I drove past the southern Sierra last week on my return from Death Valley – I came across on 190 and then went north on 395. I was quite shocked to see how little show there is at the southern end of the range. The entire Sierra recieved less-than-normal precipitation this winter, but at the southern end it looks more like early summer than the last throes of winter.
I think it is could to be a very dry summer in some parts of the range.
***Regarding the original plan, Ryan writes:
No Whitney. The powers that be do not believe it is our time. The EXIT permit for Whitney was already filled. So, instead, we’re going to walk by and say, “we’ll try again next year, Whitney. I’m just very confused right now and i don’t know what i want in life.: No, but really, we’re going to walk past it and exit to the north of Whitney at Shepherd pass. To make this more clear, here’s the subject-to-change itinerary:
***Cottonwood Lakes to Shepherd Pass
- sat 4: drive to to shepherd pass exit point (symmes creek), leave enough cars for shuttle, drive to horseshoe meadows, trailhead BBQ.
- sun 5: hike to and camp at cottonwood lake no. 4
- mon 6: old army pass, miter basin
- tue 7: crabtree pass (class 2), crabtree lakes (probably upper)
- wed 8: wallace creek
- thu 9: wales/wallace lake
- fri 10: tyndall creek or wright’s lakes
- sat 11: shepherd pass, anvil camp
- sun 12: hike out to symmes creek, retrieve cars at horseshoe meadow, drive home OR motel in Mammoth
- mon 13: drive home
Our permit is from the August 5th to 12th, which kind of gives us an extra day; hence the “OR” options. Most of us will probably hike out saturday to make it to work on monday – but we have that option to stay/goof off in the mountains. Again, this itinerary is merely our outline. We can decide to keep going or stop at lake beautiful as we come across them. Fate is in our hands.
The permit is for 15 people. $75. I’ll get your money later. So far my roster looks like this:
owen, caroline ,dan, ryan, jen, sarah, english, greg, shay, collin
I think jillvin and krevan won’t be able to make it – but you guys should at least know what you’re missing. not in a mean way. And if anyone wants to tell people where we’re going, tell them we’re literally walking around Mt. Whitney… In through Cottonwood Lakes and out through Shepherd Pass.
Owen Lee at Saddlebag Lake. Sierra Nevada. October 7, 2006. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell.
Owen on the trail around Saddlebag Lake near the start of our October 2006 end-of-season pack trip into Twenty Lakes Basin.
Yes, it was cold. Yes, it snowed a bit.
Talusdancers Ridgetop Luncheon. September 16, 2006. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell.
Talusdancers enjoying al fresco lunch atop ridge between Old Donner Pass and Tinker Knob. (Dan has posted a brief trip report at his dan’s outside web site. Dana has posted a photo album.)
Wildflowers, Lake Six, Big Pine Creek. Sierra Nevada. August 11, 2006. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell.
A few more photographs have been posted in the Big Pine Lakes 2006 Trip Report.