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Adventures With Rogue Photonic 2014 July 8-August 12

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Re: Adventures With Rogue Photonic 2014 July 8-August 12

Postby hikerdmb » Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:07 pm

Epic to say the least. Glad you survived. I like your decision to go back out. Hopefully the next section was a little easier than this last section. Hiking with Rogue is a little different than hiking with the guy you were with when we met at Evolution Lake a couple summers back.



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Re: Adventures With Rogue Photonic 2014 July 8-August 12

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun Oct 26, 2014 3:20 pm

In 1998 I did the Enchanted Gorge by a loop from Chasm Lake. I went down Enchanted Gorge, traversed about 100-200 feet above the confluence with Goddard Creek, and then went up Goddard Creek, up past the lake below Scylla and back to Chasm Lake. I did it in 16 hours, day-hiking. Had I planned properly I could have done it in a day, however I started late (after 9AM) and it was September, so I got stuck in dark and bivouacked, finishing the next day - got back to camp by noon. This was after a 200% snowpack year, so the river was raging and I only crossed twice- belly-rolling across snow bridges. I had to stay on the east side of Goddard Creek, which was harder than the other side, because it was also too swift to cross. Without a large pack, it was not too bad. I had a fire at night so stayed warm, but had no food after lunch on the first day.

If you go when there is more daylight, and get a start at dawn, this is a very feasible long day-trip from Chasm Lake. If I were to do it again, I would do just that. I never would want to haul my full pack! I have never done the lower part of Goddard Creek - not sure I ever want to after hearing about it. Personally, I found Goddard Creek far superior in scenery, to Enchanted Gorge.
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Re: Adventures With Rogue Photonic 2014 July 8-August 12

Postby Jimr » Sun Oct 26, 2014 7:09 pm

I went down Goddard creek in 1989. Full pack and 8 days of food (initially packed for 12 days). Going down the west side was tough. Staying high in the flank, there was (is) a series of false ledges that look like a way down, but cliff out. We spent half of the day dropping packs while I scouted ahead, then moving packs and doing it again and again until we rounded the flank and found a gully to the river. From there, it was numerous river crossings and moving out of the creek bed (a nightmare. The slopes crumbled away faster than we could move our feet). The forest on the east was tangled in bramble vines covered in spines. We slept cowboy style on a sand bar next to the creek using our food bags as pillows. In '89 the lower section was still quite clear from a previous fire, so for us, that was the easiest part of the hike. It took us 16 hours just to do the 6 or 7 miles down the creek to the middle fork.

As nice and wild as it is, I have no desire to go back.
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Re: Adventures With Rogue Photonic 2014 July 8-August 12

Postby Jimr » Sun Oct 26, 2014 7:16 pm

Now that I think about that trip, I recall one river crossing that was not a crossing per se, but to move forward, I had to Tarzan it using a clump of tree root as a rope to side rappel ( whatever you call it when your hanging on a rope against a sheer vertical wall and side swing yourself to the other side). I almost made it. The creek below was only waist deep, so I managed to keep my bag and pack dry.
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Re: Adventures With Rogue Photonic 2014 July 8-August 12

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:00 pm

Jimr- thanks for the account of the west side of Goddard Creek. Funny how when I was struggling on the loose steep talus of the east side, I looked across and thought it would be easier on the west side. Evidently it is not!

Enchanted Gorge was an unplanned mistake on my part. I packed a very light day-pack with the intention of simply hiking to the edge and looking over. Well, I got a bit curious looking down a hard snow slope to the deep blue lake below. I decided to slide down with a controlled self arrest using my ice axe. The snowfield turned to ice and luckily I skidded down the lower part without a major accident. I then realized that getting back up it was next to impossible. I had all the maps and enough gear to survive a night, only lacking sufficient food for two days. I had come into the Ionian Basin from Martha Lake so I knew a loop back to Chasm Lake would work. From the Lake below Scylla, I simply took the same route I did before. I had done plenty of bivouacking in my mountaineering days, so this one actually seemed luxurious - sleep on grass next to a fire instead of sitting on a cold rock ledge!

Weather was great and it was warm, so down the gorge I went! There were a few times when I had to "Tarzan" a traverse hanging off nearly vertical vegetation to continue. I only had about an hour's of serious bushwhacking with thorny brambles. Once on Goddard Creek it was mainly steep talus. Having only a light day-pack of about 6 pounds made a HUGE difference. Because I had no large pack, doing class 3 moves was relatively easy.
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Re: Adventures With Rogue Photonic 2014 July 8-August 12

Postby Jimr » Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:29 am

Yep. It's rough country no matter how one approaches it.
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Re: Adventures With Rogue Photonic 2014 July 8-August 12

Postby RoguePhotonic » Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:03 pm

That whole week was probably the most difficult sustained cross country travel I have done. Still look back at all that misery with a smile though! :D
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Re: Adventures With Rogue Photonic 2014 July 8-August 12

Postby Cross Country » Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:13 pm

One time I was in the canyon below lake (9600 I think) 10212 (the old topos elevations) and was contimplating going down but remembered what a backpacker I met on the trail told me. He said that no sane person would take this route once they learned how bad it is. I went over finger pass and concluded it was much better. On HST there has been A LOT written about this miserable rout and yet I'm the only person I know of who had the sense to listen to someome else instead of being stubborn and miserable. This was in 1974. This alway makes me smile or laugh.
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Re: Adventures With Rogue Photonic 2014 July 8-August 12

Postby Jimr » Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:47 pm

LOL 1989 was pre-internet. There was nobody I knew who had been there and the only thing I could find was an entry indicating that one of the pioneer explorers had been through the lower half.

