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The Moon is at the Last Quarter

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Advice Please! Nelson Lake Trailhead to Happy Isles this weekend.

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Advice Please! Nelson Lake Trailhead to Happy Isles this weekend.
June 15, 2010 08:33AM
Hey All,

First time poster here. A group of 5 of us (late 20's - early 30's men in good physical condition) have permits to enter at the Nelson Lake trailhead on the 18th. Our plan is to follow the trail down to Elizabeth Lake and then go cross country to Matthes Lake on Day 1. Day 2 we plan to hike cross country back to the JMT and then head to Sunrise Lakes. Day 3 we want to climb Clouds Rest. Day 4 climb Half Dome and exit at Happy Isles.

Obviously there is still a lot of snow/water out there. Does anyone have any insight into the conditions along our proposed route? What should we plan for? What equipment should we bring? Snowshoes, crampons, etc? What sort of temperatures should we expect?

Thanks very much for your help. Your advice and expertise is greatly appreciated!

Nate
avatar Re: Advice Please! Nelson Lake Trailhead to Happy Isles this weekend.
June 15, 2010 10:53AM
I love the "down" to Elizabeth Lake. south=down. I need to use that one.

Have you been on this route before?

I'd expect nearly 100% snow coverage. You don't NEED snowshoes... but
you may want them. The crampons (on the snowshoes) come in handy in the
early day when the snow is still icy. If you have some really light ones... then
maybe you want to take them. Your call.

The diciest part is the up from Echo Creek over the saddle into Matthes Lake.
I'd expect that whole area to be mostly free of snow though... the granite heats up...
it's open... it melts quicker... (ok, so not 100% snow coverage... but it will feel like it).

I'd bring a poofy jacket and 15 degree bag. And get out of the wind.

And take a picture of Matthes Lake with the Crest in the background.
I wanna see it with frozen over Matthes Lake.

Good Luck.
avatar Re: Advice Please! Nelson Lake Trailhead to Happy Isles this weekend.
June 16, 2010 07:22AM
Quote
bill-e-g
Have you been on this route before?

I guess this was taken as a rhetorical question?

There was a reason I asked it... o well.. guess I'm talking to myself again.

Hopefully the sun cups don't start getting too big...
sun cups and snow shoes = pain in the butt
ok, sun cups period = pain in the butt
Re: Advice Please! Nelson Lake Trailhead to Happy Isles this weekend.
June 16, 2010 08:01AM
Thanks for the advice! Very helpful.

Nope we haven't done this route before although it was recommended to us by a few people who have (although not in this early in the season).
Re: Advice Please! Nelson Lake Trailhead to Happy Isles this weekend.
June 16, 2010 08:03AM
Oh, and I think we've decided to carry the snowshoes.

Will take that pic for you and post when we get back!
avatar Re: Advice Please! Nelson Lake Trailhead to Happy Isles this weekend.
June 16, 2010 09:24AM
Cool.

First time OD Mikey and I went thataway I completely screwed up and we didn't take
the obvious saddle E of Matthes. Eventually cliffed out and had to come back to the saddle.
Another good one is taking the saddle b/t Matthes and Echo Lakes... then go up to Cath pass.
If it's going too slow you could do that.
But... my fav... is Matthes Lake... then up to the North of the Crest. Sweet.
Got that one on the books with the wife this October.

Anyway, so may great things in that area.

Have fun
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