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TR: JMT/PCT for Ediza and Thousand Islands 7/1-7/3

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TR: JMT/PCT for Ediza and Thousand Islands 7/1-7/3

Postby sambieni » Tue Jul 05, 2016 11:06 am

First - many thanks for tons of feedback/thoughts as I prepped for my first real excursion into the Sierras. It helped a ton so greatly appreciate it.

Now onto the TR...

Sierras are amazingly gorgeous and only thing to compare it to previously was time spent in Glacier NP in Montana.

Drove up from LA Thursday and got to New Shady Rest CG. Scrambled to get my permit in the night drop. They failed to leave it making me have to reset plans for the following am for a later start. But eventually Forest Service placed the permits in the box and apologized profusely for the long delay; I guess a computer glitch. And a good thing I checked the box a few times after hours. Good CG. I basically rolled in and just slept in back of my outback all night w my backup sleeping bag/pad so no need to unpack any gear. Pre-trip dinner of great grilled fish/veggies at Jimmy's Taverna. Not cheap, but great fuel for next am.

Day 1:
Caught the 715 am shuttle (lets call it 735 to be honest), some good banter and nerves and vibes going up the road. Dumped me at Devil's Postpile and I was on my way. I skipped the 1/2 mile rt to see the postpile; I had not hiked at altitude in ages and my pack was heavier than I liked so wanted to just conserve energy as tested my body that first day. Headed up JMT. Solid going whole way. Great intro into the area.

Johnston Meadow area was 3 (maybe 4?) for Skeeters. Just got pummeled. Took some time to get my headnet out and it was feeding frenzy; I should have just kept hiking out of it and would have fared better. Saw nice deer and fawn up near start of the lakes. Gladys had lots of dragonflies out, but few skeeters at the time. Rosalie Lake was gorgeous; my initial destination, but my body handled the altitude really well and I was feeling great so kept on going. Love the drop into Shadow Creek and onward to Ediza Lake. Just unreal

Ediza - serious Skeeters. Definitely a 3. Fared well at moments when wind picked up, but it was tough. I also have very sweet blood so I just am resigned to accepting bites - even thru clothing. My 30% Repel roll-on did nothing. 100% Deet from nearby camper - a few squirts helped for a brief while. I was able to eat dinner outside tent though w visit from marmot friend.

11 miles; ~7 hours (I was slow going, both by design and need)

Day 2:
JMT to Thousand Islands
Just gorgeous. The push over 10K both times was tough, but enjoyable. Love GArnet and Ruby Lakes. Trailed was less thru hikers than day before and more weekend warriors as well.

The drop into Thousand Islands is just unparalleled

~10 miles; 5 hours. I could have pushed onward to Waugh Lake or similar. I was playing w house money and a day ahead of my original schedule. Body was fine w altitude and the distance. Learned I can definitely push 12-15 miles a day and be more than fine. But decided to just call it a day and chill by the lakeside. Also gave me a chance to pack out next day early to surprise the family ahead of schedule.

Hiked up ~3/4 mile on North side of Thousand Islands and dropped into nice campsite. Mozzies were 2-3, somewhat wind dependent.

Great camp spot, but really packed over Saturday night. Kept up til past 11 pm w nearby campers being extremely loud all night/drinking/etc, plus a group who sounded (I was dozing in /out) older w 1 member struggling from altitude. They seemed like they were searching for campspot and then called that off and decided better to hike out that night and down for their 1 ailing member. It seemed like the very wrong decision from the likes of it; better to hydrate a ton, eat a small bite, and rest for few hours than trek the night. But after ~30 minutes sorting themselves out around 1030/11 outside my tent in tandem w the loud group - gathering food, etc - they made off thru the night. No clue what happened to 'em. And strangely, think they were going back via JMT to agnew meadows and not River or High Trails, which would surely have been easier outs.

