Part 2 of the Lyell loop | High Sierra Topix  

Part 2 of the Lyell loop

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Postby cgundersen » Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:35 pm

Maverick,
If you've seen the Then versus Now photos that Doyle logged in his trip report, it would have been interesting to do some comparisons with older shots of that area; regardless, maybe someone else can step up with photos of that area?
Anyway, I agree that the digital revolution has made it greatly easier for novices like my wife and me to record their mountain experiences (I used to lug a little Rollei 35 mm that was the lightest of its kind, but I had/have no knack for photography so its utility was limited). Then, the posts by the pros in the photography section indicate that there is some skepticism about the quality of what digital provides, but for us it's been great. When I compare what we get now to the 35 mm prints we have in albums at home, digital wins hands down. And, even though I'm pretty certain you don't need too much incentive to get back to a lot of places you've visited before, if it's to grab photos, why not? I'm in awe of several of the folks who post on this site, and in the long run, it's going to prompt my wife and me to think about upgrading our gear (though I doubt I'll get to the load level that Dave Senesac carries).
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Postby maverick » Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:01 pm

Hi CG

I used to carry a 35mm film camera several years ago, but the sheer
convenience of a digital cannot be beat.
Being able to see your photos right after you press the shutter and
having a histogram makes things alot easier.
Also not having to carry rolls and rolls of film is a big difference.
One other thing I enjoy is being able to do all the post-processing
myself which allows me to process the picture according to what I saw
or what a customer wants, sometimes there is a difference.
I still have to buy some software, still using iPhoto and DDP, but I
hope to upgrade to CS3 or Lightroom when I can sell some more
of my photo's.
I enjoy bringing the backcountry to people through my photos so they can appreciate the Sierra even more and hopefully get involved with
the preservation of it somewhere down the line.
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Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Tue Oct 02, 2007 5:12 pm

maverick wrote:I used to carry a 35mm film camera several years ago, but the sheer convenience of a digital cannot be beat...Also not having to carry rolls and rolls of film is a big difference...I enjoy bringing the backcountry to people through my photos so they can appreciate the Sierra even more and hopefully get involved with the preservation of it somewhere down the line.

:bear: I used to carry ~8 rolls of film on major trips (JMT-HST-etc) with my PnS which had a Zeis lens, and now I have a Connon PS A520. The film has a quality I don't see in my digital, in particular the greens. One of the reasons I am now looking into 35mm SLR is 1) I have lots of lenses and filters and 2) I much rather have a viewfinder view of what I shoot and 3) I believe progress has been made in getting that film quality and true color look in digital. Certainly Maverick and other are getting good results, and I would like to get beyond the journalistic shots I have been getting.
:bear: gundersen: Thanks for the Florence Lake basin shot. Florence Lake must have trees and a camp to be the named lake. I wonder if anybody here at this BBS has been there, and how?
:bear: I too like John Muir and Maverick believe getting people into the mountains helps in preservation. Some of these remote spots like Lyell Fork, however, will remain seldom visited because it is such a specialty and a long ways and hard work from a TH (2 to 3 days one way). Even Roper and Arnot who recently revisited places they had been to long ago say the backcountry is in even better shape (human impact-wise) than in, say, the 70's, the backpacking heyday. There are other great basins and other places to visit in the Sierra that are hardly ever visited, even after being featured in books! And fewer numbers are in the backcountry these days. Gotta tear them away from their XBoxes....
:bear: I would like to see ALL of the lakes (as opposed to just some) from Isberg Pass to Upper Lyell Fork!
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Postby cgundersen » Wed Oct 03, 2007 2:30 pm

Yep, I agree with you guys about "spreading the gospel" about the Sierras, and that's why I try to drag as many friends and family into the mountains as possible (some kick, some scream, but every once in a while, they love it)............such novice trips wind up limiting the time available for things like the recent HST gathering (that sounded like a gas), but for that latter gang, it's preaching to the choir.

