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TR Ansel Adams Wilerness (Minaret, Ediza, Nydiver, 1000 Isla

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TR Ansel Adams Wilerness (Minaret, Ediza, Nydiver, 1000 Isla

Postby davidsheridan » Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:24 pm

August 31st – September 4th Ansel Adams Wilderness (Minaret Lake to 1000 Island Lake)

First of all, Thanks to all of you who have posted on this site before with great information that helped me plan my trip and know what to expect. Thanks to the other writers and friends who have inspired our journeys.
We had perfect weather, with little to no clouds, no bugs, and not too cold in the evenings.

Day 1- We parked at Agnew Meadows and took the first shuttle to Devils Postpile. We had an uneventful hike on the trail to Minaret Lake. Upon arriving at the lake, we decided to camp up by the large pond above Minaret Lake to find a little more solitude. The altitude got to me and I was more tired than expected. However a swim in the cold waters seemed to revive me and we had a nice evening watching the evening sky settle on the minarets.
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Sunset on Clyde Minaret form Minaret Lake


Day 2 (Hiking Cross Country to the meadows above Lake Ediza)
We got an early start to head up to Cecile Lake over the typical cross country route form Minaret Lake. The use trail starting at Minaret Lake was easy to find and easy to follow.
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Lookign back on Minaret Lake form 1/2 way up the us etrail to Cecile Lake


The route we took was class II and did not go through the class 3 notch described in Roper’s book. It seems as long as you stayed right and on the most obvious use trail, you would follow this. A nice description of this route can be found here:
viewtopic.php?f=34&t=6945&p=85353&hilit=cecile+lake#p85353
Overall, you needed to use your hands a little for balance towards the top, but it was nothing very difficult.
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Route take syou through center of there 2 granite outcroppings to a tarn near Cecile Lake

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Talus Fields above Cecile Lake



The traverse above Cecile Lake was on large talus and there was not really a through trail that could be followed. It takes longer than you would think to traverse this section (roughly an hour with packs on) but nothing too slippery or dangerous.

To descend from Cecile to Iceberg, do not cross the Cecile outlet stream, the route down is on the right (East) side of the Cecile outlet stream. This slippery loose section first takes you down. Be careful, as it is easy to start rock avalanches and to slip. I took a nice fall on my bum.
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Dscent form Cecile outlet towards Iceberg

Once you descend (not all the way to the lake but to the bottom of the slippery route, it is now time to traverse the scree and talus slope above Iceberg Lake. This was the most dangerous/risky section of our day as we did not locate any use trail for the first section of our traverse alongside Iceberg Lake. The rocks were not stable and the traverse was challenging. I would not recommend this for beginners or for your first cross country experience. Keep in mind, we were late season in a drought year, on a normal year or earlier, snowfields usually make this traverse more difficult.
Once at the Iceberg Lake outlet stream, we continued on the Sierra High Route and left the main trail to Ediza and instead crossed the Iceberg Lake Outlet stream approximately 125 yards past the end of the lake and took the easily identified use trail towards the meadows above Ediza Lake.
Initially we planned on going all the way to Nydiver Lakes on this day, but decided that we had had enough for the day and found an established campsite in the gorgeous meadows above Ediza Lake.
What a great decision to take it easy and saver our energy to enjoy our surroundings rather than exhaust ourselves by pushing further along. Our site was located close to one of the many glacier-fed streams that meandered through these beautiful meadows. The sound of the stream made for very pleasant night’s sleep. This afternoon, after setting up camp, we ventured down to Lake Ediza for a swim. Lake Ediza is very nice.
As the day started to wind down and we found ourselves back at our camp, we were the only people up in this meadow surrounded by peaks. The soft light of the evening sky made the peaks of the Ritter Range transform into immovable Gods occupying the sky above, and I felt the rush of being out in the wilderness and the healing and enjoyment that it brings.
We loved our campsite so much, we decided to spend a second night there.
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Campsite in Meadows above Lake Ediza


Day 3 (Nydiver Lakes Loop)
Day 3 was a wonderful day, we took our time in the morning (2 coffee morning!), and we did not have to pack the tent because we were staying put for the night. By 10 AM, we headed cross country towards the cirque below the Ritter Banner Saddle.
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Hiking up to Nydiver alongside Ediza Inlet Stream


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Evenign near our Campsite
We traversed through a forest and across the Ediza inlet stream. There was a clear use trail that went up the North side of the Ediza Inlet stream and led to a tarn at the base of Ritter and Banner. From there we left the use trail and headed up the Northeast slope toward Nydiver Lakes.

At the crest, we could see the lakes below.
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Nydiver Lakes

We spent a relaxing afternoon and had lunch at the Middle Nydiver Lake. We stayed alongside the south side of the upper and middle nydiver lakes and had no issues skirting the lakes perimeter. On the lower lake, we saw a use trail on the north side and used it to go alongside the lower lake.

