TR: Cottonwood Pass - Wallace/Wales - Miter Basin (Aug 2020)

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Harlen
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Re: TR: Cottonwood Pass - Wallace/Wales - Miter Basin (Aug 2020)

Post by Harlen » Wed Oct 14, 2020 5:35 pm

Jim F wrote:
...The awesome photography and TR is much appreciated.
I too think your photography is something special. I love photo number 4 from the top with that artful curving slope; and the one of the moonrise with Wales Lake and Mt. Hale, and just a whole bunch of the last set--both the B&W, and the color. Some of your color photos, eg, New Army Pass looking west, and the wonderful image: "Crazy blue water," remind me of the muted, but more realistic tones from the sharp, old Kodak film-- ASA 64 and 25, before Fuji Velvia film captivated many of us. Interestingly, so do WD's images, like the ones that follow in her comment on your TR.

Thanks a lot for putting together such an interesting and informative TR, with really fine photography of a great route. Glad you managed to get out there.








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Re: TR: Cottonwood Pass - Wallace/Wales - Miter Basin (Aug 2020)

Post by wsp_scott » Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:00 am

thegib wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 5:06 pm
Good ad libbing. I love that spot at Wales lake, and crabtree pass thru Miter basin is underrated no matter how highly rated.
That is a perfect description of Crabtree/Miter Basins, just an incredibly beautiful area and not a lot of people. Two nights at Crabtree and I saw a total of 3 people pass through and then one tent off to the side at Middle Crabtree Lake. Amazing :)

@kpeter I took the PCT all the way to Rock Creek and then went up Rock Creek for about a half mile for the first night's camp. I wish I had taken the cutoff to Soldier Lake and then followed Rock Creek down to the ranger station and crossing Rock Creek. I was aiming for Kawaeh Basin on this trip. If I was going to go this way again, I think I would go through Miter Basin and Crabtree Basin and avoid the PCT over Guyot Pass.

@Lumbergh21 I think I could spend a week wandering in the basin below Wallace/Wales Lakes. Lots of little creeks coming together to form Wallace Creek, lots of open forest to wander through and lots of little ups and downs to keep things interesting. Next time I pass through, I think I will try to climb straight up to Wales Lake. It looked to be an easy fun hike and then cross the Wales outlet at the end of the climb and a great campsite. Then up to Tulainyo for a dayhike.

@Wandering Daisy Thanks for those photos, it was one of your earlier trip reports that made me want to see Crabtree Lakes. I'll definitely be back. I actually tried partially coldsoaking one dinner (long soak then a little bit of heat) but the brown rice did not work very well, I ended up carrying out half of that meal :(

@Jim F 4 miles as the crow flies is some "extreme" terrain :)
Thanks for the info about the High Trips. I've heard about them, but I assumed that they were early 1900s and had ended by mid-century, no idea they were still happening in 1962. Is there anything online that lists the locations/years of the High Trips? I had seen mention of that packer camp, I assume that packers still use it?


I've used the Sawyer bags before. I don't think the alcohol affected the bag, I think I actually ended up with a slice somehow. I'm going back to a more solid container for fuel from now on. For water, I use Evernew bags and have never had a problem.

I think the biggest knock on the Cottonwood Lakes area is the crowds. I was shocked how many people I passed on a Tuesday. It also appeared to be a lot of the annoying type of backpackers, the ones with music on the trail and large groups that would end up making a ton of noise late into the night. After seeing Rae Lakes and Kearsarge Lakes, I'm not sure I want to camp at Cottonwood Lakes :)

Glad everyone enjoyed the photos
My trip reports: backpackandbeer.blogspot.com

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Re: TR: Cottonwood Pass - Wallace/Wales - Miter Basin (Aug 2020)

Post by kpeter » Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:30 pm

Jim F wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:20 pm

By the way, if one follows Crabtree Creek down to the PCT (where it joins Whitney Creek), and then continues downstream another mile, one encounters a "packers camp" where the cut logs serve as tables, benches, seats,..

Jim
How difficult would it be to follow Whitney Creek all the way to the Kern, as opposed to taking the trail to Wallace Creek and then down to Junction Meadow? It sounds like the camp you are describing is halfway between the PCT and the HST/Kern?

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Re: TR: Cottonwood Pass - Wallace/Wales - Miter Basin (Aug 2020)

Post by wsp_scott » Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:05 pm

kpeter wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:30 pm
Jim F wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:20 pm

By the way, if one follows Crabtree Creek down to the PCT (where it joins Whitney Creek), and then continues downstream another mile, one encounters a "packers camp" where the cut logs serve as tables, benches, seats,..

