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Planning for my 2014 trek

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Planning for my 2014 trek

Postby RoguePhotonic » Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:20 pm

So like always I've got allot of thinking to do on places and a couple questions that some of you might be able to help me with.

So this is what I have come up with so far. Still planning where to go from where this ends:

June 27 - 1 - Reds Meadow Pack Station
June 28 - 2 - Trail Work
June 29 - 3 - Trail Work
June 30 - 4 - Trail Work
July 1 - 5 - Trail Work
July 2 - 6 - Trail Work
July 3 - 7 - Trail Work
July 4 - 8 - Trail Work

July 5 - 9 - Fox Meadow
July 6 - 10 - Big Margaret Lake
July 7 - 11 - VVR
July 8 - 12 - Layover
July 9 - 13 - Layover

July 10 - 14 - East Fork Bear Creek
July 11 - 15 - Vee Lake
July 12 - 16 - Big Moccasin Lake
July 13 - 17 - Wampum Lake
July 14 - 18 - Sandpiper Lake
July 15 - 19 - Climb Seven Gables
July 16 - 20 - Hilgard Branch
July 17 - 21 - Lake Italy
July 18 - 22 - Climb Mt. Hilgard
July 19 - 23 - Lower Mills Creek Lake
July 20 - 24 - VVR
July 21 - 25 - Layover
July 22 - 26 - Layover


July 23 - 27 - Blayney Hotsprings
July 24 - 28 - North Goddard Creek
July 25 - 29 - Lake 11,200
July 26 - 30 - Lake 12,280
July 27 - 31 - Lake 11,840
July 28 - 32 - 11,600
July 29 - 33 - Enchanted Gorge
July 30 - 34 - Layover
July 31 - 35 - Goddard Creek
August 1 - 36 - Lake 10,640
August 2 - 37 - Climb Mt. Woodworth
August 3 - 38 - Rambaud Lakes
August 4 - 39 - Dusy Basin Trail
August 5 - 40 - Parchers Resort
August 6 - 41 - Layover

August 7 - 42 - Leconte Canyon
August 8 - 43 - Lake 10,565
August 9 - 44 - Island Bird Lake
August 10 - 45 - Climb Peak 11,960
August 11 - 46 - Day hike to Lake 10,520
August 12 - 47 - Lake 10,565
August 13 - 48 - Upper Dumbbell Lake
August 14 - 49 - Marion Lake
August 15 - 50 - Layover
August 16 - 51 - Lake 10,250
August 17 - 52 - State Lakes
August 18 - 53 - Lake 10,680
August 19 - 54 - Kid Lakes
August 20 - 55 - Lower Tent Meadow
August 21 - 56 - Cedar Grove
August 22 - 57 - Layover

August 23 - 58 - Sphinx Creek
August 24 - 59 - Sphinx Lake
August 25 - 60 - Climb Mt. Farquhar
August 26 - 61 - South Guard Lake
August 27 - 62 - Josephine Lake
August 28 - 63 - Glacier Ridge Lakes
August 29 - 64 - Lower Deadman Canyon
August 30 - 65 - Ferguson Meadow
August 31 - 66 - Layover
September 1 - 67 - Lake 9840
September 2 - 68 - Day Hike Box Canyon
September 3 - 69 - Crescent Lake
September 4 - 70 - Climb Mt. Silliman
September 5 - 71 - Lodgepole
September 6 - 72 - Layover

So some details on everything above is when I leave the trail crew at Reds Meadow my goal is pretty much to move South as quick as possible while trying to do something new. I plan to hike out to VVR from Big Margaret Lake by taking the old trail or what's left of it that crosses East of Saddle Mountain.

The next section is a pickup of where I got flooded out of last year with a couple different ideas.

After that the plan is to go into Goddard Canyon and go up past Davis Lake over Wanda Pass and cross the Ragged Spur to get to that tiny lake out on it. Then go back and take the Enchanted Gorge down. Then take Rambaud Pass.

