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Mosquito Report 2007

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Mosquito Report 2007

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Mon Jun 18, 2007 11:40 am

I thought I would revive this topic for 2007. I think it will start early this year. Anybody have anything to report?
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Postby Aviprk » Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:02 pm

I was back from the Sphinx lakes area of KC. Mosquitos were almost non existent apart from near the streams and lakes. Funny thing, I ended up getting over 100 bites because I forgot to apply deet and those skeeters just bit through the fabric of my long sleeve shirt.
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Postby giantbrookie » Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:35 pm

First I had to retrieve my ratings post from 2006...

Here's my "definitions" key for "mosquito annoyance rating" (MAR) that will apply to my updates that follow (updates entered at end of post):

(MAR=9-10) "Need transfusion": Desire to protect bitable areas at all costs. No amount of DEET does much (it reduces the number by about 90%, but we're talking way too many mosquitoes anyway). Mosquito net worn every waking minute (a very tricky thing when trying to eat). Sometimes extra layers of clothing are worn, even if it's blazing hot. Clothing can become like black fur formed of thousands of mosquitoes at peak times. Hundreds of mosquitoes killed in single swat during such stretches. Thoughts tend to be dominated by desire to find windiest, most exposed places. Conditions usually brought on by hot days, warm nights, and minimal wind. Experienced this on 9 day New Army to Shepherd Pass trip in early July 1996 (first five days MAR=10; next two MAR=9, last two MAR=7 or less--decrease probably owing to increasing wind), and (oddly enough) on an Olancha Peak climb when there was very little water anywhere in (?)August(?) 1975 (MAR=9, but only west of Olancha Pass). In spite of protection, number of bites suffered per day is probably in the 50 range. In these conditions, mosquitoes extend their range to unusually high altitudes. We were swarmed (and still wearing our nets) at New Army Pass, and I suffered my highest altitude bite at 13500' on Mt. Barnard on the 1996 trip noted above.

(MAR=7-8) "Exceptionally annoying": A bit milder than above. Single swat can usually kill no more than about 20, although occasional clumps of dozens will be smashed. Wind picks up during some time of day so that mosquito net can be removed every now and then. Owing to somewhat less extreme protective measures as above the number of bites suffered is probably as bad as above (ie 50+). Personal examples: Emigrant Wilderness, June 1991 (MAR=8), Kendrick Canyon, May, 1992 (MAR=7 on worst day). Part of Sawmill-Taboose shuttle trip early July 1997 (MAR=8 for days camped at Woods Lake and Twin Lakes, but MAR=7 or less for rest of trip)..

(MAR= 4-6) "Moderate": Frequently swat but usually kill mosquitoes singly (multiple kills do occur at times, though). Kill total per day (if counting) usually between 100 and 300. Mosquito net worn at worst times. Bite totals usually less than 30.

(MAR=1-3) "Mild": Occasionally swat mosquitoes, and sometimes get bitten because defenses are not as alert as for upper three levels. Kill totals below 100. Mosquito net is not used. Breezy or bugless for long periods of the day. Bite totals usually less than 10.

(MAR=0) "Negligible" Few if any mosquitoes seen. Of course, this usually means cool fall trips, but we've had a few of these early season, when the lakes had melted enabling us to fish, but the mosquito breeding hadn't caught up yet (plus the days were cool and breezy).

2007 Reports to date:
May 22, 2007. Hidden Lake, Kaiser Wilderness, elev 8320+. MAR=0 High temps in low 50's and breezy. Two mosquitoes seen where we parked car and that was that.

March 26-27. Chiquito Lake (~8000') south of Yosemite and Grizzly Lake (8348) in same area. Chiquito is a swampy mosquito hell. MAR=7. My son Lee (5) had a horrible time and suffered dozens of bites. "Daddy, don't ever go back there."--I will not. Grizzly Lake was better, in part because the breeze was more consistent. MAR=4.

June 2. Seville, Lost, Ranger Lakes and vicinity (most elevations between 8000 and 9100 feet). Benefitted from reasonably breezy day, but things were pretty bad when the breeze went away. MAR=5.

June 9. Blue Lake near Virginia Lakes (elev 9800) Crisp and breezy and no bugs. MAR=0 Car camp at 4wd trailhead to Parker Lake (about 8400'). Some mosquitoes seen but no bites, but we spent very little time outside. MAR=0.
June 10. Parker Lake 8318. Some bugs came out after it got warmer and during times when it was still. Nonetheless very mild. MAR=1.
Last edited by giantbrookie on Tue Jun 19, 2007 9:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
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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Postby mountaineer » Mon Jun 18, 2007 9:02 pm

March 26-27. Chiquito Lake (~8000') south of Yosemite and Grizzly Lake (8348) in same area. Chiquito is a swampy mosquito hell. MAR=6. My son Lee (5) had a horrible time and suffered dozens of bites. "Daddy, don't ever go back there."--I will not. Grizzly Lake was better, in part because the breeze was more consistent. MAR=4.


