TR: Cartridge Creek Basin – 8/8 to 8/14 2019

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johnz
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Re: TR: Cartridge Creek Basin – 8/8 to 8/14 2019

Post by johnz » Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:39 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:57 am
After finding so little information , you have answered my question about going down Cartridge Creek. Not for me! Thanks!

Definitely go back and spend more time in Lakes Basin and Dumbbell Basin. Another approach to these areas is to go in via Taboose Pass and Cartridge Pass to drop into Lakes Basin, or in from South Lake and then up to Amphitheater Lakes and over the pass into Dumbbell Lakes (snow may not allow this in a high-snow year).
Wandering Daisy, I remember the thread you started (last year?) about going up/down Cartridge Creek. The discussion that followed was quite helpful and I remember the pictures that Mike M. took on his multiple trips through the area. It made me want to go see Triple Falls for myself.

Yes, I definitely need to go back to Lakes Basin and Dumbbell Basin again. I'd like to start combining some fishing with my hiking and I've heard that the fishing is pretty good in both basins.








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Re: TR: Cartridge Creek Basin – 8/8 to 8/14 2019

Post by johnz » Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:39 pm

8/13/2019 Tuesday

We started the day leisurely and did not leave camp until after 8.
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I was well rested and felt strong going up the Simpson Meadow trail. Ragged Spur looming above Goddard Canyon.
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Mount Woodworth.
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About an hour into the climb we encountered a sizable Thimbleberry patch.
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Luckily for us, the berries were perfectly ripe!
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I had heard reports that the climb out of the canyon was quite the slog but between the yummy berries, the "enchanted" views (sorry) across the river, and the open woodland higher up, I found the hike very enjoyable, more so than going up Copper Creek Trail.
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We reached the top where a side trail forks to State Lakes around noon.
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Looking toward Glacier Valley. Dougherty Meadow is hidden beneath.
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Shortly before crossing the East Fork of Dougherty Creek we saw another person for the first time since Granite Pass.

After a short lunch we reached the other end of the State Lakes trail and went up the trail for the second time for a short while before turning right toward Glacier Valley. The Glacier Valley mosquitoes are something else, but no matter, the meadow was beautiful.
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Re: TR: Cartridge Creek Basin – 8/8 to 8/14 2019

Post by johnz » Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:01 pm

8/13/2019 Tuesday cont.

And in the middle of that brilliant field of gold and green
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a creek carved out a mottled cobblestone path.
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To top it all off, little fish scurried about the crystalline waters.
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After leaving the meadow, we followed Roper’s instructions and headed up toward the west side of lower Glacier Lake.
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We walked along the eastern shore and headed up for upper Glacier Lake.
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The western shore of upper Glacier Lake.
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From upper Glacier lake it is about 800 feet of elevation gain to Goat Crest Pass.
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We left the lakeshore just before the spit of rock that juts into the water near the inlet
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and weaved up boulders through alpine meadow and heather. Snowmelt gushed everywhere around us.
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Soon we topped out at the little tarn at the top of the pass.
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Re: TR: Cartridge Creek Basin – 8/8 to 8/14 2019

Post by johnz » Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:17 pm

8/13/2019 Tuesday cont.

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We set down our packs and soaked in the scenery we were leaving behind one last time.
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Toward the south, the Kings-Kaweah divide appeared, cupped by the arc of Grouse Lake pass.
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The descent into the upper reaches of Granite Basin was gentle. The grass was still quite lush in many places and flowers still blooming.
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Granite Lake and upper Granite Basin as we ascended Grouse Lake Pass.
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Hitting the pass from the North proved a little trickier than expected and we eventually topped out a little above the pass. Grouse Lake.
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We arrived at the lake a little before sunset. The mosquitoes were out in full force but so were the fish. The trout was literally jumping out of the water. I was able to take a video of it but didn’t end up getting a picture of a trout in mid-air. Instead, here is a picture Joe took of all the rises bubbling beneath the evening alpenglow.
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Re: TR: Cartridge Creek Basin – 8/8 to 8/14 2019

Post by johnz » Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:25 pm

8/14/2019 Wednesday

Dawn.
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We woke up to another cold morning and bid the mountains goodbye. We skirted Grouse Lake along our right and soon found the Copper Creek trail. Some two plus hours later we arrived at the trailhead. A couple preparing for a jaunt around Rae Lakes took one last picture of us.
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Epilogue.
This was a trip of firsts. Jerzy and Joe’s first trip to the Sierras. My first week-long trip with a fully ultralight setup. Our first extended off-trail adventure. My first trip (and probably Joe and Jerzy’s first trip) without a hint of precipitation – yay! Most importantly, this trip is the first of what I hope will be many trips deep into the Sierra wilderness. Already scouring satellite imagery for an adventure this coming summer…

Best,
John
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Re: TR: Cartridge Creek Basin – 8/8 to 8/14 2019

Post by balzaccom » Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:25 pm

Great stuff. Thank you so much for taking the time to post all of the photos and text. That area has been on my list for a long time...and now it appears to be in bold type!
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Re: TR: Cartridge Creek Basin – 8/8 to 8/14 2019

Post by Harlen » Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:04 pm

Paul writes:
That area has been on my list for a long time...and now it appears to be in bold type!
X2!

We've got to get in there! [Sorry Bearzy.]

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Re: TR: Cartridge Creek Basin – 8/8 to 8/14 2019

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:50 am

Too bad you did not have time to stop at Volcanic Lakes. Once I took the SHR to States Lakes to fish, only to find that the mosquitoes were SO bad that I could not even get out of the tent! So I bailed and camped right on top of the pass above Granite Lakes where there was a stiff breeze. Then I day-hiked the Volcanic Lakes, very well worth the effort.

Evidently Kid Lakes are also great. Must add that the next time I go up on the Monarch Divide.

It is good to hear that the trail up from Simpson Meadow is not that bad. I always wondered.

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Re: TR: Cartridge Creek Basin – 8/8 to 8/14 2019

Post by Mike M. » Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:39 am

Awesome trip report! You guys are truly studly. Mosquitoes were awful last year deep into the hiking season.

Thanks for posting.

Mike M.

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Re: TR: Cartridge Creek Basin – 8/8 to 8/14 2019

Post by thegib » Sun Feb 02, 2020 8:39 pm

Great pic of Black Crown Pt! And the snakes. Thanks for posting.

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