Jim
How difficult would it be to follow Whitney Creek all the way to the Kern, as opposed to taking the trail to Wallace Creek and then down to Junction Meadow? It sounds like the camp you are describing is halfway between the PCT and the HST/Kern?
I don't know how I stumbled on this thread (http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthread ... r_Shortcut) here is where I heard about the packer camp and a route up from the Kern
My trip reports: backpackandbeer.blogspot.com

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Matthew
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Re: TR: Cottonwood Pass - Wallace/Wales - Miter Basin (Aug 2020)

Post by Matthew » Thu Oct 15, 2020 10:01 pm

Great report, thanks.
I've stored denatured alcohol in two containers for 3 years, the one a upcycled thin walled #1 plastic airline water bottle has worked fine. The other, a opaque nalgene bottle, became brittle and shattered in my hands, maybe this was a LDPE (#4) plastic.

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Re: TR: Cottonwood Pass - Wallace/Wales - Miter Basin (Aug 2020)

Post by ironmike » Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:40 am

wsp_scott wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:00 am

@Jim F 4 miles as the crow flies is some "extreme" terrain :)
Thanks for the info about the High Trips. I've heard about them, but I assumed that they were early 1900s and had ended by mid-century, no idea they were still happening in 1962. Is there anything online that lists the locations/years of the High Trips? I had seen mention of that packer camp, I assume that packers still use it?
Check this link out: http://www.owensvalleyhistory.com/whitn ... ge33c.html

Not an exhaustive history, but fascinating. The High Trips continued into the seventies, albeit at a smaller scale than the good ‘ol days.

Based on the WhitneyZone thread and pictures mentioned above, it looks like the packer camp still gets occasional use.

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Re: TR: Cottonwood Pass - Wallace/Wales - Miter Basin (Aug 2020)

Post by TurboHike » Fri Oct 16, 2020 5:35 am

There is an old thread about hiking from Crabtree Meadow to the Kern River:

viewtopic.php?t=1797

There is also a trip report here, Kern to Crabtree:

http://www.hikinggeek.com/2015/07/30/hi ... e-20-2015/

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Re: TR: Cottonwood Pass - Wallace/Wales - Miter Basin (Aug 2020)

Post by wsp_scott » Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:39 am

ironmike wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:40 am
wsp_scott wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:00 am

@Jim F 4 miles as the crow flies is some "extreme" terrain :)
Thanks for the info about the High Trips. I've heard about them, but I assumed that they were early 1900s and had ended by mid-century, no idea they were still happening in 1962. Is there anything online that lists the locations/years of the High Trips? I had seen mention of that packer camp, I assume that packers still use it?
Check this link out: http://www.owensvalleyhistory.com/whitn ... ge33c.html

Not an exhaustive history, but fascinating. The High Trips continued into the seventies, albeit at a smaller scale than the good ‘ol days.

Based on the WhitneyZone thread and pictures mentioned above, it looks like the packer camp still gets occasional use.
Thanks for that link to the High Trips, it is interesting to see the planned itinerarys. For example the 1962 trips both went to Crabtree Lakes. I can't imagine what it would have been like to see huge numbers of people spread out though the area.
My trip reports: backpackandbeer.blogspot.com

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Re: TR: Cottonwood Pass - Wallace/Wales - Miter Basin (Aug 2020)

Post by ironmike » Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:00 pm

wsp_scott wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:39 am
Thanks for that link to the High Trips, it is interesting to see the planned itinerarys. For example the 1962 trips both went to Crabtree Lakes. I can't imagine what it would have been like to see huge numbers of people spread out though the area.
Especially these days, when it's rare to see *anyone* in the Crabtree Lakes basin, despite best efforts of the HST community to "talk it up" as a destination. I get the vague impression that Miter and Crabtree were actually more popular in the first half of the 20th century, and have only seen a blip of resurgence in the past 10-15 years or so, but maybe the mainstays of this board have a different perspective.

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Re: TR: Cottonwood Pass - Wallace/Wales - Miter Basin (Aug 2020)

Post by bobby49 » Mon Oct 19, 2020 2:35 pm

Hey, I was in the Miter Basin one night, over Crabtree Pass, and slept one night in the Crabtree Lakes area. That was the first week of August. It was pleasant.

Don't expect to find a trail in every place where you want a trail. So, it is good to go with a GPS receiver and a good sense of where a trail ought to be.

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