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Re: Merced Lake--Babcock Lake trip

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Merced Lake--Babcock Lake trip
June 12, 2011 12:46PM
Started last wed. and here's what I found:
Out of Happy Isles to Echo Valley (2 miles short of Merced Lake) on day one, surprised that there was no water from the Merced flooding the trail anywhere. Also no real snow--the whole way a breeze. And no rattlers! Lots of downed trees but I ran into a crew just out of L.Y. valley clearing the way.
Day two, day hiked up past the lake and on up about 1500-1800 feet towards Vogelsang. No real snow past the lake, and very little the whole way up. The trail tops out just short of Babcock lake and enters a forested section which looked to be 95% snow.
Day 3, took the High trail back to the valley floor. Lots of downed trees again but no problems. At the junction with the Clouds Rest trail there was significant snow, but only for about a mile at most going down. There is one tricky jag where I briefly lost the trail, but soon it was easy to follow. Happily, the snow was well consolidated.
I spent two night alone at Echo Valley. The second day I only saw two people leaving the lake--no one else was there--and then no one until I was back in Echo Valley, where a group was headed up to Merced Lake.
Hard to know what the Merced river will do now that it's finally heating up, but I doubt that this stretch will pose insurmountable problems, since so much snow has already melted down low.
avatar Re: Merced Lake--Babcock Lake trip
June 12, 2011 06:10PM
I guess next week turned out to be in 4 weeks.

wink

Did you get a click click of of Babcock? - a frozen ova...



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Merced Lake--Babcock Lake trip
June 13, 2011 09:09AM
Yeah between the weather and work...this year is the latest I've ever been on this particular trip. I've stopped taking a camera with me, so sorry, no pics.
With so many posters asking about conditions I really just wanted to report water and snow levels along the Merced. Also, this is a very pretty, enjoyable hike with surprisingly few people if you hit it early. Or do what Chick-On did and go in on snow shoes!
John Muir wrote an essay on Merced Lake, although he called it Shadow Lake. He liked it so much that he uncharacteristically kept it secret for as long as he could. He was afraid that when people found out about it they would set up a tourist camp and spoil it's charm. One year he arrived and found that sheep herders had been through. He ends the essay with "the money changers have entered the temple." Amen.
avatar Re: Merced Lake--Babcock Lake trip
June 13, 2011 09:20AM
It amazes me the craze for the dome.... when imo the fruit is sweeter up this canyon.
If was forced a "Groundhog Day" life... I would be a.o.k. to have to repeat up to
Merced Lake over and over and over and over.
If the HSC wasn't there... it would be a very quiet place nearly year round.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Merced Lake--Babcock Lake trip
June 13, 2011 07:33PM
Quote
hegel
John Muir wrote an essay on Merced Lake, although he called it Shadow Lake. He liked it so much that he uncharacteristically kept it secret for as long as he could. He was afraid that when people found out about it they would set up a tourist camp and spoil it's charm.


Well, Muir was right, wasn't he? The Park Service did set up a tourist camp over there, the Merced Lake HSC.
Re: Merced Lake--Babcock Lake trip
June 14, 2011 09:06AM
My point exactly. I mean, Muir's point exactly. He got the geology right too.
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