Seven Gables and The Pinnacles 2011

Vee Lake to Little Bear Lake

Thursday, August 25, 2011

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We had last visited the "Bear Lakes" during our trip in 1999.  These are lakes with names of various types of bears, or other bear-associated names.  Actual bears likely don't visit these lakes much as all of them are above tree line.  We had planned a roundabout route past many of these lakes with the final goal being to get from Vee Lake to Little Bear Lake, not that far apart as seen on the map above.  We weren't expecting any problems on the route today, however when we reached the high point to the north and above Den Lake at around 12,000 feet, there was a large snow field blocking our progress down to Bearpaw Lake.  We traversed to the west to try to find a way down, finally finding success.  We called the canyon between Big Bear and Little Bear Lakes a "slot canyon," although it was really just a small canyon much wider than what you might think of as a "slot."

Journal Entry:
  Started out hiking up from Vee Lake toward Den Lake, with views of Claw, Tooth, and Gruff Lakes.  Easy uphill terrain.  From there we headed up to the ridge toward Feather Peak.  A large, sloped snow field blocked our progress into the valley below with Bearpaw and Ursa Lakes, and we spent some time looking for a safe route down (with several cases of backtracking).  Finally we found a way down between Bearpaw and Ursa Lakes, then headed over to Big Bear Lake.  From there we entered a cool canyon to Little Bear Lake, where we are camped near the inlet.  Tomorrow we head to Marie Lake on the JMT.  Skies totally clear today!

Seven gables reflected in Vee Lake

Seven Gables over Vee Lake

Seven Gables reflected in a pond above Vee Lake

Tooth Lake and Claw Lake

Den Lake

Seven Gables over Vee Lake

Ursa Lake

Big Bear Lake

"slot canyon" between Big Bear & Little Bear Lakes

Seven Gables over "slot canyon"

Seven Gables and Little Bear Lake

Seven Gables and Little Bear Lake

marmot near campsite at Little Bear Lake


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