Rock Creek's Message Board

Rock Creek Message Board => Strictly Media => Topic started by: wshawkins on September 23, 2017, 01:12:21 PM

Title: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on September 23, 2017, 01:12:21 PM
2017 Eastern Sierra Photos


If you like lots of snow and water, 2017 was the year for you!  I can’t remember seeing so much snow and rushing water so late in the season (as of mid-September).  The negatives are I had to wait late in the season to get to my favorite high country lakes and the damage the winter snow and melting waters did to the roads, bridges, buildings and trails along the way.  I’ll share what I have seen so far as I was up there early, mid and planning to be there late season (late October). 

If you have any photos you like to share, please do as I’m using imgur photo sharing site for this report.  Imgur is a free photo sharing site!



Can anybody guess where this is?  This photo was taken during the 4th of July holiday weekend.
(https://i.imgur.com/UMj7Lmkh.jpg)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: P A C on September 25, 2017, 09:51:57 AM
OK, since it has been a couple of days now and this post has now received over 350 views, but no takers (yet) of your challenge, I will formally stick my neck out with following semi-educated WAGs:

Here is my logic - Based on the date of 1st week of July 2017, the amount and apparent depth of the snow, no visible water, yet no appearance or indications that the wide expanses of white snow are FLAT terrain like would indicate a frozen lake - all look like they have a slight downslope angle to the expanses - based on your personal history of early morning starts to your adventures and generally from a trailhead on the Eastern Side, and that this picture appears to be looking to the West based on no Sun in the distance and the lighting appearing to be before well before noon as well as the vast snow covered range in the distant background of the photo:

WAG #1 - Horseshoe Meadows area/approach trail to Cottonwood Lakes ?  (I have never been to either - yet)

WAG #2 - My first inclination (which is based on other beta gleaned from a couple of your posts earlier this summer) is that this is the Dana Meadows area and photo is taken from a unique position somewhere up above and south of Tioga Pass/ Tioga Lake looking West/Northwest ?  (This area I have visited many times previously over the years)

The confirmed answer from you will be interesting and enlightening. As Always! 

Thanks again for all of your great posts and sharing your images with us!

P A C   :clap: :bowdown: :woot2: :thankyou: :photographer: :twothumbs:
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on September 25, 2017, 01:42:27 PM
PAC.  WAG #2 is correct!  Yosemite or Tioga Pass would have been OK answers too.  I think the snow threw everybody off.  Have not seen that much snow in Yosemite for a decade or longer. 

We try to get up there for the opening every year for Tioga Pass into Yosemite.  I believe it opened on June 30th and we were there early July 1st.  Spectacular views with lots of snow and water this year.  I’ll go over the highlights what I’ve seen for those who could not make it this year.




Mostly frozen Dana Fork of the Tuolumne River, Yosemite.
(https://i.imgur.com/Dyp5QWrl.jpg)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: P A C on September 25, 2017, 04:33:20 PM
I am truly honored to have guessed that and should have gone with my 'gut' and initial inclination.

The reason I felt so strongly about it being Dana Meadows is I have a memory of a similar view from the Summer of 1983 and also 1995, the last two extremely heavy and late winters most similarto this past winter.

As an FYI and to WSH, you may know this as well, when you enter the park via Tioga Pass and are driving westbound towards Tuolumne Meadows, or are approaching the park exit east bound from Tuolumne Meadows, on the 120 roadway, in Dana Meadows, there is a section of roadway with A LOT of 'old' looking avalanche debris fields spanning from 100 to 200 yards north of the 120 and fanning out into Dana Meadows south of the 120. 

The majority of that Avalanche Debris was from the 1983 winter (actually the spring/summer melt), and I remember the road crew working on that debris along the side of the road as they had cleared it.  There was actually a relatively short stretch of roadway that was down to one lane with alternating one way traffic with a portable timed stoplight for a very short period until they finished the clean up and repairs to the road.  That was 1983.  Don't recall if the stoplight was powered by 12 volt battery or a fuel powered generator - definitely many years before Solar was utilized...

It is both incredibly  interesting and yet somewhat scary to realize we are actually able to experience 'history' like this over the years - I sure don't think or feel that I am any older today than I was 34 (yikes!) summers ago............

