Onion Valley–Kearsarge Pass–Charlotte Lake-6-9 July? Plan B?

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
Post Reply
User avatar
Topix Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:55 pm
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

Onion Valley–Kearsarge Pass–Charlotte Lake-6-9 July? Plan B?

Post by Socaltrojan » Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:53 pm

Onion Valley – Kearsarge Pass – Charlotte Lake - 6-9 July?
Seeking suggestions for a possible plan B.

Currently I have 6 permits for a short 4 day / 3 night backpacking trip.
7/5: Camp Onion Valley campground
7/6: Camp at Flower Lake
7/7: Camp at Charlotte Lake
7/8: Camp at Kearsarge Lake
7/9: Hike out

With the season being what it is, I am concerned about the amount of snow come the 5th of July.
We will make the call as the trip gets closer, but I want to start planning a Plan B just in case.

Background: 2 of us are Level 3 with snow travel, river crossings etc.; But the others are more Level 2 – trails only, nice weather. So a little snow on the trail would add to the fun, but if we need ice picks and crampons, not everyone has the gear or training. Our main interest is lakes, Big Mountain scenery and Photography. With this group I think 6-10 miles a day with plenty of time for fishing, relaxing and photos would be good. All have hiked at 13+ with no altitude issues. We are coming from San Diego so southern Sierra is better. Kings Canyon, Cottonwood, Kearsarge etc. In the Sierra’s, three of us have hiked Rae Lakes Loop, 10 Lakes, Karsarge Pass, Buena Vista Crest Trail and several others. Many trips outside the Sierras too.

Looks like the snow line today is around 9,500. Maybe 11K by 5July?

User avatar
Topix Docent
Posts: 7556
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:00 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Wilton, CA

Re: Onion Valley–Kearsarge Pass–Charlotte Lake-6-9 July? Pla

Post by rlown » Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:28 pm

Pretty simple.. do the Least Common Denominator to keep the group safe. Call the ranger station 2 days before you leave and be very direct for information.
If It looks bad, turn around. And it is Sierra.

Welcome to the HST forums..

User avatar
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 6:02 am
Experience: N/A

Re: Onion Valley–Kearsarge Pass–Charlotte Lake-6-9 July? Pla

Post by chulavista » Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:38 pm

Any time you are worried about snow, just look for something slightly lower (think west-side). I just got back from Sphinx Lakes out of Cedar Grove. Snow was patchy @ 9k ft and solid (several feet) @ 10k. The first couple lower lakes were mostly thawed.

Advice from rangers is hit or miss. When I came in the permit ranger seemed knowledgeable about the area. When I came out the permit ranger had never heard of Sphinx Lakes.

I don't think snow is going to mess people up as much as the bad creek crossings. I'll probably get flak for this, but it takes about 2 minutes to train someone how to use a axe. Bad creek crossing...not so much.

User avatar
Topix Newbie
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2017 4:20 pm
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

Re: Onion Valley–Kearsarge Pass–Charlotte Lake-6-9 July? Pla

Post by itlan » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:38 am

What did you end up deciding to do?

Jim 'o the mtn

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: gdoolan, Google Adsense [Bot], rams, rob1369, rowemoore, stretch and 7 guests