2006 Mosquito report..post 'em here. | High Sierra Topix  

2006 Mosquito report..post 'em here.

Discussion related to Sierra Nevada current and forecast conditions, as well as general precautions and safety information. Trail conditions, fire/smoke reports, mosquito reports, weather and snow conditions, stream crossing information, and more.
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Postby Buck Forester » Wed Jul 26, 2006 4:17 pm

I haven't been to Raymond Lake yet although I've spent plenty of time drooling over it on maps. If I remember correctly, it's a golden trout lake, yes?



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Postby giantbrookie » Wed Jul 26, 2006 5:08 pm

Buck Forester wrote:I haven't been to Raymond Lake yet although I've spent plenty of time drooling over it on maps. If I remember correctly, it's a golden trout lake, yes?

Yes it is. I've never really hit it right. I recall first visiting the lake on the way down from climbing Raymond Peak with my family in the 1978. I recall seeing some nice goldens swim by. In October 1991, my wife and I visited, and the lake threw a shutout with the exception of a 10" golden my wife caught. We did see a good number of goldens swimming about that we figured went to at least 15".
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 dreamer » Thu Jul 27, 2006 7:51 pm

Just got a skeeter report from a friend who came down the mountain today from a trip out of the Buena Vista Lake area (Yosemite National Pk). He said the bugs were AWFUL! Said sitting around the fire was horrible without skeeter shelter or clothing. Said it rained way too much, too. Bummer. Hope it settles down before I take my daughter on her first trip.
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Postby Shawn » Thu Jul 27, 2006 8:28 pm

Today I made a trip up to Sphinx Creek out of Kings Canyon / Roads End (only to get blasted back down the mountain by thunder, lightening and rain :( ).

Anyway, the skeeters were out in full force along the lower part of the trail and up into the first set of switchbacks. I had my Deet in my pack, foolishly thinking I would not need it. When I stopped on the Bailey Bridge to dig it out I had a massive swarm of the little bastards try to eat me alive. I must've looked like quite the hiker trying to slather on the Deet in double time :retard:

I'm thinking about marketing a new cologne called "The Hiker". It's that special blend of Deet, sunblock and sweat. Anyone wanna buy a bottle? :D
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Postby SSSdave » Fri Jul 28, 2006 12:58 pm

Well now after my third 5-day road trip of this July I'll offer up my third squeeter report. This time I was in the 6k to 9k areas along highways 88, 89, and 4, ala Carson Pass, Tahoe, and Ebbetts Pass. Down below about 7.5k squeeters were not too bad even late in the day. The only remaining snows are above 8k in shady north facing forests or along the usual lee exposures of the crest areas. However lots of streams and seeps will take a lot longer to drain all the water away thus mosquitoes are well entrenched at the higher areas. Dragonflies and damselflies have been out some time now so during the day, so lots of areas are relatively squeeter free midday even about the crest here in the Central Sierra. During mornings I would spread on the DEET as there were more than a few about at 8k plus areas. Ditto for the evening. About average numbers for this time of year.

Now my first night on the drive up, I slept in my Subaru near a soggy meadow below the crest. In the evening there were lots of aggressive mosquitoes that immediately attacked whenever I opened the door. Quite a nuisance having to track down a dozen blood suckers after opening any door for a few seconds. Glad I had an empty milk bottle to take a leak in during the wee hours. ...David
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Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Sun Jul 30, 2006 10:45 pm

Just came back from a trip over Virginia Pass to as far as Return Lake in Yosemite. The flying bloodsuckers were bad in some places (wet sheltered areas) but managable: a little deet, proper clothes, good choice of camp spots. I have seen far worse and it was not as bad as expected. Still, I have a good number of bites. I would say there is a goodly amount of slapping and swatting in store for the next few weeks. There is still a lot of snow out there keeping things wet, and the warm weather will keep them around. If you are going somewhere, go high. Wind helps.
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South Lake to North Lake via Evolution Valley

