This year we decide to take a play from BJ's book and hire a packer for the first time. Just having them carry us in to Emigrant Lake and we will hike around and out from there on our own. The problem is that I called the packer Sunday to confirm conditions and just generally touch base with him about our trip NEXT Sunday. I knew that because of the late running winter that it would be close this year. Anyhow, he said that he sent his guys out last week to scout the trail. They only made it as far as Sheep Camp (roughly half way) and had to turn around. According to reports there was 2ft of snow and Emigrant Lake was still froze over. He has better hopes than I do about things being opened up by this coming weekend but we are still going. It might just be a backpacking trip without the aid of a packer but we will find an alternative route for our trip into the Emigrant Wilderness.
Yes Gary the late snowfall made the backcountry areas socked in. Talking with friends that have been reaching into the backcountry they say areas are just now starting to thaw and open. Mid June we could not even make it into the Hiltons. The areas that are opening are also quite slushy so be prepared for that (waterproof boots) and the great conditions for standing water and major hatch outs. One item I would pack first is DEET, haha.
Discuss with the service as they are hurting not being able to get into areas, and have such a limited window for income. They might spot you into an area for a reduced price if they cant get you to your wanted destination.
Thanks for the advise packer. I hadn't even thought about trying to get a limited discounted trip and I'm usually on it. Being active on a few popular forums and knowing a couple of people I've managed to get us ferried across Edison Lake even after Jim had stopped running it. Several times in the Yosemite Valley I've been gifted some favors and other places also. Even for this trip one of the girls tried calling and reserving a cabin for all of us the night before our trip but was told that everything was booked. I called and told them that we had deposit on a drop trip and could they work something out. He ended up giving us us a 5 bed "rustic" cabin and two beds in a dorm room if we needed for $80. Sometimes it just pays to be understanding and willing to work with people who are just trying to do their jobs and deal with self entitled tourists.
Great Gary.Those in the business see all sorts,can connect the dots and read people quickly. They will not be disappointed with their decisions. Have a great trip! I just talked about doing a spot trip next year with my knee-challenged brother-in-law perhaps later this year.