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backpacking trip june 7th-13th

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backpacking trip june 7th-13th

Postby mkpatrick » Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:32 am

Hey guys, I a week off June 7-13th and would love to make a trip into the White Clouds, Sawtooths or Lost River Range. I know that this is technically a little early for the high country. We are experienced backpackers and will be well prepared for some snow travel and are hoping to get some fishing done.

How is the snow pack looking for these areas?
Approximately when would you expect the mid to high eleveation hikes to melt out in an average year vs this year?
We could bring snowshoes and crampons, but we really dont want a 4-5 snow camping trip.
Do yall think this is doable that early in the year or should I just wait until another time later in the year or next year?

Any specific trip ideas would be appreciated, I am just starting to gather trail beta. Any and all advice is appreciated.

Take Care, Matt
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Postby Moni » Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:20 pm

When we were in the White Clouds last July, some of the lakes were still frozen over. I think, since their elevations are so high, that you will not find many lakes open in June. We also noticed that the lake we were at (O'Caulken) had no fish at all.
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Postby mkpatrick » Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:26 am

I suspected that it might be too early. We are thinking about Great Basin NP in Nevada or Buckskin Gluch in the Grand Staircase or just delaying the trip to late Sept or early Oct. I cant get anymore time off in the summer since I have a wind rivers trip in the works for August. Anybody with any other advice or ideas for alternatives, we are open to suggestions.
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Postby splattski » Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:56 pm

Matt-
Our usual rule for the mountains in Idaho is "You can't go high until the Fourth of July." Some years you can get into the mountains in early June, but the passes and north slopes will still hold snow.
That said, we're currently running snow packs in the 70% range. So this might be one of those years. Here's my list of June trips (ALL of them, so you'll have to click a few to find specific areas):
http://www.splattski.com/overview/june.html
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Postby mkpatrick » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:19 am

splattski wrote:Matt-
Our usual rule for the mountains in Idaho is "You can't go high until the Fourth of July." Some years you can get into the mountains in early June, but the passes and north slopes will still hold snow.
That said, we're currently running snow packs in the 70% range. So this might be one of those years. Here's my list of June trips (ALL of them, so you'll have to click a few to find specific areas):
http://www.splattski.com/overview/june.html


Thanks for the info/link. Along with info from an old post of Superdave, things are coming together.

One quick question, High elevation is always relative to your location/weather pattern. For example, in an average year the the Eagle Cap Wilderness in NE Oregon opens in late June/early July and the lakes in that area are ~7-8k feet. For Central Idaho, I would think you are referring to areas >7-8k elevation , but I may be wrong, can you elaborate?

It is a difficult decison, I know we would have a good time rambling through south central Utah and hitting up Buckskin Gulch, but I have been trying to get into the Idaho backcountry for about 3 years and something always comes up. It is great to know the snowpack is lower than usuall. I suspected that might be the case, but the Cascades got hit pretty hard over the past 3 weeks and I figured a lot of our weather would follow through into your neck of the woods.

Also, Is there a local, Idaho specific website/forum for up to date TH/access info? I follow www.nwhikers.net, but that site is generally focused on WA with a little info on OR and ID.
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Postby mkpatrick » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:22 am

Also, may just nix the idea of fishing, lose that weight and add crampons/ice axe for the north slopes.
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Postby splattski » Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:48 pm

The Sawtooths get a bit more snow than some of the surrounding ranges. If had to put numbers on it, I'd say in mid-June you can expect to get to 8k without much snow on anything but protected northern exposures. If the snow is gone early, perhaps higher.
Of course, YMMV.
White Clouds are drier, and Lost Rivers drier yet. But higher as well.

A great local resource is the IdahoSummits forum, populated by SP members and assorted peak baggers:
http://www.network54.com/Forum/105717/
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Postby Smoove910 » Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:00 pm

You could always do the 7 Devils loop in June. It's lower elevation and typically melts off by June.
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Postby Moni » Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:22 pm

We did the 7 Devils loop last year on July 4th weekend. There was a bit of snow left in some places, but not to the point of problems. That was after a record snow year.
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Postby Smoove910 » Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:06 pm

We hiked it on June 26th and encountered no snow at all. A couple slivers of snow on the ridges, but nothing bad. There were a couple spots that were a little muddy, but totally doable. With 7 days at your disposal, you could not only do the 27 mile loop, but you could probably do most/all of the side trips to the major lakes in the area (I think it totals out to be 42 miles, but don't quote me). A topo would be best to give you an idea of where to camp. I would suggest going clockwise on the Boise Trail, hitting all the side trips possible (i.e. Cannon Lake, Dog Lake, Mirror Lake, etc). You would probably end up at Sheep lake towards the end of your venture which would leave a good oppurtunity to bag He Devil and She Devil if you are feeling saucy.

Here's my trip report from last year... not anything too spectacular as accomplishments go, but kinda gives you an idea of the 'lay of the land'.
http://www.summitpost.org/trip-report/5 ... efeat.html

Good luck!
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Postby Moni » Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:08 am

+1 on doing the loop clockwise.
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Postby Super Dave » Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:05 am

Matt, that'll probably be too early for those areas, but it is a low snow year and it could go fast if we get a hot stretch in May. You might keep an eye on the Idaho SNOTEL sites to get a feel for how fast it’s melting. Vienna Mine is a good one to gauge the melt rate on north facing slopes in the Sawtooths.

http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/snotel/Idaho/idaho.html
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