Video III: Spring Snow Backpacking, Day 2: Round Lake to Meiss Meadow

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 27 March 2010

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 Made it to Round Lake, and took a nice walk around the Lake after setting up temporary camp.

Kick back spot to eat, lay back, and observe from at Round Lake.

 I then kicked back most of the afternoon enjoying the beauty of Round Lake from my warm and dry temporary perch, pictured above. When the sun started going down, I moved to a more sheltered position to camp for the night, pictured below.

Shealtered Campsite at Round Lake in March, 2010


Sensual snow shapes are the Haute Couture of the Round Lake rock.

Above: Rock above Round Lake to the East wears snow with better form and style than any human wears clothes. Below: Great view from my campsite of the landmark rock formation that sits above Round Lake.

Landmark Rock above Round Lake locates its position in the region.

The rock structure above, which I call the Round Lake Pinnacle, is visible from Echo Summit to the Northern approach to the Carson Gap. This formation serves as an excellent landmark for Winter travelers.

Waking the next morning I found that the old-school North Face sleeping bag my friend Dave Yerian gave me was imparting Blue Face, and blue dye from the bag was rubbing off onto my face...which make me look quite ghastly.

 But not to worry, I only judge what you look like in terms of how that reflects your physical condition, not the quality of your character. But man, I am really surprised that anyone gave me a ride out of the mountains, considering how ghastly I looked.

After a nice breakfast of softened banana chips, cranberries, and cherries mixed with powdered buttermilk and granola, topped off with a big rich cup of hot chocolate and instant coffee, I was ready to roll. But which way to go? I hadn't really decided yet.

Three Ways to the Carson Gap from Round Lake

There are three ways I have traveled from Round Lake to the Carson Gap, where we will exit the Tahoe Basin. The first is to follow the trail route (which is buried and unobtainable) up to the rising meadow out of the Southeast side of Round Lake. At the end of this meadow you cut to your right, roughly NW, and hook up with another little meadow. At the end of this my potiential routes split.

If I continue right, I will follow a little series of meadows connected by routes through the little hillocks that decorate the terrain, up and around to Meiss Lake, which sits set back off of a large meadow extension South from the NW part of Meiss Meadow. Check out the map for details.

If I turned left at the second meadow above Round Lake, I am planning to cut East through a set of little hillocks, to emerge in a hidden meadow section that sits to the North of the PCT-TY route as it cuts through Meiss Meadow. I will follow this to the Eastern edge of Meiss Meadow, where I will emerge from the North into the Northeastern edge of Meiss Meadow just to the North of the Carson Gap.

The third way is to cross over to the creek that feed Round Lake on its Western edge, then follow the drainage up to the Meadow that sits to the East of Meiss Lake. This is a pretty rough go, but the channels that the drainage cut down to Round Lake are incredibly beautiful when draped in deep snow. This is a real rough route, and I have only done it once, coming down to Round Lake from Meiss Meadow, but it is well worth while.

Because I'm fat, old, and tired I picked the easiest route, and followed the linked meadows up to Meiss Lake, and entered Meiss Meadow just to the North of Meiss Cabin.

As I was finding my way up to Meiss Meadow from Round Lake, I kept hearing woodpeckers. I followed the sounds to these fresh holes.

Brand new woodpecker holes

I wound my way up to Meiss Meadow from Round Lake through the linked meadows. As I tracked along the North side of the meadow towards the Carson Gap, I encountered the Meiss Cabin and barn, then came upon a sign for a trail junction buried under four feet of snow.

Meiss Cabin and barn in March.

 Below: The Round Lake junction with the Pacific Crest Trail.

Round Lake-Pacific Crest Trail Junction Sign, but no trail!

I walked over to the cabin and barn, then found a nice dry place just a hundred paces to the South to take a break.

Looking Northward across the Meiss Cabin barn in March.


Here's a couple of images of Meiss Meadow during Winter.

Winter Afternoon on Meiss Meadow


Meiss Meadow in Winter.


Trail Guide: Meyers South Upper Truckee trail head. See this page for links to maps, mileages, elevations, and related trail guide pages. Meiss Meadow. See this page to situate yourself in Meiss Meadow.

Interactive Map: Click the Colored Points on the MAP for the related trail guide pages.

Snow Instructional Videos: Considerations in Preparation for a Spring Snow Backpacking Trip


Post you snow routes, adventures, tips, or questions and comments below, or on the home page....


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