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Blackcap to Bench

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Blackcap to Bench

Postby tlsharb » Tue Jun 14, 2016 6:13 am

So in mid August I'm taking a couple guys out for a week in the John Muir. We are going to spend a few days in Blackcap Basin and then hop over to Bench Valley before coming out. My question is-- I've done Blackcap Pass before but would prefer coming into Bench Valley on the upper/eastern end (camping at West Twin Buck or Crabtree. What is like getting in there from Confusion Lake? It is interesting that both Gunsight and Confusion passes are said to link Bench/Blackcap into Goddard Canyon, but no one ever seems mention this as a connection between Blackcap and Bench. One of our guys is a little "iffy" off trail, so if this is really nasty, I'd go over Blackcap Pass.
Thanks much,
terry



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Re: Blackcap to Bench

Postby SSSdave » Tue Jun 14, 2016 11:12 am

The HST Cross Country Passes page lists both those passes. I just my 2 cents on both. Lake Confusion is too steeply rocky to pass next to the shore thus one needs to climb the hill south. WD shows a GPS track where she did so. Definitely two passes where those that tend to navigate by sight alone and not with a 7.5m map can get into trouble. The reason is to drop into Goddard Canyon the gradients start out modest but because of the way glaciers carve U-shaped canyons, the slope is convex so becomes steeper as one descends that cannot be seen from above. Of course after dropping down not many will want to climb back up and re-evaluate so the unwise can easily get into class 3 and worse.

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Re: Blackcap to Bench

Postby Snowtrout » Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:46 pm

Don't know if this will help but last summer my wife and I hiked into bench valley. We set up our camp at schoolmarm and hiked east fishing all the lakes up towards confussion pass. At the highest bullet lake, we ran into a group of 12-15 (outward bound youths) with helmets and rope. Their guide said they were heading to confussion lake and that the pass was not too bad. Going up the west side seemed to be the worst part, according to him. Within 20-30 min, that group was up and over it from our view.

Once at bullet, you can follow the chain of lakes down towards schoolmarm (north side of schoolmarm was the easiest to hike). From there, Crabtree looked like a steep boulder field while it was an easy walk over to west buck.
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Re: Blackcap to Bench

Postby tlsharb » Wed Jun 15, 2016 7:02 am

Last summer we camped at Crabtree for a couple nights....gorgeous. I spent an afternoon starting at W. Twin Buck and fished my way up to Bullet. That side seemed pretty tame, but I've heard the Confusion side is a lot tougher. Maybe I'll send the other two guys over Blackcap and I'll try to tackle Confusion/Gunsight and meet up at W. Twin. We shall see :)
ts
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