WSH - looking forward to your future posts and recaps of your experiences this year, along with your incredible photos as well.

All the BEST, P A C
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: Gary C. on September 26, 2017, 01:49:40 AM
I almost guess Tuolumne Meadows but I thought that there was a little too much snow. I really had no idea though.
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on September 26, 2017, 07:06:18 AM
Tuolumne Meadows was my destination for the day and bought my old trusty sage fly pole for a lazy day of fishing in Tuolumne River.  Tuolumne is about 1400 to 1500 feet lower Tioga Pass, so did not expect any snow and I was right.  What I didn’t expect was all the rushing water as Tuolumne River was turned into a large lake!


Tuolumne River (Lake!)
(http://i.imgur.com/sgCijVUh.jpg) (https://imgur.com/sgCijVU)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on September 27, 2017, 07:26:40 AM
Nice hike to an unnamed lake in Yosemite



(http://i.imgur.com/kd6w1UA.jpg?1) (https://imgur.com/kd6w1UA)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on September 27, 2017, 07:30:19 AM
Unnamed Yosemite lake holds decent sized Eastern Brooks



(http://i.imgur.com/LbMxvNDl.jpg?1) (https://imgur.com/LbMxvND)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on September 28, 2017, 07:38:51 AM
Another great day hike in Yosemite is to Budd Lake.  Trailhead is from Cathedral Lakes which is out of Tuolumne Meadows near the John Muir Trail.  There is no official trail to Budd Lake, which makes this hike nearly people free even during the busy summer months.  Went here in mid-August.




Fish will fight for your offering at Budd Lake
(http://i.imgur.com/fanu31Wl.jpg) (https://imgur.com/fanu31W)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on September 29, 2017, 07:26:30 AM
Now at Yosemite entrance gate


(http://i.imgur.com/rjOVJVul.jpg) (https://imgur.com/rjOVJVu)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on September 29, 2017, 07:27:59 AM
Yosemite East Gate Entrance


(http://i.imgur.com/yO3pz0rl.jpg) (https://imgur.com/yO3pz0r)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on September 30, 2017, 06:49:33 AM
I'll be heading to Tioga Pass next where the snow was deep on July 1st, but first a sneak peek of the coming fall season.  Should be prime season anytime now!



Rock Creek Lake Taken on 9-20-2017
(http://i.imgur.com/BMoeaJ8.jpg) (https://imgur.com/BMoeaJ8)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 02, 2017, 07:01:42 AM
Tioga Pass received lots of snow over the winter.  Tioga Pass Resort just about got buried.


Tioga Pass Resort
(http://i.imgur.com/ZzQRmY7l.jpg) (https://imgur.com/ZzQRmY7)



Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 02, 2017, 07:02:53 AM
Tioga Pass Resort on July 1, 2017


(http://i.imgur.com/6l3dZJil.jpg) (https://imgur.com/6l3dZJi)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 03, 2017, 06:53:06 AM
Quote of the day



"The act and insanity of one madman shall not define us”
   :flag:
 
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 03, 2017, 06:56:11 AM
The lump or hill on the bottom right of this photo is the main building and cafe for Tioga Pass Resort, completely covered by snow!


(http://i.imgur.com/mW2k84V.jpg?1) (https://imgur.com/mW2k84V)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 03, 2017, 06:59:53 AM
After the snow melted, you can see the major structural damage done by the snow, also know by as "Sierra Cement".  Cabins #1 and #2 also had some damage.



(http://i.imgur.com/gjNeLtS.jpg?1) (https://imgur.com/gjNeLtS)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 04, 2017, 06:20:55 AM
Tioga Lake and Mount Dana


(http://i.imgur.com/zeidiTf.jpg?1) (https://imgur.com/zeidiTf)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 04, 2017, 06:23:07 AM
Saddlebag Lake Road getting plowed


(http://i.imgur.com/BCvfY5T.jpg?1) (https://imgur.com/BCvfY5T)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 05, 2017, 06:31:20 AM
When they finished plowing the road, I went to Saddlebag Lake.  Lots of snow in early July.


Frozen Saddlebag Lake and the Resort
(http://i.imgur.com/HFmi9Ct.jpg?1) (https://imgur.com/HFmi9Ct)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 05, 2017, 06:35:55 AM
Looking at Saddlebag Lake Resort main building and Cafe.  You can begin to see some of the structural damage on this structure and why they could not open up this year.


