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TR: Ediza-Minaret Loop

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TR: Ediza-Minaret Loop

Postby jmac » Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:10 pm

My wife and I just did the Ediza-Minaret Loop on July 23-25. I have been wanting to do this loop for a long time, but never got around to it for some reason. I came across a permit due to a cancellation and decided to finally make the trek. I have done many trips out of the Red's/Devil's area, but have never made it to any of these lakes. I knew from the pictures online that this trip was going to be a good one, but it was even better than I expected.

Day 1:
We drove down to Agnew Meadows at 6:30 am so we could actually park at the trailhead. This is not only more convenient, but cheaper as well. We just sort of chilled and ate breakfast at the trailhead for a couple hours before we set off. At this point there was no real reason to rush for anything. Our route was River-Shadow-Ediza for this day. It took us 4 hours to get to Ediza and find our campsite, which was perched on the rocks overlooking the lake. We set up camp around 12:30pm and just relaxed for the remainder of the day.

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Day 2:
Still in no real rush to get anywhere quick, we slowly ate, packed, and planned the rest of our day. We set out towards Iceberg Lake at around 9:00am not really knowing what was ahead. We just knew it was going to be beautiful! Iceberg was just that, amazingly beautiful. I think next time I head up, I'll camp here instead of Ediza.

We hadn't really looked too much into the route, but I had a general idea of what it looked like. One very important thing I did't know was the snow field we would have to cross along the Iceberg Traverse. It wasn't a big section, but a fall would have surely resulted in injury or worse. The entire snow field was maybe 40 yards long, which I now know is much smaller than it should be when compared to pre-2012 years. If it had looked like pictures I've seen from 2011 we would have surely turned around. We discussed the risks, tested our footing, and made our way across, digging in each footstep and using 3 points of contact at all times. We had no special gear other than trekking poles, so it was a fairly slow process. If anyone else is considering doing it soon, I'd say to wait until the afternoon sun hits it and consider at the least having microspikes. I don't feel an ice axe and crampons would be needed as long as you STAY LOW on the slope. The crampons and axe wouldn't hurt if you have them, know how to use them, and are willing to carry the weight. If you plan to traverse high, then the crampons and axe would be highly recommended. This was the only snow we had to negotiate along the route.

We slowly made our way up and over to Cecile, which ended up being another marvelous place! Once we got to the other end of Cecile, which I feel like took forever, we had a little trouble finding the route down to Minaret. I didn't realize it until I got home, but we actually ended up taking the wrong route down. Instead of taking the use trail down, because we lost it, we ended up taking Minaret Creek down. I actually really enjoyed this route and this is probably the way I will go in the future. From Ediza to Minaret took us about 4 hours, but I feel like it could be done much quicker now that I know the route. We spent the rest of the day eating, taking pictures, and relaxing.

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Day 3:
It was our last day, so we slept in and took our time packing up before we headed out on the long, hot, dusty trail to Devil's Postpile.

This was an amazing trip, with short mileage and beautiful scenery the entire time. If you haven't done it, I highly recommend it. I'm not sure why it took me so long to go on this trip, but I'll be heading back in September to do it again with a couple friends. That's how much I liked it!



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Re: TR: Ediza-Minaret Loop

Postby bandguy5686 » Thu Jul 28, 2016 10:49 pm

A wonderful report! Thank you so much. I too love that area and I've never hiked this...I will now though!
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Re: TR: Ediza-Minaret Loop

Postby Jason » Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:34 pm

So pretty! I need to eat less, walk more, and make the time to get out there. Thanks for the inspiration.
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Re: TR: Ediza-Minaret Loop

Postby notis » Fri Jul 29, 2016 8:00 pm

Thanks for the report bud. Going to this area in September, but was only thinking about venturing to Iceberg. Now I think we'll make a trip all the way down to Minaret Lake. Thanks for the info and inspiration!
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Re: TR: Ediza-Minaret Loop

Postby jmac » Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:08 am

Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad I could share and inspire people to get out there!
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Re: TR: Ediza-Minaret Loop

Postby Hwood1 » Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:09 am

Thanks for the report! A few questions. 1. I don't see the snow crossing in your picture of Iceberg Lake. Is it out of view? 2. Would you anticipate that 40 yard stretch of snow being gone by early September? 3. I'm experienced with routes like this, but I'll be with 3 newbies (albeit fit and full of adventure.) Would you have any hesitations taking people like that on this route?
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Re: TR: Ediza-Minaret Loop

Postby maverick » Mon Aug 01, 2016 3:29 pm

Hwood1,

Welcome to HST!

