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April 6-7 Kibbie Lake Yosemite NP
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David W.
(Davidpcvsamoa) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
April 6-7 Kibbie Lake Yosemite NP on 04/10/2013 21:04:20 MDT Print View

Location: Stanislaus National Forest - Yosemite NP and Emigrant Wilderness
Trailhead: Cherry Lake
Destination: Kibbie Lake
Weather:High-50s, Low-30s, Brief showers early Saturday morning
Distance: 22 miles round trip


James, Chris and I met at a Henry Coe GGG a few years back and have done a few trips together since then. This past weekend we got together for an early season trip to stretch our legs. Our plan was to take off from Cherry Lake and head towards Many Island Lake cross-country via Kibbie Lake. This time of year, the road over the dam is closed and so we had to add about four miles to our trip by starting at Cherry Lake rather than the Shingle Springs Trailhead. We hit the trail around 11:00 and it felt like slow progress climbing higher and higher until finally we were out of sight of Cherry Lake. We stopped for lunch a little after 1:00 after passing the Styx Pass trail junction on the way towards Kibbbe Lake. I think we all felt a little sluggish from getting up early and the work week that preceded our outing.


By the time we arrived at Kibbie Lake, it started to get late in the day and our pace had significantly slowed. We were having to hop from log to log to avoid trudging through the snow melt created swamp. The dark clouds in the sky were building and thoughts of going another four miles cross country in possible bad weather led us to decide to call it a day at Kibbie Lake. We found a great sandy campsite above the lake and set up our shelters (A Duomid, Grace Solo Tarp and Go Lite Sl2).




The chicken apple sausages that Chris brought made it an easy decision to call it a day. Chris worked magic with his flint and steel to start a fire. He then roasted the sausages to perfection and was kind enough to share.



It was close to 30 degrees when we turned in for the night. Chris mentioned that it actually warmed to close to 40 degrees as the night progressed and a mild stormed moved in. We had some brief rain before dawn.

For the return trip, we decided to hike north and meet up with the trail below Styx Pass. We soon encountered a fair amount of snow which pleased us all. It would have been a disappointment to carry our snowshoes and not get to put them on for a few miles. I enjoyed snowshoeing in the warm spring weather and being able to enjoy views of impressive Cherry Creek Canyon. I am looking forward to a future trip to explore the Canyon. Ben Schifrin calls it the highlight of the Emigrant Wilderness in his book on the wilderness area.

Eventually we met up with the trail and quickly descended towards Cherry Lake and our waiting car. We enjoyed some burgers and sweet potato fries Priest Grade Cafe to top off an enjoyable trip. The trip with James and Chris was a great way to spend a spring weekend. I am looking forward to the next one.

Edited by Davidpcvsamoa on 04/10/2013 21:09:11 MDT.

James Winstead

Locale: CA
Re: April 6-7 Kibbie Lake Yosemite NP on 04/10/2013 23:42:55 MDT Print View

I had a great time as well! Funny thing about the Sierra, weather forecasts all week were for rain/snow over the weekend. I think we were all a little looking forward to, you know, actually getting rain gear wet for once. No such luck... perfect weather again (not that I'm complaining), even cleared up late for a good showing of stars. Anyways, here's some of my photos

Heading up past shingle spring... "charging" wouldn't exactly be the right word. We were all dragging a little.


Kibbie Lake half frozen

After some short deliberation, and a few swampy snowy fallen tree mazes, we decided to take it easy and just camp at Kibbie Lake.

A good idea since Chris brought some fine dining

After one of my finest backcountry sleeps, enjoying a soft morning view on Kibbie Lake
Kibbie at Dawn

And, to much joy, the route back out along Kibbie Ridge required us to break out the snowshoes we'd carried all the previous day. (thanks david for lending the pair)
David in Snow

A view down on Cherry Creek Canyon

Good fun, good friends... can't wait for more

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: Tahoe
Re: April 6-7 Kibbie Lake Yosemite NP on 04/11/2013 20:57:55 MDT Print View

Thanks for putting the report together, David. Another fine weekend! Here's a few of my pics....

It was snow free for a good portion of the day, but as we got up closer to Kibbie Lake we ran into a little bit of snow. Not quite enough to warrant the snowshoes though.


Then as we tried to make our way around the lake we ran into the swampy snowy fallen tree mazes that James mentioned.



Shortly after that we decided to find a place to set up camp.


Then prepared some dinner by the fire.


The route we took on the way back to the car the next day turned out to be a little bit more challenging, with muddy trails and intermittent snow.


Fortunately there was a fairly long section where we were able to finally use our snowshoes consistently. I ended up bringing my girlfriend's smaller and lighter pair (Women's 25" MSR Lightning Axis) for this trip since I expected to be carrying them most of the time. Being well over the recommended weight limit for her snowshoes, I wasn't sure how they'd perform, but they turned out to be more than adequate in the spring sierra snow.


Almost time to remove the snowshoes, but not quite yet.


And then snow free again for the rest of the way.


Looking forward to the next one!

Edited by csteutterman on 04/11/2013 22:11:29 MDT.

James Winstead

Locale: CA
Re: April 6-7 Kibbie Lake Yosemite NP on 04/11/2013 23:45:04 MDT Print View

Nice Chris, that photo by the fire is awesome!

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Kibbie Lake on 04/12/2013 05:00:49 MDT Print View

Nice job guys! Sad I missed it.

Sean Monahan
(Zvolen) - F

Locale: CA Central Valley
Re: April 6-7 Kibbie Lake Yosemite NP on 04/15/2013 13:26:51 MDT Print View

Great report, looks like a great trip. By the way what kind of camera were you using, the photos look fantastic.

David W.
(Davidpcvsamoa) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
Re: April 6-7 Kibbie Lake Yosemite NP on 04/17/2013 19:37:37 MDT Print View

Great pictures James and Chris.

Sean- Chris had a Sony Nex 5n, James his Iphone and I had a Nex 6.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: April 6-7 Kibbie Lake Yosemite NP on 04/19/2013 09:12:02 MDT Print View

Great photos and trip report guys. Sorry I missed it; I've hiked during the melt phase enough that I knew I'd have soggy feet and was just feeling a little prissy I guess :)

The views of the lake are beautiful, now I wish I had gone!


peter vacco

Locale: no. california
cherry/kibby lake question .. on 04/20/2013 11:19:16 MDT Print View

can anybody share with me the nature of what the north end of cherry lake is like?
is it camp'able friendly? fishable? and what is the softest and easiest way to get there (guiding a cancer survivor)?

thank you in advance.


Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: North end of Cherry on 04/20/2013 11:56:08 MDT Print View


It's a pretty hefty bushwhack to get there. There was a fire some years ago and the underbrush is very thick. There was lots of crawling through bushes and balancing on fallen logs involved - not recommended. I'd recommend instead the east end of Lake Eleanor by Frog Creek as an alternative.


John Taylorson
(heyjt) - M

Locale: SoCal
Re: April 6-7 Kibbie Lake Yosemite NP on 04/20/2013 23:13:14 MDT Print View

Great report and photos!