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Dorothy Pass Trip Report 5-20-13

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avatar Dorothy Pass Trip Report 5-20-13
May 21, 2013 11:23AM
Bad news, I forgot my camera..

Thursday afternoon I got my relief to get me out of work early. We went over Sonora Pass through the snow flurries and stayed at the Leavitt Meadows Campground Thursday night. Friday morning we took off. We did a little more than 8 miles and stayed at Fremont Lake Friday night. Fremont was nice view-wise, but the wind howled all night. And although its out of the way for most backpackers, its rather popular with horse packers, so if signs of horses offend your sensibilities, I'd advise you not to call that home for the evening.

Saturday morning we took off and went by Chain Lakes and Upper and Lower Long lakes. I didn't see any great spots by those lakes to camp. The only spot I liked had a big "no camping" sign on it. After those lakes we tied into the PCT and moved on up towards Cascade Creek, and thats where we hit the snow. At first it wasn't too bad, but it just kept getting deeper and deeper. I was pretty ecstatic I had opted to bring along my hiking poles with snow cups on them. That was a night and day difference. We had a late lunch by Cascade Creek and decided to keep going. Lake Harriet was partially frozen over, but beautiful. Stella and Bonnie Lake were completely frozen over. We finally made it to the top of Dorothy Pass and around 5pm and it was all snow and ice as far as we could see. We backtracked to below Harriet to the first open and flat ground we could find to call it a night.

Sunday morning we talked it over and decided to give going over the pass a shot instead of backtracking to Hwy 108. The snow level was solid until the end of Grace Meadows below Dorothy Lake. At the end of Grace Meadow it started to break up and was probably only 75% coverage until Wilma Lake. Up until then we didn't even bother trying to find the trail under the snow, it was just taking the path of least resistance down the canyon. We were pretty happy when we saw other tracks of people at Wilma, that meant we weren't gonna get cut off by snow or water and would be able to make it down the canyon and not have to backtrack over the pass. We had originally intended to overnight at Mahan Lake, but below Wilma we came across an old CCC camp and decided to call that home. Fighting the snow definitely takes it out of you. That seemed like a bit of work.

Monday morning we took off down the trail. When we reached Falls Creek that feeds into Vernon we dropped off through the lovely manzanita and followed the creek down to Vernon and had breakfast there. Vernon was beautiful as always and the temperature was perfect. Of course the mosquitoes were out in full force at that lower elevation. After breakfast we headed out and exited at Hetch Hetchy.

Now, I did forget my camera, but i had my iphone, so my apology for the crappy quality pictures:

This is Fremont Lake:


While I liked Fremont, the delivery guy was really slow getting me the Chinese Food:


This is what it looked like when we started getting into snow:


And the beautiful Harriet Lake:



Going Up Dorothy Pass:


And Dorothy Lake:



At Lake Level:


It appears there was an avalanche:


Finally I know where I am!


I love early season backpacking:


Falls Creek earns its name:


Reminds me of Cherry Canyon:


Falls Creek into Vernon:

avatar Re: Dorothy Pass Trip Report 5-20-13
May 21, 2013 11:34AM
Just so you know...

Bowing to his greatness

I dunno you like these photosynth things... but for giggles I did one a week or so ago
when was looking thru Jack Main May trip from a couple years ago...

http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=b6265813-7ab2-44d7-8f45-7dad114ee8da

(wading thru the lake there... that's very close to here)
The Isthmus is to the left there down below.

Thx man... and Have More Fun out there



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Dorothy Pass Trip Report 5-20-13
May 21, 2013 11:46AM
Thanks for the photosynth, that was great. This was my first trip through Jack Main, but it definitely won't be the last. I loved that canyon, it was spectacular. Can't wait to get back out there again.
avatar Re: Dorothy Pass Trip Report 5-20-13
May 21, 2013 04:28PM
Nice, thanks.

I've been to Fremont Lake once, the area on the south side (where your picture was taken) seemed to be horse-central, I found another site away from them.
avatar Re: Dorothy Pass Trip Report 5-20-13
May 21, 2013 04:39PM
Loved the photos! Thanks for posting them.
avatar Re: Dorothy Pass Trip Report 5-20-13
May 21, 2013 09:48PM
Where was that knee-deep crossing?

