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Help choose a hike with new but old hikers

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Help choose a hike with new but old hikers

Postby Aviprk » Thu Feb 14, 2008 4:31 pm

Some of my buddies parents (who are good DAY hikers) want to come backpacking this summer (early July) and I've been looking for some hikes that would impress them, be somewhat difficult but not too much, and above all FUN! They want some cross country so I've been looking for places that don't have too much talus but solid granite to tread on. They are all above 50's but never went backpacking but are all in good shape.

I've been narrowing my choices to these so far:
Rae Lakes Loop with side trip to 60 lakes basin
Minaret lake to 1000 Island loop
Piute Pass to x-c over steelhead pass (or the pass east of Pilot Knob) down to L Lake and back to North Lake via Hutchinson Meadow.

Maybe:
Big Pine Lakes



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Re: Help choose a hike with new but old hikers

Postby giantbrookie » Thu Feb 14, 2008 6:33 pm

For cross country trips that aren't too rough, I'd agree that Humphreys Basin is a great place to cruise around. Any trip that goes into Bear Basin is as well (although the approach is more work than getting to Humphreys Basin). The basins above Purple Lake (Ram Lakes etc.) also make for a pleasant trip with off trail travel. Some of central Yosemite, which includes places like Matthes and Nelson Lakes also makes for very nice, but mellow off trail trips. The Tableland reached most easily out of Wolverton is another fine and mellow cross country area.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: Help choose a hike with new but old hikers

Postby maverick » Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:04 pm

The Minaret Lakes Loop (Minaret, Cecile, Iceburg, and Ediza Lakes) is probably
the most scenic for the effort invested.
The scenery with the Minarets, Mt Ritter and Banner in the back drop is something
that will have them hooked for life and will wet there appetite for more adventures.
You will probably encounter lots of skeetrz, but alot of wildflowers too, which
is a good trade-off IMO.
The only real trick part is getting around Iceburg Lake.
Get Phil Arnot book "John Muir's Range of LIght" (hope I got the title correct),
it has a good description of the route.
His book also has many more x-country routes thru out the Sierra that I have
done, and therefore can highly recommend this book.
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Re: Help choose a hike with new but old hikers

Postby Take-a-Hike » Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:27 pm

Wife 'n I are over 50..actually, over 55 for that matter. One of our first b/packing adventures 3 years ago was basically to follow Doyle Donehoe's Sierra Trails adventure in the Silver Divide. We started from Vermillion at Edison Lake, went to Graveyard Lakes then up 'n over the x-country pass to Peter Pande Lake. We went out via the trail past Lake of the Lone Indian, then over Silver Pass and back to the ferry. While at PPL we visited the upper lakes which are all easy x-c. We spent a total of five nights out. The pass over from the uppermost Graveyard Lake to the unnamed lake at about 10,120 has just enough talus on the north side to say you've experienced it, but not enough to ruin the trip. It should've taken us about 15-20 minutes to hop across but due to wife's healing torn ACL the previous winter, she was quite tentative on the stuff...so it took upwards of 90 minutes. Trust me, if we can do it, anyone can, I'd guess. WE like the area so much we're heading back this August, going to do some x-c in the Recesses and come out the Mono Creek trail this time.
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Re: Help choose a hike with new but old hikers

Postby gdurkee » Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:34 pm

So look here you whippersnapper, let's be darned careful how we're flinging the term "old" and "50s" in the same sentence. Why, when I was a boy.... .

But I vote for the always spectacular Rae Lakes loop with digressions to 60 Lks. Even just as good (and easier) to come in Kearsarge from the east side, then head to 60. I think I'd avoid any serious cross-country until you're sure they're into it and having a good time.

All of those ideas are good, though.

Just rockin' & droollin' in my beard,

g.

My beloved sez: "that old?!? You betting go someplace flat. Kansas."
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Re: Help choose a hike with new but old hikers

Postby Aviprk » Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:29 am

Thanks so much guys. I think either the Humphrey's Basin or the Thousand Island lake trip sounds really nice. I've been over Piute and the scenery was nice but unless you just hop from lake to lake you can't really get much of an actual hike, thus trying to go over Steelhead lake to make a full loop.

Any other suggestions out there for other X-C trips? I also thought about the Tablelands but it doesn't seem to offer as many lakes and I would like to try to stick to a Eastern approach (They've never been to the Eastern Sierras, but have been to Sequoia and KC several times car camping). Something as close as possible from LA. Even Thousand Island seems to be kind of pushing it so I wanted to stick to as far as Big Pine though if Thousand lakes area is that nice then why not push it a bit more? : :nod:

Btw, Sorry if I offended anyone here over 50 "olds." I will start using the term "middle aged" now :D
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Re: Help choose a hike with new but old hikers

Postby maverick » Fri Feb 15, 2008 1:20 pm

Thousand Is Lakes though may be further from LA, but the hike in easy, unlike
Rae which when done from the east you'll have Kearsarge and Glen Pass to hike over.
Big Pine which has some pretty emerald lakes doesnt offer any x-country routes
unless you want to climb Mt.Sill or go up the Northern Fork and go over Contact Pass
(class 2)and exit the Southern Fork of Big Pine Creek.
South Fork Big Pine Creek and over Southfork Pass will be to difficult as is Jigsaw Pass
over to Bishop Pass area, both are class 3 and not for the inexperienced.
If you want some great trips with x-country and trail mixed in here are some, number
is 1 easier.
1. North Lake-Lamarck Col(class 2)-Darwin Canyon-Darwin Bench-JMT-Sapphire Lake-
Muir Pass-LeConte Canyon-Dusy Basin-Bishop Pass-South Lake is a beautiful trip.
2. Mosquito Flats-Little Lake Valley-Cox Col(class 2)-Lake Italy-Gabbot Pass(class 2)-
Upper Mills Creek Lake-Second Recess-Mono Creek-Mono Pass-Mosquito Flats.
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Re: Help choose a hike with new but old hikers

Postby BSquared » Sat Feb 16, 2008 9:14 am

First, I have to most heartily second George's "Whippersnappers" comment! Why, I haven't been 50 in more than ... lessee ... uh .... mumble, carry the one, borrow a six. .... ah: a long time!

Second, I think the Shadow Lake - Ediza - Iceberg - Cecile - Minaret etc. loop is possibly the most beautiful hike on the entire planet, Rae Lakes included. And I'm a pretty confirmed trail hiker but didn't find the very short cross-country bits of this hike a problem at all. Now, I was (ahem) a bit younger when I did it (I think I've done it several times, but my memory ain't what it used to be :lol: -- sheesh, I better get off this age kick or I'll start believing myself!), but as Maverick pointed out getting around Iceberg is the only even slightly tricky part, and there's a fairly obvious use-trail there (the topo shows a trail all the way to Cecile, but it's really just a use trail). It's pure cross-country getting down from Cecile to Minaret Lake, but since you can see the entire route from the south-east lip of Cecile it's very easy, and it's extremely short (less than 1/2 mile).

I think the hike from Shadow L. up Shadow Creek to Ediza is worth the entire trip. Shadow Creek does an amazing series of changes, from crashing waterfalls to still pools and meanders in small sandy meadows, and then back to waterfalls again. And there are Sierra Gentians everywhere you look, in the right season. All this with The Minarets and Ritter and Banner as a backdrop! Definitely an A+ trip!

-B2
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Re: Help choose a hike with new but old hikers

Postby cgundersen » Sun Feb 17, 2008 3:33 pm

Hi Aviprk,
I'd side with everyone chiming in for the Minaret route. My last visit time through that exact area was 2 years ago with a woman who was celebrating her 50th birthday, so that age range certainly is not an impediment. More to the point, the heel of her boot peeled off on the hillside from Minaret to Cecile, so she made the rest of the trip in sneakers. It slowed her down a bit on the hop from Cecile to Iceberg, but we were hardly in a hurry. Then, instead of going directly down to Shadow, we went from Ediza up to Nydiver lakes. At the risk of publicizing these gems, I'd have to say that these lakes probably constitute the most gorgeous easy-access off-trail lakes in the southern Sierra. Although I'd certainly defer to giantbrookie and maverick on this count, you can almost sleepwalk from Agnew meadows to the Nydivers (if you wanted to go there directly), yet they are seriously untrammelled and have view lines that surpass those from Minaret/Cecile/Iceberg and Ediza (and all four of them are fantastic). And, if you still wanted to loop through the Thousand Island Lake area, it is possible to descend directly from the Nydivers to Garnet and thence to Thousand Island. The route down to Garnet is less traveled than the one down from Cecile, but not much harder and it takes off a lot of trail time. But, one word of caution is that with the snows this year, lots of your route may still be in snow in early July. Our trip was in late August of that huge snow year, and there was still plenty of snow by Cecile and half of Iceberg was still frozen (which meant that it did have icebergs!).
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Re: Help choose a hike with new but old hikers

Postby maverick » Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:42 pm

CG you weren't supposed to tell anyone about Nydiver Lakes(just joking).
If you want to keep your route x-country all the way to Thousand Is Lake
from Ediza you have 2 choices either follow the trail down to where it
meets the creek coming from Nydiver and follow that up or head west from
Ediza following the creek up towards the glacier and then down to the lakes.
From Nydiver head north from the largest lake(western most) toward
Whitebark Pass(class 2).The southern side is easy but the northern has
steep talus and scree and with the amount of snow we have gotten probably
alot of snow, veer northeast descending from the summit to get around
the snow if possible.
From Garnet Basin head for the lake directly north of the pass and head up
towards Garnet Pass(class 1)which is a cake walk and then down to Thousand Is Lake.
The route from Minaret to Ediza in class 2-3.
You need to go around and climb up the northern bank of the stream that
comes into the lake from its west.
When the stream turns southwest is where you ascend the narrow slot(steep
and maybe the most difficult part)to the eastern side of Cecile.
Go around the lake on its eastern side to its outlet.
Climb diagonally towards the northeast shooting for the far shore of Iceburg
(you may need an ice axe to get over the snowfield, though hiking poles may
be enough if your comfortable with them).
Follow the outlet stream on its eastern side down to Ediza.
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Re: Help choose a hike with new but old hikers

Postby cgundersen » Mon Feb 18, 2008 4:36 pm

Hi Aviprk,
As an idea of what the area looks like from Nydiver plateau, here are a couple shots looking toward Ritter/Banner and the Minarets, respectively (if I remember how to embed photos):
Image

[url="http://www.flickr.com/photos/10845599@N03/2275022409/"][img]="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2015/2275022409_12d2a2e8e4_o.jpg"[/img][/url]

CG
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2015/227 ... e8e4_o.jpg
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Re: Help choose a hike with new but old hikers

Postby cgundersen » