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Wallace or Wrights to George Creek?

Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:16 pm
by Wandering Daisy
I am planning a summer trip and considering exiting via George Creek from Wallace Lake or Wrights Lake. I have been up and down George Creek several times and Wallace Lake and Wrights Lakes but never connected across the divide. Vacation Pass seems obvious, but how do you get down to Wallace Lake? There was an internet report a while back but it sounded absurd! And they were day hiking not backpacking.

On the map below, I have been on the red route lines, but NOT on the blue ones, which are the ones I have derived from Google Earth. Has anyone gone between George Creek and either Wallace or Wrights Lakes? From Google Earth, a route from Williamson Bowl does not look feasible.

Re: Wallace or Wrights to George Creek?

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:47 am
by Gazelle
Have not done it but may do it this spring if so I will give you a report.

Re: Wallace or Wrights to George Creek?

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:49 am
by TurboHike
WD, there are some photos here that you might find helpful. ... rnard.html

Re: Wallace or Wrights to George Creek?

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:57 pm
by Wandering Daisy
That is the blog that I read previously and thought was crazy! So many mistakes made with respect to safety, including getting separated. I do suppose their blog followers thought it was wonderful. If one is NOT climbing Mt Carl Heller, there should be better ways to gain the top of the ridge that separates George Creek drainage with Wallace Lake. I would be going out so from Wallace, would be going UP with a full pack, albeit end of trip and lighter, not going down with a day pack. I really would like to know if anyone has tried to go UP from Wallace Lake and then down to the lake below Carl Heller. The other route that looked reasonable was to climb Barnard and then traverse to the ridge where you drop to the lake below Carl Heller. If weather went bad you could drop down to the small tarn the next drainage north. I have been up to that tarn from George Creek where we had a base camp for Williamson.

Years ago we tried to climb Mt. Carl Heller but were stopped by vertical snow plastered on the route so retreated. That was in the days when George Creek was closed for use after early May, which made any climb or trip there more difficult dealing with high water and much snow. We did get up Williamson.

Re: Wallace or Wrights to George Creek?

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:34 pm
by Harlen
Hey WD, sounds like a great summer trip. I am partial to Wallace Creek, so would want to head through that way either coming or going. From the topo, and from one of the route lines and photos from the "Peak Freaks" trip report, it looks like the broad western slope up from Wallace Lake leads easily to the main ridge north of Vacation Pass. That Carl Heller Peak route sure looks nice too. We wish you good luck.

p.s. on that great route map you've created- showing your prospective blue line routes, we can see a blue route line of yours running down the middle of that high lake south of George Creek... we know you are a water lover Daisy, but do you intend to swim across the lake?! :eek:

Re: Wallace or Wrights to George Creek?

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:26 pm
by Wandering Daisy
Oh, the line in the lake. I do that to get elevations of lakes that do not have elevations. It starts in the middle of the lake- not sure if I could walk on water before I swam the line! That broad western slope from Wallace is steep. The metric contour tends to minimize the steepness. If you look at Google Earth, there are lots of little cliffs and down-sloping rock too. That is the shortest route, provided you do not fall and kill yourself. I suppose if I just started up it I would be OK, but it sure looks intimidating. The route down to the lake below Carl Heller (the one I should swim across), looks relatively easy on Google Earth.

I would love to complete Carl Heller. We climbed it about half way and then ran into impossible steep snow plastered to the route, just ready to slide off if stepped on. So we retreated. It really is a beautiful peak. I would also love to tag Russell from Wallace. I only have three 14'ers left to do; Russell, Muir, and Polemonium. However, I do not wish to solo any of them.

As for George Creek, I have been on it six times, three up and three down. Long story about that.