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4 day 3 night trip in SeKi

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4 day 3 night trip in SeKi

Postby Aviprk » Mon May 07, 2007 5:37 pm

I wanted some recommendations for really good trips that can be comfortably done in 4 days and 3 nights. I don't mind the TH as I can access either one from the LA area but I know the Eastern ones are somewhat closer.

So far I came up with.

1.)Horseshoe Meadow - New Army Pass - Miter Basin - Crabtree Pass - down to Crabtree Meadow - PCT - Guyot Pass and back to TH via NAP or Cottowood Pass.

2.)Horseshoe Meadow - New Army Pass - Miter Basin - Crabtree Pass - down Crabtree Meadow - PCT - join JMT - summit Mt Whitney and back to Whitney Portal

3.)Mineral King - Over Glacier Pass - To Little Five Lakes - Big Five Lakes - Big Arroyo - Sawtooth Pass and back to TH

4.)Mineral King - Franklin Pass to Sawtooth Pass loop (Has anyone been to lake 10,569ft above Little Claire Lake?)

5.)North Lake - Piute Pass- Desolation Lakes - bag Pilot Knob - hang around the countless lakes in the Humphrey's Basin - back to TH at North Lake.

6.)North Lake - Lamarck lakes - Lamarck Col - join JMT at Evolution lake - Up to Piute Canyon - Piute Pass - back to North Lake TH

7.) Rae lakes loop

8.) North Fork of Big Pine. Not enough mileages but want to peakbag 3 peaks or so in the area. (Winchell, Aperture, and Two eagle Peak) and visit all the lakes in the Big Pine chain and the glaciers.

All the suggestions above are either loops or semi-loops but I would prefer to stick to loops for now (no need for shuttle). I'm open to other suggestions as well. I will be taking 1-2 people who have never gone backpacking but are in excellent shape as they were in cross country. Want something that will leave a lasting impression :nod:

Would like to thank everyone ahead.



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Postby Aviprk » Thu May 10, 2007 9:25 am

Where did all the replies go?

Everyone who has other suggestions please let me know. Thanks
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Postby Phil R » Sat May 12, 2007 1:11 am

I am not is near as good of shape as your group, but I have done pieces of most of your suggestions. For first time backpackers, I am not sure that extreme cross country is a super idea. IMHO, boots, backpacks, and other gear that can cause extreme discomfort if not properly fitted should be tested before doing anything extreme.

That being said, all of your suggestions are spectacular choices for scenery and beautiful vistas:


1.)Horseshoe Meadow - New Army Pass - Miter Basin - Crabtree Pass - down to Crabtree Meadow - PCT - Guyot Pass and back to TH via NAP or Cottowood Pass. (Seems a bit aggressive for 3 nights, but Cottonwood Pass would be the preferred exit for your time frame).

2.)Horseshoe Meadow - New Army Pass - Miter Basin - Crabtree Pass - down Crabtree Meadow - PCT - join JMT - summit Mt Whitney and back to Whitney Portal (very aggressive. Requires a Whitney Zone permit and Whitney trail permit. I did the PCT-JMT non-cross-country version of this hike in 7 days and 6 nights- 2 days could be chopped off for strong hikers. If you could get the permits, this would be memorable).

3.)Mineral King - Over Glacier Pass - To Little Five Lakes - Big Five Lakes - Big Arroyo - Sawtooth Pass and back to TH (We took three nights just getting from the TH to Big Five Lakes via Sawtooth Pass. Even going the other direction it seems agressive. Scenery is to die for. Can you add a day or two?)

4.)Mineral King - Franklin Pass to Sawtooth Pass loop (Has anyone been to lake 10,569ft above Little Claire Lake?) (I haven't done Franklin Pass).

5.)North Lake - Piute Pass- Desolation Lakes - bag Pilot Knob - hang around the countless lakes in the Humphrey's Basin - back to TH at North Lake. (I did this in 5 days, 4 nights--except peak bagging-- but doable in 4 days, 3 nights).

