2019 September backpacking

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SSSdave
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2019 September backpacking

Post by SSSdave » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:04 pm

Am expecting a fair number of members have at this point moved out some of their backpacking plans to late summer. What about your plans late summer?

It has been interesting reading trip reports of those undeterred that have embraced hiking into the expansive high country white mushy sun-cupped snowfields that lingered this year further into July than during any others of my lifetime. Not only was 2019 one of our deepest ever snow packs, but then May when snow often begins melting quickly, was unusually cool and stormy not only delaying melt but actually adding depth. June was more normal but then July has been cooler than normal. Interestingly we are increasingly now reading mid July reports of more mosquitoes than normal in some areas, an indication excessive high country surface water has also delayed the peak of those enemies.

Labor Day falls early this summer on Monday September 2, that allows more days after that holiday when kids are back in school, visitors fewer, and quotas more likely unfilled, to fit trips in before weather begins changing too much as it often does later in September. Lurking ominously that has thus far been absent is the late summer smoky fire season that has plagued we enthusiasts over the last couple decades. A single bout of hot dry offshore winds across the state could abruptly change that but lets hope that does not happen. As in the past after big winters that will make this September special is our as high country greenery, wildflowers, small ephemeral streams, and snowfields (and no mosquitoes!) will also last further into late summer.

My one group trip this summer, an easy 5-day fishing focused base camping trip to Duck Lake from Mammoth Lakes that I expected to get in late July has now been pushed out till early September. The caltopo High Res image showed the surface melted out over a week ago but it won't be till mid August for that basin to green up like I prefer. Thus have tentatively moved that out to after Labor Day. After 6 fine days above Florence L reservoir 4 weeks ago in the snow free canyon, will next week be up in Desolation and then have some open dates to fill before my big Rolling Stones concert date August 18. Immediately after that have been expecting to go over Shepherd Pass for 10 days, however will need to see how my less than fully healed right foot (plantar fasciitis last fall) feels after Desolation. Just might get in 3 September trips as have a tentative date above Saddlebag with a never ever backpacking senior gal from the east, and maybe another round over Bishop Pass when turfy dwarf bilberry and arctic willow peak with fall leaf color.








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Wandering Daisy
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Re: 2019 September backpacking

Post by Wandering Daisy » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:26 pm

I will have my trip report (Duck, Virginia, Purple, Ram Lakes) up in a day or so. All the lake are melted and have fish- spawning now in Purple and Virginia. Flowers are coming out, in fact, the flowers along the sunny side PCT are looking a bit worn out. You may not have to push that trip back too much.

Between babysitting grandkids and seeing my nearly 100-year old Mom, October is out for any backpacking. I have two August trips (Ionian Basin and Upper Kern) that I may push back, but have to be careful to avoid trying to get a first-come permit Labor Day holiday. I am more concerned with peak mosquito season and difficult stream crossings than snow.

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looks easy from here
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Re: 2019 September backpacking

Post by looks easy from here » Tue Jul 23, 2019 4:04 pm

I have one big trip this summer. Window is fixed. Destination might change.

Actually the destination will almost certainly change, unless I see an unexpected report about the Bubbs Creek-East Lake crossing in the next week and a half. Fortuitous treefall, perhaps?

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Re: 2019 September backpacking

Post by rightstar76 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:36 am

According to climate scientist Daniel Swain, we might be looking at a balmy fall season in the Sierra this year. Not bad for backpacking, that is if there's no smoke in the air.

https://weatherwest.com/archives/6842
Scroll down to “The Blob” returns–a hot autumn to come?

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Re: 2019 September backpacking

Post by rlown » Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:58 am

Going in over Piute pass Sept 15th. Roughly, Tomahawk lk, Mesa Lk then over Carol Col, to French basin and back out by the 23rd. We'll hit upper deso on the way out as the last camp/fish.
Simba's (dog) first big trip.

If it wasn't 105 degrees in the valley today, I'd be going to Loon for a Simba break-in trip. That is now slated for Aug 3rd.
I melt in the heat.

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neil d
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Re: 2019 September backpacking

Post by neil d » Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:20 pm

Hitting Deso this weekend, will check the snow situation at 8,000+ feet.

Then back to Deso for a longer loop at the end of August.

No mountain plans for September, thinking I may try instead to do a bike trip.

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Re: 2019 September backpacking

Post by hikerdude87 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 3:55 pm

I have a trip planned end of September. Past couple years I have done trips around September and October and found that I enjoy going on those trips compared to going in the summer. There are much less people on the trail and the mosquitoes are gone. Water crossings are simple. It just feels more 'empty' in the backcountry. I do keep a better eye on the weather and know nights will be cooler but I have plenty of backup plans in case it changes.

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Re: 2019 September backpacking

Post by tmorton23 » Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:17 pm

I'm planning an Emigrant Wilderness loop for the end of September.

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rlown
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Re: 2019 September backpacking

Post by rlown » Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:20 pm

neil d wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:20 pm
Hitting Deso this weekend, will check the snow situation at 8,000+ feet.

Then back to Deso for a longer loop at the end of August.

No mountain plans for September, thinking I may try instead to do a bike trip.
By deso, do you mean Desolation wilderness or upper desolation lake out of Piute pass?

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Re: 2019 September backpacking

Post by stevet » Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:30 pm

Living in NY I only get one "shot" so have planned my hike for last week August through Labor Day. 10 days/9 nights, walk up permit. If I get my wish, a bit loop. Enter Kearsarge Pass. South then up to Center Basin, Jct Pass, Shepherd Pass, Rockwell Pass to Wright Lakes Basin. To Bighorn Plateau, north on JMT, cut to LSA then over Little Joe to L Reflection, to Roads End then up Copper Creek, SHR to Upper Basin, south to Bench Lake, then SoSHR for a bit and exit Kearsarge.

Snow melt looks to be good such that I'll need maybe microspikes. Bubbs/East Creek crossing still dodgy, but with 4 weeks to go I've reason to be optimistic.

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