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Staying One Step ahead of the smoke at Kearsarge Lakes.

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avatar Staying One Step ahead of the smoke at Kearsarge Lakes.
July 24, 2018 02:22PM
I had not done any backpacking for a couple of years. Had a permit for Ashley Lake on 7/9.
We were watching the Mammoth webcams closely for smoke from the Lions Fire. It was usually clear in the morning with smoke coming in the afternoons.
It looked do able, but we checked to see what other permits were available. We switched the permit to Kearsarge Lakes.
The Georges Fire broke out a few hours later. We hiked to Crystal Lake, before gointg to Kearsarge Pass.


We saw a lot of smoke from the Georges Fire, as we drove up to the Onion Valley trailhead.
Started up to Kearsarge Pass.


I was sitting on a rock above Heart Lake, and thunder shook the rock. Fortunately the thunder storms moved away after that.
It started to rain a bit heavy with wind. The rain stopped about the time was getting ready to put on the pack cover. Just had
wet sleeves on the long sleeve shirt. The rain made for a fun dramatic approach to the pass.
Things were clearing up at the pass.


Headed down to Kearsarge Lakes to camp for the night.



I had just planned to explore around Kearsarge Lakes and Bullfrog Lake.
My companion slept very little, and wanted to shorten the trip to an overnight.
We enjoyed Kearsarge Lakes, before heading back out.


Smoke started to come in as we got near the pass, and the shortened trip was starting to look like a pretty good idea.
Was a great over night trip that avoided most of the smoke, and had very few mosquitoes.

Checked out the Harvey Monroe Hall Research Natural Area the next day.


Went through some heavy rain on the drive home. The rain seemed to help knock down the Georges fire a bit.
Re: Staying One Step ahead of the smoke at Kearsarge Lakes.
July 24, 2018 05:53PM
It seems like fires are putting a damper on a lot of trips unfortunately. Thanks for sharing your videos. That's a beautiful area! I have a trip planned next month and have about 3 options based on how the fires are affecting things. I hope this isn't the new normal...
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