And how does Falls Creek look for crossing? I'm heading up that way from Hetch Hetchy on Friday, and was hoping to cross at Wilma Lake/PCT or the junction before that.

So...it's easy to cross-country from Vernon Lake up to Jack Main? That would be nicer than climbing Moraine Ridge (again).
avatar Re: Dorothy Pass Trip Report 5-20-13
May 22, 2013 07:00AM
He's crossing the lake... 7643... in the canyon... there's lots of delicious goodness
in the canyon early... (unless you do it in the snow) ... with the lake like that
(the trail really is under water) ... you don't HAVE to do what they did... you can
go around...
Anyway, he can say more... but you may want to look at this thread with lots of
info on Jack Main Canyon in early season:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,30944,30947#msg-30947

If you search on this site for "jack main" you can find more... for fun...
here's the trip that synth came from:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,35489,35489#msg-35489

Have fun... I'll let him answer the rest
(my answer are : cold and mostly)



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Dorothy Pass Trip Report 5-20-13
May 22, 2013 03:24PM
At most points I wouldn't want to cross falls creek unless I absolutely had to. It's cold, relatively deep and running pretty fast. Te best you could hope for is a waist deep crossing. As for the cross country past Vernon, it's like 85% smooth open granite. However, the last bit is an annoying scramble up a thick manzanita infested climb by falls creek. There are cairns, but it's mostly just follow the path of least resistance. I still prefer that over climbing morrain ridge though.
avatar Re: Dorothy Pass Trip Report 5-20-13
May 22, 2013 08:24PM
Quote
oakroscoe
At most points I wouldn't want to cross falls creek unless I absolutely had to. It's cold, relatively deep and running pretty fast. Te best you could hope for is a waist deep crossing.

uuuuoooggwwaaaggghhh....
Thanks. We'll take a bridge. Rather face the Tiltill slough slog. (We're heading towards Kerrick.)
avatar Re: Dorothy Pass Trip Report 5-20-13
May 22, 2013 08:52PM
And ur not concerned bout Rancheria Creek crossing?



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Dorothy Pass Trip Report 5-20-13
May 22, 2013 09:05PM
I am, but should I be more concerned? You expect another waist-deep crossing?

Could go over Rancheria Mtn., never been there.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/22/2013 09:09PM by Sierra Miguel.
avatar Re: Dorothy Pass Trip Report 5-20-13
May 22, 2013 09:25PM
It's MAY. MAY. Not even Summer yet.
Rancheria Creek in Kerrick Canyon will be roaring torrent. And that's after you have
gotten thru Stubblefield...
My best guess is that you best find a log to cross... or be prepared to turn around.

If you want a suggestion... perhaps a big ol loop... go to Tilden... keep on the east...
cross Tilden between Tilden and Mary... or just go all the way around Mary if it's too
much to cross Tilden Creek there still...
go between Keyes and Saurian... and then cross Falls Creek somewhere north of Grace...
or if still snowbound... snow bridge it over...

Hope the snow is nice and consolidated... and it can be great fun.

Here's Tilden with Keyes on the right... this is what I'd be prepared for...
(and lots of walking in water in Jack Main)



Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Dorothy Pass Trip Report 5-20-13
May 22, 2013 09:45PM
Thanks, Chick-on. We'll probably opt for the tamer route over Rancheria Mtn., loop around the reservoir, side trip to Rodgers. I'll keep your suggestion in mind for another day/year.
avatar Re: Dorothy Pass Trip Report 5-20-13
May 23, 2013 06:54AM
Quote
Sierra Miguel
Thanks, Chick-on. We'll probably opt for the tamer route over Rancheria Mtn., loop around the reservoir, side trip to Rodgers. I'll keep your suggestion in mind for another day/year.

Sounds tame to me... wink

Well.. hopefully the big trees that fell across the Piute are still there. Otherwise I'm pretty sure you are
going to be swimming across that baby now.

http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?1,11538,22482#msg-22482

I'd almost consider bringing the mircospikes just to cross the logs in case there is some water
lapping on them.

Of course once you cross you need to visit my beloved Loch Tablae.

I like ur thinking though. Have fun and hope you get to Rodgers.



Chick-on is looking at you!
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