Pansy and Mother Lode Mtns, July 3, 2014

Discussions and Trip Reports for off-trail adventures and rediscovering lost trails
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pablo
Posts: 1450
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Pansy and Mother Lode Mtns, July 3, 2014

Post by pablo » July 4th, 2014, 8:33 pm

Mosquitoes at Pansy Lake and all other locations in this area were bad, bad, bad. Even the lookout. 20-30 bites, easy. Mountain tops and ridges in the heat of the day were OK.

In the Bull of the Wood Wilderness are 3 named mountains in close proximity to each other with trails passing near by but none to the top or along the connecting ridges, Pansy Mtn, Mother Lode Mtn, and Silver King Mtn. Since the 2010 fire opened up the ridges and tops I thought I'd go take a look-see. The plan was to go up Pansy Mtn from the saddle above Pansy Lake, follow the ridge to Mother Lode Mtn, do an out 'n back to Silver King, and from Mother Lode follow the ridge east. I'd then hop off the ridge to visit some hidden lakes to the north, and pick up the Twin Lakes trail for the return. Topped off with a stop by the lookout for a before and after shot comparing the 1930s pano with after the fire. 2 out of 3 mtns is the best I could manage this day.

I started at the Pansy Lake TH and was attacked by hoards of mosquitoes (just like justpeachy mentioned in her recent BOTW TR). I scurried up the trail and made the saddle to go off-trail on up to Pansy Mtn. That part worked nicely. As has been mentioned, Pansy Lake is more of a pond, can't be more than 4' deep, the water is very clear, though.

Pansy Basin from Pansy Mtn

ImagePansyBasin by pauljess999, on Flickr

The "lake":

ImagePansyLake by pauljess999, on Flickr

The summit is a little further up along this nice approach:

ImagePansyApproach by pauljess999, on Flickr

Next stop, Mother Lode Mtn. Views are pretty nice all along Pansy Mtn.

ImageMotherLodeMtn by pauljess999, on Flickr

And here is a bit of amusing trail planning gone awry. With Google's improved imagery, I've been using it more to plan my offtrail excursions, unfortunately, Google does not have the 3d data to make these images match the topography (lidar in the Gorge is a local exception). So in looking at the GE image of the connecting ridge between Pansy and Mother Lode I got the impression that it was smooth going, not even close. Here is the image from GE, piece of cake:

ImageGEBad by pauljess999, on Flickr

Here's what confronted me when I got there, not quite what I was expecting:

ImageGendarmes0 by pauljess999, on Flickr

Backside

ImageGendarmes by pauljess999, on Flickr

So I commenced a steep scramble to go around the 2 gendarmes blocking the ridge, had to retreat a couple of times - it is possible that the easiest route is just to stay on the narrow top of the outcrops.

As this took up a bunch of time I'd not budgeted for, I scrubbed the trek to Silver King - so an outing for another day. At least I got some closeups of Silver king. Whetstone Mtn way back on the right.

ImageSilverKing2 by pauljess999, on Flickr

Here's the ridge going east from Mother Lode Mtn.

ImageMotherLodeRidge by pauljess999, on Flickr

From the ridge lower Twin Lake is visible.

ImageLowerTwin by pauljess999, on Flickr

GE imagery showed some lakes and ponds, here's a pano with about 5. I visited the largest and then made a beeline (or in my case a badline - overly steep, brushy, yuck) to the Twin Lakes Trail and swarms of mosquitoes.

Image5LakesPonds by pauljess999, on Flickr

I stopped off at the lookout to do comparisons shot of the 1930s panos. Here's the ridge comparison:

1930s:

ImagePanoThen by pauljess999, on Flickr

Now (wish I had a pre-fire photo - I actually visited the lookout in 2005 but it was socked in that day.)

ImagePanoNow by pauljess999, on Flickr

I'm calling it 12 miles, 4000' cumulative elevation gain.

KMZ file for GE
PansyMotheLode.kmz
(22.61 KiB) Downloaded 189 times
GPX file
PansyMotherLode.gpx
(504.69 KiB) Downloaded 212 times
GE, the blue lines are what I think would have been better lines than the one I took off the ridge.

ImageGEPansyMLode by pauljess999, on Flickr

TOPO

ImagePansyMtnTOPO by pauljess999, on Flickr
The future's uncertain and the end is always near.

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acorn woodpecker
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Re: Pansy and Mother Lode Mtns, July 3, 2014

Post by acorn woodpecker » July 6th, 2014, 4:12 pm

Nice outing, Paul. Good to see more pictures of those peaks. Funny you went up there as Nat and I almost did a very similar trip for the solstice. Before we decided on Mt. Minnie, we were going to spend the night atop Pansy Mt. and do the traverse between Pansy and Mother Lode. Then onto Silver King, drop down to the trail and drop into Twin Lakes before heading up to the lookout atop Bull of the Woods Mt. That traverse looks fun and interesting! I've only seen pictures of it from a distance so thanks for taking them. I figured the skeeters would be bad as they always are in BOTW in early July. Too bad you couldn't complete the trip according to plan. Once again, nice to see a historic photo comparison.

justpeachy
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Re: Pansy and Mother Lode Mtns, July 3, 2014

Post by justpeachy » July 6th, 2014, 8:12 pm

Still bad mosquitoes? Wow, it was TWO WEEKS ago that I was up there and experienced bad mosquitoes. How long of a life span do those little bastards have, anyway???

pablo
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Pansy and Mother Lode Mtns, July 3, 2014

Post by pablo » July 6th, 2014, 9:19 pm

acorn woodpecker wrote:Nice outing, Paul. Good to see more pictures of those peaks. Funny you went up there as Nat and I almost did a very similar trip for the solstice. Before we decided on Mt. Minnie, we were going to spend the night atop Pansy Mt. and do the traverse between Pansy and Mother Lode. Then onto Silver King, drop down to the trail and drop into Twin Lakes before heading up to the lookout atop Bull of the Woods Mt. That traverse looks fun and interesting! I've only seen pictures of it from a distance so thanks for taking them. I figured the skeeters would be bad as they always are in BOTW in early July. Too bad you couldn't complete the trip according to plan. Once again, nice to see a historic photo comparison.
Hey Ben,

Well, given the way your Mt Minnie adventure turned out you made the right choice. I ran a scenario as you suggest for a 3 mountain visit, but there was too much distance for a day hike and I wanted the lookout. Spending the night on Pansy would make for plenty of time - there is a lake above Pansy Lake tucked away in a bowl that might be neat to visit and from there get on the ridge line south to Pansy Mtn. I think you and Nat will have a better time of the traverse than I did.

--Paul
The future's uncertain and the end is always near.

pablo
Posts: 1450
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Pansy and Mother Lode Mtns, July 3, 2014

Post by pablo » July 6th, 2014, 9:24 pm

justpeachy wrote:Still bad mosquitoes? Wow, it was TWO WEEKS ago that I was up there and experienced bad mosquitoes. How long of a life span do those little bastards have, anyway???
When I departed my vehicle for the hike, like your experience a bunch flew inside. It was somewhat satisfying to return to find a couple of dead mosquitoes on the dashboard. They got the last laugh as a bunch flew inside as I got in to leave. I rolled both driver and passenger windows down a drove away - they all got removed by the crosswind.
The future's uncertain and the end is always near.

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