(http://i.imgur.com/LDLerw0.jpg?1) (https://imgur.com/LDLerw0)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 05, 2017, 11:29:12 AM
hears a look at the roof line after the snow melted in September 2017.  You can really tell the damage once you look into the store.  Just like the Tioga Pass Resort, major structural damage.  I hope they can repair this next season but don't expect they will open in 2018.  Hope I'm wrong!


Saddlebag lake resort
(http://i.imgur.com/xnMPzmY.jpg?1) (https://imgur.com/xnMPzmY)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 06, 2017, 06:44:13 AM
Tioga Pass in early July 2017



(http://i.imgur.com/6jgc4fB.jpg?1) (https://imgur.com/6jgc4fB)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 07, 2017, 07:14:43 AM
It’s so quiet here in Rock Creek's Message Board you can hear a pin drop!  Guess this topic is a bust.  It happens so I’ll just end this topic now.  I guess snow is boring!  Here is what you missed: :shoveling:

Some of the highlights were Tioga Pass (which I shared), high snow levels and the damage to the two resorts in the area.  Some of the higher lakes (over 11,000 ft.) were still partial frozen over in September, just incredible!   :yodel:

Mammoth Lakes won the prize for deepest snow; some of the drifts were over 35-40 feet high.  Took a hike over Duck Pass in spring, most of the lakes were frozen but fished for Rainbows in Duck Lake where there was open water.  Visited Mammoth both in winter and spring.

Also visited Rock Creek in last winter and this summer.  Cross-country skiing in winter and great fishing in summer.  Caught my first Cutthroat in the Rock Creek area.  I might just try for the “Sierra Grand Slam” (5 different species of trout), now that I know that’s its possible here.

Some of the other area’s I visited was Sonora Pass (lots of snow), Bridgeport Lakes (more snow), Lundy Canyon (went the back way to 20 lakes basin), June Lake Loop (Horsetail waterfall was incredible!) and down south to Big Pine Lakes (beautiful!).  Lots of gorgeous fish caught (most released) with a few trophy size.  This also makes for one of the shortest fishing seasons on record for me.  So with that last thought, I’m heading up there one more time before the upper lakes freeze on me.  Wish me luck………  :hiking2: :fishing3:
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: RockToad on October 07, 2017, 10:00:53 AM
I have loved seeing your fantastic pictures! I'm sure many others do too.  I hope more come into view:-)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: papow on October 08, 2017, 08:38:36 AM
You're pictures are a highlight to me every time that you post. They give me the opportunity to see areas that I will never be able to see in person. Age, medical limitations, finances and time prevent me from making the trips that you do. How awesome is the beauty of God's creation, and your pictures bring it to all of us on the Board. Thanks
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 21, 2017, 08:54:40 AM
Just back from Eastern Sierra!  Fall colors were great again and the fishing was off the wall good!  My trip ended with several inches of snow falling overnight and the temperature plunging down.  Wow it was beautiful. 

Still time to catch some of the fall colors but hurry it won’t last!  Best places to find it is at Lundy Canyon near the lower campgrounds, Lee Vining Canyon, June Lake Loop, Convict Lake, Lower McGee Canyon, Mono Lake community and Lower Rock Creek.

Fishing was superb this fall with some personal records broke with most backcountry wild Browns caught (and released) this year, largest Brookie ever caught in the Rock Creek area and a record for the books for the Rock Creek area that turned out differently than I thought it would.  Can an “Eastern Sierra Slam” (5 different species of trout caught in the same day) be possible in Rock Creek backcountry?  I’ll share later what I attempted in late October.   