Postby tory8411 » Tue Aug 01, 2006 11:07 am

Mosquitos were everywhere. Fully drenched in 100% deet from the start of the trailhead they were everywhere. Thick as thieves they were. Left us alone while we were moving for the most part, but anytime we stopped, they swarmed us like mad. Bit us through long sleeves. Moderate as we approached 11,200 but still around. May have avoided them on Bishop Pass for a brief minute with a breeze on top, but there was still so much water that they were everywhere. Heading down to Le Conte Canyon they were everywhere. Still moving was better, anytime we stopped they were divebombing us. Down around Big Pete we wore full wind gear and they were moderate to aggressive. We had young bear and full herd of deer in camp. Very cool.
Day 2- Hike up to Muir Pass they were moderate while hiking and aggressive anytime we were stopped. Once above 11,000 fewer mosquitos. From Helen Lake to the pass don't remember any mosquitos. Over the pass don't remember much, but once around 11,500 they returned and were pretty aggressive. Tried to stay at outlet to Evolution Lake on precipice above the valley, next to waterfall, hoping to get any kind of breeze going, but still they were persistent. Although warm out, we had to wear full wind gear to try and keep them at bay. Early morning was somewhat tolerable but by 630am they were back in full force.
Day 3 - Decided to do 20 miles to try and get through valley, and up piute canyon as far as we could to avoid meadows and try for breezes. Couldn't escape them. Voracious through Evolution Valley, only place we noticed a reasonable decline was at bottom of canyone where the two rivers join up. It was pretty dry except for the river and when we stopped to fuel up I think I saw one mosquito the whole half hour. Elevation was around 8,200. They weren't too bad along piute canyon trail up to the pass trail junction and muir ranch trail. We stopped along the Wilderness boundary for lunch and had a relatively nice time without any annoyances. The trial up the canyon was hot and didn't notice any mosquitos, but once we reached the beginning of the low grade climb with the gentle sloping meadows, they returned in full force. We stopped for water just before Hutchinson and were deluged by them. They followed you wherever you went and were constantly looking for the one section of your body that wasn't drenced in deet. Tried to get higher, but bodies couldn't take anymore hiking. We stopped around 5:30 at about 11,200 and still couldn't get out of them. We ate with headnets, some of us didn't even get out of the tent to eat they were so bad.
Day 4 - climbe to Piute Pass we were under constant attack through the basin until we reached the top where there was a nice breeze coming over the pass. That was our only point of refuge. The hike down the valley to North Lake was as bad as the other spots, with any pause in the hike resulting in full defense mode.
All in all, scenery spectacular, water unbelievable, mosquitos almost unbearable. Must rethink future July trips. Especially in wet years like this one.
T
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Postby krudler » Tue Aug 01, 2006 11:44 am

I'm hoping for a noticeable dropoff in the population at 8-10K' by the end of August.....? :retard:
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Postby temp35 » Thu Aug 03, 2006 9:02 am

Distressing to hear about the mosquito situation -- I am back from the east coast (originally a Californian) and hoping to get in a trip this weekend (8/5, 8/6) and next week. I would love to hear from anyone who has been somewhere in the Sierras where the bugs are *not* horrendous. Any leads?

Thanks.
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Postby giantbrookie » Fri Aug 04, 2006 7:39 pm

Friday, 8/4/06. Dayhike to Hidden Lake (elev 8320+), Kaiser Wilderness. Still soggy spots around (entire inlet area is one big bog), but absolutely no bugs today (MAR=0). Nice weather, with temps topping out in the mid to low sixties and some breeze but actually not a lot. Perhaps the recent nights dropping to the mid 40's have put them down for a bit.
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 SSSdave » Sun Aug 06, 2006 12:15 am

