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Upper Velma/Dick's Lake snowshoe

Posted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:44 pm
by hikerduane
Frank M and I were to do a multi-day snowshoe trip into Desolation Wilderness this weekend, but Frank had an injury on Shasta last weekend so I went to Plan B. Instead of going in at Echo Lakes, I went up the Bayview Trail on Friday morning. Really tough going out of Granite Lake, so steep there, I thought of aborting twice due to my snowshoes could not get a very good grip on the fresh two inches of snow on top of hard stuff. I had to zig and zag a little, shooting for the ridge between Granite and Eagle Lakes. Somewhat easy after that. I had one of those Five Hour energy drinks before starting. Bah! Piece of crap, all I got from the stuff was a burn in my stomach all day into the night. Not a good burn like tequila.:) I finally took a break, over two hours into the trip, ate a bar and drank some water and was at Upper Velma shortly after that. All in all, it took a little over 3 hours, an hour longer than my summer time trips. Very nice day there, no one around, although someone made ski tracks across the lake, I missed that. Saturday morning, it was 5 degrees at 7 when I got up. Kinda cold for late March. I was going to stay two nights at Upper Velma, but after surveying the terrain Friday afternoon, I decided I best pack up and spend a night at Dick's Lake, as I may not have enough energy to do a round trip.:) My thighs were hurting and my groin too. Little did I know, it was only going to take an hour to get to Dick's Lake. I chugged up the drainage from Fontanellis, legs and groin huring some, then motored across Fontanellis. A little windy at Dick's, felt like Desolation of old with the wind, I gave brief thought to going back down or head out a short ways, but after looking briefly for a campsite out of the wind, I stayed. Set up in a spot that was out of the wind, did not show a history of wind going thru. Really, really nice afternoon. I usually face my tent opening to the north or east to avoid the wind or precip, this time I faced it to the south and sat in the sun most of the afternoon, sunning and staying too warm. I was down to my rolled up pants and boots on for a bit. With the nice sunny days, Friday, I melted enough snow for a quart of water and Saturday, two quarts. A few folks hit Dick's Peak I guess, I heard voices off and on Saturday, then realized that there were two other campsites set up. This morning it was 26 degrees at 6:40 a lot warmer. I could hear a few birds singing at Dick's, nice to hear a few Spring sounds. I could see the snow blowing off of the ridges above me all afternoon Saturday, neat to see. Some low clouds blew over one area late Saturday, you could see them blowing downward in one spot, then when that cleared away before dark, it smelled like rain. Almost a full moon too, lots of light, I went to bed at 8, used my headlamp to read for another hour then put my book away. Real easy coming out this morning, I was back at my pickup in and hour and 45-50 minutes. I guess the easy, low mile day on Saturday got me rested. I have been wanting to do a Spring trip into Desolation for quite some time now, plus I got to do a multi-day one too.

I used my small NeoAir again, with my blue ccp, some had said it would not be any good below 30 or so. I've used it three times now into the single digits and now even that low on the snow. In the 20's and lower, the pad itself does not get any colder, it is just not as warm as in the 30's or higher. I had my WM 15 degree bag on this trip, although Friday night it was already around 20 when I went to bed at 8, so I wore my Mont Bell down liner pants and was fine. Saturday night, I wore my silk longjohns in my bag and that worked fine. As usual, I got my face sunburned, puffy eyes and all, I need to stop that and apply some fresh sunscreen instead of old stuff.

Re: Upper Velma/Dick's Lake snowshoe

Posted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 2:44 pm
by rlown
nice report!! any pics? i'm guessing no ice fishing as well.

Re: Upper Velma/Dick's Lake snowshoe

Posted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:31 pm
by hikerduane
I took some photos, left my good camera home, so I have to wait until I have used up all my 27 exposures on the disposable one. Sorry, I need to pay for a photo hosting site and post some of my past trips that I catch flack over about not having pics.

Did not fish. Boring a hole would have been tough. Snow coverage wasn't much, 2 1/2 to 3 feet, little more in spots. Hard to tell, could not see down many tree wells.

Re: Upper Velma/Dick's Lake snowshoe

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:42 pm
by Snow Nymph


Re: Upper Velma/Dick's Lake snowshoe

Posted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:40 pm
by hikerduane
I know, I know. The reason I don't post more.