Anyway, Doyle, I'll insert a chunk of the topo with Florence Lake and it looks to me that the direct route up the creek is probably very "doable" (in terms of the contour spacing that I look for), but if not, there is that nice gentle ascent beginning from the trail a bit further to the south and west. Of course, I've done neither, but it cannot hurt to throw the question out to the HST gang in general. There's always a chance that someone has done this route (besides Maverick, Giantbrookie and Telkwa seem to have spent lots of time in that general area).

Image

Finally, that last goal is certainly a great one; just aim to have an extra day to spend at Blue Lake, you'll not be disappointed!
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Florence Lake

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:19 pm

Going up the Florence Lake falls does not looks so good. Take a look at my pictures, and remember I was pointing the camera upward. But there does seem to be two other ways.
1) From halfway up the Bernice Lake trail there is a bench that you can traverse SW to NW of point 10216 in the above map, then go up.
2) SW of the word "Creek" is a broad ramp that can be followed in a kind of hook.
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Postby cgundersen » Fri Oct 05, 2007 8:40 am

Hi Doyle,
Maybe I mised something, but I'm not sure which photo in your report had the falls out of Florence. Regardless, that "hook" route looks like the easiest way up to Florence lake, especially if one is coming from the South (which, based on comments by Maverick in an earlier thread, is the most expedient way to get into that area and the one I'd plan on doing the next time I head for that territory)!
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Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Sat Oct 06, 2007 10:01 am

cgundersen wrote:Maybe I mised something, but I'm not sure which photo in your report had the falls out of Florence.

Try this:
http://www.sierra-trails.com/lyellfork/lyellfork018.htm

I was re-reading some of my books about/by John Muir, and at one point he was staking out the glacier of Mt. Lyell to measure its flow (to counter Prof. Whitney's statement that there were no living glaciers in the Sierra) when a storm approached (in october). He took off down Hutchings Creek or Upper Lyell Fork to lower Lyell Fork to camp at Washburn Lake and wait out the storm. Days later he made snowshoes out of bark and headed back to Yosemite Valley via Echo Creek and Sunrise Creek and the Falls. After a few days rest, he 'discovered' Muir Gorge and Hetch Hetchy in an epic hike of endurance.
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Postby cgundersen » Mon Oct 08, 2007 8:19 am

Hi Doyle,
OK, I think my problem is that I went through the report associated with the 3rd link (that points to the teaser page) in your posting. It actually wound up having plenty of photos and commentary, but (at least not that I could see on a quick repeat run through it) the Florence falls. However, from what you show above, obviously, they look more daunting than than I'd guess from the map. That's why I'm always most comfortable about staking out routes that I've not done before only after I've gotten a glimpse of what I may run into (either in person, from my old photos, or photos of others). That eliminates the surprise element, but also reduces the reliance on "plan B" alternatives. Anyway, looks like the hook route remains the best choice for Florence!
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Re: Part 2 of the Lyell loop

Postby FeetFirst » Thu Nov 12, 2015 4:27 pm

@cgundersen, Thanks for your post. I know, blast from the past (yay search tool!), but still very helpful since I'm considering connecting upper Hutchings Creek basin -> Lewis Creek basin. Sounds like "Pothole Lake" Pass it is.
I'm still rather convinced that you can achieve more than you've ever dreamed of if you just lower your standards.
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Re: Part 2 of the Lyell loop

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:28 pm

The saddle in your photo, from Hutchins to Lyell Fork is Sluggo Pass. I went over it the other direction (from the Lyell Fork). When I did it the gully was full of steep hard snow, so I traversed the slabs and ledges to the left (on the photo). It was a bit scary. Quite wet, slippy and mossy. And really steep too. I was a happy camper when I reached flatter ground. I have also dropped down slabs from Hutchins to the lower Lyell Fork and then gone up to the bench with the lakes. I think this way is easier, although it is a lot of elevation drop and gain. At least it is not terrifying.

I have been to Hutchins twice- both times after high snow years- it was really green in the lower lakes. I did not see any fish although did not try to fish. I added a loop into Hutchins when I did Roper's High Route. Yes, it would be better than his trail walking and totally more in line with the rest of his route. Three photos below from 2010.

Image

Image

Image
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