TR: Badger Lakes, TI Lake, & Garnet Lake 6/14-6/17 | High Sierra Topix  

TR: Badger Lakes, TI Lake, & Garnet Lake 6/14-6/17

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TR: Badger Lakes, TI Lake, & Garnet Lake 6/14-6/17

Postby KevinDo » Tue Jun 21, 2016 6:09 pm

Hey Folks!

Decided I was tired of winter trips and opted to go on my first spring/summer trip of the year in the Ansel Adams area. Didn't really have an itinerary but knew I wanted to hit Thousand Island Lake and possibly Ediza. With 4 days worth of food packed, that would be no problem!

So to start...

Day 1 - Car camping for the first night!
We left from Los Angeles around 9am. We were supposed to leave earlier but the pasta sauce was taking longer to dehydrate than expected.
Got to Mammoth around 3pm and set up camp at the Twin Lakes campground and also grabbed our permit at the visitor center.
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We were going to cook dinner at the campground that night but opted for real food in town so we checked out a place called Delicious Kitchen (next to the mammoth mountaineering shop). Definitely pretty good pre-hike Mexican food!

Came back to the campground and called it a night at 8:30pm





Day 2 - First day on the trail
Total distance = 9.47 miles

Woke up around 6am and left Twin Lakes around 8am. Got to the "trailhead" by 8:30am and had to hike down the 2.7 mile road to the actual High Trail trailhead (agnew meadows area) as the Postpile road was still closed. Took maybe 50ish minutes as it was downhill and got on the trail. Weather starting out was pretty good. Clear skies with 10-15 mph winds and high 50s.The wind sure helped us stay cool going up the exposed switchbacks.
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After a few switch backs we finally started getting that awesome Sierra view
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Shadow Lake
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After about 2.5 hours of hiking, we took a quick lunch break ...Clif bars and stinger waffles!
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Now the original plan was to try to make it to Thousand Island on the first day but the extra 2.7 miles at the start tired us out so we opted for Badger Lakes

Nice little campsite
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Took a quick dip to rinse off and boy was it COLD! Thankfully the rocks made for a nice nap area as they were scorching hot from the sunlight
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Afterwards, we went on a short stroll around the lake

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After awhile we got hungry and went back to cook up some pasta w/ arriabiata sauce and hot links!
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After cleaning up, my friend and I jumped in the tents and called it a night while our photographer buddies went out looking for that perfect sunset

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Day 3 - On our way to TI Lake and Garnet!
Total Distance = About 6 miles


Woke up at 6 and left by 7:30.
As we got closer to TI Lake, Mt. Banner appeared
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Arriving at TI Lake
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Now we either could of gone down the JMT or around the lake over to Garnet...Being that their was snow at the western end of the lake we went that way
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Iceberg!
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Relatively easy stream crossing
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Sun cups everywhere! Maybe we should have gone down the JMT...
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This area had a bunch of red algae in the snow
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Looking back at the Donohue area before going TI/Garnet pass
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Around 10am some dark clouds were coming in and the wind starting averaging out at 20mph. So we got up the pass as quick and safely as we could. The last part got pretty steep
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Made it!
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Other side of the pass. Some of the bodies of water around Garnet were still frozen over
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Going down the pass on this side was much easier then going up
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Garnet Lake
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Pretty windy. Was cool watching the gust flow over the lake surface
[video]https://www.facebook.com/ashley.chwastyk/videos/10206499327981737/[/video]

Took a little scrambling to get down
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Some icebergs left in Garnet
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Last sketchy part of the day before we got to our campsite
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Same slope. One of my friends misplaced her foot and slipped down that slope and was just able self arrest before going off that edge you see in the photo. After that, we opted to just call it a day since she was shaken up and everyone was pretty exhausted from the sun cups and the pass.
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Was planning on making gumbo that night but we were so knackered so we opted for our mountain houses/backpackers pantry. Gotta say the Jamican Style chicken from backpacker's pantry sure has a kick! Try it!




Day 4 - Ediza or Exit?
Total distance = 9.66 miles


So same thing like yesterday, got up at 6 and left by 8. The night prior was a bit chilly as it dropped to below freezing but our 20F bags handled the conditions like a champ

Parts of the body of water near us froze a little. See how the lighting changes a shot! (previous shot)
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After bushwhacking for alittle more we found the trail iced over!
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Making our way around the north shore
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From here on was the fork to ediza or back down to the river trail. As the trail to Ediza was snow covered and steeper than the day before, we opted to exit via the river trail as we didn't bring ice axes along.

View of the bridge at the eastern end of Garnet
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Went down the trail to the river trail and ran into this...started to think that the trail to Ediza might of been a better choice haha. Threw on our microspikes and went for it.
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The chute wasn't too bad. Pretty fun actually!
We weren't able to find the trail as the shrubs were overgrown. We did find some parts of it but it was tough to follow so we just xced it
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The river crossing for the trail was too dangerous so we opted to follow the river for sometime till a safer alternative was found
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This was the best we could find...
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After that we had our last scene while enjoying the scenary
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and then finally exited the wilderness ending our trip
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No not really we still had to go up steady uphill 2.7 mile road in the scorching sun...

Finally made it back to the car around 3pm and headed down into town to get a beer and burger at the Mammoth Brewing Company (https://www.yelp.com/biz/mammoth-brewing-company-mammoth-lakes-3).
Sadly we were too hungry to take any pics of the food...so I'll end it there!

Here's the route we took http://caltopo.com/m/H770

Thanks for reading!
Last edited by KevinDo on Wed Jun 22, 2016 12:55 pm, edited 4 times in total.



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Re: TR: Badger Lakes, TI Lake, & Garnet Lake 6/14-6/17

Postby justm » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:04 pm

Wow, what a great trip !!! Nice pics. Thanks for sharing
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Re: TR: Badger Lakes, TI Lake, & Garnet Lake 6/14-6/17

Postby maverick » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:12 pm

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for coming back and posting this TR and photo's. Still a nice amount of snow at the base of Banner/Ritter corridor and on Whitebark Pass.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

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: TR: Badger Lakes, TI Lake, & Garnet Lake 6/14-6/17

Postby SSSdave » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:57 pm

Thanks for taking the time to write up a TR with images. Rather obvious why INF doesn't open the road until June 18. Were rather lucky to find a log crossing below Garnet anywhere along the river that otherwise probably won't be safe to ford for a few weeks. As a young guy was there on July 4 a couple times but learned end of July into early August is the sweet spot.
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Re: TR: Badger Lakes, TI Lake, & Garnet Lake 6/14-6/17

Postby hikerdude87 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:17 pm

Thanks for the trip report and great pictures! Somehow it is odd to me to see snow up in the higher elevation but then I realize that this is normally how the backcountry should look around this time of the year.
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Re: TR: Badger Lakes, TI Lake, & Garnet Lake 6/14-6/17

Postby cefire » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:53 pm

Great shots of Banner! Great shots all around! :)
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Re: TR: Badger Lakes, TI Lake, & Garnet Lake 6/14-6/17

Postby giantbrookie » Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:38 pm

Nice report and photos. Having all that snow up there really enhances the alpine character of that region. The clouds coming in over Banner are especially dramatic. I need to get up to altitude instead of sitting at my desk and reading about the Sierra while we go through one of our usual summer weather streaks of triple digit temps.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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