Thanks for the report! A few questions. 1. I don't see the snow crossing in your picture of Iceberg Lake. Is it out of view? 2. Would you anticipate that 40 yard stretch of snow being gone by early September? 3. I'm experienced with routes like this, but I'll be with 3 newbies (albeit fit and full of adventure.) Would you have any hesitations taking people like that on this route?


The small snow sections are in the third picture from the top, where the small pine trees are located near the center of the photo and to the right of that extending down to the shoreline.
There are numerous routes across this talus field which one can use to avoid contact with the snow, take your time while traversing this section because some of the rocks are loose, but you should be fine.
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Re: TR: Ediza-Minaret Loop

Postby jmac » Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:33 am

Hwood1 wrote:Thanks for the report! A few questions. 1. I don't see the snow crossing in your picture of Iceberg Lake. Is it out of view? 2. Would you anticipate that 40 yard stretch of snow being gone by early September? 3. I'm experienced with routes like this, but I'll be with 3 newbies (albeit fit and full of adventure.) Would you have any hesitations taking people like that on this route?


Some of the snow is out of view in this picture. I'm not sure that it will be gone, actually. I'm going again to take some other friends in early September (the 6th) as well and I have the same question. :) I'm also experienced with these type of routes and I took my wife, who is not experienced, on this trip. She did just fine, but she's pretty tough! I'd say it's a judgement call when you get there. See how it looks and see how the rest of your group feels about it. I'd imagine that most of the snow would be gone by September, but I could be wrong. This is my first year here and I don't really know the nature of the snow throughout the summer. The traverse is in the shade for a good part of the day, so I could see it sticking around all summer. Hope this helps.

*edit - Maverick is correct, there are ways to get around the snow without having to cross it.
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Re: TR: Ediza-Minaret Loop

Postby Hwood1 » Wed Aug 03, 2016 2:36 pm

jmac wrote:
Hwood1 wrote:Thanks for the report! A few questions. 1. I don't see the snow crossing in your picture of Iceberg Lake. Is it out of view? 2. Would you anticipate that 40 yard stretch of snow being gone by early September? 3. I'm experienced with routes like this, but I'll be with 3 newbies (albeit fit and full of adventure.) Would you have any hesitations taking people like that on this route?


Some of the snow is out of view in this picture. I'm not sure that it will be gone, actually. I'm going again to take some other friends in early September (the 6th) as well and I have the same question. :) I'm also experienced with these type of routes and I took my wife, who is not experienced, on this trip. She did just fine, but she's pretty tough! I'd say it's a judgement call when you get there. See how it looks and see how the rest of your group feels about it. I'd imagine that most of the snow would be gone by September, but I could be wrong. This is my first year here and I don't really know the nature of the snow throughout the summer. The traverse is in the shade for a good part of the day, so I could see it sticking around all summer. Hope this helps.

*edit - Maverick is correct, there are ways to get around the snow without having to cross it.


How funny...we might cross paths. We're planning on camping at Minarets Lake on 9/6 then up and over Cecile/Iceberg on 9/7.
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Re: TR: Ediza-Minaret Loop

Postby jmac » Thu Aug 04, 2016 11:14 am

Hwood1 wrote:How funny...we might cross paths. We're planning on camping at Minarets Lake on 9/6 then up and over Cecile/Iceberg on 9/7.


Ha! That's cool! We'll be going the opposite way, so I'm sure we'll run into each other on the 7th. I'll be wearing what I'm wearing in the 2nd pic above. Hope to see you there, but if not, have a great trip!
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Re: TR: Ediza-Minaret Loop

Postby tie » Sun Aug 07, 2016 10:12 pm

Thanks for the report. I was out there today and don't think there was any snow to cross at Iceberg Lake. (Maybe I just missed it, though.)
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