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See Jack Crack: x-country between French Canyon and Royce Lk

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See Jack Crack: x-country between French Canyon and Royce Lk

Postby seejay317 » Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:31 am

Just wanted to share this fun and useful cross country route between the bottom of French Canyon and Royce Lakes. In planning our just completed backpack in the area, I had eyed (in Google Earth) the interesting crack/gully that runs NE from the bottom of the Royce Lakes Falls up onto the Royce Plateau. You can see it here HST Map

I couldn't find any mention of whether or not it's passable. After looking at it a bit, we decided to go for it. Worst case, we'd get a nice view of the falls. Turns out, it's an easy class 2 scramble up nicely solid talus. At the top, it simply rolls out onto the plateau. The views back down French Canyon are great. From there you could walk to Pine Creek pass easily, but we made a nice loop out of it by going over Royce-Merriam pass (totally dry, no ice axe needed).

I think the hardest part of the route might be getting into the crack. The bottom is filled with vegetation, but we got in by scrambling to a fairly obvious notch in the crack's outer wall just a bit above the level of the base of the falls which allowed easy access to the crack well above the vegetation and the creek formed by the falls.

Here is a pic from the top of it looking down and one of the crack as viewed from the French Canyon Trail. Sorry for rotation problems. They load correctly if you click on them.
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Re: See Jack Crack: x-country between French Canyon and Royce Lk

Postby maverick » Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:45 pm

Hi Seejay317

Welcome to HST! Thanks for the pictures and info. Used that gully route back in 87' when
heading up to Royce.
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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: See Jack Crack: x-country between French Canyon and Royce Lk

Postby Bluewater » Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:35 pm

That looks like a fun route. Thanks for the info and pxts.
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Re: See Jack Crack: x-country between French Canyon and Royce Lk

Postby kpeter » Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:39 pm

Very nice info. Any particular trick to getting around the willows by the falls and up into the dry gully?
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Re: See Jack Crack: x-country between French Canyon and Royce Lk

Postby giantbrookie » Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:03 pm

Nifty looking route.

kpeter wrote:Very nice info. Any particular trick to getting around the willows by the falls and up into the dry gully?


I wonder about that too. I couldn't help noticing that very thick looking green clump at the bottom. If I saw that I'd be thinking "impenetrable".
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: See Jack Crack: x-country between French Canyon and Royc

Postby seejay317 » Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:36 pm

Sorry, missed the questions above. I guess my notifications for comments were turned off. Yes, you can easily bypass the vegetation. From the original post:

"The bottom is filled with vegetation, but we got in by scrambling to a fairly obvious notch in the crack's outer wall just a bit above the level of the base of the falls which allowed easy access to the crack well above the vegetation and the creek formed by the falls."

It's hard to see that notch in the photos I attached, but it's pretty obvious when looking at the approach from the French Canyon Trail. Just some easy slabs up, over, and down the outer wall of the crack.
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Re: See Jack Crack: x-country between French Canyon and Royc

Postby cefire » Sun Sep 18, 2016 5:54 pm

Cool, thanks for the info - was in the area and thinking about this last month!
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