In order to make this daytrip a loop, we decided to try and find a way down the Nydiver outlet stream and down to the Shadow Lake/Ediza Lake trail. From the map, it looked like we could follow the outlet stream down to a trail junction. After scouting a few possibilities, we decided to attempt a grassy shoot on the south side of the Nydiver outlet stream.
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Coming Down Grassy Shoot next to Nydiver Outlet Stream


We continued to descend into this canyon, and the route finding was fun but challenging, ultimately we traversed to the north side of this canyon after being greeted with thick brush and we found a use trail that switch-backed us down the remainder of the canyon and brought us to the Ediza Lake trail.
We quickly returned to Ediza and had a very refreshing swim to cap off a very fun day hike.

Day 4- John Muir Trail to 1000 Island Lake
The hike was not as fun with our fully loaded packs back on, but the scenery around Garnet Lake made it a fine day.
After arriving at 1000 Island lake, we setup camp further west than the sandy beaches and perched up on the hill in an established site. We quickly headed down to the lake to enjoy a swim and found a nice cove with a nice small beach to call our own.
The views of Banner Peak and the Ritter Range from our campsite at 1000 Island Lake were jaw dropping. Everyone has seen the pictures before, but there is something magical about seeing it in person. We sat on some sculpted granite seats and watched the sunset on the Ritter Range. It was like a big screen TV that we could not take our eyes off of. We were mesmerized by the scenery. You probably won’t find complete solitude at 1000 Island, however the experience is a memorable must-do.


Day 5 – High Trial PCT to Agnew Meadows
For an exit-day hike, the PCT is fantastic. It’s mostly downhill, the views are expansive and the trail is very memorable. I would recommend it over the River trial as an exit alternative.
We looked back and retraced our steps from the days before. This was a nice way to end a great trip.



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Re: TR Ansel Adams Wilerness (Minaret, Ediza, Nydiver, 1000 Isla

Postby The Other Tom » Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:16 pm

Nice report and pics. Thanks for posting
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Re: TR Ansel Adams Wilerness (Minaret, Ediza, Nydiver, 1000 Isla

Postby SSSdave » Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:27 pm

Thanks for the trip report and pictures. You found the better route to Cecille though one needs to keep together on the steep switchback section as rocks there have a way of coming loose then bombing down on those below. Looks like you found the better place to camp above Ediza where I've been advising groups instead of the usual beat up areas on the northwest shore. Indeed one of the Sierra's finest meadow areas. There are secluded places to camp near Thousand Island Lake without plunking down at the village above the northeast end of the lake but one may not have a view exactly at those campspots. There is much more to savor about areas you passed through with secrets for those that have time to explore about leisurely so you two might enjoy returning to one of the favorite areas you visited and on a future trip basecamp 2 or 4 days with late July a good time for best greenery and wildflowers.
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Re: TR Ansel Adams Wilerness (Minaret, Ediza, Nydiver, 1000 Isla

Postby davidsheridan » Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:50 pm

A couple more pictures from Day 4 and 5.

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1000 Island Lake with Banner Peak


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View from PCT High Trail back to the area we had traversed the prior 4 days
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Re: TR Ansel Adams Wilerness (Minaret, Ediza, Nydiver, 1000 Isla

Postby hybrid90 » Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:07 pm

Awesome TR and pics! We might have crossed paths with you guys since my wife and I were there at Ediza from Aug. 31 - Sept. 3. We camped towards the end of the lake on top of a granite outcropping.. awesome view!

Hoped you had much fun as we did exploring the surrounding lakes. We are definitely heading back there again next year. :D
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Re: TR Ansel Adams Wilerness (Minaret, Ediza, Nydiver, 1000 Isla

Postby davidsheridan » Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:56 pm

We met a nice couple from Sonoma County, was that you? If so, we we first met at Iceberg Lake and then again at 1000 Island.
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Re: TR Ansel Adams Wilerness (Minaret, Ediza, Nydiver, 1000 Isla

Postby hybrid90 » Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:07 am

No that wasn't us. We are from San Jose. We only spoke spoke to a couple that camped near us at Ediza and from your pics, they weren't you because they brought along a dog with them. :D
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Re: TR Ansel Adams Wilerness (Minaret, Ediza, Nydiver, 1000 Isla

Postby richlong8 » Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:08 am

Thanks for sharing a great trip report. The cross country details are helpful for those of us who like to plan, plan, plan before getting off trail.
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Re: TR Ansel Adams Wilerness (Minaret, Ediza, Nydiver, 1000 Isla

Postby Vaca Russ » Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:09 am

SSSdave wrote:Looks like you found the better place to camp above Ediza where I've been advising groups instead of the usual beat up areas on the northwest shore. Indeed one of the Sierra's finest meadow areas.


Dave,

This is so true. One must also boulder scramble over the rock fall on the NW shore. I just got back from there last night.

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If you look closely you can see the hikers.

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You are so correct about the meadows above the lake, but we should probably keep that a secret (IMHO). :D

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I can't wait to get my report written up! :nod:

-Russ
” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
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Re: TR Ansel Adams Wilerness (Minaret, Ediza, Nydiver, 1000 Isla

Postby Jimr » Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:18 am

Can't wait to read your report Russ. Nice shot of camp Bellagio \:D/
What?!
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