Day 3
Up at 530 and packed up and out of camp by 645. I was easily the first one out of the area and blew down the PCT/High Trail. Not passed the entire morning, which felt great other than a trail runner going up and down. Back at Agnew Meadows before 11 am. 5 minute wait for shuttle out. Mammoth Lakes was packed. The wait for shuttle in must have been at least 2 hours for many people. I took advantage of $10 shower at Mammoth Mtn Inn. Cleaned up, grabbed some pizza, and was on my way back to SoCal surprising the family a day early. Great weekend!

Overall ~31 miles. Great hiking. Stoked to know my body responded so well to it all. Packed all the right gear, but too much food - more like 5 days for 3. Bummer for this trip, but helpful to know since I have 5-6 day trip later this summer. My Jetboil on only second use - igniter crapped out - so returned it already and now just going MSR Pocket Rocket going forward. And my trek poles dying, so gotta replace 'em.

Any rate - Sierras are just magnificent and this trip is clearly the start of something new.

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Rosalie Lake
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Near Shadow Creek crossing; what not to do despite your good intentions.
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Ediza
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More Ediza
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My home at Ediza
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Garnet Lake
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Thousand Islands
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High Trail looking across to Shadow Creek, etc...
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Re: TR: JMT/PCT for Ediza and Thousand Islands 7/1-7/3

Postby maverick » Tue Jul 05, 2016 11:49 am

Great camp spot, but really packed over Saturday night. Kept up til past 11 pm w nearby campers being extremely loud all night/drinking/etc,


That's to bad, some folks just have no awareness. :\

Otherwise it sounds like you had a great trip, thanks for the TR and pictures.
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Re: TR: JMT/PCT for Ediza and Thousand Islands 7/1-7/3

Postby sambieni » Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:21 pm

Great trip. I skipped out on Iceberg too - was told snow going up that way was a bit dodgy for some. And up to Cecile was certainly a no go.

Overall amazing area. Definitely busy few days out there on the trails; shocked folks left food by the trail side expecting others to snatch it up. And yes, could have used more respectful neighbors at Thousand Island. I think they even - admittedly - camped on a patch of grass that was labeled for restoration.
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Re: TR: JMT/PCT for Ediza and Thousand Islands 7/1-7/3

Postby Aeropilot » Tue Jul 05, 2016 3:08 pm

Lovely, thanks for the TR...! I'll be in that area too in about five weeks ... SHR through the Ritter Range :)
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Re: TR: JMT/PCT for Ediza and Thousand Islands 7/1-7/3

Postby SSSdave » Tue Jul 05, 2016 5:22 pm

Under Conditions Reports and Information, might read the board mosquito thread for advice in avoiding them. If they were biting through clothing that was likely cotton and likely a t-shirt haha. In mosquito season one would be wise to bring a lightweight single layer front zippered nylon windbreaker type shell as their probosci cannot penetrate the tight weave.

Obviously you were not aware of it but your image IMG_1177.JPG shows you were tenting in the famous Ediza illegal NO CAMPING zone. Your exact position is just below the southeast corner along the Iceberg trail between two rock outcrops quite visible in this image I market. One reason the NF wants people out of that area is it otherwise gets pummeled while also detracting from those like this person that might be interested in capturing a world class scenic.

http://www.davidsenesac.com/images/print_06-DD-12.html

Over the years I've rousted other groups in that zone that are more often above the direct east shore as the south shore tends to be rather wet.

http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOC ... 419404.pdf

The legal camping per the above map is only along the west shore. Note the north shore is small talus. Actually views from the legal camping area are boring looking down canyon with the peaks of the range blocked by all the mountain hemlock and all the sites are very beat up. Always advice people to wander well up the creek in back to far better spots about 2860+ meters a bit below the meadow.

