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McGee Pass Trail to Duck Pass trailhead Trip Report

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McGee Pass Trail to Duck Pass trailhead Trip Report

Postby ischenck » Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:00 am

I did a nice overnight trip on Sunday and Monday starting at McGee creek trailhead, going over McGee Pass and then over to Lake Virginia where I camped for the night, and then hiked out the Duck Pass trail to Mammoth. The original plan was to go over Hopkins pass and then loop back around to McGee pass, but there was too much snow on Hopkins and I did not bring microspikes. McGee Pass also still has a lot of snow on one part of the trail, so I wish I did bring them! The mosquitos are terrible everywhere, by the way! Here's a little trip report with some pictures: http://imgur.com/gallery/ZfMNL



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Re: McGee Pass Trail to Duck Pass trailhead Trip Report

Postby maverick » Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:46 am

Tanks for posting the link with the pictures. What is in the two Ziplock bags with the fish one them?
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Re: McGee Pass Trail to Duck Pass trailhead Trip Report

Postby ischenck » Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:30 pm

maverick wrote:Tanks for posting the link with the pictures. What is in the two Ziplock bags with the fish one them?


In one bag I have my sunscreen, lip balm, soap, toothpaste and floss, and in the other I have repackaged aqua mira drops and a third container to mix them in. I took them out of their bags in the fourth picture.

Also here is the route I took on Sierra Mapper:

http://awhite4777.pythonanywhere.com/SierraMapperAlpha/default/mapper/m121/m112/r009/r008/r006/r121/m092
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Re: McGee Pass Trail to Duck Pass trailhead Trip Report

Postby maverick » Thu Jul 21, 2016 1:30 pm

In one bag I have my sunscreen, lip balm, soap, toothpaste and floss, and in the other I have repackaged aqua mira drops and a third container to mix them in. I took them out of their bags in the fourth picture.


Was referring to the ones in the "Food" picture, in the middle under the Builders Bars. :)
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Re: McGee Pass Trail to Duck Pass trailhead Trip Report

Postby ischenck » Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:14 pm

maverick wrote:
In one bag I have my sunscreen, lip balm, soap, toothpaste and floss, and in the other I have repackaged aqua mira drops and a third container to mix them in. I took them out of their bags in the fourth picture.


Was referring to the ones in the "Food" picture, in the middle under the Builders Bars. :)



Oh sorry! There are dried mangos.

For breakfast I had instant oatmeals and instant coffee with french vanilla coffeemate mixed in. Then my daytime food was a variety of Clif and Kind bars, some basic trail mix, chili lime almonds, the dried mangos, aged Gouda and some crackers. For dinner I made a vegetarian Shepherd's pie and dehydrated it. I also brought little cookies and chocolate covered almonds for desert.
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Re: McGee Pass Trail to Duck Pass trailhead Trip Report

Postby maverick » Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:22 pm

Oh sorry! There are dried mangos.


That is what they looked like but wasn't 100% sure. Thanks
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Re: McGee Pass Trail to Duck Pass trailhead Trip Report

Postby SSSdave » Sun Jul 24, 2016 10:09 am

ischenck >>> The original plan was to go over Hopkins pass, which is somewhere to the right of Mount Crocker in this picture. I spoke with some rangers who told me there was no more snow out there, and to not bother bringing microspikes, which sounded good to me! I left them in my car. Big McGee Lake, with Hopkins pass above. This is the closest picture I took of Hopkins pass, but I hiked around the lake and started heading up towards it, until I realized that I did not have the equipment or the skill to get over it. There is a very steep portion that is still covered in snow, so I had to change my plans and headed back to the trail to get over McGee Pass.

While bro Joe and I were fishing on the other side of the peak at Red and White Lake, 2 twentysomething backpackers came over Red and White Col from the Grinnel area. There is a large steep snowfield there most years until mid August that they skirted west then had to slide down where it was more moderate to a safer run-out. Then after walking down the snowfield had to climb way up above steep rock to get around the east side as the usual lower route was impassable due to steep rock hard morning snow. They also related rangers had told them something like you related. But I suspect when they had related they were crossing the Silver Divide the ranger probably thought they were using the trail passes Silver Pass or Goodale Pass and not cross country passes that can hold snow much later. Of course personnel behind counters at rangers stations are often not backcountry enthusiasts and merely pass on information from returning hikers who are far more likely to only be trail users. Likewise the few actual backcountry rangers in such areas returning reports tend to work trails and popular lakes where their presence will make the most impact and not off trail areas.

Early morning we went north over Rohn Pass when snow was rock hard. At one point we had to traverse across about 10 feet of steep icy snow between class 2 talus sections. Thus picked up some sharp granite and spent 15 minutes pounding a few steps into the snow. After Joe gingerly managed to get across, I tossed across my pack to him that he grabbed minus photo daypack then carefully stepped across. Lower down we had to traverse across about 75 feet of less steep frozen small suncups that I sometimes laid down sideways with my pack scraping against the snow for friction as I went from cup to cup. From down at Izaak Walton Lake area we could see the next pass west, Walton Col, still had a large steep snowfield to melt off. On our return we used easier higher Shout-of-Relief Pass that we were able to stay totally on rock and is class 1-2.

ischenck >>>Red Slate Mountain... I think

Nope that is the no name end view of the paleozoic geology spur rib northeast of Little McGee Lake.

Mosquitoes were predictably numerous in some areas like meadows and down in the vegetated canyons. But most of our week we were fully covered except for face and hands that received regular doses of 100% DEET so just got stuck by squeets a few times each day. But yeah even then in really bad areas their constant flying around one's head is annoying. On the other hand depending on the time of day there were local areas with few or no mosquitoes. For example in an expanse of bright glacially smoothed bedrock granite slabs mid afternoon, we laid out nekid after jumping in a shallow pond near camp. Tully Hole is one of the worst places to plan to tent if one wishes to minimize mosquitoes. And Virginia Lake is not much better with all its east end meadows. However there are excellent places along your route a bit off the trail like the barren dome just east of Horse Heaven that would have had few.
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