Here is just a sample of the fall colors I seen this trip: 



Rock Creek

(http://i.imgur.com/qL9LcMe.jpg?1) (https://imgur.com/qL9LcMe)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 21, 2017, 08:56:04 AM
Rock Creek


(https://i.imgur.com/XJrkhkr.jpg?1)


(https://i.imgur.com/zuRQKuR.jpg?1)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 21, 2017, 08:57:21 AM
Parker lake


(https://i.imgur.com/lHTZaTR.jpg?1)


(https://i.imgur.com/R11qL4d.jpg?1)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 21, 2017, 08:58:30 AM
Silver Lake


(https://i.imgur.com/S4VBh0K.jpg?1)


(https://i.imgur.com/OH4Yxcs.jpg?1)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 21, 2017, 08:59:41 AM
June Lake Loop


(https://i.imgur.com/belno5f.jpg?1)


(https://i.imgur.com/pAZqlio.jpg?1)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 21, 2017, 09:01:32 AM
Gull Lake


(https://i.imgur.com/pABdVKn.jpg?1)


(https://i.imgur.com/H6pf6QV.jpg?1)


(https://i.imgur.com/v1q0UuD.jpg?1)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 21, 2017, 09:03:02 AM
Little Walker Lake


(https://i.imgur.com/ZvcFnUZ.jpg?1)


Bishop Creek Canyon



(https://i.imgur.com/4jzIYp8.jpg?1)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 21, 2017, 09:04:22 AM
Mammoth Lakes


(https://i.imgur.com/UyO4OK3.jpg?1)


Secret Lake



(https://i.imgur.com/EA40YVd.jpg?1)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: RockToad on October 21, 2017, 02:44:34 PM
Incredible Pictures!  Thanks so much :clap:
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: P A C on October 22, 2017, 01:13:52 PM
YEAH,  DITTO TO WHAT ROCKTOAD SAID! :worship:

WS Hawkins, thanks once again  for sharing these incredibly gorgeous photos of your travels.  Can't wait to read about and see all of the Fishing Trip reports and photos when you are able to find the time to post them. :clap:

I was wondering and hoping that this fall would be fantastic in the Eastern Sierra based on all of the factors from the first 8 to 9 months of the year - glad to see someone able to take maximum advantage of it.   :twothumbs:

Currently don't have the time to research on a map at this moment - is the lake shown in the photo of 'Secret Lake' truly named Secret Lake, or is it one of your 'secrets' ? :reading:

Thanks, and All the Best!

P A C
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 23, 2017, 06:44:44 AM
P A C, the lake in question is a back-country unnamed lake according to California Department of Fish & Wildlife.  There are plenty (Hundreds) of these unnamed lakes out there, many with trout in them.  This lake I call “Secret Lake” because you could walk right by it and miss it as it’s hidden by small to medium sized aspen trees around its perimeter plus there is no trail to this lake.  It’s quite a hike to “Secret Lake” but worth it for the beauty, tranquility and especially the special trout that occupy its waters. :hiking2: :fishing3:
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 23, 2017, 06:48:46 AM
I went over to Sonora Pass hoping to fish the golden lakes but they were all still frozen over.  Went instead to the lower lakes that held the Cutthroat Trout.  Lots of snow over and near the pass. 


Sonora Pass
(https://i.imgur.com/oIYZ3bB.jpg?1)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 24, 2017, 05:51:30 AM
Ellery Lake in Tioga Pass was full in August 2017


(https://i.imgur.com/nLQV4L5.jpg?1)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 24, 2017, 08:55:13 AM
Ellery Lake drained down by mid-Oct 2017


(https://i.imgur.com/Nl4rTAx.jpg?1)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: P A C on October 24, 2017, 09:25:02 AM
WSH - Wonderful comparative/contrasting photos!  As I've shared, I also have spent a lot (yet not enough) time in the TIoga Pass area over the past almost 40 years now (Yikes!) and love all 3 seasons that it is accessible by car.

I have been up there late in October in non-drought years however never seen Ellery drained so low in October - curious if you were able to see any Fall Brown Trout spawning runs up the inlet and further up into Junction Meadow and up Saddlebag Creek this year?

Or spawning fish staging at the inlet of Tioga getting ready to make their fall run?  I know they are rare, however there a still a few monster size Browns in that lake.  In the previous years, TPR had some beautiful examples of all species which were caught in the area mounted on the support wall between the cafe' and the main store. 

Please keep the TR and Photos coming!

All the best, P A C
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 25, 2017, 06:13:53 AM
This has been a bumper fall crop spawning year for the Brown Trout.  Because of the prior drought years, the high country lakes that support Brown Trout could not spawn due to the spawning grounds were dried up.  With our big wet winter, creeks, streams and rivers are all still flowing nicely in October.  I can’t say where their spawning due to prying eyes, but there out there in record numbers and they are Big! 