I will advice all backpackers to bother reading national forest/park wilderness permit information handouts and to relate whatever of interest to other members of their group. Far too many groups after picking up a permit, impatient to get to trailheads and out on a trail, quickly chuck it into a pack after which it is not touched much less seen. The national forests bears some responsibility here because of an obviously inadequate system for advising visitors in ways they actually get it. Not that some NF people agree but the bureaucracy moves resistively. The first thing they ought do is bring back the little map of no camping areas (plus a no campfire statement) that should be stuck right on that log crossing bridge downstream.

David
http://www.davidsenesac.com/2016_Trip_C ... les-0.html
Last edited by SSSdave on Tue Jul 05, 2016 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TR: JMT/PCT for Ediza and Thousand Islands 7/1-7/3

Postby KevinDo » Tue Jul 05, 2016 5:26 pm

SSSdave wrote:Under Conditions Reports and Information, might read the board mosquito thread for advice in avoiding them. If they were biting through clothing that was likely cotton and likely a t-shirt haha. In mosquito season one would be wise to bring a lightweight single layer front zippered nylon windbreaker type shell as their probosci cannot penetrate the tight weave.

Obviously you were not aware of it but your image IMG_1177.JPG shows you were tenting in the famous Ediza illegal NO CAMPING zone. Your exact position is just below the southeast corner along the Iceberg trail between two rock outcrops quite visible on GE. Over the years I've rousted other groups in that zone that are more often above the direct east shore as the south shore tends to be rather wet.

http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOC ... 419404.pdf

The legal camping per the above map is only along the west shore. Note the north shore is small talus. Actually views from the legal camping area are boring looking down canyon with the peaks of the range blocked by all the mountain hemlock and all the sites are very beat up. Always advice people to wander well up the creek in back to far better spots about 2860+ meters a bit below the meadow.

I will advice all backpackers to bother reading national forest/park wilderness permit information handouts and to relate whatever of interest to other members of their group. Far too many groups after picking up a permit, impatient to get to trailheads and out on a trail, quickly chuck it into a pack after which it is not touched much less seen. The national forests bears some responsibility here because of an obviously inadequate system for advising visitors in ways they actually get it. Not that some NF people agree but the bureaucracy moves resistively. The first thing they ought do is bring back the little map of no camping areas that should be stuck right on that log crossing bridge downstream.

David
http://www.davidsenesac.com/2016_Trip_C ... les-0.html


David,

When I was there about 3 weeks ago, the permit came with the updated no fire/camping map. Maybe since it's crowded now the rangers don't have the same amount of quality instruction giving time?

Also thanks for the share Sambieni! It's interesting to see how far the snow receded since I went there 3 weeks ago. Wasn't able to reach Ediza from Garnet as the hills seemed sketchy with all that snow and no ice axe. Regarding your jetboil, why not just exchange it for another?

-Kevin
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Re: TR: JMT/PCT for Ediza and Thousand Islands 7/1-7/3

Postby sambieni » Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:39 am

SSSdave wrote:Under Conditions Reports and Information, might read the board mosquito thread for advice in avoiding them. If they were biting through clothing that was likely cotton and likely a t-shirt haha. In mosquito season one would be wise to bring a lightweight single layer front zippered nylon windbreaker type shell as their probosci cannot penetrate the tight weave.

Obviously you were not aware of it but your image IMG_1177.JPG shows you were tenting in the famous Ediza illegal NO CAMPING zone. Your exact position is just below the southeast corner along the Iceberg trail between two rock outcrops quite visible in this image I market. One reason the NF wants people out of that area is it otherwise gets pummeled while also detracting from those like this person that might be interested in capturing a world class scenic.



http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOC ... 419404.pdf



Actually, I would argue it is wholly UNFAMOUS. I knew there were limits to where to camp along Ediza Lake, but must be candid - the signs posted are entirely at the start in Devil Postile, Agnew Meadows, etc. And so upon arrival, did all I could do to go further West away from the initial Shadow Creek area outlet. I walked towards the western side, but it does not look at all like there are available camping spots there so I simply turned around. If I knew that was where to camp, I would have done so. I was not alone. Of the 8-9 or so tents in Ediza area, 6-7 were in what is off limits terrain. Clearly NOBODY is getting the message and I do not think you can chalk it up to callousness or willful ignorance. I do not like to blame state/fed agencies for most things and believe we have obligation to be informed and prepared, but in this instance an added signpost or two in the Ediza Lake area would go a long way to alleviating the impact I and others have caused. I had no desire to park where not legally permissible. I realized the mistake after my departure. But I would caution you that the forest service does a poor job of indicating areas for legal / illegal camping; all it would take is just 1-2 more clearly marked signs in the camp area itself. Thousand Islands had some and those helped a lot of campers avoid the areas. But Ediza and Shadow Creek were lacking. The Shadow Creek area is clearly restoration, but there are so few markers along the way. I heard many folks during my weekend indicate they had/were intending to camp there.

As for mozzies - I never wear cotton in the backcountry. All capilene type (or similar) wicking layers. Mosquitoes just love me - always have, always will. I don't like them, but I am partially resigned to living with it. The beauty surrounding is worth some discomfort. It is simply cost/benefit of a shell layer and running too warm versus handling the bites and running cooler and less sweating. I knew the risks and was well prepared. It sucked having to deal w all the bites, but I was impressed by the mozzies' moxy and ability to bite thru my layers.
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Re: TR: JMT/PCT for Ediza and Thousand Islands 7/1-7/3

Postby FeetFirst » Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:34 am

I love that area. Thanks for sharing.

Leaving Mountain House meals for someone else to eat? Now that's just cruel & unusual punishment! The brew would be appreciated, but probably best to hand it off personally.
I'm still rather convinced that you can achieve more than you've ever dreamed of if you just lower your standards.
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Re: TR: JMT/PCT for Ediza and Thousand Islands 7/1-7/3

Postby maverick » Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:39 am

We as backpackers need to be stewards of the wilderness and make sure we know the regulations before setting out into it, mistakes are to be made and for future reference:

Inyo NF:
Camping prohibited: Within 300 ft. of Shadow Lake & between Shadow Creek and the trail from Shadow Lake inlet to the creek crossing below Lake Ediza; the south side of Lake Ediza and on the west side meadows; within 1/4 mile of the outlet of either Garnet Lake or Thousand Island Lake.

http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsint ... ture*&ttyp
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Re: TR: JMT/PCT for Ediza and Thousand Islands 7/1-7/3

Postby maverick » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:48 pm

When I was there about 3 weeks ago, the permit came with the updated no fire/camping map. Maybe since it's crowded now the rangers don't have the same amount of quality instruction giving time?


Of the 8-9 or so tents in Ediza area, 6-7 were in what is off limits terrain.


Left a voice mail with the Inyo NF Lands Manager, one of my contacts about these issues, including the illegal campfire from another thread, will keep you updated after we talk.
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Re: TR: JMT/PCT for Ediza and Thousand Islands 7/1-7/3

Postby sambieni » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:14 pm

Cool. Again, I would say that it is NOT clear there is even good camping on the far side of Ediza. Absence of signage when you enter makes it seem like the South side is where you are meant to camp - which is what I did. At the time, I thought it was only near the initial opening near Shadow Creek outlet that was prevented. Obviously I was wrong. But they need posted signs in the actual areas they want to protect. And they need a sign directing you further West if that is desired. Its just too easy to drop your pack near area I was at.
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Re: TR: JMT/PCT for Ediza and Thousand Islands 7/1-7/3

Postby brandy » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:15 pm

sambieni wrote: Back at Agnew Meadows before 11 am. 5 minute wait for shuttle out. Mammoth Lakes was packed. The wait for shuttle in must have been at least 2 hours for many people.


20 minutes to buy tickets and and 1.5 hours in line for the shuttle. ](*,) :crybaby: :retard: Never again will I underestimate the crowds in Mammoth on a holiday weekend, nor will I sleep in and miss that 7:00 a.m. deadline to drive down the road. Lesson learned.
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