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Re: Our Attempt to Reach the Tarn above Upper Conness Lake

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avatar Our Attempt to Reach the Tarn above Upper Conness Lake
August 27, 2012 11:00AM
I chose the title because we failed to make it. Maybe next time. Below is an image showing how we tried to get up there.



We came from the right where we had followed the creek from Lower Conness to Upper Conness. More on that later.

We ended up taking the blue line from "1" to "2." After we reached "2" it was obvious the the red line would have been much easier. At the base of the striped granite is a bench about 10' wide with grass and small rocks, an easy hike. At "2" we found a use trail and followed that up to "3." It was fairly steep with small rocks and sand. At "3" the use trail made a right turn straight up a very steep slope to "4." We judged that to be too steep for us especially since it was mostly sand. From measurements I took in Google Earth that small section was 32 degrees. The previous section was 22 degrees. It looks like a better route may be the green line where Google Earth shows the route to be about 21 degrees following the border between the rocks and the granite. It's not as steep as it looks in the picture.

I did take a few images from our highest point. Here is one.

http://panoramas.aa6g.org/ConnessLakes/UpperConnessfromAbove.html

Maybe we'll give this a try again next year. I have to chalk this up as a "scouting" trip.

One interesting thing we saw is that the majority of the water coming down the falls is coming from the left from Conness Glacier and only a little water is coming from the tarn above.

I mentioned we came up the creek from the lower to the upper lake. That wasn't too hard. We started on the south side of Lower Conness Lake and crossed the broad creek coming from Middle Conness Lake. We stayed to the left of the creek coming down from Upper Conness below the ridge that separates the two lakes. A good portion of that creek flows under the rocks. You can hear it but can't see it. We had planned to cross the creek and stay on the north side and hike on the north side of Upper Conness. That didn't work out. The outlet of Upper Conness is basically a "V" only passable on the south side. We hiked up the rocks in the creek to the exact outlet. Fortunately it was easy to cross the outlet and not get wet. The rocks leading up to the outlet were stained brown so it looks like water flows over the rocks during peak melt although most were dry when we were there.
Re: Our Attempt to Reach the Tarn above Upper Conness Lake
August 28, 2012 08:50AM
Too bad...you were very close.

I had used your photo from your previous thread to map my route, but had no way to post it from my files. (I should've posted it at Backpacker and directed you to view it there...you can attach photos directly from your computer files there.)

I climbed BEFORE (east of) reaching the grey and black striped granite (although I saw one party go up near where you attempted.)

Keep in mind that it will be more difficult to cross over the outlet of the upper lake with more water. I couldn't do it earlier this dry season. It is indeed possible to cross the rocks and travel on the N side of the upper lake...you climb up from where you cross the rocks over the outlet creek (instead of trying to head straight for the outlet) and will be just a bit above the shoreline when you get to the lake. You can drop back to the shoreline or start heading up from there.
avatar Re: Our Attempt to Reach the Tarn above Upper Conness Lake
August 29, 2012 08:06AM
If you'd like, PM me and I'll give you my e-mail to send your route image and I'll post the image here.

I suspected there would be too much water at the outlet of the upper lake to cross earlier. There are advantages to a low water year.
avatar Re: Our Attempt to Reach the Tarn above Upper Conness Lake
August 31, 2012 11:04AM
Hikerchick395 sent me my image that she marked up with routes to the tarn above Upper Conness Lake.



I quote her comments to me below:

Quote

The pink line is where I traveled...(I notice that it is just a bit on the high side at the end.) The blue line is where I saw two guys go up, at the same time that I was hiking, and they ended up ahead of me. They stayed on the north side of the lower Conness Lake. I went up the way you described (S side of the lower lake, crossing the outlets, but I went down closer to that blue route. The green line is where I saw another couple of guys, but I hadn't seen where they started from.

Note that the lake that I believe you were trying to reach is a small turquoise body of water, then there was a glacial tarn quite a bit farther up that was a opaque light green.

Yes, we were looking to reach the turquoise tarn. Some Google Earth images show the very small tarn even farther up but I've never seen a picture of it. I'm still favoring the green route. Looks like lots of loose gravel on the other two.
avatar Re: Our Attempt to Reach the Tarn above Upper Conness Lake
August 31, 2012 11:21AM
I think that there is a picture of the tarn at the beginning of this Summit Post article. I've seen people struggle staying lower. Looks like going higher is the way to go. Looks like a great spot up there. I'll have to give it a try one of these days.

http://www.summitpost.org/mount-conness/150473
avatar Re: Our Attempt to Reach the Tarn above Upper Conness Lake
August 31, 2012 12:27PM
I've seen several pictures of that one but I think hikerchick is referring to the even smaller one 125' higher and 550' to the southwest. It can be seen in the latest Google Earth image.
avatar Re: Our Attempt to Reach the Tarn above Upper Conness Lake
August 31, 2012 12:40PM
Now I see it. It is hard to find your way around Google Earth with all of the snow in that area.
avatar Re: Our Attempt to Reach the Tarn above Upper Conness Lake
August 31, 2012 03:25PM
You can see it pretty well on National Geographic maps.
http://maps.nationalgeographic.com/maps
avatar Re: Our Attempt to Reach the Tarn above Upper Conness Lake
September 01, 2012 07:14AM
Thanks for pointing me to that. That's the kind of resolution I wanted to see. Too bad the image is so small. I had to piece together about 30 screen shots in Photoshop to get an image large enough to see the whole area. Maybe that image data will show up on Google Earth.
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