17828Clouds of mosquitoes near Johnson Peak (near TM)
- Aug 1, 2011A friend just got back from a truncated trip with his family today. They went from TM about a mile SOBO along the JMT and then a couple of miles up a branch trail that goes to Johnson Peak / Tuolumne Pass. TM itself was fine, as were the meadows nearby, but as soon as they started to go up, they first hit clouds of baby mosquitoes (or gnats?) that didn't bite, but another 500 feet up they hit mosquitoes proper. Despite long shirt and pants, he was badly bitten - 20 bites on his elbows alone (through the shirt) and his hands were a mess (someone had to cook dinner!). He didn't use deet - though his wife did and it didn't seem to matter (though she's a mosquito magnet and he is not). He did a solo wander up towards Johnson Peak and said it got a lot better as he got away from the stream and/or higher up.
Fortunately they had face nets (warned by rangers before they left) and put the kids into the tent who were fine, but it totally spoiled the long weekend for them - the kids were spooked and they spent one night instead of 3. He said it was like nothing he'd ever seen before (he's been up in the Sierras regularly for 20 years).
Btw, he said there was snow in patches here and there, but none on the trail itself and the reports from other hikers were that its melting fast.
I'm adding face nets to the list - our party of 3 first-timers leaves Happy Isles on Saturday. I'm also thinking that our rain gear might get a bit of extra use (per great advice from a previous poster)!
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