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TR: Kidd Lakes & Volcanic Lakes, 6/28-7/1

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TR: Kidd Lakes & Volcanic Lakes, 6/28-7/1

Postby cunningkeith » Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:04 pm

I just finished a great trip up the Copper Creek trail. I camped three nights off-trail w/out seeing anybody any of the nights. Thanks to everybody who provided info to me while planning this trip.
The basic route was: up Copper Creek Trail, then to Grouse Lake, then over to Glacier Lakes/Kidd Lakes, then down to Volcanic Lakes, and home.


The hike up to Grouse Lake was tough, and I didn't hit the trail until 2:45. The ranger cautioned me on hitting the trail this late, but I was suffering from a bad case of destination-itis and thought that I could make it to Grouse Lake that night. Luckily, I just got there before dark.

Here is a shot from the next morning coming out of Grouse Lake looking south
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Grouse Pass was snow-free and easy. There were great views of Glacier Basin on the other side.

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The north side of Goat Crest Saddle was carrying some snow, but it was easy to navigate around the west side.

Image

Cutting E/SE toward Kid lake Basin, I took Kid Pass, as described herehttp://www.highsierratopix.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=13433#p100673.

The south side of Kidd Pass turned out to be the trickiest part of the whole trip. The route description (which I much appreciate!) states that once on the south side of Kidd Pass, you should follow the ridge SE. I did this, but must have dropped to the lake below too soon because it was very tough and steep. In the future, I would recommend going farther SE or (perhaps even easier) going SW once on the south side of Kidd Pass, as the relief looks more forgiving to me on the SW side.

Kid Lake Basin has some beautiful views looking north
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Kid Lake Basin seemed the wildest and most remote section of the trip to me. In fact, when I told the ranger at the start of the trip that I was going there, she asked me to point it out on a map. So I'm guessing that this is not a popular spot.

The next day I went over Glacier Saddle to the highest Glacier Lake, then followed the drainage down though Glacier Valley to the State Lakes Trail. I head W and SW to the Kennedy Trail (tough to follow this unmaintained trail) to Lake 9702 and then went off-trail up the Volcanic Lakes. This was a long day from Kidd Lakes to Volcanic Lakes.

Volcanic Lakes were stunning
Image

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There is a cool and easy (strenuous but not difficult) exit out of Volcanic Lakes from the SE-most Volcanic Lake up two gullies and over to Granite Pass. From there, I hiked the long, knee-destroying Copper Creek Trail to my car.

A few notes on conditions:

--Snow was a non-factor; only a few remaining patches of snow remained and they were easy to avoid or walk on.

--Bugs were a major factor, requiring a headnet while in camp; the only bright side was that the mosquitoes were not at full-adult size, so their bites weren't terrible (that's the optimist in me ;) )

Once again, thanks to everybody for the great pre-trip info. It really was an awesome trip.



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Re: TR: Kidd Lakes & Volcanic Lakes, 6/28-7/1

Postby maverick » Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:34 pm

Was waiting for this TR and pictures Kieth and they were well worth it. Yeah afternoon start are not the best for Copper Creek, especially on a hot day. From the photo's you had a lot of clouds, any rain or thunderstorms?


The south side of Kidd Pass turned out to be the trickiest part of the whole trip. The route description (which I much appreciate!) states that once on the south side of Kidd Pass, you should follow the ridge SE. I did this, but must have dropped to the lake below too soon because it was very tough and steep. In the future, I would recommend going farther SE or (perhaps even easier) going SW once on the south side of Kidd Pass, as the relief looks more forgiving to me on the SW side.


Yes you should have gone further southwest on Kidd Pass, the ledge system is steep if one drops to soon.


There is a cool and easy (strenuous but not difficult) exit out of Volcanic Lakes from the SE-most Volcanic Lake up two gullies and over to Granite Pass.


You are referring to the pass east of Lake 10288 (between 10284 and 10288), correct? Have used this one, but if there is another one please do tell.
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Re: TR: Kidd Lakes & Volcanic Lakes, 6/28-7/1

Postby cunningkeith » Tue Jul 05, 2016 5:57 pm

maverick wrote:You are referring to the pass east of Lake 10288 (between 10284 and 10288), correct? Have used this one, but if there is another one please do tell.