Ever make it up to Chain Lakes?
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Postby TehipiteTom » Tue Jun 19, 2007 9:27 am

May 25 - 28, Kibbie Ridge/Many Island Lake/Spotted Fawn Lake/Flora Lake loop. Ratings as follows:
MIL: MAR 4-5
Spotted Fawn: MAR 3-4
Flora: MAR 3-4
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Postby giantbrookie » Tue Jun 19, 2007 9:38 am

mountaineer wrote:Ever make it up to Chain Lakes?

Oddly enough I haven't even though it's a short shot from Quartz Mtn. and I have received some good reports from there (plus Beck has good things to say about it in his book). "Not going back to Chiquito" does not preclude the possibility of bypassing it from Quartz Mtn en route to Chain Lakes at some point in the future (Lee is not capable of hiking that far, yet).
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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Postby Hikin Mike » Tue Jun 19, 2007 12:03 pm

mountaineer wrote:
March 26-27. Chiquito Lake (~8000') south of Yosemite and Grizzly Lake (8348) in same area. Chiquito is a swampy mosquito hell. MAR=6. My son Lee (5) had a horrible time and suffered dozens of bites. "Daddy, don't ever go back there."--I will not. Grizzly Lake was better, in part because the breeze was more consistent. MAR=4.


Ever make it up to Chain Lakes?


Chain Lakes was my wife's and I first backpacking trip! I've been there 4-5 times since.
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Postby Kerstin » Tue Jun 19, 2007 5:57 pm

It was MAR 3 today for me on a hike to Red Lake and Stevens Peaks, but only in the wet, marshy areas. In the dry areas, which occurred on most of the hike, there were no mosquitos at all. I got about 25 bites, but I need to mention that I'm an insect magnet--ants were chewing on my legs while on the summit of Stevens Peak.
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Postby giantbrookie » Wed Jun 20, 2007 10:02 pm

Dutch Lake and Hidden Lake (both 9120+) out of Florence Lake. Warm conditions with sporadic wind, yet mild to moderate bugs (moderate on sheltered swampier shoreline reaches). MAR 2-3.
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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Postby will_jrob » Wed Jun 20, 2007 11:42 pm

Chain Lakes, Upper South Fork Merced on 6/18-6/20, from Quartz Mt.. Mosquitos were plentiful along the trail from Chiquito Pass on, had a facefull much of the way on the trail,( I was exhaling lots of CO2).Plenty of winged company mornings and evenings. Not many bites, but long sleeves and pants plus repellant.
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Mineral King & Giant Forest

Postby SSSdave » Thu Jun 21, 2007 6:38 pm

Just did a two-night backpack up in the 8k to 10k elevations in Mineral King valley June 17>19. Never bothered to put on repellent however I almost always am well covered at this time of summer including a safari type cap with a good neck and ear drape. In most areas, there were a few about late afternoon and fewer in early morning, especially along lush vegetation and streams. When I sat down to rest after some sweaty climbing, a few would buzz my face or land on my pants then get squashed. I did get a few bites on my hands from stray bloodsuckers in surprise. Midday took a dunk in White Chief Creek at 9k, layed out on a nice warm dark rock for half and hour, and never saw a single squeeter.

In Giant Forest, at 6k to 8k elevations there were even less squeeters though again around wet areas a few would occasionally buzz by.

From what I saw on my two South Yuba backpacks over Memorial Day and my Desolation backpack two weeks ago, this is going to generally be a low mosquito summer. However there are always some swampy high vegetation jungly meadow places like Blaney Meadows that will likely keep breeding them through most of the summer. ...David
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Postby SSSdave » Thu Jun 21, 2007 6:46 pm

Aviprk wrote:... I ended up getting over 100 bites because I forgot to apply deet and those skeeters just bit through the fabric of my long sleeve shirt.


Now you know. Mosquitoes will readily stick their blood sucking probosci right through thin weave fabrics like cotton. Thus hiking in just t-shirts at this time of year is often not wise. The solution is dense weave fabrics like most nylon and fine synthetic weaves. I regularly hike in just an ultra-light highly breathable (best no water resistance) thin nylon shell with a front zipper and a hood. Unlike cotton it won't soak up sweat and instead evaporates it off quickly. ...David
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