You won’t see them on that last photo of Ellery Lake due to the fact they don’t spawn in mud.  They prefer slower water (under 70*F) and prosper in freestone streams.  The big ones are more challenging to catch than other trout, no doubt aided by the fact that larger Brown trout feed mostly at night.

It’s been a most unusual year as I have been saying.  I observed Rainbows spawning in July (usually never later than June), Goldens spawning in August (Short season for Goldens).  The Brook Trout are now spawning now with their brilliant in full colors.
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 25, 2017, 06:17:23 AM
On a Gardisky Lake Hike during a gorgeous August day.  Flowers were in full plume.  Gardisky Lake is behind me and I'm looking towards the White Mountains.


(http://i.imgur.com/3dV1O2N.jpg?1) (https://imgur.com/3dV1O2N)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 25, 2017, 06:41:34 AM
Gardisky Lake with thundershowers in the forecast.....


(http://i.imgur.com/T9qBiVN.jpg?1) (https://imgur.com/T9qBiVN)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: bj on October 25, 2017, 09:10:56 AM
Great photos as usual. Looks like a mean day at Gardisky, the wind can really blow thru there. I assume the lower lakes for cutts were Roosevelt and Lane. How were they this time of year?
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 25, 2017, 11:23:26 AM
Great photos as usual. Looks like a mean day at Gardisky, the wind can really blow thru there. I assume the lower lakes for cutts were Roosevelt and Lane. How were they this time of year?


Yeah, the Cutts are still biting in the Hoover Wilderness................. :fishing3:


(http://i.imgur.com/YXksjQZ.jpg?1) (https://imgur.com/YXksjQZ)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 26, 2017, 06:19:30 AM
Still ice on one of the upper Conness Lakes in late August


(http://i.imgur.com/hgFrZ5b.jpg?1) (https://imgur.com/hgFrZ5b)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 27, 2017, 06:40:17 AM
It took quite an effort to reach Lake Helen in 20 Lakes Basin.  Was surprised Lake Helen was fishable as Saddlebag Lake was still frozen solid!  But did not come here for the fishing, I came for the "Snow Caves".


Lake Helen
(http://i.imgur.com/RQPjU4B.jpg?1) (https://imgur.com/RQPjU4B)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 27, 2017, 06:42:55 AM
Nearby lake Helen are the snow caves.  I saw three in this general area.  The snow caves are the result of avalanches filling the gully with snow due to the steepness of the mountains on both sides of this gully.  The snow, sheltered from direct sunlight persists late into the summer.

The caves are then carved out by meltwater stream that runs under it and are expanded by an inrush of warmer air under the snow.  And that’s where the danger lies.  As ice caves grow, the roof of the ice cave thins and weakens.  That increases the danger of a snow bridge or cave roof collapse, and is compounded by the fact that the water flowing into the snow makes it heavier and even more prone to collapse.  This particular snow cave was maybe 12-15 foot high at the crest; a fall through here could cause serious injury.


(http://i.imgur.com/mF2hjbf.jpg) (https://imgur.com/mF2hjbf)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: P A C on October 27, 2017, 09:51:44 AM
WSH -

Thank you, as always, for the simply incredible pictures and information. :thanks: :goodpost:

Once again proving the old adage - 'It's not WHAT you know, it's WHO you know'!  THANK YOU  for sharing. :campfiregroup:

I have read books on this area, various articles, the NFS and resort info handouts etc since I was a kid in the early '70s and have NEVER heard any reference to these incredible snow caves in this area. 

Your photo is fantastic! Have you ever offered (or considered offering) to sell them along with an article, etc to a publication like National Geographic or Outside Magazines?

Some of what I find so interesting, if not fascinating, is the amount of visible and apparently healthy 'flora' among the rocks in the stream bed.  Although this is an Alpine area, and the various life in that zone is suited/evolved to handle, survive and prosper despite the harshness and realities of 'life' in this zone, Direct Sunlight is a vital component.  The richness of the greens of the plants in the stream bed are amazing when considering that, even though there may be light coming through the ever-thinning snow bridge, it is not in fact direct, unfiltered sunlight (unless it is perhaps coming in from an open end of the snow cave/tunnel?).

