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Horseshoe Meadows-Army Pass-New Army Pass-Horseshoe Meadows
#32072 07/01/13 12:09 PM
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Had a great hike on Friday, June 28th. Hike took me from Horseshoe Meadows to/through Cottonwood Lakes basin, Past Lakes 3,4,&5.

Lake 3


Lake 4&5



Really a gorgeous hike. Only a few mosquitoes to report, although I did apply 99% Deet when first encountered, so that may account for the small number of mosquitoes noticed. Also noticed Deer and Mountain lion track on the trail. The deer track was "deep" in a few places, so I'm thinking the deer was running.

Army Pass assent was fun. A few small snow fields that could easily be avoided, until nearly at the top, where there is a 20 to 30 foot expanse of snow that either called for you to hike accross, or climb straight up. From the lower position I could not see what was on the other side of the snow field, so no idea if it led back to the trail, or not. Since I have no experience with snow fields (Stability, post holling, etc...), I opted to climb straight up. An acceptable risk vs. and unknown risk - both snow conditions and route. I think most others with any snow experience would have simply crossed. At 9:00 AM the snow was soft, but firm, so not really any traction issues. I did walk down from the pass to look at the snow field from the top side, and could see where I was on the lower side, so really no problem with the route. Too bad I did not know that from the lower side.
The hike up to New Army Pass was not as bad as many describe (due to sandy conditions). I did not follow the trail, but zigzagged up the hill. This avoided much of the sand issues on the trail, and was a bit easier.
The hike down from New Army Pass afforded many spectacular views.

View from New Army Pass


Long Lake
]

My only complaint about this loop is that nearly the entire trail is sandy. I guess this is due to the relatively flat nature of the area. Perhaps there is a geologist amongst us that could comment.

Re: Horseshoe Meadows-Army Pass-New Army Pass-Horseshoe Meadows
John Sims #32079 07/01/13 09:52 PM
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Congrats John on your Langley summit. Looks like had great fun.

Now, looking forward for my trip in next few days and hoping I would get walk-in overnight permit. Fingers crossed.

Re: Horseshoe Meadows-Army Pass-New Army Pass-Horseshoe Meadows
Stalin #32083 07/02/13 05:14 PM
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Hi Stalin,
Thanks for your kind thoughts. I did not actually go up to the top of Mt. Langley, but just the Old Army/New Army loop. Still, 17 miles, and my "dogs were barking", so I decided not to undertake the slog throught the sand to top of Langley.
Still, a very nice hike I think.

Re: Horseshoe Meadows-Army Pass-New Army Pass-Horseshoe Meadows
John Sims #32086 07/02/13 07:27 PM
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Nice shots John. I think this area is much more beautiful than the Whitney zone. Be grateful you brought Deet. The mosquitoes there can be ridiculous. I've been attacked by a cloud of them before. Not fun.

Mountain lion tracks...did you take any pictures? They are the critter I'm most fearful of out there.

You've got to try backpacking. wink Langley's summit has great views.

Re: Horseshoe Meadows-Army Pass-New Army Pass-Horseshoe Meadows
Anonymous1 #32088 07/02/13 09:23 PM
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Hi fromatari,
Good to hear from you. I agree, the scenery in this area is spectacular. Of course Whitney is as well. The North Fork/LBS Lake/UBS Lake in particular. Hard to not be impressed with either. I did take one photo of the Mt. Lion Track. There were actually better tracks, however when I noted the "best" track it was just as I was placing my 11.5 boot track on top. It did seem the Lion was following the deer, and that the deer knew it. The deer track was very pronounced, and deep, as if running. Here is the shot taken later:


You can estimate the size based on the boot track under the Lion track. Probably 4 or 5 inches back to front.


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