Rock Creek-Mosquito Flats backpacking and snowshoeing trip | High Sierra Topix  

Rock Creek-Mosquito Flats backpacking and snowshoeing trip

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.
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Rock Creek-Mosquito Flats backpacking and snowshoeing trip

Postby Snow Nymph » Wed Mar 01, 2006 2:44 am

Rock Creek - Mosquito Flats Backpack/Snowshoe weekend

Photos: http://community.webshots.com/album/548085523kwwvpt

My original plan (Topix forum gathering) wasn’t going to happen (two people couldn’t find lodging). Mammoth was booked (= crowds). SnowDude was sick, and crowded slopes just didn't sound like fun. :( I knew Trekker was going backpacking and asked if I could join him. With last minute change of plans, I was up late Thursday looking for gear that I hadn't used since last September. Got it all together and headed for Mammoth Friday night. When I drove thru Red Rock Canyon, I saw some hands waving cars down. I normally wouldn’t stop in the dark, but I thought I saw two kids and an adult. I pulled over and backed up. It was 3 young adults and their car overheated. They couldn’t get phone reception so I got them to a gas station where their friend picked them up.

Trekker was planning to backpack in Friday afternoon, and I would catch up to him Saturday. About 3 hours out from San Diego, he realized he forgot his jacket, :confused: and drove back. When I got to the Ranger Station, I didn't see a permit for him, so I called. That's when I found out about his delay. With my detour, permit and phone calls, finding a place to sleep/meet, I finally got to bed ~4am. :boring:

I heard him pull up at 6:10am, so I got a few hours of sleep. We got breakfast, a Sno-Park permit, repacked the vehicles so we could carpool and got a pretty late start. I had not carried this much weight (33 lb) since September, Trekker had 50 lbs so we both had sore hips. :( It was a slow hike up, but since we were meeting for the first time, we talked all the way so it didn’t seem that long. We got in after dark, set up camp and melted snow. Mountain House dinner was awesome! :yummy: 15 deg out, clear skies and no wind. A beautiful evening to be out!

Sunday I was up at 7am, and out by 8am. I took photos and found the water hole and started the hot water. Breakfast was good! :yummy: We kicked back, then went for a short walk to Mack Lake. I was feeling the altitude and a storm was coming in so we didn't go far. Got back to camp and my tent was down. My pigtail stakes didn't hold in the soft snow (forgot to pack the snow after staking it). Just as we got my tent back up, a guy on AT skis stopped by our camp. It was sdtrackrunner! I had seen his trip photos, and then remembered he e-mailed about my Warmlite tent a year or so ago (he ended up getting one). It was nice to finally meet him! :cool:

As we started packing up, the guy staying at the tent cabin asked if we could stop at Rock Creek Lodge and ask them to send a snowmobile up to get his wife. She had altitude sickness pretty bad and was vomiting. :puke: Packing up took longer than usual, so we got another late start. A couple of skiers passed us, so I asked them to stop by Rock Creek and pass the message on since they were moving faster than us. We were almost there when the snowmobile started up. After making sure they were going to get her, we took a break at Rock Creek Lodge. Trekker had a blister on his foot, and I was getting the toe cramp (Morton's Neuroma). We made it back to the start in under 2.5 hrs. We had light flurries the whole way, but it looked like rain down there.

We transferred gear to Trekkers car and went our separate ways. The drive home had its moments. I was on Hwy 14 when a semi came over a hill and blinded me with his brights. The next thing I saw was big pickup/SUV headlights coming at me in my lane trying to pass the semi. :cursing: I hit the brakes to take it out of cruise (going 79) which caused the 4Runner to fishtail 4 times before I got it straightened out. I didn’t have anywhere to go (a hillside, no shoulder) so I thought that was the end for me. [-o< The pickup went back behind the semi. WTF was he/she thinking! :puke: Then, by the time I got to the 405, I was tired, and missed my turn. I ended up in Burbank before I realized it. I backtracked, adding 20 miles to my trip. :mad:

I think sleep-wise, I got about as little as last weekend. :retard: But, it was a great weekend and I got to meet two new internet friends! :D
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


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Postby copeg » Wed Mar 01, 2006 7:48 am

That sounds like one heck of a weekend! I love LLV valley in winter. Sounds like that made up for the bad drivers and lack of sleep.
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Postby SSSdave » Wed Mar 01, 2006 1:27 pm

Thanks SN for taking the time to write another fine report. I haven't gotten out snow camping yet this season as things have not worked out. Friend and I do have a plan though to backpack up to the bench northeast of Elephants Back near Carson Pass just before some mild storm. Like me you are on mountain highways so much, it is inevitable that occasionally dangerous situations will occur. A couple months ago my old Subu spun out at a wide highway curve during a snowstorm after I had to drive through a large berm snowplows had just piled on my side of the road. I was really lucky. Went around 180 degrees on the icy surface and both the front and back of my sedan bounced off a guard rail. Fortunately hardly made a dent. Without the rail I would have rolled down about a 20 foot bank. More often problems are like in your situation due to other drivers going too fast.

...David
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Postby hikerduane » Wed Mar 01, 2006 5:24 pm

Thank you for the photos and I enjoyed the trip report. Sometimes it seems things aren't meant to happen because things happen. I wish I took the time to take more photos, it seems I can make a roll of film last for all my winter trips.
Piece of cake.
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Postby Snow Nymph » Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:07 pm

It was a great weekend! :D Wish I could do it without having to drive. :(

There was no traffic at that time of night, so I kept the cruise on. Seems like there's more and more impatient people passing where they shouldn't. C'mon, on a hill? Normally when idiots try to pass I have time to slow down or pull over to the side. This time the headlights were too close, and there was nowhere to pull over. It was a weird feeling. . . Scared, froze, no feeling, whoosh, then oh $hit! I'm still here! Almost like one of those movies where they disappear for a split second, then reappear! :eek:

Two weeks ago I had to slow down for someone passing and coming at me in my lane. I guess I'm lucky with all the driving I do that it hasn't happened more often.
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


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Postby ridgeline » Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:41 pm

LLV seems to grow more beautifull each time I go there! especially in winter. Now there is a place to have a forum gathering, Ill bring the wine.
Thanks for the trip report and photos, you just made my night.

PS. Good thing your a good driver.
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Postby Snow Nymph » Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:50 pm

Dave, I was almost sure we'd see you up there! Your name was mentioned a few times (Trekker had seen the trips we did up there)). Pyramid Peak looked pretty cool with snow! I think next time I might try a sled since its on a road. That would be an awesome place to have a gathering! Great idea! :partyman:
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


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Postby Trekker » Fri Mar 03, 2006 2:03 pm

Hi; This is my first post on High Sierra Topix, but not the first time I have been on, having enjoyed the posts and advice over the past few months. Having found Snow Nymph's site over two years ago has really opened my eyes to the Sierra community and some really great info, to say nothing of the Photos!!! I have cruised a number of the outdoor boards over the past couple of years, so am familiar with a number of members by previous posts. Had a great time with Snow Nymph on the trip, though it was a little more exhausting than I planned for! Thanks for being patient, Snowy :nod: I picked up some good info and tips and have already begun incorporating it into my future plans. Even though I live in San Diego, I have decided that I will be hiking and backpacking more in the Sierra this year, even if it means shorter, weekend -type trips. The board (and SN) have been my inspiration to get off my a@@ and get out there! Looking forward to a great year in the mountains, and hopefully the opportunity to meet some of you! :waving
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Postby doug395 » Fri Mar 03, 2006 3:40 pm

SN, enjoyed the trip report and pic's, glad there was a happy ending. I've had my share of close calls on that drive. My tolerance for crowded places is at an all time low, I’m trying to get away for a snow camping trip in a few weeks.
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Postby madeintahoe » Fri Mar 03, 2006 3:51 pm

SN & Trekker..looks like a really nice time you all had in the snow. SN beautiful pictures....what a scary moment that must have been with that truck..I think someone was watching over you and kept you safe.

Horrible about that women being sick out there...hope she is feeling back to normal by now.
I love the cute snow angels you two made. It is really beautiful back in there in the winter time...a totally different world

Thanks for sharing another of your great adventures :D
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Postby Snow Nymph » Fri Mar 03, 2006 8:13 pm

Trekker, it was nice to finally meet you. You're the same in person as your e-mails! :D It was a fun trip, seemed like we talked the whole time! :D Glad you're on board now!

Doug, I'm thinking about doing a snow trip in April. I'll start a thread when I get back. SnowDude is waiting to leave for Mammoth. Hope its not crowded!

MiT, LLV is a beautiful area! Couldn't resist making snow angels. Trekker was going to make a snowman, but the snow was too soft. The snowmobile was up and back down in about 10 minutes with the sick woman. Not sure why they didn't try to descend earlier. She was moving kinda slow in the morning, but the guy didn't ask us for help til 3pm. I would have left my gear and descended if I were that sick.
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


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