Monday, May 06, 2019

June Lake: March, 2019

March 10:  There was so much snow everywhere that we could not take the trailer to the mountains.  Instead, we stayed in a rustic cabin at June Lake at the Reverse Creek Lodge.  We stopped on the drive up to admire Mt. Tom, near Bishop Creek, under many feet of snow:

March 11:  We snow-shoed on Lee Vining Creek, below Tioga Pass:

We found a heart-shaped boulder in the stream:

Tioga Pass was (of course) closed to traffic, but the snow had been packed down by snowmobiles, allowing us to hike without snowshoes:

Late that afternoon, we passed by a ruined cabin -- that's Mono Pass in the background.  Incredibly, Felice snagged this shot with her iPhone:

March 12:  Carson Peak was visible from the front door of our cabin:

In the morning, we snowshoed on the June Lake Loop:

We drove out east of June Lake, stopping near Highway 395 for
some views of the skyline -- Carson Peak is in the center:

Parker Peak is on the left, and the Tioga Pass area is on the right:

Just south of June, the trails at Obsidian Dome had been machine-groomed, permitting us to hike instead of snowshoeing.  The ridge at the edge of the dome is behind us -- it is a cliff, about 100 feet high:

In one area, the wind had built a thick cornice along the ridgeline, hanging over the cliff by at least 20 feet:

From the south end of the dome, we could see the Sherwin Peak area, east of Mammoth:

The edge of the dome was so deeply covered in snow that it looked like a huge breaking wave:

The drifting snow blew over the lip of the ridge, creating "snow devils" sweeping across the cliff:

We stood there for quite a long time, just watching the patterns in the snow:

At the base of the cliff, one big obsidian boulder was still visible, wrapped in layers of drifted snow:

As we were hiking back to the truck, a storm was coming in over the dome:

It cleared up late that afternoon; we could see banners of fresh snow blowing off of Carson Peak:

March 13:  We went skiing at June Mountain -- almost no one else on the hill, ten feet (or more) of snow, a thin layer of fresh powder over the solid base, clear and cold.  That's Mono Lake in the background on the right:

I'm pretty sure that's Parker Peak on the right:

The runs were completely empty:

March 14:  We drove north to the Virginia Lakes area.  The snowpack was thick -- that's Dunderberg Peak just to the right of center, and the Virginia Lakes area to the left of center:

This is almost the same shot, taken during the autumn:

Virginia Lakes Road had been packed by snowmobiles, enabling us to hike instead of snowshoeing:

The further we went, the more the views unfolded.  We decided to use our backpacks and poles as our stand-ins:

The familiar "Toiyabe National Forest" sign was almost completely buried:

Walking along this familiar road was pleasant (and easy); the only problem was finding a place to sit and eat our iconic peanut butter and jelly sandwiches:

As we headed back to the cabin, the views from Conway Summit were excellent.  The Mono Craters were reflected in Mono Lake:

We wanted to take our usual boot shot, but someone else had already provided the boot: