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Re: Backup Trip Due to Snow

Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 10:22 pm
by giantbrookie
janky wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 4:45 pm
Thanks again. When you say "higher elevation" what elevation are you talking about? I think we're targeting 8000 feet in terms of a camping site.
8000' may have quite a bit of snow based on my 2005 experience, some of which I will summarize: 7/8/05 hiked over north ridge of Tells Peak to Highland L. much of the terrain over 8000' was under snow and Highland L. (~7800') had plenty of snow around it but also had ample dry places to camp. 7/9/05 Ended up at make shift camp spot on ridge above 4Q's to avoid mosquitoes and sogginess at 4Qs. En route encountered a lot of snow around McConnell L (more of a meadow) at 7800 and had to cross some snow bridges and go over and around a lot of snow patches descending from McConnell at 7800+ to about 7500 in descent toward 4Qs. 7/10/05 off and on snow cover walking "around the corner" to Lake Schmidell (7840+). Schmidell had a fair amount of snow around it but plenty of dry ground to camp on. Took approximate path of Red Peak Stock trail over the top of the Crystal Range, then peeled off toward Top Lake. A good part of this track was under snow, so we didn't really bother to follow it. Top Lake at 8240+ had a fair amount of snow around it but we found a pleasant dry campsite with a stunning west view (the western exposure is key here). 7/11/05 hiked back out to Van Vleck and visited Lake No.3 at 8200+. This lake looked like it had barely thawed and it was entirely ringed with snow. Finding a dry camping spot there would not have been feasible had we wanted one, but we didn't given that we were simply on our way out.

Re: Backup Trip Due to Snow

Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 10:26 pm
by giantbrookie
kpeter wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 7:02 pm
giantbrookie, which trailhead do you use for going up Rockbound from Loon Lake? Do you leave from the campground at the SE end of Loon Lake, or from the spillway on the W side? The various maps all show radically different trails and roads around Loon lake so it is hard to figure out....
The standard way in is via the trailhead at the Loon Lake campground, SE of the dam.

Re: Backup Trip Due to Snow

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:43 am
by janky
Alright. I called the Tahoe Basin of the Forest Service this morning and the woman said they are sending rangers up 2-3 times a week to Desolation Wilderness and there's still 4 feet of snow at 8,000 feet. It's not looking good at all for our planned trip to Middle Velma lake (where we have permits).

Anyone have a solid backup around 6,000 feet that's decent for backpacking and fishing? We can go back to Tahoe National Forest if needed but I've already done that (Grouse Lakes area) so looking for other recommendations.

Re: Backup Trip Due to Snow

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:24 pm
by marinfish
I'm in the same boat as you. Have a permit for July 10th to Susie Lake out of Glen Alpine. I'm also starting to think of alternatives. The late May weather certainly didn't help. I'm going up next week to stay two nights around Jamison Lake in Plumas National Forest. Ranger I spoke to yesterday was telling me that it's mostly clear with some snow patches as of last week.

Re: Backup Trip Due to Snow

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 9:30 pm
by janky
Jamison Lake isn't a bad call at all. Elevation is definitely right with max at 6200'.

We're also thinking of bailing on Tahoe National Forest/Sierra National Forest and going somewhere completely different.
marinfish wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:24 pm
I'm in the same boat as you. Have a permit for July 10th to Susie Lake out of Glen Alpine. I'm also starting to think of alternatives. The late May weather certainly didn't help. I'm going up next week to stay two nights around Jamison Lake in Plumas National Forest. Ranger I spoke to yesterday was telling me that it's mostly clear with some snow patches as of last week.

Re: Backup Trip Due to Snow

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:25 pm
by marinfish
It will be a nice return trip after an 8 year hiatus. Should be a good short hike in, just enough to keep a 3 day trip interesting. Couple of lakes to hike around and fish and also head over the the PCT for a short bit and hike up Mt. Elwell depending on how it's looking. I've only car camped in the lakes basin area but I'm looking forward to hiking in. Had this trip planned for months to start the summer and it looks like it opened up just in time.

Re: Backup Trip Due to Snow

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:35 am
by SSSdave
Looking at the last clear NASA EOSDIS satellite image June 15, one can already see the Grass Lake area of Glen Alpine Creek melting out. Thus I'll bet Susie Lake and Twin Lakes melt out should occur by second week of July. I'll guess Aloha not and Heather and Velmas partially. Note I consider Grass Lake a much better destination than people give it credit for because 98% of visitors just reach the outlet zone and then turn around. Quite scenic, decent numbers of trout, and no people at all at other end of lake.
Desolation_WV61519.jpg

Re: Backup Trip Due to Snow

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:58 pm
by marinfish
Based on these pictures its not looking so bad. At least what I'm interpreting. Maybe wishful thinking?
http://desowv.org/medias/pictures/525cr ... lbumid=429

Re: Backup Trip Due to Snow

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:08 pm
by AlmostThere
marinfish wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:58 pm
Based on these pictures its not looking so bad. At least what I'm interpreting. Maybe wishful thinking?
http://desowv.org/medias/pictures/525cr ... lbumid=429
Would YOU cross that creek?

What do you consider bad?

Personally, I don't worry as much about the snow as I do the creek. The snow comes into play at higher elevations when it's so deep that any given posthole means potentially shattering my ankle in rocks, as did a friend of mine.

Re: Backup Trip Due to Snow

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:25 pm
by maiathebee
Lake Aloha July 25, 2017
Screen Shot 2019-06-21 at 6.21.49 PM.png
Snowmelt is going faster than 2017 but still there will be a lot of snow around Desolation.