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Minaret to Cecile..Iceberg.

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Minaret to Cecile..Iceberg.

Postby Chicago_Dave » Thu Aug 27, 2015 4:40 am

Good morning!

I have my first trip planned to the Sierra backcountry September 9-14 2015. I have my route planned from Postpile to Minaret then up to Cecile and down to Iceberg.

My question is this.....

I have read in a couple different places that the "scramble" down from Cecile is something someone should not do with a "full pack". I know there are a ton of variables involved, but just how sketchy is it? Or is it not that bad at all? I'm a long time rock climber and have negotiated my share of boulderfields in my day. But my plan was to go from Minarret around the Volcanic ridge back to the JMT and up to Thousand Island Lake.

And also are there any good campsites in the Cecile Lake area? This really sounds like a dumb question.....

Any input would be fantastic!

Thank you!



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Re: Minaret to Cecile..Iceberg.

Postby maverick » Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:18 am

Hi Dave,

Welcome to HST! Please read: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4205
Also use the "Search" feature for researching that area, many threads exist.
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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: Minaret to Cecile..Iceberg.

Postby ksenn » Thu Aug 27, 2015 6:00 pm

Are you referring to the slope between Cecile and Iceberg? I did it in July with about 30lbs on my back. I didn't find it as dicey as I had read about. I think most of the hype comes from the snow field that is usually found there. However, there was no snow in July of this year. It was kind of steep with slippery gravel at first, which eventually gave way to boulder hopping. There's a use trail leading down at the top near the outlet of Cecile. Once I got to the far shore I could see a use trail avoiding most of the boulders that I toiled away on. Check out Roper's description in his Sierra High Route book.

Here's a picture from the north side of Iceberg. The arrow points to the use trail above the boulders that I missed on my way down.
iceberg.JPG


In terms of campsites, it seemed rather bouldery around Cecile, though there may be some sites on the east side right after you come up from Minaret Lake. There's a lot of nice places around Iceberg.
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Re: Minaret to Cecile..Iceberg.

Postby Bluewater » Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:55 am

I ran into a group of older retirement aged day hikers along the use trail on the way down from Cecile and they seemed fine. I was on a three day trip and carrying a light pack, around 15 lbs, and the route down from Cecile to Iceberg was easy to follow along the east side of the outlet stream. It really depends on your comfort level while carrying 30 lbs.

I camped on the eastern shore of Cecile. I found two places to camp; one was good and had a few nice spots with some shelter from small shrub sized trees. The other was exposed and small, just large enough for a one person tent, and closer to the south end of the lake. Both had very good views of the Minarets at sunrise.


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Minaret to Cecile..Iceberg.

Postby Bluewater » Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:02 am

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1440777527.019574.jpg


This is the smaller more exposed camp spot on the east/southeast shore of Cecile.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1440777595.318995.jpg


Good sunrise views.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1440777622.190360.jpg


The use trail is visible in the lower right corner of the first photo. There is a use trail all the way down to Iceberg Lake but most of it isn't visible in that shot.

Have fun. I did a trip report with more detailed photos and maps here:

http://seatosummitultralight.blogspot.c ... -17th.html




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Re: Minaret to Cecile..Iceberg.

Postby Chicago_Dave » Sat Aug 29, 2015 12:04 pm

ksenn wrote:Are you referring to the slope between Cecile and Iceberg? I did it in July with about 30lbs on my back. I didn't find it as dicey as I had read about. I think most of the hype comes from the snow field that is usually found there. However, there was no snow in July of this year. It was kind of steep with slippery gravel at first, which eventually gave way to boulder hopping. There's a use trail leading down at the top near the outlet of Cecile. Once I got to the far shore I could see a use trail avoiding most of the boulders that I toiled away on. Check out Roper's description in his Sierra High Route book.

Here's a picture from the north side of Iceberg. The arrow points to the use trail above the boulders that I missed on my way down.
iceberg.JPG


In terms of campsites, it seemed rather bouldery around Cecile, though there may be some sites on the east side right after you come up from Minaret Lake. There's a lot of nice places around Iceberg.



Awesome....thats the info I was looking for. And from other posts sounds like Iceberg is a better place to setup camp.

Thank you for the info and pictures!! So psyched.
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Re: Minaret to Cecile..Iceberg.

Postby Chicago_Dave » Sat Aug 29, 2015 12:15 pm

Bluewater wrote:
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1440777527.019574.jpg


This is the smaller more exposed camp spot on the east/southeast shore of Cecile.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1440777595.318995.jpg


Good sunrise views.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1440777622.190360.jpg


The use trail is visible in the lower right corner of the first photo. There is a use trail all the way down to Iceberg Lake but most of it isn't visible in that shot.

Have fun. I did a trip report with more detailed photos and maps here:

http://seatosummitultralight.blogspot.c ... -17th.html




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Great info and even better pictures! Thanks for the input....I'll put it to good use!
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Re: Minaret to Cecile..Iceberg.

Postby Bluewater » Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:29 pm

Have a great time Chicago Dave!


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Re: Minaret to Cecile..Iceberg.

Postby Chicago_Dave » Sun Aug 30, 2015 4:30 am

Bluewater wrote:Have a great time Chicago Dave!


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Thank You!!!
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Re: Minaret to Cecile..Iceberg.

Postby Pietro257 » Sun Aug 30, 2015 2:31 pm

As the other posters say, there is a narrow use trail. The photographs make this hike look harder than it is.

Some advice about camping at Minaret Lake... I was there two weeks ago. There is a beautiful campsite (best on the lake) on the far west side of the lake. When you come up from Devil's Postpile, you'll be tired and tempted to take the first campsite you see, but take the 30-40 minute trip all the way around to the far side of the lake to find this campsite. It's in some trees with a stream beside it that is good for getting water. Moreover, the use trail you'll take up the pass runs right by the campsite. Camping there will give you a headstart the next day.

Use trails around Minaret Lake are on the north side of the lake. Don't go around the south side, as I saw some unfortunate souls do when I was there.
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