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Ediza Lake 6/12 - 6/14/2015

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Ediza Lake 6/12 - 6/14/2015

Postby KingMouth » Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:36 am

My Route

Summary: A nice weekend training hike with spectacular scenery.

I drove up from LA on Thursday mid-day missing all the traffic. Picked up a couple of thru hikers in Independence for a lift to Bishop. I just beat the closing time at the Mammoth Visitor Center (Ranger station), but the Permit was in the night box already. The plan was to get a good night's sleep at the Motel6 while it rained that night, and to get an early start.

Did some advanced scouting at Minaret Summit and captured the gloom on my Camera.

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The Minarets and (cloud obscured) Mt Ritter & Mt Banner from Minaret Summit

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Mammoth Mountain at the end of a bleak year


Friday: Woke to a wet car. A (relatively) good breakfast with real coffee, and I drove through the Minaret gate at 6:40 before Rangers showed. Friday was opening day at Red's Meadow and the shuttles didn't start until Saturday. The day started gloomy and cool; perfect weather for going uphill. Just don't wanna see any rain!

On the trail at 7:15. First backpacking trip on some new trail runners that I recently broke in on day hikes. A tenth in, and I had to remove the insoles I added. Much better!

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View of the Shadow Creek gorge from the east rim of the SJ River Cyn

Just a nice trail into the SJR gorge. Smooth, soft and firm ground that was easy on the feet. Minimal steps until across the SJR and starting up the climb to Shadow Lake. I love a scenic climb, because I have lots of excuses to rest while taking pictures!

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Shadow Creek at Shadow Lake outlet

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Shadow Creek falls


The Ediza Lake hike is actually like two different hikes: Agnew Meadows to the Shadow Lake outlet, and from Shadow Lake to Ediza Lake. It is hard to decide which I liked better on the way up.

On reaching Shadow Lake, I breathed a sigh of relief. The most challenging part was over, and I was warmed up and feeling really good. The lake is surrounded by trees that provide shade for the trail. It felt like a walk in the park.

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Shadow Lake outlet looking up the valley

The trail between Shadow Lake and Ediza Lake was rolling with shaded tree sections and granite sections. Views of rushing waters alternated with mountains views. The only downside was the crowds. It felt like the 405 over Sepulveda Pass (Hyperbole Alert!). A group of 15 twenty somethings flew by trailing a Horse/Mule pack train. I was worried there would be a serious shortage of solitude, which is one of the things I like about solo hikes.

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Whitewater on Shadow Creek

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Volcanic Ridge guarding the south side of the valley

Fortunately they made camp at the outlet of the lake, and I was able to find my solitude in the forest a couple hundred feet above the western shore of the lake.

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My first view of Ediza Lake

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Home Sweet Home

The only real excitement was after I missed the inlet stream crossing and had to cross upstream three different fast flowing feeder streams. I should have gone back, but was too tired and hungry. I did find it eventually...

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The good crossing!

I set up camp, filtered water, rested my aching feet and stretched out my tight hamstrings on a big flat piece of granite.

After I ate, I explored the area around my camp, took a few pix and introduced myself to my neighbors from the bay area. Just enough solitude, but 10 people within a 1/4 mile if I got lonely. :rolleyes:

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Ediza Lake with Ritter Range Peaks in the foggy background

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Ediza Lake Outlet

The weather started to clear and the temperatures stayed nice. I fell asleep on top of my quilt for a few hours until I got cold. That's what I call nice weather.
Last edited by KingMouth on Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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Re: Ediza Lake 6/12 - 6/14

Postby KingMouth » Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:39 am

My map link doen't work.

Anyone have a clue how to make Caltopo.com map links work?

Edit: The best I could do was make it a link.
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Re: Ediza Lake 6/12 - 6/14

Postby maverick » Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:21 pm

Thanks Hugh, wonderful first TR and beautiful pictures to compliment it. :thumbsup:
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Re: Ediza Lake 6/12 - 6/14

Postby KingMouth » Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:28 pm

Saturday: Woke early to sunny skies. I decide to do a day hike up the Banner/Ritter use trail and go cross country to Nydiver Lakes. Threw some fishing gear in the day pack just in case. Also some sunscreen as it could be a warm day.

The use trail started off really well marked and passed more nice scenery.

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Stream Falls

The trail got less clear with many branchings, but they joined back up again eventually. There are also numerous ducks to mark the way. After passing the tree line, the first good views of Mt Ritter and Mt Banner became apparent.

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Mt Ritter and Mt Banner

The trail eventually led to the base of the ascent and a snowmelt cairn. I branched to the NE and worked my way up the slope to the top of the ridge line. Numerous patches of snow remain, but were soft in the warm sunshine. I walked up one, but after a posthole or two I moved onto the rocks. There were many ways over the ridge, but the lazy man's route won out...

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Ritter and Banner from Nydiver Lakes Ridge

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Suncups

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Glissading Track

Unfortunately I saw no signs of fish and decided to have lunch instead.

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Smooth glass on Nydiver Lake #1

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My lunch view

After lunch I warmed myself up on a smooth rock before I headed back to camp. The way down was uneventful, but scenic.

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Volcanic Ridge

After I got back to camp, I mostly hid from the mosquitos in my tent while dreading going home tomorrow!
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Re: Ediza Lake 6/12 - 6/14

Postby KingMouth » Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:49 pm

Sunday: Set my watch alarm to 5:10. I want to be on the trail early as it will be warm again, and I am the world's slowest camp-breaker.

