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Lamarck Col

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Lamarck Col

Postby bandguy5686 » Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:01 am

Greetings community. I'm planning a trip from North Lake to Lamarck Lake and over Lamarck Col exploring Darwin Bench, Evolution, and Hutchinson areas, leaving early July. I've done a search and found lots of quotes referring to Lamarck Col as a "long slog with lots of elevation gain." I plan to be ready for the challenge, but a few posters have mentioned some tricky route finding out there (going into an unintended canyon, etc.). May I ask the community for your experiences and thoughts on this route? Fishing suggestions in the destination area would be super appreciated as well. :nod: Happy wanderings!



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Re: Lamarck Col

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:02 am

Early July this year will probably mean a more complete snowfield above the last tarn below the pass on the east side. Be prepared. If you camp at the tarn, you may have to wait a while before going over because the snow can get icy early mornings. If you want to split the approach to Darwin Bench into two days, I would camp lower. Early season there is a creek running (from the snowfield) so you could camp about anywhere. Later, the creek goes dry. If not acclimated, camping at one of the Lamarck Lakes is a good idea. At the least, spend one night at the North Lake campground.

Above Upper Lamarck Lake, the trail goes up on the northeast ridge of Pt. 12373, NOT in the gully. There is a sign on the top of the pass. It is the standard NP sign that says you are entering Kings Canyon-Sequoia NP. If you do not see the sign, you are not on the proper pass. There likely will be a fair path of footprints in the snow. There are various ways to get down the west side, all work, but some are simply easier than others.
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Re: Lamarck Col

Postby balzaccom » Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:19 am

Daisy refers to a sign at Upper Lamarck Lake. I can't remember exactly, but the sign clearly indicates that you should go LEFT at it. It may not say "Lamarck Col" it may say something like "trail." It may even point you to Upper Lamarck Lake, rather than the Col. But at any rate, the trail, at the fork in the trail at that point is quite clear, and you need to take the left hand trail which will send you up on the ridge. Don't take the right-hand trail, which leads up a creek to Upper Lamarck Lake, unless you want to see the lake, which is lovely:

Image


And here is what the Col looks like from the eastern edge of Upper Lamarck Lake. As Daisy notes, the trail is out of sight to the left of the photo, and then traverses that ridge to the Col. If you look carefully from below, you can see some of the switchbacks going up the east end of the ridge when you start the climb from Upper Lamarck Lake.

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Re: Lamarck Col

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:23 pm

I am NOT referring to any sign at Lamarck Lake. The sign is exactly ON the PASS!! Lamarck Col.
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Re: Lamarck Col

Postby maverick » Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:55 pm

This link will show you the correct route to take, to get near the bottom of Lamarck Col: https://www.gaiagps.com/map/Lamarck%20C ... 85&zoom=15
Go to the "Fishing Hole" forum here on HST, and use the "search feature" to get some info on the lakes along your intended route. :)

By the way, did you ever do the Slide Canyon trip, and check out Doe Lake?
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Re: Lamarck Col

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:02 pm

My mistake. I referenced the wrong ridge south of Upper Lamarck Lake. The map shown in Maverick's post is the correct route. The use-trail is pretty distinct- actually looks a lot like a regular maintained trail until you get up into the upper bowl near the tarn below the pass.
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Re: Lamarck Col

Postby balzaccom » Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:12 pm

I am NOT referring to any sign at Lamarck Lake. The sign is exactly ON the PASS!! Lamarck Col.


Apologies! There is a little sign down where the trail forks...and I must have been thinking about then when I read your post...
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Re: Lamarck Col

Postby balance » Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:51 pm

Greetings bandguy5686

You've picked a great place to travel. The lakes just over Lamarck Col are a favorite of mine. You might want to explore the upper basin, and spend some time there.

July conditions will likely require an ice ax. Take one with you, and check with the local ranger.

Quick story about my Lamarck Col trip. When I got my wilderness permit at the kiosk/park service building, there was a nice, sort of bewildered elderly couple just ahead of me. The young college kid working in the office suggested going up over Lamarck Col to these people, so they got a permit and headed up that way. They were wearing brand new boots without a scuff. I'm serious. Their sleeping pads strapped to their brand new packs were literally in the original plastic wrap with the price tags still on.

I'm shaking my head laughing to this day. I'm sure they never made it past the long slog of suncups on the way to the Col. I'm not sure if that college kid had something like vengeful feelings towards his grandparents or something. No doubt he's working in Washington DC managing a large project for the federal government right now.
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Re: Lamarck Col

Postby bandguy5686 » Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:53 am

maverick wrote:

By the way, did you ever do the Slide Canyon trip, and check out Doe Lake?

Heheh. Yeah, Maverick: I chickened out. :confused: I read and read about it, and since I'd be going solo I decided to do this trip first (which is mostly on trail with the one well-used cross country experience. I want to see how I do on this one, but I imagine I'll get all fired up like I did last summer and want to do the Slide Canyon Doe Lake thing later in the summer-AFTER I have to go back to work! :crybaby: I will definitely go to the fishing page-I LOVE to flyfish and I'm so interested in learning more about how to manage my Tenkara backcountry (limited distance for casting on lakes!)

This forum is SO great. Thank you again for maintaining it for us.
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Re: Lamarck Col

Postby bandguy5686 » Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:02 am

balance wrote:July conditions will likely require an ice ax. Take one with you, and check with the local ranger.

Thank you balance. I've not used an ice ax. This is for self-arrest in case of a slide, correct? I've read about this technique but never practiced it. Do you think I'll also need crampon attachments for my boots?

I'm not sure if that college kid had something like vengeful feelings towards his grandparents or something. No doubt he's working in Washington DC managing a large project for the federal government right now.
GOOD ONE. \:D/ My goodness I hope not! AND I promise to take all the wrappings OFF before my hike!!!! \:D/
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Re: Lamarck Col

Postby maverick » Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:20 am

I've not used an ice ax. This is for self-arrest in case of a slide, correct? I've read about this technique but never practiced it. Do you think I'll also need crampon attachments for my boots?


An ice axe and/or crampons can cause serious injuries or worse in the hands of the inexperienced. Self arrest is a technique that needs to be learned from someone who is experienced, and then practiced over and over again, so if you did fall it comes as second nature, it is not something that can be learned from a book/video, it is a life saving technique that one should know how to do without thinking or hesitating.
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Re: Lamarck Col

Postby bandguy5686 » Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:58 am

maverick wrote:
I've not used an ice ax. This is for self-arrest in case of a slide, correct? I've read about this technique but never practiced it. Do you think I'll also need crampon attachments for my boots?


An ice axe and/or crampons can cause serious injuries or worse in the hands of the inexperienced. Self arrest is a technique that needs to be learned from someone who is experienced, and then practiced over and over again, so if you did fall it comes as second nature, it is not something that can be learned from a book/video, it is a life saving technique that one should know how to do without thinking or hesitating.


Thank you Maverick. I will get with someone here in Tulare County. I can certainly practice on the slopes at Lodgepole and/or Big Meadow. I appreciate the heads-up.
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