French Canyon to Humphreys route?

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skyline
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French Canyon to Humphreys route?

Post by skyline » Sun Sep 11, 2016 9:03 am

Hi all - I'm route planning for a clockwise loop out of North Lake via Lamarck Col, Evolution Basin, French Canyon, and cross country through Humphrey's Basin and back out starting this Wednesday, and was hoping someone with experience with the French Canyon/Humphrey's Basin area might be able to help me. I'm trying to decide whether it would be easier to go from French to Humphrey via the saddle East of Pilot Knob (Alsace Lake to Knob Lake), or via Carol Col/Puppet Pass. I'm reasonably comfortable with class 2 so I think either option should technically be OK for me, although I'm expecting to be pretty worn out and want to find the easiest way into Humphrey's basin.

I would like to try climbing up Pilot Knob so all things equal, I would prefer to exit via the Pilot Knob saddle, but I think by then (day 6 of my trip), I'll be happy to take the easier route! As a point of reference, I'm comfortable with easier cross country routes like ascending Lamarck Col, Gem lake to Treasure Lakes, or Iceberg to Cecile, but anything much harder would be a problem for me as I'm going solo and want to minimize any injury risk...

Thanks in advance for your help!








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maverick
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Re: French Canyon to Humphreys route?

Post by maverick » Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:28 am

Since you are considering doing Pilot Knob the route heading from Elba, then west of Puppet, and between Alsace & Paris Lakes to Plot Knob Saddle is your better choice. From the saddle head down staying high above Knob Lake heading south, then start descending down towards Square and Mesa Lakes.
You may think you will be worn out, but your pack will be much lighter and you will have your mountain legs under you by this time.
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Re: French Canyon to Humphreys route?

Post by skyline » Sun Sep 11, 2016 1:34 pm

maverick wrote:Since you are considering doing Pilot Knob the route heading from Elba, then west of Puppet, and between Alsace & Paris Lakes to Plot Knob Saddle is your better choice. From the saddle head down staying high above Knob Lake heading south, then start descending down towards Square and Mesa Lakes.
You may think you will be worn out, but your pack will be much lighter and you will have your mountain legs under you by this time.
Thanks for the feedback, I was looking on Google Earth, and the Pilot Knob route does seem easier than Puppet Pass - at least from the sat images. I'm planning on staying at Elba (seems to be the only option in the area with trees), so that works in Pilot Knobs favor as well.

Also, any recommendations on a nice spot to camp at on the other side of Piute Pass? I'm hoping to grab a nice spot close to the end of the trail (but not all the way down to the trailhead) so I can have one last night before starting the big drive home early the next day. I've walked by that section of trail on a day trip to Goethe Lake years ago, and thought there might have been some decent sites at the small pond/lake just east of Piute Lake, but can't recall. Normally I'd just scope it out, but I'm worried I'll just blow through everything and find myself at the parking lot...

Thanks again for the help,

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Re: French Canyon to Humphreys route?

Post by rlown » Sun Sep 11, 2016 2:01 pm

East shore of Paris has trees as well as does the North side. Just adding options.. And there are plenty of trees around. just doesn't look like it from space sometimes :)

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skyline
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Re: French Canyon to Humphreys route?

Post by skyline » Sun Sep 11, 2016 5:32 pm

rlown wrote:East shore of Paris has trees as well as does the North side. Just adding options.. And there are plenty of trees around. just doesn't look like it from space sometimes :)
You're right, I wasn't paying attention and didn't notice that there are actually lots more trees on the east side of Paris Lake. Thank for pointing that out, as you said, more options are always good!

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Re: French Canyon to Humphreys route?

Post by rlown » Sun Sep 11, 2016 5:39 pm

There's an illegal firepit on the East side of Paris.. If you have time or even go there, please disperse parts of it.. I caught some youngsters burning there a few years ago.. We were out the next morning, so didn't get a chance due to tight schedules. They were pleasant enough to put out the fire. It's right in the depression half way between the shores on that side of the lake.

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skyline
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Re: French Canyon to Humphreys route?

Post by skyline » Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:12 pm

rlown wrote:There's an illegal firepit on the East side of Paris.. If you have time or even go there, please disperse parts of it.. I caught some youngsters burning there a few years ago.. We were out the next morning, so didn't get a chance due to tight schedules. They were pleasant enough to put out the fire. It's right in the depression half way between the shores on that side of the lake.
I'll take a look and do what I can - I fully expect to swing by there for both general exploration as well as on my way out via Pilot Knob.

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Re: French Canyon to Humphreys route?

Post by rlown » Sun Sep 11, 2016 9:01 pm

thanks for considering it. btw, if you didn't point out your Pilot desire, I would have pointed you to Carol Col. :) HYOH..

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Re: French Canyon to Humphreys route?

Post by rjszanto » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:26 pm

@skyline Did you go over Pilot Knob saddle and if so, how was it? I am facing a similar question on a trip going the other way. 1st night will be at Mesa Lake in from Piute and had planned to go over Carol Col but want to do Pilot Knob. So I was thinking to go up to the saddle, drop packs and do Pilot Knob and then back to the saddle and north into French Canyon to camp at Elba or down into the canyon and up to Merriam (which I hear is very beautiful).

I appreciate any feedback :).

Thanks!

PS....long time lurker and searcher on this site but that was my first post :blush:

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