Trip Report - Ansel Adams Wilderness sept 12-18 | High Sierra Topix  

Trip Report - Ansel Adams Wilderness sept 12-18

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Trip Report - Ansel Adams Wilderness sept 12-18

Postby dreamer1 » Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:21 pm

First of all, a big thank you to the people who provided advice and suggestions for this trip - it would not have been as fun or interesting without your input. I had also promised a trip report, so here it is!

My hiking friend and I flew into Vegas from Montreal, got the rental car and made our way to Lee Vining in time to catch the sunset at Mono Lake.

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Mono Lake


Got used to the altitude by day hiking up to Galor Lakes and then to Mono Pass and Sardine Lakes. Sky was blue and there was no smoke to be seen or smelled. Nice.

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Galor Lakes


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View of Mono Lake from near Mono Pass


Drove to Mammoth Lakes and headed into Ansel Adams Wilderness. Started off on the River trail to Ediza lake. Very nice spot to spend two nights!

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Arriving at Ediza


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Nice spot overlooking Ediza


Next morning we saw three coyotes scamper by our camp which was really cool. As suggested, we dayhiked to Iceberg Lake, Cecile Lake, and as well as to a great spot overlooking Minaret Lakes.

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Iceberg Lake


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One highlight was finding a large iced snow cornice overhanging one of the lakes and walking deep under it -- amazing to be surrounded by 6 foot thick ice with a view on the lake and the Minarets.

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Coooooooooooooool!!!


Also did some cross-country exploring and came back to the tent in time for sun down, all rather exhausted. Next day we headed to Garnet Lake. And here a mystery occurred that I hope one of you can help elucidate. We took the River Trail back to the junction with the JM trail and heded up to Garnet. Once there, we walked over a small wooden bridge, followed the trail for about 1/4 mile, and (as suggested to us by one poster) headed down on a side trail that took us along the north side of Garnet (or what we thought was Garnet). We followed the trail all the way to the end of the lake, looked for the saddle which would take us to Thousand Island Lake, and headed over. Here is the view of the lake we are about to circumvent on its north side, which we thought was Garnet Lake (but was not). For the life of me, I cannot figure out where we were.

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what lake is this???



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Re: Trip Report - Ansel Adams Wilderness sept 12-18

Postby maverick » Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:39 pm

Dreamer1 wrote:
what lake is this???

Garnet Lake. There are only 2 lakes that size, but only a sliver of Ritter can be
seen from the far eastern end of the lake. The face of Ritter open as it is in the
photo points to the only lake possible, Garnet.
Love the ice cave shot.

PS You can use Google Earth to find almost the exact spot and view Dreamer1.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Trip Report - Ansel Adams Wilderness sept 12-18

Postby dreamer1 » Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:01 pm

Thanks -- that it what I thought but then must conclude my buddy and I are due for some heavy meds or that aliens are toying with us. I just cannot understand how we contoured the north side of 'fake Garnet' to its very end, then went over a saddle and back down the other side to another lake which turned out to be... Garnet. The next day we did do the same exercise again (north side of 'real Garnet'), over a saddle (steeper and longer distance to cover than the day before) and then down to Thousand Islands... All was otherwise normal :-) Still scratching my head...
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Re: Trip Report - Ansel Adams Wilderness sept 12-18

Postby old and slow » Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:42 pm

Thanks for the trip report and great pics - Glad you had fun!! Since I'm not a real strong backpacker, I like setting up a base camp (like Ediza and Thousand Island) for a couple of days and taking day trips to explore an area. So now I know at least one of my trips for next year. I'll also be prepared for some possible Garnet Lake mystery adventures.
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Re: Trip Report - Ansel Adams Wilderness sept 12-18

Postby SSSdave » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:06 am

dreamer1 >>>"... headed into Ansel Adams Wilderness. Started off on the River trail to Ediza lake. Very nice spot to spend two nights! ... We took the River Trail back to the junction with the JM trail and heded up to Garnet. Once there, we walked over a small wooden bridge, followed the trail for about 1/4 mile, and (as suggested to us by one poster) headed down on a side trail that took us along the north side of Garnet (or what we thought was Garnet). We followed the trail all the way to the end of the lake, looked for the saddle which would take us to Thousand Island Lake, and headed over. Here is the view of the lake we are about to circumvent on its north side, which we thought was Garnet Lake (but was not). For the life of me, I cannot figure out where we were."

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.70535,-119.15523&z=14&t=T

Note the USGS topographic does not usually show trail names so if that was all you had, I can understand some confusion with the actual trail names.

Your post reads like you left Agnew Meadows northwest on the River Trail and then at about 2.5 miles at a junction beside the MF of the San Joaquin River, took the Shadow Lake Trail west which leads first to Shadow Lake, then continues up beside Shadow Creek where it junctions with JMT which continues west up the canyon. Shortly beyond another junction occurs with the short spur you took, the Ediza Lake Trail, continuing west up the canyon to Ediza Lake while the JMT turns north to cross over the ridge.

Next you went back down the Ediza Lake Trail to the JMT junction and took that up and over the ridge to Garnet Lake where you crossed the bridge at the outlet and then continued up the trail a bit before taking a use trail along the north shore. After reaching the west end of the lake you turned back and probably headed northeast up towards the 3080+ saddle which actually has a major horse trail not shown on the map crossing that saddle from the north since equestrian users have a large camp on the north side of Garnet.

However that use trail actually does not go all the way down to Thousand Island but rather heads towards Emerald Lake where it junctions with the JMT. What I suspect you did was accidentally got turned around up near the saddle because it is low gradient terrain where Thousand Island is obscured until reaching about the 3060 meter elevation by the terrain knee and whitebark pines. Instead you possibly passed the noname lake just east of the saddle and then saw Garnet below that you thought was Thousand Island and went down.
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