Also the apparent moss on the bottom of the inverted aretes or sun cups suggest enough sunlight is somehow getting through - especially since most that green tinge appears to be at the thickest parts of the underside of the snow bridge - NOT the thinnest.

Your explanation of the warm air flow helps explain why it may be 'warm enough' for plants to grow as well.

Please know that many of us on this board are grateful and very appreciative of all that you share on this board - despite the appearance of a lack of 'activity' or direct responses or replies to your posts - PLEASE keep them coming, :coffee:  :clap:

All the BEST!  P A C
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: bj on October 27, 2017, 01:34:44 PM
I remember one July walking down the trail from Odell to Helen lake on top of the snow listening to the water rushing underneath. The scenery wasn't spectacular like your shot but it was awesome and a little scary.
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 28, 2017, 07:11:54 AM
Thanks P A C, appreciate your comments.  The snow caves have always been there but during the long recent drought they usually melted and gone by June and not developed due to lack of snow.  But this year with the record snow I knew they would be awesome!  And they were!  Best I’ve ever seen.  Also with no water taxi service this year, very few even glimpsed them. 


Snow Caves come in all sizes and shapes.  This one is very near to Lake Helen and nearly ready to collapse.  This photo was taken in September if you can believe it!


(http://i.imgur.com/btZSOHO.jpg) (https://imgur.com/btZSOHO)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on October 31, 2017, 07:08:11 AM
Located high in the Hoover Wilderness back-country is a much difficult to reach “Secret Lake”.  Located 5 miles from the trailhead with the last 3 with no trail, this hike will test your endurance.  The last ½ mile you hike alongside a waterfall up a draw so steep that you need to use your hands and feet to climb to this Secret Lake.  California Department of Fish and Wildlife list this as a Brookie lake.  Why would I go to such extremes to go here?

  :hiking2:
(http://i.imgur.com/4pAnzkB.jpg?1) (https://imgur.com/4pAnzkB)


If this is a Brookie lake, they are the most beautiful Brookies in the Sierra. :lol2:  The “Secret Lake” is in a bowl surrounded by mountains on three sides, with some as high as 12,000 feet.  California Department of Fish and Wildlife often miss label what fish are in lakes on their fishing guide on-line.  There mistake is to my advantage.  Who would hike 5 hard miles to fish a Brookie lake?


 :fishing3:
(http://i.imgur.com/bNbaHzl.jpg) (https://imgur.com/bNbaHzl)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: bj on October 31, 2017, 07:55:15 AM
Wow! Looks like some of the brookies in Cottonwood 4 & 5 !
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on November 01, 2017, 07:12:56 AM
If you want to see where last winter’s snow made the most impact, head up to Mammoth Lakes!  With 55 feet of snow last winter, Mammoth Mountain had an epic year.  Took a few long weekends in Mammoth this past winter, as our family loves skiing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, etc. 

Just a few amazing photos from our trips:


203 into Mammoth Lakes
(http://i.imgur.com/9fHwMCD.jpg?1) (https://imgur.com/9fHwMCD)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on November 01, 2017, 05:44:55 PM
Snow just about buried that condo.  Mammoth Lakes


(http://i.imgur.com/vx9BmGU.jpg) (https://imgur.com/vx9BmGU)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on November 02, 2017, 06:59:23 AM
Mammoth Lakes


(http://i.imgur.com/R6HQeR3.jpg?2) (https://imgur.com/R6HQeR3)


Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on November 02, 2017, 07:00:36 AM
Mammoth Lakes


(http://i.imgur.com/phui0ie.jpg?1) (https://imgur.com/phui0ie)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on November 03, 2017, 06:56:37 AM
Digging out from last nights snow in Mammoth Lakes


(http://i.imgur.com/jzZV6Ns.jpg?1) (https://imgur.com/jzZV6Ns)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on November 03, 2017, 06:57:59 AM
Along Old Mammoth Rd.


