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Backcountry idea NFSJ: TOO CRAZY?

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Backcountry idea NFSJ: TOO CRAZY?

Postby mtngoatmanley » Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:03 am

I'm looking for a some info, encouragement, pushback, etc on something I've wanted to do for a long time. My favorite place to spend time in the Sierra is along the North Fork of the San Joaquin and Bench Canyon. I know for many who've been there, it's usually on a top ten list. During my time back there, as well as looking at maps and Google Earth, I've been hungry to checkout more of the NF as well as the MF. Here's my idea (for which I haven't been able to find much for info):

Leave from Devil's Postpile (I enter from that side of the range for multiple reasons) - Beck Lakes (most of the time I cross the Ritter/Banner saddle but I want to try something new) - Beck Lakes Pass - Unnamed drainage from backside of Minarets leading to Iron Creek Drainage - Take creek to the old pack trail that leads toward NFSJ - xc to another old pack trail (hoping it's still good because I only see pieces on GE) leading downstream NFSJ - go xc downstream when trail ends to Sheep Crossing - Hook up with trail heading back to Mammoth for .75 where (again, hoping still there) another pack trail heads down to the confluence of the NF and SF - If possible (maybe with rope), head up stream to the Fish Creek/MFSJ confluence - Cross the river (if possible..I think so...that's the adventure, right?) and head to Iva Bell for a well-deserved soak - Back to Devil's

Has anyone tried that quasi-circumnavigation? Are you scratching your head wondering what I'm thinking? I may be an idiot but it just sounds like crazy fun to me to try it. So, if there's anyone with info on any part of this, I would appreciate it so much.

Oh...and one more sorta related question. Has anyone ever tried to drop down from Lyell Fork to the Merced River directly? That's another thing I've thought about for a long time. It looks doable (with a least rope...maybe a smear route) and would be fun trying. Plus, I would rather hike from Lyell to Merced Lake down the river than back up the rise that hovers the east side way above the river nestled in the trees with no view.

Anybody?

Thanks!!
Rob



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mtngoatmanley
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Re: Backcountry idea NFSJ: TOO CRAZY?

Postby maverick » Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:14 pm

Hi Mtngoat,

Welcome to HST!
Lyell cut-off to Lower Merced Trail is fun.
Beck Lakes Pass in on option, you can also cross over just north of Ashley Lake to Iron Lake, it is worth doing this variation, Iron Lake is very pretty and the creek is fun to follow down with many swimming holes along the way.
You can follow the NSJ to Sheep Crossing and then follow the pack trail down to the MFSJ, would recommend crossing and skirting the southern side to FC and up to Fox Meadow.
That is all the info I will divulge, to much already, you listed your experience as Level 4 so figure out the rest, otherwise where is the adventure in the whole thing. :unibrow:
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: Backcountry idea NFSJ: TOO CRAZY?

Postby mtngoatmanley » Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:05 am

Thanks Mav! I like the Ashley idea if I have the time to throw in Iron Lake. I usually only have 4-5 days at a time, but it just may work. Thanks for the other tips as well! Super excited to get down to that flat at the MF/FC area and poke around! Thanks for the help!
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