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TR: Circle of Solitude (7/14-7/21 2012)

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Re: TR: Circle of Solitude (7/14-7/21 2012)

Postby Ska-T » Thu Jun 19, 2014 6:31 pm

I think the following loop fits your time and goals. If you had more time to explore Gardiner Basin and/or Sixty Lake Basin or climb so much the better, but it is a good trip without side trips.

Gardiner Basin Loop from Onion Valley: Onion Valley to Kearsarge Pass to Charlotte Lake (off trail or on use trails) to Gardiner Pass to upper Gardiner Basin to Sixty Lake Col to Sixty Lake Basin (back on trail) to Rae Lakes to Glenn Pass to Kearsarge Pass to Onion Valley.

Acme Mapper 2.1 shows the use trail sections as a trail (dotted line).

-Scott



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Re: TR: Circle of Solitude (7/14-7/21 2012)

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:56 pm

The Gardiner Lakes loop is for all practical purposes, an off-trail route. That trail has not been maintained in decades. Good trip if you want mostly off-trail.
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Re: TR: Circle of Solitude (7/14-7/21 2012)

Postby Ska-T » Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:34 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:Good trip if you want mostly off-trail.

Significant off-trail, but not mostly off-trail. :D There is a clear use trail from Charlotte Lake until you swing north to Gardiner Pass (at least there was 10 yrs ago). By time the off-trail section is roughly 1/3 of the trip duration and is thus less than 1/3 of the mileage. The off trail section follows water except for the two passes, so it is hard to get lost. Well, I read of one group that got off course just below Gardiner Pass because it is forested, but map and compass work or a GPS would solve that problem. The rest is navigation by sight.
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Re: TR: Circle of Solitude (7/14-7/21 2012)

Postby aweist » Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:52 pm

You're correct Maverick, sorry for the confusion. I have done cross-country travel before in Wyoming & Montana, but am traveling with a friend this trip and initially wanted to avoid it. However, I would not be opposed to minimal (say 20%) XC. I was referring to the Rae Lakes trip you mentioned above, but thanks Schmalz for the heads-up re: Dragon Pass. I assume that the actual Rae Lakes Loop with east side entry is a bit ambitious for 5 days?

Thanks for the alternate suggestion Ska-T, that looks like an awesome loop too. I'll do some more research on that and see if it looks doable. I suppose my main concern with XC was having to do a lot of research on the front end due to my limited time, but if the route is pretty self explanatory I'm more than okay with that. I'll be sure to post a TR of whichever trip we decide on.
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Re: TR: Circle of Solitude (7/14-7/21 2012)

Postby Ska-T » Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:02 pm

aweist wrote:I assume that the actual Rae Lakes Loop with east side entry is a bit ambitious for 5 days?

If you are in good shape, don't have altitude issues, your pack weight is not too heavy, and you don't spend too much time on side trips/fishing/climbing/etc, then 5 days is a reasonable amount of time for the loop. Here is a trip report from a guy who did the loop in 6 days, but his first day was only 2.5 mi.
http://cholla.mmto.org/hiking/sierras/trips/rae/
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Re: TR: Circle of Solitude (7/14-7/21 2012)

Postby maverick » Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:17 pm

Rae Lakes Loop in 5 days is reasonable, though neither Paradise Valley nor Bubb's are
locations that I would go out of the way to see, especially if the choices of Gardiner
or 60 Lakes Basin were on the table too. IMO the highlight of the Rae Lakes Loop is
Rae Lakes, and when folks have more time they usually include 60 Lakes Basin.
Whatever you choose to do, be prepared for a lot of mosquitoes.
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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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