we might have learned more.
Below are a few photos showing conditions along with the dates. All but the final photo are looking south in the general direction of the Lions Fire:
My wife Lizzie on a clear seeming morning- June 25, with Mt. Banner above 1000 Island Lake.
Next morning- June 26, at Lake Catherine, the smoke was still hidden.
Mid day June 26, Carleton on the slopes of Mt Davis, with a clear view of the real amount of smoke from the Lions Fire.
(6/26) Farther up Mt Davis with the smoke building. We had to wonder whether it might take a run up the North Fork of the SJ, where we were heading.
The final photo from June 29th shows that the smoke hadn't ruined the views to the east- what a great view of the Ritter Range from that side. We were now headed away to the north, away from the fire.