Most stable route from ~1000 island to Lyell fork of the Merced?

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erutan
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Most stable route from ~1000 island to Lyell fork of the Merced?

Post by erutan » Tue Jan 19, 2021 10:51 pm

We'll see how safe YARTS will be this summer (this might be a 2022 hike, but hopefully not!) - a few years back I went from postpile to the base of bench canyon (low water in the san joaquin) over blue lake pass and wandered around that area a bit. Went up the Lyell fork to the giant packer camp, then dropped down the falls to the trail in the valley floor and out. I've been wanting to visit the rest of the upper Lyell fork & Hutchings creek since.

From what I've read here most of the passes in the area seem very loose. I don't mind talus - I crossed over the slide with a pack and enjoyed it, but I prefer to avoid steep and loose if it's consequential, and my partner has a little PTSD from a chute near the top of Dragon Pass.

Of Rogers, Old Bones, Elektra Peak or nearby notch, sticking with Blue Lake Pass and tagging on Foerster ridge, etc what is the most stable way over east to west?








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Re: Most stable route from ~1000 island to Lyell fork of the Merced?

Post by wildhiker » Wed Jan 20, 2021 1:15 pm

Sounds like you want to generally use the sierra high route west from 1000 Island Lake and then cut over into the Lyell Fork Merced River. Another route from 1000 Island Lake is longer, and uses several trail sections, but has no difficult cross-country passes. That is to head north on the John Muir Trail over Donohue Pass and down to about the 10,400 foot elevation, then head cross-country over to the unnamed lakes on Maclure Creek at about 10,500 feet (good camping), then up easy granite ramps to the pass south of Amelia Earhart Peak. Then contour over mostly open grassy terrain to the pass southeast of Parsons Peak. The west side of this pass is initially very steep. In 1974, going east to west, I found a ravine that lead me down through the steep part diagonally, but going west to east in 2012, I couldn't find it and ended up clambering up some 6 foot high cliff sections near the top. Once past the steep top section, there is a long but stable talus slope down to a lake. Walk down meadows along the mapped Lewis Creek to just above Gallison Lake, and then head south over more meadows, past a smaller lake, to Bernice Lake. Pick up the trail from Bernice Lake down to Lewis Creek, then go down the Lewis Creek trail to the High Trail, which you take back up and east to the Lyell Fork Merced River.
-Phil

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Re: Most stable route from ~1000 island to Lyell fork of the Merced?

Post by erutan » Sun Jan 31, 2021 7:09 pm

Thanks for the input, and sorry for the late response!

I've done Vogelsang to those lakes below McClure via Earhart pass twice (though dropping to Lyell Canyon) - love those granite ramps and it's a neat area, the hanging meadow SW of those lakes is worth a visit. I've bounced around the Gallison lakes basin in 2011 but haven't been back since... Your longer detour actually has me thinking it'd be a nice trip just starting from Tuolumne!

I figured I'd fill in some of the Marie / Davis / Twin Island lake area I haven't gotten around to visiting - there's a few dodgy passes and people seem to always be looking for a better one so I thought I'd ask in case someone has experience with multiple routes through that area. I'll read that area of Roper's guide and either stick with the HSR or just do it from Lyell creek (my partner hasn't done much in Yosemite and I wouldn't mind revisiting the area).

I don't mind difficult as long as it's not consequentially loose. :) Bootsliding down something is fun if I self-arrest in a foot or so, some looser talus like the western side of Blue Lake Pass is fine, but being battered by a hundred+ pounds of rook as a sandy chute gives out and you're left holding onto a rock with one hand not so much... :p

update: yeah looks like the only thing of consequence is the river crossing and north glacier pass, which seems pretty stable. http://highsierratopix.com/community/vi ... =31&t=8580 I guess I was overthinking things by reading a lot of other routes in the area that weren't very stable vs just assuming that roper got it right. :)

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