Just returned from a 4-day backpack out of Tuolumne Meadows into the Cathedral Range, August 2>5. Far fewer mosquitoes down in Tuolumne Meadows at 8.5k than my earlier report 3 weeks ago. Still some about but easy to deal with without resorting to repellent. I didn't need to put repellent on until going above about 9.5k where there are still areas of melting snow above. Below that there are just a few about in usual wet vegetation areas. I camped all 3 nights above 10k and mosquitoes were generally abundant in those areas where sizeable snowfields are still melting providing lots of water everywhere. Maybe MAR=5 on the giantbrookie scale. Midday no matter where I sat down, after a minute, at least a dozen would be whining about me and usually quite a bit more. Nights were chilly during the period with frosty freezing point temps at dawn. Thus mosquitoes tended to come out by mid morning and then escape to their green vegetation to overnight by late afternoon. Thus I could eat dinner at 9pm without being bothered. At night I still used a head net as every half hour or so one might venture by.

Despite the numbers, I didn't get bit many times as I wear long pants, a proboscis impenetrable nylon shell, a safari hat with a neck cover, and apply DEET to any remaining skin areas like face and hands. The best photography in our high mountains is when the mosquitoes are still out in numbers. However that doesn't bother me and I have learned to cope without getting bit. The bites I did get were almost always on my hands or wrists after sticking my hands in water for the many reasons one usually does so which of course washed off the repellent. Even though they weren't biting me, I dislike them whining and flying about my face so killed hundreds by grabbing and squishing or swatting against my clothing. I've always had fast reactions with my hands being quite fast. Typically I might sit down at some spot to rest and eat and spend the first couple minutes grabbing and squashing all those that visited which would deplete that small zone's squeeters numbers enough that there were just a few left.

I'm a bit infamous for usually jumping in whatever available water no matter how cold most every day I backpack as I like feeling clean. However when mosquitoes are numerous enough, getting naked is a bit too much for even me to ask. So for the first two days, I only thought about taking a dip without actually doing so. The midday temps were nice enough to do so and I was camped beside a nicely luke cool shallow pond. On my third afternoon I camped by a small stream bordered by some large smooth granite slabs. I spent about 15 minutes sitting on the slabs squashing most of those in that area enough that I was able to jump in the cold stream, get out, quickly towel dry off with my cotton t-shirt, and dress back up without a single bite. While I was still drying off, a few did try and land, but my flicking t-shirt kept them at bay. ...David
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Postby DJG » Mon Aug 07, 2006 4:13 pm

My wife and I were in Dusy Basin last week, 7-31 through 8-5. Everyone said the bugs are horrible everywhere. I guess I'm supposed to say the same but... Two nights at Parcher's Resort to get acclimated and the bugs weren't too bad there, although they would swarm at times.

First night in at Saddlerock Lake and we luckily had some wind to keep them down, but still not too bad once the wind died. Not bad either going up Bishop Pass, but once we got lower we could see what people were refering to. Several people we passed said they are just horrible but we didn't find that to be true (we compared that to our time in Grassy Lake area above Fish Crk a couple years ago, simply awful, where we wore rain jackets with the hood on, head net over that, plus the rain pants to fight back)

We found a spot on the ledges above the middle lakes of Dusy Basin and stayed the rest of the week. Our original plan was to go down into Le Conte Cyn to Grouse Mdws and back out but we opted to stay put as we had found a nice spot, bugs weren't bad (mostly) and the fishing was quite good, and figured the bugs would only be worse down in the valley.

Fished the lakes in the basin and only used the head nets once when we were down at the lower lakes where the trail comes close by. This is where the no-see-ums came on and there were clouds of the bigger guys at times.

We too found them on top of Bishop Pass on the way out. Can't predict when or if they will die off but it wasn't a deal breaker for us, and they just adore my wife.

There seemed to be several groups, like the cold weather bugs that would come out early in the morning and late in the evening (late dusk). Then there was the middle of the day bunch that would find us when the wind backed off.

We used the deet sparingly but stayed covered up head to foot almost always. Got to take a couple of dips and didn't get covered, I was thankful for that. We had a great time despite what we had heard.
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