TR-Mt. Watkins backpack, Helen Lake day hike.

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brianA
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TR-Mt. Watkins backpack, Helen Lake day hike.

Post by brianA » Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:04 am

The Donohue Peak backpack trip was cancelled last year because of smoke, and cancelled this year because of snow. Mt. Watkins was a lower elevation, and I'd never been, so off we went. The views of the Yosemite iconic formations were incredible, and from angles never seen before. It was also a perfect time for an explosion of wildflowers, and I discovered a new one, the mountain jewelflower (look under purple, not yellow in your flower book). Not to mention the sunsets, sunrises, star shows, a moonrise over Cloud's Rest, a meadow filled with shooting stars, and a close look at Pywiack Cascade.

The last day of our adventure was trying to figure out a way around a steep snow wall to get up to Helen Lake, above Spillway Lake near the Mono/Parker Pass Trail on the eastern edge of Yosemite. We found a tricky grassy shoot left of the snow, and finally made it. After lunch with a view, we climbed to 11,000 feet trying to loop our way to Kuna Lake and out, when we got attacked by lightning, thunder, and hail. It was a quick, adrenaline filled descent. We actually got better traction on the non melted hail, before the granite got slippery wet. Surprisingly, not one fall all day.
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nvted
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Re: TR-Mt. Watkins backpack, Helen Lake day hike.

Post by nvted » Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:01 pm

Thanks for sharing the trip Brian! Cool photos. I've not been to Watkins, but the potential sunset views are very appealing, as you captured. I'm curious how Clouds Rest looks from there. Did you get any angles on that?

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Love the Sierra
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Re: TR-Mt. Watkins backpack, Helen Lake day hike.

Post by Love the Sierra » Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:34 pm

Wonderful pictures. Thanks!

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brianA
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Re: TR-Mt. Watkins backpack, Helen Lake day hike.

Post by brianA » Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:05 am

Thanks nvted, and LTS. Cloud's Rest angles? Here you go.
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Re: TR-Mt. Watkins backpack, Helen Lake day hike.

Post by balzaccom » Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:24 pm

Really nice photos! Thanks for reminding us!
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Love the Sierra
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Re: TR-Mt. Watkins backpack, Helen Lake day hike.

Post by Love the Sierra » Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:29 pm

Really beautiful pictures. Never saw a triple sun like that.

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Re: TR-Mt. Watkins backpack, Helen Lake day hike.

Post by The Other Tom » Sat Jul 27, 2019 4:55 am

Very nice pics, especially the triple sunrise and the clouds "resting" on cloud's rest

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Re: TR-Mt. Watkins backpack, Helen Lake day hike.

Post by nvted » Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:18 pm

Thanks for the extra photos of Clouds Rest! Excellent views of that massive granite face. Awesome!

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