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Destination
Sherwin Lakes
5 Photosets
2015-01-25  
2014-01-02  
2011-12-26  
2008-08-03  
2007-07-06  

2008-08-03
6 by
 
Central Sierra, CA
Central Sierra, CA
Hiking Aug 03 2008
slegal
Hiking5.60 Miles 836 AEG
Hiking5.60 Miles
836 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked descriptions
Partners none no partners
My son and I were in Mammoth for a father-son weekend together. We hiked to Pyramid Peak on day 1. We didn't make it all the way. On day 2 we set out for the Sherwin Lakes. As we neared the lakes we both smelled smoke. We didn't see any smoke though. Since lots of backpackers camp at the lakes I assumed it was a campfire, which is not legal, but I wasn't worried.

After spending much time exploring the lakes we decided to make this a long hike to Valentine Lake. As we neared the John Muir Wilderness boundary, I looked behind me at my son and my heart sank. Behind my son was a plume of smoke in the direction we had to go to get off of the mountain. There is an alternate route, but that would add a lot of mileage to the hike.

We headed back in the direction of the smoke. In hindsight it was probably a bad move, but we made it through. We didn't see any flames, but this was clearly more than a campfire somewhere off in the direction of lakes 1 or 2, where the trail doesn't go. It was very smoky all around.

As we descended off of the mountain we passed a number of forest service firefighters heading up. We were even questioned by an investigator at the bottom, who was speaking with every person that passed by. I assume it was campers that started the fire and I suspect that the campers were long gone and didn't even know that they started a forest fire.

We headed back to our condo to clean up and pack up. A couple hours later as we were leaving town we looked up and saw that the lakes area was fully engulfed in flames. It took a week to put the fire out. I later learned that both routes out were blocked by the fire. Had we not gotten out of there when we did, a helicopter would have had to rescue us as was the case with a number of people trapped at Valentine Lake. I'm glad I turned around and saw the smoke. It's the reason we turned around instead of proceeding onto Valentine Lake.
Author
slegal's

180 Photosets
  2010-01-16
  2009-11-29
  2009-11-29
  2009-11-27
  2009-09-07
  2009-09-06
  2009-08-21
  2009-08-17
  2009-08-02
  2009-07-31
  2009-07-28
  2009-07-26
  2009-05-31
  2009-05-23
  2009-05-10
  2008-09-01
  2008-08-30
  2008-08-03
  2008-08-02
  2008-07-12
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Warning: heat kills!
Avoid 8am to 5pm over 90 degrees. Prehydrate & stay hydrated.
Avoid Heat Illness - do NOT hike when temps exceed 100 degrees, period.
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