Next is going back out to Island Bird Lake and make a bid for the highest peak in that area. Then day hike to the small lake over the ridge above Cartridge Creek. I plan to take the other saddle away from Lake 10,565 to lower Dumbbell Basin and stay at the upper lake there since I have not been to it yet. After Marion I will drop to the small lake East of Windy Point and then also visit Windy Point again on the way out. Then I plan to take Glacier Saddle to the Kid Lakes and over Mungoat Pass out.

After Sphinx Lakes it will be Sphinx Pass and Cinder Col. Then down Cunningham Creek. After Josephine Lake I am still gambling on the small ridge pass to the West side of Glacier Ridge. I'll pass through Scenic Meadow to Ferguson Meadow. The rest should speak for itself.

Right now my main questions that I could use help with is has anyone taken Cunningham Creek? I don't know anything about it and it looks fairly steep. I need to know if it can be done and if so what it's like. Is it too ambitious to try to go all the way down it and then up to Josephine Lake?

When climbing to Josephine Lake is it best to take the hill slightly North where it does not appear to be as steep or is a more direct route up to the tiny lake to it's NE a better option?

When leaving Crescent Lake I just naturally planned to take Silliman Pass but after another look how about over the small saddle and down Horse Creek? Has anyone tried this? I have a photo of that hill side from Tower Rock and although the terrain looks doable it looks like it might be a nasty bushwhack!
Last edited by RoguePhotonic on Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: Planning for my 2014 trek

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:35 am

I went up Cunningham Creek mid-season years ago. It is very steep, mostly a faint dirt path (probably a game trail). I also think it used to be more used because I found an old glass bottle (like those thick old medicine bottles) and ran across cans, almost as if someone had taken a horse up this route, however unlikely. I would say I was on a trail about 70% of the time. I recall that you can get hung up in brush if you do not find this trail. The first flat gets brushy - had to crawl over a few logs. I recall going left of the stream scrambling a broken rocky cliff to the next bench up. It gets easier as you go up. All-in-all I did not find it hard, just a grunt. Being a lot of steep dirt, I expect that it could be slippery when wet.

The camping on Cunningham Creek below South Guard Lake is really nice. I think it is better than at the lake. I was at the edge of timber - nice lush grassy spots.
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Re: Planning for my 2014 trek

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:36 am

Also, started on the right side of the creek (left going up) and was on the left side at the first flatter area. I really do not remember where I crossed but do not recall any difficult crossing. To start, I angled into the creek from Could Canyon.
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Re: Planning for my 2014 trek

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:20 am

Well sounds like I should not have to worry about dropping down it. Thanks for the input.

That's also a good reminder about how nice it is below South Guard Lake. I'd much rather camp there than the lake itself.

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Re: Planning for my 2014 trek

Postby oldranger » Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:40 pm

Rogue,

There used to be a stock trail quite aways up Cunningham, also there is a trail up to Josephine but it is almost impossible to find unless you know how to get up the first 200 feet. The saddle between Josephine and the lakes on the other side is a piece of cake but the route from the lowest lake to the bottom of the canyon is a little more difficult. If by Ferguson Meadow you mean the Highest meadow up the main fork of Ferguson (it has been misnamed on the 71/2 minute series maps) which is really Long Meadow and Ferguson Meadow is the next meadow down. The best way to get there is heading up to big bird then to the tarns to the n. then go w to the saddle and drop down. You can also traverse n from the tarns then drop down to scenic then go west and intersect the old stock trail that drops down to Long Meadow. By this time in your trip you should be in good shape and your pack relatively light so making it to Long Meadow should be a possibility if you stay on route dropping down to deadman. Rather than a layover at Long meadow you might consider camping at the Tarns n. of big Bird the lower ones are shallow and warm up quite nice. If you hit the right one you might see some evidence that native americans once camped there! Camping between the two largest lakes on the west fork of ferguson is a good option as is the upper end of Box Canyon. If you want some route details I can pm you. Finding the trail down Cunningham can save you some really nasty travel. Finding the trail up Josephine also will save a lot of time and effort.