(http://i.imgur.com/5oa6wRy.jpg?1) (https://imgur.com/5oa6wRy)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: 12440 on November 03, 2017, 10:29:11 AM
Great images! What an incredible snow year! Thanks for posting those, so those of us who don't live close can enjoy!
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on November 03, 2017, 12:19:24 PM
It gets much more deeper! :lol2: :shoveling:
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on November 04, 2017, 06:21:21 AM
Still in Mammoth Lakes along Old Mammoth Rd towards Twin Lakes


(http://i.imgur.com/m3FoCoo.png?2) (https://imgur.com/m3FoCoo)


(http://i.imgur.com/ZJKiDLw.jpg) (https://imgur.com/ZJKiDLw)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on November 04, 2017, 06:22:17 AM
Mammoth Lakes


(http://i.imgur.com/LC65A6t.jpg) (https://imgur.com/LC65A6t)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on November 06, 2017, 06:12:04 AM
Just stopped snowing 30 minutes prior and just walked out to this!


(http://i.imgur.com/lr8sf6D.jpg?1) (https://imgur.com/lr8sf6D)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on November 07, 2017, 06:25:01 AM
Summer Cabins - Mammoth Lakes


(http://i.imgur.com/zLHMd0l.jpg?1) (https://imgur.com/zLHMd0l)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: RockToad on November 07, 2017, 08:02:50 AM
Thank you soooo much for these incredible pictures! :clap: :bowdown:
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on November 08, 2017, 06:50:09 AM
The Village at Mammoth Lakes


(http://i.imgur.com/p5bSxit.jpg?1) (https://imgur.com/p5bSxit)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on November 09, 2017, 07:10:47 AM
Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center is a great way to explore the Mammoth Lakes Basin on snowshoes or Nordic skis.  Great family fun (my kids learned fast), with over 19 miles of groomed trails.  It’s free for hiking on a packed trail or for snowshoeing, they only charge for a trail pass on the groomed trails and flat skating lanes within the corridor using cross-country skis.



(http://i.imgur.com/ennYmdM.jpg) (https://imgur.com/ennYmdM)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on November 10, 2017, 06:23:50 AM
Cross Country skiing in the Mammoth Lakes Basin.  Can anybody guess what frozen lake I'm standing on?


(http://i.imgur.com/Yd2nfVD.jpg?1) (https://imgur.com/Yd2nfVD)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: bj on November 10, 2017, 11:21:54 AM
I would guess Mary
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on November 11, 2017, 06:28:59 AM
Yes, Lake Mary is correct.  Nothing gets by bj….. :lol2:



For the Veterans out there, Thank You for all who served America!

(http://i.imgur.com/jGvBM2v.jpg) (https://imgur.com/jGvBM2v)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on November 13, 2017, 06:40:31 AM
Following the line of cars on Minaret Rd. to Mammoth Mountain for a day of skiing after another night of snowfall.


(http://i.imgur.com/8JIQybX.jpg?2) (https://imgur.com/8JIQybX)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on November 14, 2017, 07:07:27 AM
Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort Parking lot.


(http://i.imgur.com/gQm2ur3.jpg?1) (https://imgur.com/gQm2ur3)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on November 15, 2017, 06:46:07 AM
Mammoth Mountain Inn and their welcome Sign. 


(http://i.imgur.com/veWjdix.jpg?1) (https://imgur.com/veWjdix)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: P A C on November 15, 2017, 04:16:14 PM
W S H,

A couple of the many elements that contribute to making your photography and narrative both so incredible and enjoyable to experience vicariously is the 'When' and 'Where' you travel!  As I know from my own experiences over the years - to experience and document so much of the beauty you share with us, you have to travel to some difficult-to-get-to places in sometimes unbelievably difficult-to-get-through conditions.  The risks can be very high, and sometimes the rewards just are not there.  But when they are..........Oh My!  :bowdown:

Thank you again for all that you share with us, and the time and effort you put in to do so before, during and after.   :clap:

Safe Travels to you and your family - each and every time, all of the time.

All the best, P A C
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on November 16, 2017, 07:12:41 AM
Thanks P A C.  Appreciate the nice comments.

 

Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on November 16, 2017, 07:15:15 AM
Took the Gondola to the Top of Mammoth Mountain.  The sign  was just about buried under the snow!


(http://i.imgur.com/n55QBLF.jpg?1) (https://imgur.com/n55QBLF)
Title: Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
Post by: wshawkins on November 17, 2017, 06:55:39 AM
Great 360* views from the top of Mammoth Mountain.  This is from February 2017.


(http://i.imgur.com/lLCmfAk.jpg?2) (https://imgur.com/lLCmfAk)