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Route Advice: Cross country North Lake loop

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Route Advice: Cross country North Lake loop

Postby Lagomorph » Sun Jun 12, 2016 7:39 pm

Intro:

I have a permit for the North Lake trailhead on August 4

I'd like to travel cross country the majority of the time.

Just looking on comments if these seems too ambitious or feasible etc. as cross country stuff is difficult to predict pace and what not.

Any alterations you would make?

I would like to stay class 2 mostly but am comfortable with some class 3 stuff

I'm level ~3.5, good shape and what not.

I'm interested in seeing Ionian Basin but not real interested in camping there for long as its quite desolate and I do like those trees.


Potential Route

I've done the John Muir Trail section and while beautiful it's pretty crowded right in there and i'd rather avoid that.
And from what I can tell McGee Lakes look awesome. Leaning towards dropping down toward Colby meadows and going up McGee Canyon
instead of going to Lake Sabrina via JMT and cutting over.

Day 1
North Lake to Lamarack Col to Darwin Bench

Day 2
Darwin Bench to Mcgee Lakes
possible side trip to peak near emerald pass

Day 3
Mcgee Lakes to Wanda Pass to Ionian Basin to Lake 11939 near Black Giant Pass
possible side trip mt goddard

Day 4
Black Giant Pass to Echo Col to Echo Lake
possible side trip black giant, chardybis

Day 5
Echo Lake to North Lake

Can add an extra day somewhere for side trips
All approximate not set on camping at these specific places, very flexible.


A couple questions:

Snow on Lamarack and Echo Cols in early August? Prefer not to carry an ice axe. I'll be checking here for trail reports as time goes on and what not.

Would you climb Mt Goddard or the Black Giant or Chardybis? Or Black Giant and Chadybis? Or Goddard and Black Giant and Chardybis?

In Wanda Pass out Black Giant Pass? Or jump back on the JMT til Muir Pass and go over Black Giant pass and back out Black Giant Pass?

Is McGee Canyon used frequently? I found some info on it but not a whole lot. Just leave the JMT somewhere near Colby Meadows, cross Evolution Creek and head up canyon?


Thanks duds. I'll come back and post some nice pictures like all you guys so nicely have.



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Re: Route Advice: Cross country North Lake loop

Postby suncup » Sun Jun 12, 2016 8:38 pm

Can't help with most of your route, but went over Lamarck Col the first week of August in a big snow year (1983, I think) and had no problem-- a large snowfield leading up to the col, but no ice-axe and didn't feel over-exposed-- and I'm a lot less skilled than most of the people on this board, so far as I can tell. West side had little or no snow as I recall, but its been a long time...
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Re: Route Advice: Cross country North Lake loop

Postby maverick » Mon Jun 13, 2016 2:04 pm

A couple questions:

Snow on Lamarack and Echo Cols in early August? Prefer not to carry an ice axe. I'll be checking here for trail reports as time goes on and what not.

Would you climb Mt Goddard or the Black Giant or Chardybis? Or Black Giant and Chadybis? Or Goddard and Black Giant and Chardybis?

In Wanda Pass out Black Giant Pass? Or jump back on the JMT til Muir Pass and go over Black Giant pass and back out Black Giant Pass?

Is McGee Canyon used frequently? I found some info on it but not a whole lot. Just leave the JMT somewhere near Colby Meadows, cross Evolution Creek and head up canyon?


Hi Lagomorph,

Welcome to HST!

No snow issues of Lamarck or Echo in August.
After climbing over Lamarck Col>Darwin Bench, why not use McGee Lakes Pass west of Sapphire Lake and the JMT, from McGee Lakes use Pass 11720 to Davis Lakes from where you can use Starr's Route to climb Goddard, then use Wanda Pass to enter Ionian and Big Giant Pass to exit, climb the Big Giant from the top of the pass, and then proceed to on Echo Col. Chardybis has only class 3 routes, Mt. Solomons on the other hand has some easy class 2's to the top, and you could use Nietzsche Pass to come out at Muir Hut if you were running short on time.
You can also could use Haeckel Col to get back to the North Lake area, just don't use Wallace Col, even though it's has a class 2 rating, lower than the other 2, it is a very steep and nasty scree field and should be rated a class 2-3 or 3.
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Re: Route Advice: Cross country North Lake loop

Postby Lagomorph » Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:03 pm

Thanks Maverick and suncup. Much appreciated. I think I agree about crossing over to mcgee lakes from sapphire lake. From what I remember it was a long climb up to evolution basin from the stream crossing. Good info on the snow and other cols.
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Re: Route Advice: Cross country North Lake loop

Postby dubik99 » Sat Jul 09, 2016 8:30 am

Lagomorph wrote:Intro:

A couple questions:

Snow on Lamarack and Echo Cols in early August? Prefer not to carry an ice axe. I'll be checking here for trail reports as time goes on and what not.
.


Just came back from Lamarck (July 1). As usual there is snow on the East side, but no need for crampons or ice axe at all.
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Re: Route Advice: Cross country North Lake loop

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:09 pm

The daily travel is very ambitious. OK if you have extensive experience off-trail, particularly on talus blocks and with micro-route finding. If most of your experience has been on trail, you may go slower than anticipated. Have you calculated your daily milages and elevation gains? If possible, I would add a day and slow the pace. Getting to Darwin Bench in a day can be difficult unless you get an early start and are acclimated.
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