Rae Lakes Fail, Looking for alternatives

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mursey
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Rae Lakes Fail, Looking for alternatives

Post by mursey » Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:30 pm

After three years of trying, I finally lined up a good permit for Rae Lakes this year, 2nd week of August. Last year we had permit issues and nobody wanted to risk attempting a first-come-first-served entry. Two years ago there was the fire.

Well it looks like this year is doomed too, haha. From reading and watching YouTube of PCT hikers, it looks like Glenn Pass is a glissade best done with an ice axe, and a key bridge is out shutting off almost half the loop.

I'm looking for an alternative loop starting somewhere starting in the Western Sierra. We have five days and five dudes. I was really hoping on seeing some high sierra scenery. I have some mountaineering experience/self arrest, but not my whole group. We will have micro spikes, but I want to avoid anything more technical or camping on snow.

I was thinking the Emigrant wilderness might be an easy target-- might be fun to bring a map and try to visit some of the more remote lakes, but am worried about the heat there in August. I don't have much experience backpacking in Yosemite, but I noticed a lot of trailheads seem to have openings mid-week.

What level of backpacking experience do you have?
Level 4- Comfortable with trail and/or x-country travel

What terrain are you comfortable/uncomfortable with?
- Class 3 terrain/pass/x-country
- River crossings
- Snow travel - Micro Spikes

What is your main interest?
- Lakes
- Forests
- Big Mountain scenery
- Fishing

How many days/nights is your trip, not including travel to trailhead? 5

How many miles did you want to do a day, any layovers? 10-15 depending on elevation gain and whether on or off trail

Have you hiked at elevation before? Any prior issues with Altitude Sickness? Yes, no issues

Do you have a route logistics preference: loop, out and back, point to point (which may require 2 vehicles or hitchhiking)? Loop

Is there a particular area in the Sierra that your most interested in (Yosemite, SEKI, western sierra start or eastern start ect.)? Western start

Have you hiked in the Sierra Nevada before, if yes, where? Please list a few of your more difficult hikes, so we can then recommend routes based on your experience level. 4 days in Ansel Adams last year, mostly off trail but always a day or two from the trailhead.

Will you be hiking with a dog? Trail doggie now in doggie heaven








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cgundersen
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Re: Rae Lakes Fail, Looking for alternatives

Post by cgundersen » Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:57 pm

Hi Mursey,
I'm contemplating a version of the following loop which you might consider too: Wolverton (in SEKI) entry to Hamilton Lake to Big Arroyo then north over Lion Rock Pass from which it is a scramble down to Tamarack Lake and then up over Elizabeth Pass and a hard left to get to Lonely Lake via Horn Col. From there you can either head back to the Elizabeth Pass trail or continue across Pterodactyl Pass to Moose Lake and complete the circuit either via the Pear-Heather-Aster group, or go out the way you came in. You can make this loop harder (add in Copper Mine Pass) or easier as you see fit, and how conditions evolve. Cameron

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Re: Rae Lakes Fail, Looking for alternatives

Post by SSSdave » Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:55 pm

Fishing...this zone has several lakes and very High Sierra scenic. Make your own lake choices. Way less time hiking on trails, thus a lot more fishing and base exploring hours. Easy walk up permits. For instance:

From Edison reservoir trailhead
http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.38138,-119.00957&z=15&t=T

1 trail to Graveyard Lake #2 via Graveyard Meadows
http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.44873,-118.97438&z=15&t=T

2 trail over Goodale Pass then down to Wilber May Lake
http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.47254,-118.92863&z=15&t=T

3 Chief Lake

4 Silver Pass Lake

5 PCT to Lake Edison reservoir 4:45pm ferry

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tahoefoothills
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Re: Rae Lakes Fail, Looking for alternatives

Post by tahoefoothills » Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:54 pm

