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Question on Clark Range X-country Travel

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Question on Clark Range X-country Travel

Postby Anish » Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:04 pm

Hi Everyone,

Some weeks back, I posted a request for some info on a proposed Southern Yosemite/AA Wilderness route, to which I received much great feedback. I discussed the proposed route with my hiking partner, however, and he expressed some concerns, specifically Blue Lake Pass and the route to Long Creek from Bench Canyon. He's wary of class 2 terrain, and I don't want to make him at all uneasy or apprehensive about the trip.
I've decided to go back to the maps and find an alternate in the same region. I still want to include some x-country to add an element of adventure, but want to keep it straight forward. Secor describes two neighboring Class 1 passes, the south ridge of Merced Peak and the south ridge of Triple Divide Peak. I'm thinking of a modified Clark Range loop where we use the trail from Post Peak Pass to Red Peak Pass (N of the Clarks, east to west) and then:
1. Leave the trail halfway between Lower Ottoway and Merced Pass Lakes.
2. Contour to the unnamed lakes a couple miles east of Merced Pass Lakes (I imagine they are seldom visited, thus pristine).
3. Over Merced Pass and Triple Divide Peak S Ridge (spending a night at the basin in between) to Walton/Slab Lakes, then reconnect with the trail.

I saw Secor's Class 1 rating and got excited. For those who have done it, or parts of it, is this section truly Class 1? As long as the route finding isn't too complex, and there are no extensive boulder fields, I would love to try this route.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Anish



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Re: Question on Clark Range X-country Travel

Postby oldranger » Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:21 am

I really don't think the new route is any easier. And navigation a little more difficult. Though Horsethief canyon, the upper reaches of the s fork, is pretty nice.

Mike
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Re: Question on Clark Range X-country Travel

Postby Anish » Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:22 am

Mike, thanks for the input! A slightly scaled back x-country option would keep us on the trail past Merced Pass > Moraine meadows, then follow the S Fork Merced north to the area you described (thus skipping the route over south ridge Merced peak). I would still be interested in staying high as much as possible.
Does anyone have input on crossing Three D Divide from horsethief meadows to slab lakes area?
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Re: Question on Clark Range X-country Travel

Postby afahrland » Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:44 am

Triple Divide South from the west side:
Image

Closer to the pass:
Image

Final approach to the pass:
Image

Image

Merced Peak South Ridge from the east side:
Image

Triple Divide South is one of the easier cross-country passes I've done. It's definitely class 2 on both sides, but you will walk over some boulders and will have to do some routefinding to find the best way near the top. It is easier than Blue Lakes Pass IMHO. Blue Lakes Pass is also definitely class 2 but the routefinding is less obvious.
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Re: Question on Clark Range X-country Travel

Postby Anish » Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:53 am

That is extremely helpful. Thank you so much! The photos are very insightful since I haven't been able to find much intel on the area. Appreciate it!
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Re: Question on Clark Range X-country Travel

Postby maverick » Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:28 pm

Hi Anish,

Try using the HST Map, you can check on the Cross Country Passes box and all the passes in the
area will be located by a red box which should help you in some of your decision making process.
http://www.highsierratopix.com/high-sie ... at=2,&mt=1
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

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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