North Fork Mono Creek above Quail Meadows?

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commonloon
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North Fork Mono Creek above Quail Meadows?

Post by commonloon » Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:09 am

Hello all,

My son wants to take me fishing for Fathers day :-) I was thinking we might try to get to Mott Lake. I was there last year early (w/ all the snow) and it was spectacular.

While I've been thru there a few times and I know the North Fork can be a difficult crossing up the PCT/JMT where is cascades down across the tail, I don't really remember this crossing being significant. I'm pretty sure Mono et all will be flowing big. Is the crossing just North of Quail Meadows something I should be concerned about?

Here: https://caltopo.com/m/GRPV

Thanks!








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SSSdave
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Re: North Fork Mono Creek above Quail Meadows?

Post by SSSdave » Tue Jun 02, 2020 4:14 pm

https://www.davidsenesac.com/2017_Trip_ ... .html#aug2

...I asked a group of 3 young women about the North Fork of Mono Creek crossing and one related they waded after having looked at the tree trunk crossing downstream that I'd read about. I asked how wide was the trunk, and one spread her hands out only about a foot that told me it was best avoided carrying a heavy pack. At the 8050 creek ford 2.2 miles along, were 3 other men that had just waded the creek that further pointed to not bothering to check out the log crossing. A bunch of willows and dense lodgepole pines obscured that whole area just downstream.

No one else around, I stripped down to my shorts, strung my boots at the top of the pack, and headed across barefoot with the 65 pound load using both hands pushing down on my big tripod with all 3 legs extended and spread upstream for stability. Not as functional as trekking poles but better than a stick. Just upstream, the bare skeleton of a tree was anchored in the stream bed across the first half of the 30 feet or so stream width reducing flow velocity. The water was of course quite cold and my feet painfully slipped around on the rocky cobbles on the bottom, something I've been familiar with over decades. My surfing neoprene boots were back in the Forester, not bringing them a victim of my rush to get to the ferry. It was best to bull my way across quickly pausing little despite cold and pain because the longer in such water, the weaker more incapacitated a person becomes.

The crux just beyond midpoint was fast flowing crotch deep water swirling around both sides of a sizable underwater boulder. My toes painfully jammed between some larger rocks at the bottom as I inched across that section facing and leaning upstream while fighting to keep down force on my tripod. I made it behind the flow protecting underwater boulder. Beyond was a final fast flowing section I just might be able to lurch across into calmer water. I first picked up then pushed down the tripod into the middle of that flow, fighting to stabilize it with force on the bottom. Then leaned against the top of the tripod and with a momentary stall used all the jackrabbit DNA my legs could muster, before lurching. As my lead right foot left the bottom, the flow immediately rocked me downstream some but I pushed off against the tripod top helping push across the gap to slower flow where wobbling awkwardly I then stabilized. Stumbling out quickly from the cold water, glad that was over, spent about 20 minutes putting clothes back on and gear back together. Apparently my right big toe had suffered some nerve damage because it would still be a bit "strange" six weeks later. On my return leg 7 days later would learn the tree trunk crossing was the far better choice as it was over 3 feet in diameter where it spanned the creek while being just a foot in diameter well beyond the west side of the creek where dense willows hid views of the rest of its true size...

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Re: North Fork Mono Creek above Quail Meadows?

Post by commonloon » Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:12 pm

Thanks Dave. Good stuff! Love the photos and narrative. I think you're talking about the upstream crossing that is sketchy, that I've done before. I added a couple of markers to my map where I think that is and the alternative crossing for it.

https://caltopo.com/m/GRPV

Right? Maybe my memory is failing me.

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