May 17, 2013 at 12:48 am #1303023
Long time lurker, first time poster here. My girlfriend and I are trying to plan a 3 day backpacking trip during memorial weekend. Our first choice is to do a Mineral King loop starting at Farewell Gap, go through Franklin Pass, and exiting through Sawtooth Pass. I know it is still early in the season but also that it has been a very dry year. Based off the conditions seen in the webcam (http://www.mk-webcam.net/), does anyone know how the conditions will be throughout the hike? We both have microspikes and ice axes that have only been used in mild conditions. In addition, we would also rather not spend day long stretches of this trip hiking through snow. I am hoping that because the webcam is showing the north facing side of Farewell Gap, that there would be less snow elsewhere.
Our second option was to do a loop in the Jennie Lakes or Twin Peaks area. Our thrid (a far drive) option would be the Grand Canyon of the Toulome from White Wolf camp to the Toulome Meadows. We have the the permits for the first choice but would have to try to get walk-ins for the others. Any other recommendations would also be welcomed. We are looking for very scenic hike without too much tree coverage so we can watch the full moon at camp. Thanks!
-BenMay 17, 2013 at 2:44 am #1986993
The Mineral King road isn't even supposed to be open yet. The park website says it opens next Wednesday.May 17, 2013 at 2:06 pm #1987116
Yeah, I know. That was the reason the park rangers couldn't tell me the conditions up there. I was hoping someone familiar with this hike would be able to tell me the trail conditions based off what is seen in the webcam. Or if anyone has done a nearby hike at similar altitude and time frame during a dry year.May 22, 2013 at 6:13 pm #1988847
I'm interested in a mineral king trip this weekend as well.
Anyone have any update on this?May 22, 2013 at 8:56 pm #1988914
@andrew-fLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I don't have any firsthand info, but you might find the NOHRSC snow forecast helpful. According to the forecast there is still about 24" of snow in Lost Canyon. Keep in mind that it is just a model.
You will want the axes and microspikes if there is snow on the passes, which is almost guaranteed at this time of year even for south facing aspects. They are both pretty steep.May 22, 2013 at 9:07 pm #1988917
@creachenLocale: East Bay
I have plans on Fathers Day weekend 6/13-16 to go to Mineral King. I hope most of the snow is melted by then. If any BPL friends have interest send me a PM. I have always wanted to go the MK and I hear you need to protect your tires from roaming Marmot's at the TH.May 22, 2013 at 9:24 pm #1988925
Jay you want to lay down a tarp, drive your car over it, and then rope it down over the car. The issue is with marmots getting into your engine.
Strangely enough when I went to Mineral King a couple years ago I didn't see a single car with a tarp on the bottom (there were like 30 cars).
Some day I really want to go back there and explore the Big 5 lakes. I had a trip planned but we had to bail because of altitude sickness.May 22, 2013 at 9:30 pm #1988930
"I have always wanted to go the MK and I hear you need to protect your tires from roaming Marmot's at the TH."
I don't think it is the actual tire that you worry about. You worry about the furry critters chewing on wiring or lines to the brakes, wiring under the hood, and coolant hoses. Basically, anything that is chewable.
You have two choices: One is to stretch a very long piece of chicken wire all the way around your vehicle, and it protects from the dirt up to about two feet.
The other approach is to lay out a very large tarp on the parking lot dirt, and it needs to be large enough to go under the vehicle and then fold up two or three feet all the way around. Then you secure the corners and sides with some cord.
I made the latter choice because I could visualize a dozen other uses for a very large tarp like that. The chicken wire would be a one-trick pony.
–B.G.–May 22, 2013 at 9:41 pm #1988933
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
I would like to see a picture of a car wrapped up in a tarp : )May 22, 2013 at 10:18 pm #1988939
You have doubts?
It worked. The critters were circling my car within minutes of me walking away, but they never got a bite.
–B.G.–May 22, 2013 at 10:21 pm #1988940
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
I had no doubts, I just thought a picture would be amusing, which it is. I wonder people walking by thought.
Now, are you the real Bob Gross or one of the many imposters?May 22, 2013 at 10:34 pm #1988944
"I wonder people walking by thought."
I don't think that it is a strange sight. When you get your wilderness permit, the rangers explain the marmot situation. The marmots live in the bushes surrounding the parking lot, so they can keep an eye on vehicles coming and going.
The other thing to do would be to get an old piece of radiator hose and coat it with some nice fresh antifreeze, then toss it underneath somebody else's vehicle. Let the furry critters go after that bait and not yours. For some strange reason, the antifreeze does not kill marmots, and the reason is not well understood.
I have heard a rumor that there is a store up there that will rent you a piece of chicken wire for a few days, and the rental fee is about the same as what it would cost to buy a piece back home.
The identity thief, Cameron Kennedy, goes by the nickname of Redmonk. That sure isn't me.
–B.G.–May 23, 2013 at 1:15 am #1988964
…May 23, 2013 at 10:45 am #1989112
I certainly can't make any recommendations for a vehicle with unknown dimensions. As you can plainly see in the photo, there is no magic to it. Take your vehicle length and add about two or three feet to each end. Then take the vehicle width and add about two or three feet to each side. That dictates what size of tarp you need.
You might be able to get by with a simple polyethylene sheet, but I think the marmots might figure that out and chew through it. A standard blue woven polyethylene tarp is much tougher, yet it can be folded up and transported or stored easily. Then you may need a couple of 50-foot cords to tie it up.
Note: remember to get all of your stuff out of the vehicle before you begin to package it.
–B.G.–May 23, 2013 at 12:25 pm #1989153
…May 23, 2013 at 12:33 pm #1989163
"You give good advice."
The marmots don't seem to think so.
–B.G.–May 31, 2013 at 2:42 pm #1991890
Did you go? How were the conditions?
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