I can't speak to the condition of any bridges, but I came over Glenn Pass yesterday (July 29) and exited over Kearsarge Pass at Onion Valley and there is no significant snow on Glenn Pass now. Many backpackers were going over the pass. There is one small snow field near the top as you head down to Rae Lakes that is an easy walk through with or without hiking poles.(

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mursey
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Re: Rae Lakes Fail, Looking for alternatives

Post by mursey » Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:45 pm

SSSdave wrote:Fishing...this zone has several lakes and very High Sierra scenic. Make your own lake choices. Way less time hiking on trails, thus a lot more fishing and base exploring hours. Easy walk up permits. For instance:

From Edison reservoir trailhead
http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.38138,-119.00957&z=15&t=T

1 trail to Graveyard Lake #2 via Graveyard Meadows
http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.44873,-118.97438&z=15&t=T

2 trail over Goodale Pass then down to Wilber May Lake
http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.47254,-118.92863&z=15&t=T

3 Chief Lake

4 Silver Pass Lake

5 PCT to Lake Edison reservoir 4:45pm ferry
This looking very interesting. Would you recommend bear cans for this area or counter-balance? Any peaks you recommend bagging?

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Re: Rae Lakes Fail, Looking for alternatives

Post by RodofJ » Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:55 pm

tahoefoothills wrote:I can't speak to the condition of any bridges, but I came over Glenn Pass yesterday (July 29) and exited over Kearsarge Pass at Onion Valley and there is no significant snow on Glenn Pass now. Many backpackers were going over the pass. There is one small snow field near the top as you head down to Rae Lakes that is an easy walk through with or without hiking poles.(
Agree I just returned from a few days around Charlotte/Rae/Kearsarge Lakes. Lots of short (like 50-100 foot) sections of snow, all with very solid paths worn through - no problem with just boots, probably fine with regular shoes or whatever.

Where the trail cuts "through" Rae Lakes you needed to wade across, maybe knee to waist deep and there was a similar crossing just north of Arrowhead. Both were in very slow moving water; wearing your pack it did not get wet.

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Whit
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Re: Rae Lakes Fail, Looking for alternatives

Post by Whit » Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:42 pm

I was a the Zumwalt mdw ranger station last week and they said tho the bridge is out there is a functional log crossing in the vicinity....

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maverick
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Re: Rae Lakes Fail, Looking for alternatives

Post by maverick » Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:53 pm

I was a the Zumwalt mdw ranger station last week and they said tho the bridge is out there is a functional log crossing in the vicinity...
Hi Whit,

Welcome to HST! Thanks for that info. SEKI still reports:
7/21 - The South Fork of the Kings River in the Upper Paradise Valley is still, currently impassable.
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org

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webdweeb
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Re: Rae Lakes Fail, Looking for alternatives

Post by webdweeb » Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:24 pm

There is a new post on the SEKI trail conditions page about a log crossing, but it is on Bubb's Creek, not the King's River/Paradise Valley:

"7/31 - Bubbs Creek crossing is now passable. Visitors should expect to ford part of the creek. A log about 50 yards downstream (before the "official" crossing) gets you over the worst of it, but some travel through water is still necessary."

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itlan
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Re: Rae Lakes Fail, Looking for alternatives

Post by itlan » Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:35 am

mursey wrote:After three years of trying, I finally lined up a good permit for Rae Lakes this year, 2nd week of August. Last year we had permit issues and nobody wanted to risk attempting a first-come-first-served entry. Two years ago there was the fire.

Well it looks like this year is doomed too, haha. From reading and watching YouTube of PCT hikers, it looks like Glenn Pass is a glissade best done with an ice axe, and a key bridge is out shutting off almost half the loop.
Hiked Rae Lakes Loop last week, clockwise. Crossing at Upper Paradise was over a 3-ft downed tree just south of the washed out bridge. Glen Pass was not as bad as you think. Nobody in my party used ice axes or crampons, though I did put mine on, just because.

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