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North Lake to Edison, advice request.

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North Lake to Edison, advice request.

Postby sheperd80 » Tue May 05, 2015 5:08 pm

Group Size: 2
Experience: Level 3
Comfortable with Class 3 and minor crossings
Interests: Alpine scenery, fish, exploration, etc

Our Aug 1-5 permits are reserved for what was initially going to be an out-and-back Humphries Basin fishing trip. Well apparently thats just not exciting enough now, so were discussing a thru-hike from Piute Pass TH to Lake Edison or perhaps Florence. Changes will be updated to the permit when decisions are finalized.

I've read several trip reports, and studied the xc passes section, but I'd love some first-hand advice as i know many of you could do this route blindfolded ;-). We have 5 days not counting transport and a day at North Lake (if possible) to acclimate. The ideal trip would be 5 days of travel that could be done in 3 or 4 days. However with all the passes, xc, route finding, etc, this route looks longer than that to me.

We are still in the early re-planning stage. One option we've discussed is...
Piute Pass > Mesa Lake > Puppet Pass > Merriam > Feather Pass > Bear Lakes Basin > Lake Italy Trail > Edison

Or a variation of that skipping the Merriam section and instead hitting Pine Creek Pass out of Humphries and taking trail all the way out.


Its hard to estimate the time this type of route will take. I understand some of this is relatively easy xc travel and some not, but having never been myself i dont want to assume. Especially when considering transport logistics of a thru-hike. We are both fairly strong hikers but we also both like beer and pizza so.... On-trail a 15 mile day of moderate/strenuous hiking is about the limit we would ask of ourselves.

Thanks for any advice!



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Re: North Lake to Edison, advice request.

Postby maverick » Tue May 05, 2015 5:56 pm

We are talking about roughly 26-27 miles to the end of Edison from North Lake. I would add in one more day, just so you
can have a layover (fishing) day, but also just in case of bad weather. It would be a fine trip thru some beautiful country
but you will be moving each day.
The Pine Creek Pass variation would be more ideal, it allows more time for fishing and exploring (for example Granite Park
and Royce Lakes).
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Re: North Lake to Edison, advice request.

Postby markskor » Tue May 05, 2015 6:51 pm

A lot of great country in Humphreys Basin but...not all that level.
I suppose you have to decide whether this is a hiking trip, or a fishing trip. If you include the Merriam/Feather Pass section, (BTW, scenic but not that easy, talus for miles, and better fishing opportunities elsewhere), this would not leave you much quality fishing time....Goldens?

If fishing is the priority, suggest - North Lake - Mesa/Desolation/Puppet - French - Royces and down Pine Creek.
FYI, this was a planned trip for last season until my friend bailed out last minute, and even at that, we were planning 7 - 8 days in what you intend to do in 4.

Another problem not mentioned is getting back to North Lake (and your car) from Edison or Pine Creek.
Might be easier to do a North Lake - out to Royce and back, loop?
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: North Lake to Edison, advice request.

Postby rlown » Tue May 05, 2015 7:21 pm

I would agree with Mav and Markskor.

If you intend to actually fish for Goldens, you need to spend time at a lake or in a basin of lakes for a day to get to know them.

My perfect trip in the area is:

Day 1: After the drive, stay at North lake or a mile up the trail. Acclimate.
Day 2: Head to either Mesa or Tomahawk.
Day 3: Stay there. Fish.
Day 4: Head over Carol Col to camp on the West side of Puppet.
Day 5-6: Fish Puppet, Paris for dinner trout, Rust and Lorraine for fun. Lots of lakes there to explore so time spent is worth it.
Day 7: Head back over Carol Col to the west shore of Desolation lk.. more fishing.
Day 8: out and back to North Lake.

Heck, I'd even add a day in if the bite was on.

It really depends on your goal.. Mileage or Fishing. Mileage means nothing to me. It's about the destination and the relaxation.. It's my vacation usually.

If you truly only have 5 days, then in and out to the lakes in the Humphrey basin is exciting enough..

Russ
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Re: North Lake to Edison, advice request.

Postby sheperd80 » Tue May 05, 2015 8:47 pm

That was the original plan almost to the letter Russ. But my partner began to lose interest. Thats what i get for proposing an August trip in January. :-/

Its definitely more of a hiking/exploration trip. Fishing is secondary but i hope to have some time in Humphries. Its not about miles for us but rather seeing this area we've both imagined for years.

We'll be dropped off and picked up, so no worries there other than the whole... "gotta get from A to B on time with no communication" aspect. :-/

It sounds like the Pine Creek option may be more realistic. If we add a day, giving one day for acclimation somewhere between North and Piute, then 5 days of travel should give us atleast some time for shennanigans or safety-net right? I cant expect a full layover day but atleast a slow 2 days fishing through Humphries maybe?
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Re: North Lake to Edison, advice request.

