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Question about cross-country route into Cascade Valley

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Question about cross-country route into Cascade Valley

Postby vhsvhs » Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:06 pm

Hello,

Does anyone have experience traveling cross-country to connect the PCT/JMT to the Fish Creek Trail in Cascade Valley? I attached a map showing an idea for the route. It's based on a blog post I saw here. Do you have experience with this route? And/or, could you recommend a better location for the shortcut? I'm planning a backpacking trip for Memorial Day weekend that passes through Cascade Valley, and it would be great if I could descend directly to Fish Creek from the PCT. Staying on trails would require hiking 5 miles east to Purple Lake, descending along Purple Creek, and then hiking 5 miles west.

FWIW, I'm an experienced backpacker with a fair amount of off-trail experience.

Thanks,
Victor
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cascade_valley_shortcut.png
Is this cross-country route possible?



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Re: Question about cross-country route into Cascade Valley

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:18 pm

Have you looked at the route on Google Earth? It looks like rock slabs and brush but hard to tell if the brush is nasty stuff (like manzanita). Exactly why do you want to take that route? I have been down the trail from Purple Lake - it is pretty quick and efficient getting down. Often off-trail "short-cuts" really do not save that much time.
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Re: Question about cross-country route into Cascade Valley

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:22 pm

The reason I ask why? is that the PCT at this point is not that great. If my goal were to get to the hot springs I would just do an out and back. Another way to do this is to go to the hot springs, then go on up to Purple Lake on the trail and go out past Duck Lake to George Lake. If the shuttles are still running you could do the whole trip and park at Mammoth area ski parking.
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Re: Question about cross-country route into Cascade Valley

Postby vhsvhs » Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:46 pm

@Wandering Daisy - You read my mind. We're parking at Lake George and going to Iva Bell. The route over Duck Pass is certainly an option, as well as using the Reds Meadow shuttle (which will be running over Memorial Day weekend). However, given the relatively low snow levels, I was thinking about being slightly more adventurous and climbing over the Mammoth Crest (with ice axe and microspikes) via the Lake George trailhead, and then going cross-country south for two relatively easy miles to meet the PCT. Once at the PCT, it's a question of hiking 5 miles east to Purple Lake, versus dropping directly into Fish Creek. Maybe this is too ambitious? If so, we should probably just use the Lake Mary trailhead and enter via Duck Pass.
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Re: Question about cross-country route into Cascade Valley

Postby maverick » Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:58 pm

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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Re: Question about cross-country route into Cascade Valley

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:22 pm

I assume you mean take the trail that goes above Crystal Lake to the Mammoth Crest. It is a good trail, but north facing so still probably snowy right now. If you continue south on the Crest, the trail goes to Deer Lakes - really scenic lakes. There is a trail part way up Deer Creek from the JMT. I have not taken this route, but it may be an option too. Although a short distance, it is a 1200-foot drop to the PCT from the JMT. You should check out Google Earth. It is not really steep, but pretty complex with the little cliffs and brush. First photo is looking north on the Mammoth Crest just after you top out climbing up from Deer Lakes. The second photo is Deer Lakes.

Image

Image
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Re: Question about cross-country route into Cascade Valley

Postby sparky » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:24 pm

I betcha it goes no problem but like WD said expect a bushwack. Go for it! Sounds like fun :littledevil:
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Re: Question about cross-country route into Cascade Valley

Postby sparky » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:37 pm

I say go for it. When you get there you might find a better area to descend, so dont be married to it until you scope the scene. Expect it to be dirty and loose in places and like WD said for sure some bushwacking. Enjoy
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