6.)North Lake - Lamarck lakes - Lamarck Col - join JMT at Evolution lake - Up to Piute Canyon - Piute Pass - back to North Lake TH (Very aggressive in that direction. You are cross country from Lamarck Lakes to the JMT via Darwin Canyon. Darwin Canyon is slow cross country with boulder fields and hard to spot use trails. Going up to Lamarck Col would be a grind. I think this one has too much mileage and elevation for 4 days, 3 nights. Dang beautiful, however. If you could add a day or two and reverse the direction, I think you would be happier. Caught some 12" goldens in one of the Darwin Lakes.)

7.) Rae lakes loop - (I haven't done this one. Permits can be difficult to get, but rated one of the best loop hikes in the country)

8.) North Fork of Big Pine. Not enough mileages but want to peakbag 3 peaks or so in the area. (Winchell, Aperture, and Two eagle Peak) and visit all the lakes in the Big Pine chain and the glaciers. (Not familiar with this one)

Some mile monsters can chime in as well a give their opinions.
People are friendly at 6000 ft...and the higher you go, the friendlier they get.
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Postby Aviprk » Mon May 21, 2007 11:22 am

Thanks for the heads up Phil
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Postby maverick » Mon May 21, 2007 12:20 pm

As mentioned on my previous deleted post most of your trips are way
too much for good backpackers not to mention first timers(way too
ambitious).
Where have they been doing there cross country at elevation? Probably
not.
Some of your trips do not allow time for your party to acclimate to
the elevation and AMS could be a problem.
Miter Basin and Lamarck are x-country with Darwin Canyon being
very rocky.
Does you party possess the navagational skills and survival skills to get
help or survive if something happens to you?
Big Pine is beautiful, but I would not take inexperienced people up
class 3 routes at elevation (12966-13775ft)!!
Of the 8 trips you listed number 7 is doable though still a little rushed.
One day at Upper Paradise, second day at Rae Lakes(really need two),
third day over Glenn Pass to Bubbs Creek and out the 4th day.
I have done the trips you listed very fast but Ive been going to the
Sierra since the late 60's and train year round.
I understand that you want to impress them with the beauty of the
Sierra, but you also must understand that your responsible for your
friends lives when partaking in an adventure which they have
no experience in.
Why not take them to Little Lakes Valley or 9 Lakes Basin both beautiful
areas that will impress them and will have them yearning to see more!
Both give you high alpine scenery at minimal physical exertion.
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Postby giantbrookie » Mon May 21, 2007 1:14 pm

I would tend to agree with Maverick and err on the side of conservatism when taking newbies up, even if they are athletes. Over the years I've taken a fair number of folks on their first hikes. My wife, who would later become my no.1 death march partner, was one of them, and I eased her in reasonably slowly (first trip Little Lakes Valley, second--a bit tougher than I would normally recommend--Bright Dot Lake, Convict Cyn). I know some who have not eased folks in so easily, resulting in newbies swearing off backpacking foreever--this includes a friend taking his fiancee on her backpacking debut to Emigrant Wilderness. That trip was actually less ambitious than the trips you list because it didn't include off trail backpacking, but I recall seeing the game plan in advance (he eagerly went over topos of his plan) and advising my buddy something like "that's a nice trip, but I'd cut every day in half, mileage wise". His reply was that his fiancee was a good athlete (she was) and wouldn't have a problem (bad call).

I would certainly avoid off trail backpacking for newbies, except for really easy stuff (like walking around Humphreys Basin, for example). Even if you are the one navigating, folks still have to deal with the very different experience of boulder hopping and scrambling with a big load on their back.

Here are some mellower 4 day/3night options. Note that all of the off trail recommended here is done by with a day pack except for (possibly) easy hiking around Humphreys Basin. All are sort of in and out type trips with some potential mini loops you can build onto them. All feature stunning scenery that will give your friends plenty to remember. All have good fishing prospects and feature class 2 summits that can be bagged.

1. Piute Pass-Humphreys Basin. Somewhat like yours except much easier, with no crossing of Glacier Divide (ie no Lamarck Col). Sample itinerary: Day 1 to Piute Lake, Days 2 and 3 are spent in Humphreys Basin with a possible dayhike to explore the French Canyon area. Day 4 out.

