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doggy ate the rabbit

Discussion about winter adventure sports in the Sierra Nevada mountains including but not limited to; winter backpacking and camping, mountaineering, downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, etc.

doggy ate the rabbit

Postby SSSdave » Thu Jan 26, 2006 10:21 am

Tuesday, 1-24-2006, I drove up the 185 miles into the Sierra for a couple days of skiing. After a challenging day of making turns, I left the ski area and drove out to the Martin Meadow area on state highway 88. An hour before sunset, I put on my snowshoes and 30 pounds of large format camera gear plus tripod, then hiked about three-eighths of a mile and 100 feet uphill through sparse forest covered in 6 day old snow towards Castle Point. That took about 50 minutes to hike as each step sunk in a modest two to six inches. Not nearly as exausting as hiking in fresh snow but certainly worse than walking in sand. The Castle Point area at 8000 feet is covered by the same volcanic mudflow rock geology as much of this part of the Sierra. I'd never been out to this area in the past so did not know what to expect other than from my topo analysis the ridge would get unblocked late sunset light.

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Sky was mostly clear but to the west, the valley was shrouded in fog and it appeared the marine air further west was heavy. I tramped around a bit but found little except this little jeffrey pine to aim my camera at. Further up on the ridge above Castle Point were some junipers I seen a decade ago but I found few in this area. The previous two days had been very windy turning the snow surface to weird sastrugi forms. It had snowed six days before and the sun across this windswept ridge had transformed the beautiful powder snow.

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As I walked about, I noted some critter tracks, a coyote or less common red fox?

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At the nearby ski area, I sometimes have surprised snowshoe hares, lepus americanus, in pure white winter coats, skiing through forest glades. And the sound of coyotes is common at night where I sometimes overnight up the road near Carson Pass. I stopped to take a closeup of the tracks then a short ways further came upon an area of red stained snow.

Image

Near the bloody snow was a very fresh dog dropping. Lots of fine white hair littered the area. I noted what looked like a fresh rabbit dropping that had white hairs next to it. ...David

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Postby Buck Forester » Thu Jan 26, 2006 11:40 am

Cool experience, great pics!
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Postby hikerduane » Thu Jan 26, 2006 7:16 pm

Could you please be a little more descriptive of the scene?:)
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Postby SSSdave » Thu Jan 26, 2006 7:42 pm

hikerduane wrote:Could you please be a little more descriptive of the scene?:)


Broad flat Merhten Formation volcanic mudflow lower ridgeline where wind scour leaves shallow depths of snow instead of several feet in nearby forest. Thus typical area where rabbits can easily dig down and reach vegetation. I didn't notice anything else in area except what is in the web image. No guts or skeleton so I'm guessing the coyote carried the rest away maybe to feed pups? Rabbit tracks were not visible nearby on the ridgeline as the snow was too firm. ...David
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Postby hikerduane » Thu Jan 26, 2006 8:29 pm

Just messing with you. Thanks.
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Postby SSSdave » Thu Jan 26, 2006 9:00 pm

Duane I thought your brief post might be humorous sarcasm. Enjoyed the scat shots huh? :D
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Postby hikerduane » Thu Jan 26, 2006 9:05 pm

Yum! Looked like the rabbit had digestive issues though.
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Postby JM21760 » Sat Jan 28, 2006 12:37 am

The Carson Pass area ridges and wide open spaces produce some of the wildest Sastrugi I've ever seen, or skied. Beautiful wind carving, but brutal to ski it while it's forming. The good thing is, it's just a short journey back to the 4X4. Nice shots Dave. Intriguing documentary on the site of the kill. I have never come across anything like that. Seems you have your Geologic studies well in hand too. Martin Meadow, that's the old, or still available overflow camping area between the Spur and Kay's at Silver Lake, yes?
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Postby SSSdave » Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:32 am

JM21760 wrote:... Martin Meadow, that's the old, or still available overflow camping area between the Spur and Kay's at Silver Lake, yes?


In summer there are small campgrounds to the west near Silver Lake. Martin Meadow itself has some summer cabins. No winter fascillities but Caltrans will usually plow a small space off the pavement when they get a chance days after snowstorms. A major problem of access to high elevation areas during winter is having places to park. That is one reason for the SnowPark areas. I have the $25 seasonal permit each winter. Caltrans does snowplow enough space to park in a few other areas when they have a chance, days after storms but there are often large distances between those spots.

...David
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Postby markskor » Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:49 am

I notice that the words of initial post here extend way off my screen - I have to move screen over just to read - what a pain!. Does anybody know why this occurs...Is it just the initial poster's configuration..or what? (Only happens after extra wide long post - & extends to all posts afterwards - not the usual normal postings).
...Eric?
Mountainman who swims with trout
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