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Camping In The High Sierras © 1997 -


This trip began as usual at North Lake and ascended up to a dryer than usual valley to the col. The three snowfields usually found at this elevation were entirely gone and things looked pretty much as dry as they appear in this photo.

28-lamarck col trail.JPG (445102 bytes)

Once reaching the Col, I was disturbed to find it over 20 feet down from usual and the snowpack to be far receded to the hillside. It appeared that our un-friend Global Warming had been at work.

29-lamarck col.JPG (529454 bytes)
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This time we took care to properly ascend the col and actually crossed at the proper point as indicated by this sign.

33-lamarck col looking down.JPG (632858 bytes)

Just past this sign we opened up the wide angle to take the following pix, looking first to the east, back on the return, and then to the west into the canyon to view Mts. Darwin and Mendel

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This was the first trip in which we employed a digital camera, so results may be varied in downloading.

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In any case, as you descend through gorgeous gardens of mountain heather, such as this . . .

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you come out onto Darwin's Bench with waterfalls plashing into what I call Darwin's Bathtub.  The temps reported were 14 degrees above normal, and such pools were very welcome after struggling through the bouldering of Darwin Canyon.

As the last time, I camped at beautiful Evolution Lake, this time capturing the prize spot at the outflow overlooking the waterfall that drops into Evolution Canyon. You can see the haze shrouding Mcgee Canyon from the McNally fire some 150 miles south of here.

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I am told there are trout in them there lakes.

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A bit up the trail, around 11,000 feet, we come upon our old friend Wanda Lake.  Whom we first met dotted with icebergs and rimmed with snowpack in late August. As you can see, the situation is considerably warmer and drier here. Temperatures in the park were 15 degrees above normal.

That is Mt. Goddard - seen here from the north -- whom we will see from the south side in a bit.

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The properly trained and experienced soul, upon leaving the John Muir Trail to cut over the saddle seen above, will look down after about fourty-five minutes of climbing at Davis Lakes.  The descent to 11,400 feet is a bit of a scramble.   The best policy is to go left.

59_davis lakes & mt mcgee.JPG (415983 bytes)

The place is pretty rugged and there is no real camping in there unless you have a mattress than enjoys sleeping on rock.  The canyon is, however, quite spectacular and untouched by the crowds.

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The way to get around all this is to go left.  The scrambling -- for in no way can you call it "hiking" -- is of moderate difficulty.

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Ordinarily, one resists pulling water from a tarn for camp, but this one looked like it had not been visited in a while.