I had no clue if we could make it down, but we had little choice. We were dropped off at Wishon, so there was no vehicle to go back to and our vehicle was parked at Road's End. Yep, 16 hours of the nastiest, wettest wilderness travel I'd ever been down just to do the trip over Monarch divide the next day. And to find out all too late that we forgot there was whiskey/water mix in our water bottles. Almost undrinkable after the first quarter of the hike.

It sucked out loud. I do have some epic memories, as Rougue.
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Re: Adventures With Rogue Photonic 2014 July 8-August 12

Postby alpinemike » Wed Oct 29, 2014 3:05 pm

Definitely an area that gets a lot of interesting talk. There is one thing that is undeniable for me.. I will never go back and do the Enchanted Gorge or will I ever bushwhack through the lower part of Goddard Creek. The closest I'll ever come to that area is when I take the Middle Fork Trail or when I explore the upper part of Goddard Creek.

And as Rogue said it was a horrendous week but I definitely laugh about it now and am glad I have knocked off the Enchanted Gorge off the list.
Never put off a backpacking trip for tomorrow, if you can do it today...
Alpine Mike-

http://mikhailkorotkinphotography.com/
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Re: Adventures With Rogue Photonic 2014 July 8-August 12

Postby jenreyn » Thu Oct 30, 2014 6:42 pm

This makes me smile as well reading through your descriptive journey.It really hallmarks some of the similar emotions and experiences I had when I too went down the Enchanted Gorge for my birthday trip a few years back. We went from Echo col to Chasm Lake and all the way down to the Middle fork of the Kings and back out to Bishop Pass in four days......it was truly horrendous bushwacking along with some of the "obstacles" that we faced. I think I know of that grass slope you talked about. We did it after the Winter of 2010 and it was late August. I totally thought that the water wouldn't be a problem for us as the map says "dissapearing creek" as the name. Boy were we wrong! There were crazy snow bridges and walls of snow 30 ft high in the gorge with "bergshrunds" that we used to pass through, along with water levels in the creek that proved too high and fast to cross. We were committed to traveling the West side of the creek and came upon a rock wall. There we had to climb the grass slope that was like climbing 5th class slab. I couldn't imagine it being wet. We ended up climbing very high, 200ft up and found a sketchy ledge system to the other side of the rock wall.
Oh, and the nettles that soon came after. Oh, and the brambles. We couldn't believe it. Brambles! Here of all places. I have memories of my partner and I cussing as we carried on as we were being stuck by brambles that tore and stung simultaneously by nettles.....we reached the confluence by dark. It was such a relief! Being in old growth trees in a beautiful place.....Looking at the map I thought that the next day would be "mellow" as it is only a few miles to the Middle Fork trail. It was to be my birthday too. To be honest the next day I forgot that it was my birthday as it ended up just being completely heinous :nod: It felt like warfare and it took us almost 7 hrs to push through those few miles of "mellow" terrain. Oh, did I mention that because it was summer I was hiking in a knee high dress and my layer underneath was a stretchy capri bottom? My legs were whipped like it was some kind of CHinese torture. My legs were torn up but there was no end to it until we crossed the Middle fork. We stayed on the West side again of the creek because we couldn't cross again after the confluence. I hear this is the worst side to follow. We encountered everything from nettles, brambles, white thorn, chinquapin(those spiny ball things), a massive massive fairly fresh rock fall zone that was very unstable talus, no fall zones only to be met with the two final obstacles: making our way through the willow jungle on a very steep slope that was almost impenetrable. We were at times not touching the ground but walking on willow branches. It was dark in there. This went on until we gave up and started to head towards the creek hoping to find some reprieve. We found that it gave us a short reprieve of 100yds before we faced a mud climb of 5.7 exposed above cascades that would be a certain fatal outcome. After this we were finally able to make our way down a grassy slope to the Middle Fork.
Fording the Middle Fork was no easy feat either and was downright scary, fast and deep. When we reached the other side I was just happy to be alive and not swept down river and the sight of trail was the best thing ever! Within a couple minutes an older gentleman was walking toward us and he saw the looks on our faces and asked where we had come from? We just pointed in the direction of the canyon and said don't even think about going up there! He had been turned around at the Palisade creek crossing as the water proved too high for him. This was somewhat disconcerting as it was the only way back to the truck! I had to be at work after the next day.....Long story short we made it out! But it was the worst bushwack I have ever experienced. Bar none. And I have been down the Muro Blanco and other environs and can say this!
Would I do it again? I would have to say yes......I found it to be an adventure and I thought it was beautiful. I enjoy being in places where others don't venture too often. I would do it later in September and as noted by others, to take the east side of the creek down. With low water it would be easy to cross the creek if not walk in it. Or, link it in by doing the Tunemah Trail route as it is another adventure to be had.
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Re: Adventures With Rogue Photonic 2014 July 8-August 12

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sat Nov 15, 2014 5:01 pm

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