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TR: Agnew Meadow PCT-JMT Loop 5-23 Thru 5-25

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TR: Agnew Meadow PCT-JMT Loop 5-23 Thru 5-25

Postby cahikr » Tue May 27, 2014 9:19 am

Hello My name is Brian and I was out this past weekend on the above hike.
My buddy Tim and I started out Friday morning around 9:00 am from Mineret summit, the shuttle wasn't scheduled to start running until 3:00 pm that afternoon so we walked in to Agnew meadow. The temps. were a lot warmer than I was expecting as we headed down the South bound PCT crossing only a couple of small snow patches that were rapidly melting.
Agnew Meadow

We arrived around 1:00 pm at the junction of the JMT for a much needed lunch break. We had been planning on going down to Rainbow falls as a side trip before moving up the the JMT but were moving slower than we had anticipated this being our first backpack of the season. After our lunch we continued up the trail with our first night destination being Vivian lake. Around 5:00 pm we arrived at what I think was Trinity lake, Tim had been having foot issues so we were moving very slowly and decided we had had enough for the day. The evening was very pleasant with temps. around the mid 30's.
Our first nights camp

Morning at Trinity lake?

The next day we packed up and headed for our next destination witch was supposed to be 1000 island lake. The hike started out as usual with no real issues, Tim's foot was feeling better and we were making decent time. We started hitting more significant snow fields between Vivian and Rosalie lakes, these were mostly in the flatter areas and there was no problem with route finding, there were one maybe two sets of footsteps that had been made the previous day.
Snow field between Glady's and Rosalie

We made it to Shadow lake shortly after noon for a nice lunch break, this was also the first time we laid eyes on other hikers.
Along the waters edge at Shadow lake

After lunch we headed up out of Shadow lake fresh and ready to trek on to our next camp. The hike out of Shadow was very nice with no snow to really be of any concern as this area is mostly south facing. We got to the saddle above Garnet lake and that is where the fun began.
At the top of the pass near garnet lake

The North facing slope down to Garnet had very heavy snow and being late in the day was very soft. At this time there were more tracks to follow as I suspect hikers had probably came up the shadow lake trail, it was still difficult to make progress through this area with the soft snow. We followed tracks and made our own in places also glissading down slope in the more open areas.
Tracks on the north slope above Garnet lake

By the time we arrived at the bridge at the Garnet outlet it was 5:30 so we decided we would camp at the sites just before the switchbacks on the north side of the lake. This night was also quite nice although temps were closer to freezing as evident of the lake itself that was 90% frozen with only the few feet from the waters edge thawing.
Garnet lake near camp 2

That night we also had PCT through hikers camping nearby and it was interesting hearing some of there story's about there journey so far.
The next morning (Sunday) we headed out again with a nice start on snow free trails to Emerald lake where we encountered another snow field on the south shore of the lake.
It was still early and the snow was still crusty making for a easy traverse across the snow, this was also the first time I decided to put on my micro spikes, but they were really not necessary.
Traversing the slope above Emerald Lake

We arrived at 1000 Island lake around 9:00 am for as nice long break and to take in the magnificent view, this lake was also mostly frozen.
1000 island lake

There were many hikers going in and out of the area, some of them headed in the way we had come. We gave some of them information on the trail conditions that they could expect ahead and then headed off down the southbound PCT and back to Agnew meadow. The High trail was very dry and quite warm as we headed across and back to where we began on Friday morning only passing a hand full of hikers along the way.
We arrived at the trail head around 2:30 pm with temps. that were probably in the low 80's and also to our first signs of mosquito's.
We had a very good time and was very happy that we decided to make this trip at this very early time in the season. Good temps., No bugs, small crowds, and very awesome scenery.
Please forgive me if this is two wordy, this is my first trip report.
Last edited by cahikr on Tue May 27, 2014 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: TR: Agnew Meadow PCT-JMT Loop 5-23 Thru 5-25

Postby maverick » Tue May 27, 2014 10:07 am

Hi Brian,

Thank you for your detailed report, looking forward to your pictures.
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Re: TR: Agnew Meadow PCT-JMT Loop 5-23 Thru 5-25

Postby DAVELA » Tue May 27, 2014 6:41 pm

there was a meetup going to this area,probably more than just one!nice pics and nice to see lots of snow coverage for a change.
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Re: TR: Agnew Meadow PCT-JMT Loop 5-23 Thru 5-25

Postby KathyW » Thu May 29, 2014 5:44 am

I love that shot of Garnet Lake with the clouds and ice - thanks for posting your photos and report.
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