Mike
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Re: Planning for my 2014 trek

Postby sekihiker » Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:31 pm

I went UP Cunningham Creek in 1994 and it was not difficult. For a brief description go to:
http://sierrahiker.home.comcast.net/~si ... index.html
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Re: Planning for my 2014 trek

Postby Ska-T » Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:47 pm

In his book, Phil Arnot provides a detailed description of his route up to Josephine Lake from Cement Table Meadow, but he doesn't mention the trail that Mike just did. Arnot ascends Josephine from the northeast, basically. Arnot also mentions the 11,150 ft pass to get from Lake 11,062 on the east to the west side lakes of Glacier Ridge. Further, Arnot says the col between the uppermost lake on the west side and lake 10,832 on the east side goes, but recommends that you don't journey with a full backpack on the east side between lake 11,062 and lake 10,832. (I was disappointed to read that).

Regarding Cunningham Creek, a couple of years ago I ran into a man and wife in their late 60s who previously descended from Longley Pass to Cloud Canyon without any problems. They were going that way a second time when I ran into them. For some reason they didn't want to do Sphinx Pass when I mentioned it had some talus.

Sorry for the second hand information, but at least it corroborates the earlier replies.

-Scott
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Re: Planning for my 2014 trek

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:31 pm

Thanks people with some good input.

I kind of like the idea of going to Big Bird Lake and making my way to Long Meadow that way since I have never been to Big Bird. I have however been to the small lakes North of there. My thought with going past Scenic Meadow was to maybe climb Barton Peak but after looking at a photo I have of it I see that it has total tree coverage on the summit so I doubt it has nice views.

Josephine Lake is one of those places that makes me think because of how it has that strange anomalous set of contour lines on the NE shore. If you zoom in on that with Google earth it also is all distorted looking yet photos of the lake I have seen show nothing strange there.
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Re: Planning for my 2014 trek

Postby Kris » Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:33 am

Try and drop down into Big Brewer for an afternoon en route via south Gard . Sphinx pass/lakes is a great area.
~We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started... and know the place for the first time.

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Re: Planning for my 2014 trek

Postby oldranger » Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:06 am

Rogue

After reviewing the map I was reminded how special the upper lake basin on w. side of glacier ridge is. Though a few people cross between Josephine and the lower lake basin every year hardly anyone visits the upper basin--no fish so not much motivation. Anyhow I think since you will be in the area that it is worth spending a little time there. You might even find an old oxygen bottle that fell out of a Lemore NAS helicopter during a rescue in the 80s.

Mike
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Re: Planning for my 2014 trek

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:51 pm

That's my plan on Glacier Ridge. Even though it looks like I will have to cross the pass and drop down 700 feet or so I plan to then hike to the upper most lake and camp there. I want to make sure to visit all of the lakes there.
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Re: Planning for my 2014 trek

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:09 pm

I'm thinking this to connect above:

September 7 - 73 - Lone Pine Creek
September 8 - 74 - Glacier Lake
September 9 - 75 - Climb Triple Divide Peak & relocate to Lake 11,110
September 10 - 76 - Lake 10,600
September 11 - 77 - Kern Hotspring
September 12 - 78 - Layover
September 13 - 79 - Moraine Lake
September 14 - 80 - Lake 11,800
September 15 - 81 - Climb Red Kaweah
September 16 - 82 - Climb Black Kaweah
September 17 - 83 - set camp on Big Arroyo & climb Eagle Scout Peak
September 18 - 84 - Climb Lippincott Mt.
September 19 - 85 - 9 Mile Creek
September 20 - 86 - Lodgepole
September 21 - 87 - Layover

I'd probably go to Glacier Lake over Elizabeth and Copper Mine Passes. Then over Triple Divide and Wildflower Passes onto Picket Guard Creek. Then back up to Lake 11,800 to take another shot at Red and Black Kaweahs.

I'm still working on what would be the final 2 weeks of the trip.
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