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Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:54 pm
I just got back last monday from a 5 day hike to the Lyell Fork of the Merced River (June 21-25, 48+ miles, and over 8500 feet of loss and gain). Below 8000 feet, they were not too bad, but from 9000 feet to over 10000 feet they got progressively worse (from "too many" to "attack clouds"). At Vogelsang Lake they were swarming. We were prepared, so we did not get too many bites, tho wearing face nets above 9k feet was a pain. The winds made things tolerable. The usual July infestation started about 3 weeks early, but I guess that means they will taper off early this year, maybe by mid-July.
And there is not much snow to speak of anywhere, except in the highest passes in the north faces.
Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:08 am
Got back Tuesday from the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River. I had no problem with mosquitos and only got a couple of bites over the 5 days. But two of our party had that particular problem of being mosquitos magnets. They wore head nets at dawn and dusk and got many, many bites. I was glad to have them around to keep the bloodsuckers away from me.
Also spent one day in the valley where the flying pests were not to be found. Two legged ones weren't too bad either.
Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 8:11 am
Just returned from an easy 5-day loop north out of Mineral King: Timber Gap, Kaweah Gap, Hands-and-Knees Pass, Glacier Pass. No bugs at all until below Precipice Lake. Had a glorious 1/2-day and night at Hamilton Lake with no bugs or people. But mosquitoes all day long in the Big Arroyo, Little Five Lakes and Big Five Lakes basins, and by and above Spring Lake. We camped on ridgetops where there was some breeze, which helped a bit. A lovely, varied loop hike with good flowers and plenty of flowing water still- more than we expected!
Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:00 pm
Along the route from the west to and over Colby Pass and beyond...
Rowell, Comanche, and Sugarloaf meadows all had minor mosquitos - practically absent during the day and minor in the evening.
Above 9k...in the evening and morning at Colby Lake, in the Kern-Kaweah drainage, Picket Creek, and Kaweah Creek the mosquitos were very thick and very pesky. During the day the slight breeze and heat of the day seemed to drive them into hiding, with a few popping up here and there.
Big Pine Creek - 6/28 - 7/1
Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 7:55 pm
Just returned from a Big Pine Creek trip. NO bugs at the trailhead on 6/27 PM and 6/28 AM. a few on the hike back in on 6/28, mostly in marshier areas, but DEET worked great at repelling them. Camped at 4th lake, and NO bugs away from the lake during the day, but they came out at dusk, and needed to retreat to the tent. The next couple of days were mild for bugs, but they steadily increased their activity, so that I got the most bites hiking out on 7/1.
All in all, very mild for the trip.
Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 8:47 pm
June 30-July 1
Twin Lakes, Kaiser Wilderness
MAR 4 near the lakes and meadows without wind - especially in the morning as the nightime temps were rather warm
When the wind picked up a tad in the afternoon, MAR droped to around 3.
About a mile from the lakes, the mosquitoes were virtually nonexistant.
Really bad bugs
Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:35 am
June 30 - July 3: King's Canyon - Road's End to Mt. Brewer. The mosquitos were terrible from about 8,000 feet all the way until 12,000 feet. Even with 100% Deet on I was being attacked really bad at the lower and the higher Sphinx Lakes and all along Sphinx Creek. They finally left me alone when I got over Sphinx Pass, which is about 12,000 feet above sea level.
Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:27 am
george wrote:Just returned from an easy 5-day loop north out of Mineral King: Timber Gap, Kaweah Gap, Hands-and-Knees Pass, Glacier Pass. No bugs at all until below Precipice Lake. Had a glorious 1/2-day and night at Hamilton Lake with no bugs or people. But mosquitoes all day long in the Big Arroyo, Little Five Lakes and Big Five Lakes basins, and by and above Spring Lake. We camped on ridgetops where there was some breeze, which helped a bit. A lovely, varied loop hike with good flowers and plenty of flowing water still- more than we expected!
Thanks for the report George as I am likely to be in Mineral King tomorrow afternoon to start my 2-day slow slog over Sawtooth. I backpacked into White Chief June 17 so your report now a couple weeks later sounds about right. I'm guessing the only squeets that may bother me will be Lost Canyon. ...David
Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:38 am
There were very few mosquitoes out during my 3-night backpack into some 8k to 9k Mokelumne Wilderness areas June 29>July 2. Didn't use any repellent and pretty much went around unconcerned during daylight hours in my t-shirt. The area I visited was mostly dry volcanic with peaking summer wildflowers though I camped near one of the small streams that was quite lush with lupine and paintbrush. It was pretty windy part of those days which likely diminished whatever few there were about. Even there with balmy night temperatures hardly any mosquitoes came whining though one actually did bite me one evening. I did sleep with my bivy netting over my head since there were likely a few in the area.
So far I've done 5 backpacks since Memorial Day weekend with mosquitoes about as few as any year I can recall. ...David
Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:04 pm
June 30-July 4 Woodchuck Country and Blackcap Basin.
Mosquitoes were generally moderately annoying to light. June 30: Rancheria to Woodchuck L. Worst section was last ascent to Woodchuck L. MAR5, other wet areas locally MAR 3-4 when wind died; the rest probably mostly MAR1-2. July 1: Woodchuck L. to Pearl L. Worst of this was along N. Fork Kings. The final approach to the off trail cutoff was getting to MAR 6 range causing me to hike really fast. Early part of hike was pretty mild (MAR 1-3). July 2 Blackcap Basin exploration. Much of morning was MAR 1 or so with MAR 0 at Valor Lake (nice cool breeze) as things headed toward evening graded to MAR 3-4 at Pearl L. when the breeze went away. July 3. Pearl L. to Scepter L. On a warming trend and the bugs were up at the crack of dawn. Upper part of N Fork Kings bad again MAR 5 at worst parts. Scepter was surprisingly mild considering it's marshy nature (mostly MAR 2) and a brief visit to Crown was nearly mosquito free (MAR1), although the mosquitoes really picked up in the evening disturbing our big fish dinner at Scepter (MAR 4). Biting flies on the hike to Scepter were pretty bad, though and their numbers peaked on that day of the hike. July 4. Scepter L. to Rancheria via Duck L. The day dawned rather buggy with the first mosquito kill at about 610 am, but it stayed pretty moderate on the 100 percent off trail 'cut the corners' route to Duck L. say MAR 3-4 tops. Duck L. was very pleasant with very few mosquitoes (MAR 0-1). Hike out was hot and dusty and mosquitoes seem to have largely vanished.