Yep. It starts out of the NE corner of Lake 10288 and climbs NE almost all the way to the top. I reached a meadow at the top of the first gully and hiked south for 300 yards or so and picked up a second gully that took me to the high, flat area that provides a straight shot to Granite Pass.
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Re: TR: Kidd Lakes & Volcanic Lakes, 6/28-7/1

Postby Cross Country » Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:07 pm

I went over that pass FIVE TIMES or six and I'll guarantee you that the Northwest side is the best place to go down. On that route one time I saw a horseshoe somewhat near the top and although I was surprised I knew that because that route was EASILY the best I supposed that it was possible to take a mule over it. IT''S THAT EASY.
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Re: TR: Kidd Lakes & Volcanic Lakes, 6/28-7/1

Postby maverick » Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:38 pm

On that route one time I saw a horseshoe somewhat near the top


What year was that CC?
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Re: TR: Kidd Lakes & Volcanic Lakes, 6/28-7/1

Postby Cross Country » Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:41 pm

My first time over Goat Crest was 1972
I saw the horeshoe about 1974
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Re: TR: Kidd Lakes & Volcanic Lakes, 6/28-7/1

Postby Cross Country » Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:42 pm

That's me 1972
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Re: TR: Kidd Lakes & Volcanic Lakes, 6/28-7/1

Postby Cross Country » Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:02 pm

I probably saw it in 1976.
In 1974 (saint) Diane and I went over the pass and it was snowed in. I decided that the easiest way down was to slide down (nearly a huge error). I let my pack go and shortly followed it down. It was a lot faster that I anticipaded but I kept my cool and didn't let go of my rain poncho (my sled). Once down I was too far from Diane to communicate with her so I waited for her below. She let her pack go down and then followed it. Going a lot faster that she wanted to go she let out a scream (fortunately not too loud) and part way down she somewhat panicked and let go of her poncho to use her hands to slow down. This made her bare legs exposed to snow moving VERY fast. She had a hell of a snow burn (it bled). She put up with this (my crap) and others and now you know one reason I refered to her as (saint) Diane. Anyone married to me almost has to be a (saint). My current wite is (saint) Marilin. She puts up with less because I've mellowed a lot. She's still one hell of a (saint).
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Re: TR: Kidd Lakes & Volcanic Lakes, 6/28-7/1

Postby maverick » Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:05 pm

Just to make sure we are talking about the same pass, the one between Volcanic and Granite Lake CC.
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Re: TR: Kidd Lakes & Volcanic Lakes, 6/28-7/1

Postby Cross Country » Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:07 pm

(saint) Diane
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Re: TR: Kidd Lakes & Volcanic Lakes, 6/28-7/1

Postby cunningkeith » Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:34 pm

Cool pics. Thanks for sharing. Goat Crest was one of the few bug-free spots on the hike. It sounds to me like that is the pass CC is talking about. If so, I agree that NW is the way to go.

My problem was the next pass over, dropping into Kidd Lakes.

maverick wrote:From the photo's you had a lot of clouds, any rain or thunderstorms?


Yes! That actually made the climb up to Grouse Lake on the first day much more bearable. It was overcast and I had a few sprinkles going up to Grouse Lake. I lucked out on that.

On Day 2, I had a decent amount of rain and a few T-storms while going over Kidd Pass. The rain probably lasted about two hours. Although I heard thunder, I never saw any lightening. The area is not totally exposed, although I would not have been happy if lightening had occurred. The Volcanic Lakes area is totally open with nowhere to hide, so I'm glad I had perfect weather when I was in that basin.
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Re: TR: Kidd Lakes & Volcanic Lakes, 6/28-7/1

Postby Cross Country » Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:56 pm

I went there 6 or 7 times and spent 15-20 days and never once got a drop of rain. Great Luck for a great place. In all those days I (we) never saw another person at Kidd Lakes.
Here is a rare pic from above of the only Kid Lake with fish.
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