Trip date: May 19-21, 2018
I had two back-to-back conferences in California on consecutive weeks (San Jose the first week and Lake Tahoe for the second week). At first I was a bit upset I would be gone for so long but when I realized I could sneak a trip to the northern Sierra's in between the two my outlook improved considerably.
I only had three days for this trip and given the early season conditions, staying at lower elevations seemed smart. I settled on Desolation Wilderness area near the southern end of Lake Tahoe. I didn't really know what to expect snow-wise. I made a rough plan but I figured I would play it by ear once I got out there.
Caltopo map here: caltopo.com/m/DJDP
Day 1: Talus
I started at the Echo Lake TH near South Lake Tahoe. From here it looked like snow would be minimal right? Right?
Right after I hit the snow I noticed a big hill to my left and wondered what the views would be like at the top. This hill turned out to be called Keith's Dome. The original plan was just get a quick picture and return to the trail...
Once I got up there I knew I was going to be following ridgeline after ridgeline.
The whole day I got the feeling like I was walking on the moon. I'm not used to environments that are completely covered in rocks. I've never broken a stake by trying to pound it into the ground with a rock before. I guess there's a first time for everything. In the end, I just tied the guyline around a large rock; it worked pretty well.
Day 2: Snow
Next I'd pass over Mosquito Pass and eventually camp around Dicks Lake.
Day 3: Scottish Highlands
The next morning I woke up to heavy cloud cover and fog. Fortunately I had a GPS which would be helpful in navigating over Dicks Pass (which was now completely obscured--see photo below).
I approve of the Sierras. I'll be back for sure.