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Lamarck Col

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Postby wannabp » Thu Jun 21, 2007 7:47 pm




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Darwin Bench - JMT

Postby frediver » Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:46 am

When coming off the Darwin Bench Is it easier to drop into Colby meadow or angle over to the Evolution Lake area ?
Any special spots you can recommend for campsites on the Bench or JMT?
Are there any decent camp spots between Muir Pass and Evolution Lake?
I'm not sure I want to make a long day to get from Evolution Lake to Big Pete meadow?
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Postby langenbacher » Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:29 pm

Coming down from Darwin Bench I think you want to join the JMT at 10660', shown on the Darwin Quad as the northwest extent of a big switchback - there is/are use trail(s) leading to it. Don't leave the drainage too soon to cut over - I left the drainage on an obvious use trail to the SE (at 11000' ???) and ended up bushwacking my way to the JMT - much easier on the return route when I went all the way to the switch of the switchback. Here's a picture of a well worn part of the trail along the Darwin Bench drainage, perhaps at 10800' http://langenbacher.org/Goddard/Pictures/PICT0195.JPG. or pick it out of the thumbnails at http://langenbacher.org/Goddard/Pictures/Thumbnails.html

We camped near the outlet of Evolution Lake which has nice views of Evolution Valley nearby, but there a plenty of nice places along the way up Evolution Basin - we left the JMT at the outlet of Wanda Lake where some people were camped.
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Postby frediver » Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:05 am

Thanks for the info.
Was there much cover or shelter in the Wanda lake area?
Terraserver and Google earth make it look very barren.
Unfortunatly I only have the Tom Harrison and Terraserver maps to work with, where are you getting your maps, what would you recommend?
Thanks,
<><>
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Postby langenbacher » Thu Jul 05, 2007 9:31 am

Wanda lake area was pretty barren. Evolution Lake seemed to have more shelter, but that was the last of the trees on the way up.

For free maps, see my links at http://www.summitpost.org/area/range/171134/sequoia-kings-canyon.html#chapter_8 .
There a some maps for the Lamarck Col to Goddard route at http://langenbacher.org/Goddard and if you know what quads you want, look at http://langenbacher.org/Maps .

I use National Geographic TOPO! software for printing maps, but it costs about $100.
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Postby BrianF » Thu Jul 05, 2007 9:09 pm

Wanda Lake is very barren, there are a couple of tent sites next to large boulders, but still pretty exposed. Sapphire Lake has some fairly sheltered sites tucked in some rock bands between the JMT and the lake. It is a beautiful place to camp.
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Postby lost in texas » Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:03 am

There is a very nice campsite along the trail coming down off the Darwin Bench, roughly halfway between the Bench and the junction with the JMT. It is a small bench that is very flat for being on the slope of the ridge. You get great views of the mountains surrounding the Evolution Valley, and up towards Evolution Basin. There is a waterfall nearby where you can get water, and fall asleep to the white noise. I recall the bugs being present, but not bad. It is fairly open so you could get a breeze to keep them away.

It was a nice respite from the rocky Darwin Canyon. I would also recommend trying to angle right at the bottom of the descent from Lamarck Col. We went all the way to the left most lake in Darwin Canyon and went through a major boulder field. Note that travel through Darwin Canyon is slow due to the boulder hopping required on most of the shores of the lakes. Once you get past the final lake, you will find a faint trail that hugs the drainage creek. Keep on the lookout for when the trail veers to the left from the drainage, and over a small rise.

I did a 4 day loop from North Lake, over Lamarck Col to the JMT, and over Bishop Pass to the South Lake. An incredible loop with amazing scenery, and some 'healthy' climbing. I wish I had pictures to share, but my camera's batteries died day one, so you'll just have to trust me. Good luck!
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