2. South Lake-Dusy Basin. Sample itinerary: Day 1 into upper Dusy Basin (very short distance of easy off trail backpacking if uppermost lake is target) if folks are doing well (Bishop Lake, if they're not). Day 2 Dusy Basin layover or Mt Agassiz peak bag (awesome view and a nice peak), Day 3 dayhike into Barrett Lakes via Knapsack Pass, Day 4 out.

3. Sabrina Basin. This one can explore the various nooks and crannies of this multifaceted basin, including some of the cul de sacs such as the Fishgut Lakes and the whole drainage above them, as well as the better known destinations such as Midnight, Hungry Packer, Moonlight, and Echo Lakes. You can easily spend 4 days here and each hiking day need not be too nasty. Day 1 need not be too difficult as one can go as far as folks feel up to. If people are hurting, then one stops at Blue Lake. If not, deeper day 1's are possible including getting to Moonlight etc.

Little Lakes Valley is stunningly beautiful, too, but a bit limiting (spatially) for those who may want to cover a bit more ground.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Postby Aviprk » Mon May 21, 2007 1:23 pm

As mentioned on my previous deleted post most of your trips are way
too much for good backpackers not to mention first timers(way too
ambitious).
Where have they been doing there cross country at elevation? Probably
not..............
Big Pine is beautiful, but I would not take inexperienced people up
class 3 routes at elevation (12966-13775ft)!!


I agree that my friends weren't doing cross country in such high elevations but they are young (we are all in the 20's) and we have quite the stamina. I do appreciate your advice about keeping away from extreme x-c routes such as the Darwin and Lamarck.
I've been up to Big Pine a couple of times and the two friends who are going have been there too. That is one of the trips I'm starting to narrow it down to since the mileages are not that long and we would only be hiking 5 miles or so a day. We've done dayhikes up to 16 miles and that was with heavy daypacks.

Here are some mellower 4 day/3night options. Note that all of the off trail recommended here is done by with a day pack except for (possibly) easy hiking around Humphreys Basin. All are sort of in and out type trips with some potential mini loops you can build onto them. All feature stunning scenery that will give your friends plenty to remember. All have good fishing prospects and feature class 2 summits that can be bagged.

1. Piute Pass-Humphreys Basin. Somewhat like yours except much easier, with no crossing of Glacier Divide (ie no Lamarck Col). Sample itinerary: Day 1 to Piute Lake, Days 2 and 3 are spent in Humphreys Basin with a possible dayhike to explore the French Canyon area. Day 4 out.


Another trip I'm narrowing it down to as well. I hear only great things about the Humphrey's Basin and hear Pilot Knob is a great class 2 climb that will get them started for future trips!
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Postby maverick » Mon May 21, 2007 1:36 pm

Oh and I forgot number 5, but I see GB allready covered that.
His number 3 recommendation is also a great area to visit for a
first trip.
Also the Ansel Adams Wilderness is big on scenery and not to diffucult
to reach from Agnew Meadows or Devils Postpile.
Garnet, Minaret or Beck Lakes would be a beautiful trips and you
can check your map for distance and elevation to see which one
is the most feasible for your group.
Big Pine is a great area with the Palisades and Temple Crag as a back
drop to the emerald green lakes.
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Postby Aviprk » Mon May 21, 2007 2:28 pm

Decisions, decisions.....

Seems #3, #4, #5, and #8 would be the most "easily doable" of my picks. I've also considered Ansel Adams wilderness and the Thousand island, Garnet lake area but hear it's too crowded unless I go to the x-c lakes such as Catherine.
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Postby SPeacock » Fri May 25, 2007 11:55 am

Another opportunity that is more scenic than miles.

Kearsarge Pass from Onion Valley to K lakes. You could visit Rae Lakes as a day trip and back if you are not too tired the next day. Would be a long day.

Then down to Vidette over Forrester Pass staying at Tyndal Creek. You could spend the day exploring the high area west south around Bighorn Flats by perhaps going up to South America Lake (and take out Harrison Pass for a veiw), down the upper Kern Basin a bit NOT all the way down to Junction Meadowns, however, then up to pick up the PCT visiting the Wallace Creek Upper drainage late in the day if you are running the trail well, and back to Tyndal on the JMT/PCT along Bighorn Flats. Then out over Shepherds Pass down to its trailhead, short hike (3mi) over to road back to Onion Valley for a hitch to your car.

This would be a more invigorating hike clockwise, going up Shepherds Pass, spending first night at Mahogony or Anvil just below the pass...or pressing on to a high camp on west side of Pass - several opportunities there and a grand view of some of the most beautiful high Sierra scenery around. You also get option on 14er Tyndal from top of Shepherd Pass. Shepherds Pass up, is my wow for scenery on the east side.

I like the south to north route over Forester best. The trip down the north side is magical. Then mellow out at Kearsarge Lakes (can't stay at Bull Frog) for the Rae Lake visit the next day the exit over K Pass.

This would proof how good your fitness is. :)

If the altitude kicks your back sides, you can cut back on the side jaunts and the main hike would be a great fall back, anyway.
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Postby giantbrookie » Fri May 25, 2007 12:38 pm

Aviprk wrote:Decisions, decisions.....

Seems #3, #4, #5, and #8 would be the most "easily doable" of my picks. I've also considered Ansel Adams wilderness and the Thousand island, Garnet lake area but hear it's too crowded unless I go to the x-c lakes such as Catherine.


A few additional comments. Regarding Humphreys Basin and Pilot Knob. Pilot Knob is indeed a handsome peak with a great view. Here's a little climbing note. It is class 2 as listed, but only if you drop down a bit from the ridgecrest on its south side (I presume this by what I saw--I just followed the ridge) on the final summit approach where necessary to avoid some short knife edge sections. The summit ridge itself is low (easy) class 3 in a few places and moderately exposed, in my estimation. One of my two companions (a death march hiking veteran who doesn't like class 3 too much) was a bit put off by the exposure on the ridge. In contrast, my wife, who likes air, thought it was the most enjoyable part of the hike. Upon descending we ran into the peak climbing fiend Pete Yamagata, who was leading a Sierra Club peak climbing trip there. I recall him being very interested in my take on whether the route was class 3, given that by trip rules he wasn't allowed to take his group on anything above class 2. Anyhow, if any of your friends doesn't like air, this is something to keep in mind. Four Gables is easy class 2 and is an alternative peak from Humphreys Basin.

Regarding Thousand Is. lake and environs, I happen to think the Ritter Range (Ritter, Banner, Minarets) is the most picturesque group of peaks in the entire range along with the Palisades (the Bishop Pass-Dusy Basin option gives you an up close look at the latter). It is true that a lot of folks visit the 1000 Is area, but you also should weigh the fact that lakes such as Thousand Island and Garnet have an enormous perimeter and it is not that hard to get yourself away from the crowds if that is your wish. Banner and Ritter can be ascended by class 2 routes if you dayhike around to the back side (long day hike)--rather tricky route finding is necessary, particularly on Ritter, in order to keep things at the advertised class 2, however.

Another visually stunning area is Convict Canyon. Not only is it visually gorgeous, but, last I checked, it was not a quota'd trailhead (Convict L.) so if you don't get under the quota at another choice, it's a good one to remember as a fall back. This would be an in and out rather than a loop, but it is very beautiful with the rich reds and grays of folded metamorphic rocks contrasting with the green of the trees, blue of the lakes and the multicolored wildflowers. The lakes are overpopulated with brookies which is nice if you'd like your friends to be guaranteed to catch a fish (if they're so inclined), but not so good if you'd like to catch something big. Mts. Morrison and Baldwin can be climbed by class 2 routes, as can Bloody Mtn.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Postby Aviprk » Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm

Thanks so much gb and speackcock.

I always wanted to visit that area around Forester pass but it might be kind of overkill in elevation and I would like to get a loop out of it if anything. I hear only great things about K pass and its environs.

I'm also keeping my eye on the 1000 island lake area but right now it seems more buried in snow than the Southern Sierra and my trip happens in 3 weeks. We will have to see what the conditions will be like.

I'm so excited. Just thinking about keeps me off the chair.

:D
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