Caught a nice picture or two in the morning light, but this sleepyhead missed the alpenglow.

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The Minarets

Packed up and got my butt moving. I was making good time, until I had to stop for a poorly packed backpack. After I got it squared away, I got humping. Had some slightly slower hikers ahead of me spurring me on, but my bay area neighbors went by me like a freight train passing a hobo!

Got to the descent of shadow creek, and remembered how much I HATE going downhill. This old body would rather climb than descend, especially those big stair steps.

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Yuck!

Once I was crossed the SJR bridge, I started thinking about the tiny little climb back up to Agnew's Meadow. On the way down, I thought it was tiny, but knew it would seem huge on the way back. I was right.

Just before I reached the trailhead, I came upon several through hikers with 60lb packs. Reminded me of the 70's when I was a scout. The guy was nice enough to offer me fresh coffee! I declined because I couldn't wait to get my stinky clothes off and put clean driving clothes on.

And then I was homeward bound.


This is a really nice hike with really nice scenery. The only problem is that it is sooo popular. I would love to do it again in the late fall, when there are fewer people. I have a feeling that there are never fewer people, though!

Thanks for reading,
Hugh
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Re: Ediza Lake 6/12 - 6/14

Postby maverick » Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:04 pm

If you want more solitude in that area, stay away from the JMT and SHR sections, go to the western side of the Minarets. Dike Creek Lakes, Iron Creek, and Iron Lake all offer great scenery, and you won't see anyone for several days, except maybe on the hike in towards Hemlock Crossing.
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: Ediza Lake 6/12 - 6/14

Postby overheadx2 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:41 pm

Thanks for posting as I am headed up there in a few weeks. Its very disappointing that there were that many people up there already. I was hoping to stay off the JMT by hike the west side of TIL and garnet to Minaret lake and avoid the crowds, but even then it sounds like it may be a crowded. Mav, is there a descent loop on the east side of the Minarets you would recommend. I'm looking for a 20ish miler with some fishing. Some off trail X country and class 2 are desirable. Thanks, Phil
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Re: Ediza Lake 6/12 - 6/14

Postby maverick » Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:47 pm

Go to Lake Ashley Lake, beautiful and good fishing, without the crowds. There is a class 2 route just north of Ashely over the Sierra crest that puts you just north of Iron Lake. Going from Minaret Lake to Cabin Lake via Volcanic Pass is pretty isolate, and Cabin is not used nearly as much as Ediza, and is quite pretty.
If any further question please PM me, so we do not distract from the OP's thread. Thanks
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: Ediza Lake 6/12 - 6/14

Postby SSSdave » Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:51 pm

Hugh >>>"...The only problem is that it is sooo popular."

It is easy to find Ritter Range camp spots away from others. Just think out of the box not like others. Ridiculous to this person is that 95% of Sierra backpacking groups almost always camp next to lakes (or large streams) and when they don't it usually on a trail enroute to a lake. Just look at posted TR itineraries of members on this board. Almost always a this lake to that lake fest as though nothing else has value. Well at least the serious fishermen have an excuse but then what about others?

So the problem is the majority of groups only consider locations no more than minimal distance from lake edges and or trails. In the Ritter Range I've camped at such non-lake locales many times. And that doesn't necessarily mean a spot where one needs to lug water a long ways too. Nor a boring unscenic location down in some hole or dense forest as I'm a photographer after all keen to base camp at places with views. There are many small seasonal seeps and ponds including numbers that are not even on topos because they dry up by fall. Actually in this era many such waters can be found by simple using Google Earth or even mapper.acme.

As an example consider Thousand Island Lake. It is illegal to camp within 1/4 mile of the outlet bridge.

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.72494,-119.17114&z=15&t=T

The majority of groups camp along the northeast end, especially near the trail or just above the lake edge. Lesser numbers camp at the southwest end. And minor numbers camp on the big peninsula at the southeast end (most of which is illegally close to the lake edge). Almost no groups camp west of that peninsula for the next half mile west. See the large pond atop the ridge to the south just west of point 3162? Almost no one camps there or at the two ponds lower down the ridge. Heck from the top one can see both TI and Garnet. Much more of the same elsewhere and that includes the overly pounded Ediza and Minaret Lake areas.

David
http://www.davidsenesac.com/Spring_2015 ... 015-1.html
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Re: Ediza Lake 6/12 - 6/14

Postby rlown » Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:01 pm

A very nice report, Hugh :thumbsup:

Thanks for that. It even looks like the perfect conditions to be out there.

One recommendation: turn off the camera date/time stamp. Helps if you later want to print out one of your pics.

Regards,

Russ
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Re: Ediza Lake 6/12 - 6/14

Postby KingMouth » Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:28 am

Thanks to all for the comments.

I've already turned off the date on the camera, and circled those westside locales on my mental map!
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Re: Ediza Lake 6/12 - 6/14

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:08 am

Last Fall I caught fish in the middle Nydiver Lake. I too thought there were none, until about 6PM when I started catching them. 8-11" fish, not sure what kind since I am terrible at identifying fish. Not great fishing but sufficient for dinner. I camped up there so was able to fish quite late in the day.

The west end of Garnet Lake has good fishing and campsites - not many people go there. Follow a use trail from the JMT.
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