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Eastern Sierra Trip Winter 2010

Day 3 of 5

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Friday, February 19th
Convict Lake

The clouds were starting to move in today, but it didn't rain or snow during the day. We took it easy today, driving over to Convict Lake. We'd hiked around the lake just 4 months earlier, but not today. We parked at the end of the road and then walked along the trail for a hundred yards or so, then found a nice spot along the shore to stop and take pictures.

Convict Lake

Convict Lake

When we'd visited in October, it felt like summer, although yellowing aspens were visible at the far end of the lake. Today, the mountains were covered in snow, the aspens were bare, and the lake was frozen over. It was a beautiful sight. It looked like some people had been brave enough to ski over the lake, as evidenced by the tracks left in the snow on top. However, it looked like there was a crack forming near us, so I wouldn't recommend it.

Looking toward the far end of Convict Lake

Panorama of Convict Lake from northern shore
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Close-up of ice on top of Convict Lake

We walked back to our car and had lunch, then walked over to the south side of the lake. Here we found a nice sledding hill. It wasn't optimally steep, but it was much better than yesterday. We could have gone higher to get a steeper slide if desired. If you're looking for a place to sled, I'd definitely recommend this over the Rock Creek Sno-Park. As a bonus, parking is free. With the hills and the nice view of the lake and surrounding mountains, I'm surprised there weren't more people here. There were only maybe 3-4 cars here at any one time. Most people just stopped, checked out the view for a few minutes, then left. A few actually hiked around the lake.

After sledding, we made a snowman. The snow was perfect, letting us create the biggest snowman we'd ever created.

Our snowman (oops, forgot the arms)

Our snowman between our sled runs

We then went back to Mammoth Lakes for some groceries, then returned to our rental house. I took this opportunity to take some pictures of the surrounding area, in nice late afternoon light.

View looking southwest from the Swall Institute

View looking southwest from the Swall Institute

Looking across the valley to the White Mountains

Mountain near the Swall Institute; doesn't it look like Everest?

Looking across the valley to the White Mountains

Panorama looking south from the Swall Institute
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