Who: Chris, Andrew, and Myself.
When: June 2-3.
The trip began for me with a sneaky early escape from work(hard to do with a pack on) and dash to BART where I met up with Chris. A short ride later to scenic Dublin, CA where Andrew picked us up and we were off. With nothing to slow us down except the obligatory In-n-Out stop in Manteca, a quick grocery run, and grabbing the permit in pinecrest we were soon at Crabtree trailhead with a decent fire going and a few drinks. Decent way to start a weekend if you ask me.
Our route was never really decided except for the vague notion of a cross country route starting from Bear Lake and sort of playing it by ear from there. Here is a post-trip map courtesy of Chris which shows the route we ended up taking. Total of approx. 26 miles with something like 7 or 8 of them off-trail.
We flew up to bear lake in just about an hour. From there we left trail for the first time to follow Lily Creek up. Chris at left and Andrew right... first snack break and bit of route planning.
Bits of snow still hanging on
Looking Back at Bear Lake
Twin Packs... Note the mosquito headnet in mine, which was NOT NEEDED!!
Granite Lake! The first waypoint in our cross country section
Y Meadow Lake, rejoined trail here
Soggy Whitesides Meadow... Pretty spot, but kind of a bummer to walk through muck.
We discovered an amazingly large debris field of feathers.
Twas once a hawk... Talons were sharp!
Spring Meadow, we left the trail again and headed over the ridge you see here to reach Wire Lakes (photo courtesy of Chris)
Partway up, looking back west into Spring Meadow
Made it up to our home for the night... The southernmost of the three Wire Lakes.
This is looking north at the ridge we came over into the basin. We crossed just behind the dome you see here.
Had some time to explore around...
Just about full moon rising over wire like. For all the photo-geeks, here is where the camera phone simply can't cut it. Doesn't bother me much though...
Campsite in the morning of Day 2. Clear night, minimal bugs, all three of us were pretty happy. From left to right, my bivy, Chris's net-inner, and Andrew's Bivy. I at least slept in embarassingly late. Oddly, mosquitoes were worse in the morning while packing up and eating breakfast than they were at dusk. (photo courtesy of Chris)
Day 2, some creative wayfinding to get down towards Jewelry Lake
Waterfall on Buck Creek
Crazy Toppled Slab
Almost back, hiking out through the burn in Pine Valley
Absolutely awesome trip. It's amazing what Emigrant has to offer for short trips. Likewise, working as a team on planning and wayfinding through off-trail sections is such a rewarding experience. Trail walking is great and for the same amount of effort we likely could have done an additional 5 or 10 miles without much trouble. Off-trail though makes you slow down, plan for and react to the landscape. It encourages and rewards some creativity in your route. I come out with a bit more sense of accomplishment from a trip like this. A side benefit of course is that between Bear Lake and Pine Valley we didn't see a single person.
Thanks are due to Andrew for doing the driving. Secondly, thanks are in order for Ken and Ken for rocking it every year with the GGG. Chris, Andrew and I met there and I'm grateful to have such cool people to share trips like this with.