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X Country Route Advice: Wanda Lake to Palisade Creek

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X Country Route Advice: Wanda Lake to Palisade Creek

Postby gohiking26 » Wed Jun 15, 2016 7:53 am

Hi all.

I have a trip in a couple of weeks in/around Kings Canyon NP. I'll be on the JMT from Evolution Basin down to Palisade Creek. I'm trying to see what off-trail options I have between approximately Wanda Lake and Palisade Creek. I'd like to see Muir Pass, but it's not a deal breaker. Ideally, I'd head south through the Ionian Basin and keep going until getting back on the trail via Rambaud Creek. But the Black Divide doesn't seem to offer many options. I was viewing Lagomorphs' thread with interest since it seems to be in that general area.

I've highlighted some of the more basic options in the attached map. Red is the JMT. Blue looks like a pretty straightforward route. Green might be another option if I can get across the Black Divide in that area. Anyone have any other recommendations for staying a little further west and south?

Any info is appreciated. Thanks!

My info:
Level 3 (worked in Sequoia for a season and got to hike all over the park further to the south)
Comfortable with Class 2 & 3, and river crossings. Not going to have ropes, ice axes, or crampons.
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options.JPG



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Re: X Country Route Advice: Wanda Lake to Palisade Creek

Postby Coops » Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:55 am

For the route shown in green...search the threads for "Black Divide Crossing."
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Re: X Country Route Advice: Wanda Lake to Palisade Creek

Postby maverick » Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:51 pm

Hi Gohiking26,

Welcome to HST!
From Black Giant Pass, there are three passes that can place you near Ladder Lake, neither of these are official passes:
viewtopic.php?f=31&t=13575&p=101705#p101705
viewtopic.php?f=31&t=13580#p101712
viewtopic.php?f=31&t=13576#p101706

I have a trip in a couple of weeks in/around Kings Canyon NP. Not going to have ropes, ice axes, or crampon.


A couple of weeks will be a little early, snow will still be an issue.

Only southern route would be to go thru Ionian, descend Disappearing Gorge and then Goddard Creek, climb up (steep and nasty bush to start) to Rambaud Pass. This also would not be doable in a couple of weeks, maybe late summer, and maybe a lot more effort than what you would be willing or want to invest.
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Re: X Country Route Advice: Wanda Lake to Palisade Creek

Postby alpinemike » Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:28 am

My best advice would be to go via the Green route to where you hit the Blue route. This as Maverick has mentioned involves Black Giant Pass, Ionian Pass, Black Divide Crossing, and finally Ladder Pass. But be warned.. this route may not technically be very difficult it is very trying because of all the rock you have to deal with. Black Divide Crossing is a Class 3 pass and since you'l be going downhill you will face several Class 3 downclimbs. The route though is fantastic and offers the very best in terms of epic alpine scenery. The route down from Ladder Lake is fairly straightforward with some bushwhacking and slabs. My biggest concern would be the crossing of the Middle Fork when you reach the bottom. It may still be running very high and it would be a challenge. As Maverick mentioned snow may also be an issue especially climbing the North side of Ionian Pass which holds snow late into the year... I was there last year, which was a bad year in Mid July and there was a snow field that we crossed.

In regards to going through the Enchanted Gorge and up Rambaud Pass... My thoughts on that are to stay away. Going down the Enchanted Gorge is a trial in and of itself and with a good snow year you'll be looking at not only high water through there but also likely a good deal of snow. And then.. the climb up Rambaud I personally would never recommend to anyone.. Steep, exposed the entire way in the heat, and brushy. Overall, incredibly unpleasant when the other route is so much better.
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Re: X Country Route Advice: Wanda Lake to Palisade Creek

Postby gohiking26 » Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:43 pm

Thanks for the info and replies. Knowing the names of some of those passes makes it much easier to find info. I'll have to give the Black Divide Crossing some more thought, but I can stop pondering the Enchanted/Disappearing Gorge/Rambaud Pass route.

I'll be coming in from North Lake via the Lamarck Col and going out to South Lake via the Palisades. Now I just have to consider if that's enough high elevation stuff and it might actually be nice to have a day hiking through LeConte Canyon. I've never been north of Bubbs Creek so this is all new territory for me.

Thanks again for the info.
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Re: X Country Route Advice: Wanda Lake to Palisade Creek

Postby ERIC » Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:54 pm

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