Missing fearless four didn't spoil fun

10 in 10 athletes, from left, K.M. Cannon, Karl Horeis, Rick Gunn and Jeremy Evans on the steps of the Capital in Carson City on Wednesday.

10 in 10 athletes, from left, K.M. Cannon, Karl Horeis, Rick Gunn and Jeremy Evans on the steps of the Capital in Carson City on Wednesday.

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I may have missed the Fearless Four doing the Rim Trail Monday, but I had the chance to hike the Bayview Trail up as far as Dick's Lake.

You can also take the Eagle Falls trail, which starts 200 feet lower than Bayview, but there's a hump around Maggies Peaks that adds more vertical. As it was, the vertical climb to Dick's was 1,560 vertical feet, plus about 720 down en route.

This is not a Sunday in the park hike; the trail is fairly steep much of the way, the surface alternating between decomposed granite, duff and big chunks of rock. It's probably a mixture of strenuous and moderate.

Early on in the shade was fairly cool, warranting long sleeves, but the higher one got the warmer it became.

The early views are of Granite Lake and Emerald Bay, both glittering in the sunlight. There are paths to Granite and the shore offers decent swimming chances.

It's 2.8 miles from Bayview trailhead to the junction with the trail from Eagle Falls. It's another mile to the trail cutting off for the 1.2-mile trek to the Middle Velma Lake. And it's another 2 miles to Dick's Lake, about 7 miles in all.

The last leg is pretty rocky and steep but the work pays off with a nice view and a cool lake.

I was carrying a six pack for the Fearless Four as well as food, none of which got to them as we missed connections. I did manage to consume some of the victuals but the backpack got pretty heavy along the last of the hike to the trailhead.

This is a good, pleasurable hike, perhaps not a good one for folks from the Bay area who aren't out in the mountains pretty regularly and definitely not for your aunt from Ohio. I got started at 6:45 a.m. and wound up at the parking lot at about 3 p.m. That includes a lot of waiting time and gawking moments.

Incidentally, I use Dennis V. O'Neill's "Desolation Wilderness" when roaming the wilderness. It has fine maps and a nice vertical profile of its hikes.

If you want to picnic on this hike the Lower Velma offers pretty views of snow patches on the granite peaks -- a surprising amount of snow is still up there -- and some cool shadows. The traffic was light on the trail except for a group of about 14 who merrily swung along past Lower Velma.

More season passes

Just when you thought the prices had gone up on all season ski passes, Mt. Rose checks in with advance notice that its pass goes on sale Sept. 3 through the end of the month. Price is $249 and the ticket is good for every day except the usual holiday periods of Christmas, Martin Luther King Jr. weekend and Presidents Weekend. You don't have to drive up to the Rose to get your season pass. Just log in to skirose.com. If you want to enjoy the drive, you can pick up a pass at the main lodge Thursdays through Sundays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., no checks, cash or credit card only. After Sept. 30 the price goes up to $700. Seniors ski free (70 and up) midweek and kids under 5 ski free all the time.

If you haven't sported at Rose, you've missed some fine runs. The back bowl offers nice tree skiing and long, pleasant blues.

Other hiking

The Carson Ranger District continues its weekly hikes with history. Today (Friday) the trek is In the Footsteps of Freemont, the Army explorer who traveled the west and was the first European to spot Lake Tahoe, along with Kit Carson. This is at Red Lake on Highway 88 about two miles before the pass. The ranger will take you to the exact spot where Freemont's cartographer Charles Preuss drew his rendition of the Carson Pass during the winter crossing. Bring a lunch and wear sturdy shoes, ages 8 and up.

On Saturday the ranger will lead a trek to the Gold Rush Trail at the Carson Pass on Highway 88. You'll learn about the pioneers who passed this way and see some of the tough terrain they had to traverse. Also on tap: the Pioneer Grave, 49er rock inscriptions and the Devil's Ladder. This is a 90-minute easy walk. All ages welcome, $3 parking fee.

The Sierra Club offers some outings this weekend too. On Saturday it's a Lakes Basin Hike. This hike is in the beautiful Lakes Basin area near Graeagle. We will pass by many scenic lakes and possibly stop for a swim on this 8-mile, 1,500-foot gain hike. Leader: Sally Lyon (530) 582-4943; Co-Leader: Lang Milligan (775) 787-2478.

Also on Saturday, Middle Velma Lake. A moderate to strenuous hike of 10 miles with a gain of 2,650 feet in elevation. The hike goes from Bayview, across from Emerald Bay, to the Middle Velma Lake in the Desolation Wilderness. This is not an easy hike. Experienced hikers only, ready for a hot day and cold swim. Swimmers can island-hop. Trip limit: 12. Parking fee. Leader: Craig Mastos (775) 786-7742, crgmsts@netscape.net.

On Sunday, it's the annual Sierra Club Picnic. Join us for festivities between 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at the group site in Galena Creek Park. Barbecue and drinks available. Bring a dish to share. Anyone up for early hike, volleyball, or horseshoes? Call Holly for details (775) 331-7488.

Sam Bauman is the Nevada Appeal Diversions Editor.


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