Thursday, September 29, 2016

Mt Langley / Miter Basin / Cottonwood Lakes 4 Day Backpack Trip

4 Day Backpack Trip with Tom, about 34 miles total. We started in Horseshoe Meadows, spent the 1'st night at Cottonwood Lakes 4/5. Next day headed up Old Army Pass to summit Mt Langley and then down to Upper Soldier Lake for night 2. On the 3rd day we explored Miter Basin, Sky Blue Lake and then headed down Rock Creek to spend night 3 at Lower Soldier Lake. Day 4 we hiked out via the PCT and Chicken Spring Lake.

All photos were taken with my old Canon S95 point'n shoot camera in jpg format. Panorama's created with Autopano Giga software.

GPS Track Log

Cottonwood Lakes area

Cottonwood Lake #3

Cottonwood Lakes 4 & 5. This is looking down from Old Army Pass

Saw quite a few Bighorn Sheep around the 12,000' range as we summited Mt Langley

Bighorn Sheep heading down towards Upper Soldier Lake

One of the new large cairn's built to summit Mt Langley

Looking straight down from the top of Mt Langley, what is that, about 1,000' straight down? Not for those afraid of heights!

Looking at Mt Whitney from the top of Mt Langley

Tom coming down the ravine to Upper Soldier Lake

Upper Soldier Lake

Is this a baby marmot?? Totally wrong time of year if so, maybe one of you reading this knows? Please let me know if you can identify this little baby creature

Lodgepole Chipmunk

The Mighty Miter Basin area

Looking down at Lower Soldier Lake

Very pretty unnamed lake in Miter Basin

Tom in Miter Basin (The Miter in the left background)

Sky Blue Lake

Sky Blue Lake panorama

Miter Basin

Marmot Scat

Still some pretty flowers in Miter Basin

This is heading down Rock Creek

Beautiful Rock Creek

Sierra Tree Frog

Rock Creek area looking back at the Miter Basin area

Looking out over Big Whitney Meadow and Kern Peak in the far distance

Monday, July 4, 2016

Bighorn Sheep Census Count 2016 ABDSP

Annual ABDSP Bighorn Sheep Census Count happened this July 1'st - 3rd. I counted at Rattlesnake Spring again with a total of 40 unique sheep, thatis about 50% of our normal count numbers. Temperatures were much lower this year so the sheep seemed to just not be very thirsty. I opted out of bringing my digital camera and 600mm lens this year and instead took a trail camera. Here is my lame attempt at making a video from the hundreds of movie clips and photos it captured over the course of 3 days in triple digit temps....enjoy!

BTW, Total Mylar balloons this trip - 1 right at our count site!


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Rocky Basin Lakes & Big Whitney Meadow 7 Day Backpack

Gary and I had another great 7 day backpack trip in the Golden Trout Wilderness. This year we looped thru Rocky Basin Lakes again but also made it to Johnson Peak, Big Whitney Meadow, Volcano Meadow & Cold Meadow. We did see one bear in Volcano Meadow, it was early morning and hew was scratching his back on a pine tree..he took off running after he got wind of us though. This was also the first time we took bear canisters, normally we double hang our food but last year we felt hindered by camp site locations since we were always looking for that perfect tree. Can't say I liked the size or weight of the canisters but we were able to camp anywhere we wanted this time. We had good timing this year, there was plenty of water, green meadows and the cowboys were bringing in the cows on the last day we were leaving. I had 6 rolls of 120 Fuji Velvia 50 film in the refrigerator that was getting kinda old so took that and shoot all of them (Film scanned on an Epson v750). We stopped off at a few rock arts sites on the way to the trailhead, some petroglyphs and pictograph sites. Taker a look at the map, it was a great route and I would recommend it to anybody thinking about where to go.

Guzzler out near Squaw Spring

Petroglyphs at Squaw Spring

We camped out near the Golden Valley Wilderness area to check out more petroglyphs in the morning before heading off to Blackrock Trailhead

Steam Well Petroglyphs

Here are a few pictographs we found after looking at some old BLM maps

Here is the same shot with Gary for size comparison, I took this with my phone and the amazing DStretch app

Johnson Creek / Meadow at the bottom of Johnson Peak

Johnson Lake

Gary on top of Johnson Peak

Peak register box..only a few entries per year, mostly June-August. Can't believe Bob Burd's entry was only as recent as 2015..

Cold Meadows which is just below Kern Peak and not often visited is my guess, beautiful meadow

Redrock Meadows & Indian Head, I way over exposed this by accident and lost all the beautiful color on Indian Head. It was deep lava red with lots of yellow & orange lichen

This is somewhere near Long Canyon & Redrock Meadows junction

Big Whitney Meadow and part of Cirque Peak in the background, water was cold and some snow was still up on the peaks and ridges

We had Big Whitney meadow to ourselves, in fact we only saw a few people the whole trip

Casa Vieja was green and there were several folks out there fishing

Somewhere along the Golden Trout Creek headoing towards Big Whitney Meadow

Moonrise over Templeton Mountain, we had a full moon almost every night and I don't think we really used our headlamps at all

Wildlife along the way

Found a nice biface at one of our campsites

Total Mylar Balloons this trip - 2