Postby Willythedog » Wed May 06, 2015 10:11 am

Not to hijack the thread but if you would oblige...

Planning a peak bagging trip of Muriel and Goethe. What lake do you guys suggest staying at in the Humphreys Basin for fly fishing? Thinking somewhere in the lower half closer to Alpine col. Or is higher up near Desolation lake better?
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Re: North Lake to Edison, advice request.

Postby rlown » Wed May 06, 2015 10:27 am

Willy,

I suggest you start a new thread with your proposed route and re ask the fishing question. Your target is more on the Glacier divide side I think. Humphreys basin doesn't seem right for your trip, until we know your larger plan.

Russ
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Re: North Lake to Edison, advice request.

Postby maverick » Wed May 06, 2015 11:56 am

Willythedog wrote:

Not to hijack the thread but if you would oblige...

Planning a peak bagging trip of Muriel and Goethe. What lake do you guys suggest staying at in the Humphreys
Basin for fly fishing? Thinking somewhere in the lower half closer to Alpine col. Or is higher up near Desolation
lake better?


Hi Willy,

Please start you own thread instead of piggybacking on this one. Thanks
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Re: North Lake to Edison, advice request.

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed May 06, 2015 12:00 pm

Going out to Edison seems like a lot of difficult transportation logistics for little benefit. But going out to Pine Creek adds a lot and transportation is not as difficult. You could take two cars and park at each trailhead. Or use the shuttle out of Bishop. Depending on where you live, and types of cars you have, it actually may be cheaper to just drive two cars. That would give you one more day to hike instead if wasting it with shuttling cars. I also see no need to waste a day acclimating. The hike up to Pine Lake from Pine Creek TH or to Loch Leven or Piute Lake from North Lake is easy enough to do the same day you drive.

Another idea is to do a loop out of Pine Creek. I did this last fall- there is a trip report here if you scroll back to last Oct. or late Sept. Just do not do as I did- I choose the few lakes in Bear Basin to fish that did NOT have any fish! A 15-minute drop to the next lake down and I would have had fish. Dancing Bear Pass is not difficult, but easy to miss the easiest route and you can easily get into talus. The pass between Royce lakes and Merriam Lake was easy but that was with snow on the north side. The snow was perfect step-kicking. I looked at it last Fall and it actually looks harder without snow. The south side is easy. I found Puppet Pass somewhat hard on the Puppet Lake side, but we may have missed the route. x-c from Pine Creek Pass to Royce Lakes is easy.

Travel on the trails is fast. The Pine Creek trail is well graded and you can make about 2.5 mph. Off trail is fairly easy. Probably can do 1.0 to 1.5 mph on it. The Piute Pass trail is even faster. If going off-trail from Murial or Gothe Lakes to Honeymoon Lake, the route finding can be tricky. Packsaddle Lake was real pretty but I do not know if it has fish.

The map or even Google Earth does not do Humphreys Basin justice. I also thought it was sub-par just from looking at maps. When I got there, it was more spectacular. Maybe your friend just needs to be assured that it will be an interesting trip.
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Re: North Lake to Edison, advice request.

Postby sheperd80 » Mon May 11, 2015 4:09 pm

Thanks for all the input everyone. Were meeting sometime this week to hash out details. Im still leaning towards out-and-back, but we'll see how it goes.

Whatever we decide on Im sure we'll have a great trip, even if it isnt the ideal approach. Perhaps after flying through Humphreys Basin I'll want to come back solo another time and really smell the roses. I love to fish and explore above all else, but I also enjoy a challenge so im looking forward to whatever we decide on.
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Re: North Lake to Edison, advice request.

Postby coff20 » Mon May 11, 2015 10:28 pm

This isn't exactly recent information, but its an interesting read if you haven't already seen it: http://www.highsierratopix.com/DFG_Angl ... _Basin.pdf
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Re: North Lake to Edison, advice request.

Postby Laserjet3051 » Tue May 12, 2015 8:42 am

Good thread. I have asked myself the exact same questions the OP is asking here on more than several occasions going to this same exact area. In the past, I have always aired on the side of extra fishing time and less distance/XC passes. Especially in and around Humphries Basin. I have never been disappointed, but I always leave wondering if I had just a bit more time, could I have made it over that XC pass in the distance and what would the experience be like?

Well, next months trip, I am going to do just that; budget less time for fishing, increase the mileage and really give it all I've got to get over that XC pass that for which there are no reports. Though next months trip for me will not be through the Piute / Pine Creek area.

I've fished for the last few years in Humphries basin and surrounding environs, my best yields were on Upper/Lower Golden Trout lake, but maybe that was a fluke.

:)
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