4 day eastern Sierra backpacking trip recommendation

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SDTrojan
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Re: 4 day eastern Sierra backpacking trip recommendation

Post by SDTrojan » Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:43 pm

rlown wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:54 pm
I would spend time planning an early 2021 trip. This year sucks. Right now where I live the AQI is 349.
My 2020 trips are off. Might have to do a Winter trip.
Tell me about it...this year SUCKS. I'm definitely planning early 2021 trips too, for one, doing some ice climbing out of Lee Vining, since I was forced to abandon North Couloir this past weekend.

The air quality was listed as "very unhealthy" when I woke up in my tent just outside of Mammoth Lakes on Sunday, and you could smell the dense smoke in the air. We got the hell out shortly afterwards. Sorry to hear you're suffering from that where you live.

I'm still holding out some hope for 2020, and hoping the situation improves. Sadly, way too early in the year to hope for a good solid rainstorm to put all the flames out.

I'd be fine with putting off Sierra trips until mid October/early November, where you can still get those lovely, crisp fall conditions before the serious storms roll in. But my friend is visiting from far away and has never seen the Sierra, and I'd really love to share that part of California with her if it's safe/possible/enjoyable, so I'm still keeping my fingers crossed.








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mort
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Re: 4 day eastern Sierra backpacking trip recommendation

Post by mort » Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:49 pm

Hi SDTrojan,
If smoke permits, the most fun & best views would be hike to Silliman Lake and climb Mt. Silliman, take a large map, like the National Geographic Sequoia Kings Canyon trails illustrated (there is also a Tom Harrison of the area). So you can identify the mountains, Mt. Brewer is obvious, Table Mountain, Milestone are easy, Whitney to the Palisades Crest on a clear day. With binoculars even more.
Lamarck Col is also fun. That trail up to upper Lamarck Lake is well built and gets heavy use & fully maintained. From that lake to the Col is a trail built about 50 years ago, just to get stock animals carrying the "Entering Kings Canyon N.P." sign to the col., and never maintained. From the col onward is a use trail, hard to find, and at first it's all boulder hopping anyway. The view from the col is restricted down the narrow Darwin Canyon. Never the less, Darwin Bench is one of my most favorite places on earth. With a day to explore, you cold climb Mt. Lamarck (easy class 2), or walk on the Darwin or Mendel Glacier or, like John Muir, watch the afternoon sky castle building...
-mort

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wsp_scott
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Re: 4 day eastern Sierra backpacking trip recommendation

Post by wsp_scott » Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:32 am

With a rookie, I would stick with the Cottonwood Lakes permit you already have.

You could set up camp and day hike the area (maybe peakbag Langley) or you could do an easy loop over New Army Pass to Soldier Lake (maybe dayhike in Miter Basin) and then come back over either New Army or Cottonwood Pass. That loop would be about 20 miles which would definitely allow time to drop packs and do some easy exploration.
My trip reports: backpackandbeer.blogspot.com

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SDTrojan
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Re: 4 day eastern Sierra backpacking trip recommendation

Post by SDTrojan » Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:08 am

mort wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:49 pm
Hi SDTrojan,
If smoke permits, the most fun & best views would be hike to Silliman Lake and climb Mt. Silliman, take a large map, like the National Geographic Sequoia Kings Canyon trails illustrated (there is also a Tom Harrison of the area). So you can identify the mountains, Mt. Brewer is obvious, Table Mountain, Milestone are easy, Whitney to the Palisades Crest on a clear day. With binoculars even more.
Lamarck Col is also fun. That trail up to upper Lamarck Lake is well built and gets heavy use & fully maintained. From that lake to the Col is a trail built about 50 years ago, just to get stock animals carrying the "Entering Kings Canyon N.P." sign to the col., and never maintained. From the col onward is a use trail, hard to find, and at first it's all boulder hopping anyway. The view from the col is restricted down the narrow Darwin Canyon. Never the less, Darwin Bench is one of my most favorite places on earth. With a day to explore, you cold climb Mt. Lamarck (easy class 2), or walk on the Darwin or Mendel Glacier or, like John Muir, watch the afternoon sky castle building...
-mort
Thanks a lot, Mort! I'll fully check those out on a Topo and do some more digging. Given the volatility with the fires and the fact that my hiking companion is inexperienced, I may save those for a future trip with my usual hiking buddy.
wsp_scott wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:32 am
With a rookie, I would stick with the Cottonwood Lakes permit you already have.

You could set up camp and day hike the area (maybe peakbag Langley) or you could do an easy loop over New Army Pass to Soldier Lake (maybe dayhike in Miter Basin) and then come back over either New Army or Cottonwood Pass. That loop would be about 20 miles which would definitely allow time to drop packs and do some easy exploration.
Yeah, thinking about it some more, that might be the best bet, and the Cottonwood Lakes area is truly beautiful as well. Thank you!

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