The next morning we decided that we would do a day hike to Fontanillis Lake and Dicks Lake. We had slept in some after a very dewey night. I had been in my bivy to try to keep some of the dew off of my older down bag but instead suffered more moisture from condensation. I was disappointed that my bivy failed me. I gave up on trying to keep my bag dry and the next morning we just let the warm morning sun dry the bags out. We decided that we would set up the tarp the next night to give us some dew protection. The shot below is of a helicopter that made a couple passes hauling something, not sure what. We thought water at first but did not see/smell smoke (thank goodness) or see much of him after the couple passes.
We decided to just follow the stream coming down from Fontanillis Lake rather than hike all the way around on the trails. For our approximate route see the green line below. I didn't run the gps on this day hike as I wanted to conserve batteries should I be forced to use it for actual navigation at some point. The path to Fontanillis Lake was almost exclusively granite.
It was steep in sections but we just carefully chose out path to avoid the slippery sections. The shot shows one of the bigger trees that appears to be growing right out of the granite! It has year round water though so maybe not such a silly place to grow.
We continued up, hoping that we would not run into an impassable section and have to backtrack. The water disappears under the granite in some sections only to reappear further down the face. Once you were up here on alongside the amount of water was actually much more than seen from below. Some of the pools along the way would make some great spots to sit and soak (assuming the cool temperature doesn't bother you).
This shot shows the steepness of the water's path.
Looking back from where we came you can see all of Upper Velma Lake but no Lake Tahoe, yet.
Eric is taking in some calories, and the views of Upper Velma, with Lake Tahoe now far in the distance. The wind was picking up some today. We had some clouds in the distance but nothing headed our way.
Dead tree #43b with Fontanillis Lake behind it. Fontanillis Lake is one of those tricky lakes that is hard to see where it starts and stops.
Fontanillis Lake and some granite "islands".
Eventually we made it to Dicks Lake. We saw a few people camping at Dicks Lake. There is one decent campsite near the trail on the way in.
We didn't stay at Dicks Lake very long but instead decided we should head back to camp so we could work on our shelter for the evening before it got too dark. We decided that staying on the trail on the way back would be more efficient as well. The shot below shows the outlet of Fontanillis Lake.
The trail is well marked and easy to follow (besides a few spur trails at Fontanillis Lake's outlet). After passing Fontanillis Lake you head to Middle Velma and take a right towards Upper Velma/Eagle Lake and then another right at the Upper Velma Lake junction. Here is Upper Velma on the way back to our site.
There is a lot of exposed granite around this lake. It was like being on the moon at times. It was also especially hard to get around at night as there are many boulder fields and area of brush to traverse.
We set up the tarp and filtered some water before dark. Here is the big tarp ready for our blustery night. It ended up being much more windy than we anticipated with the tarp being a "flapper" so we got a small dusting now and again. So to recap: night 1 dew, night 2 dust. We planned on a better night 3.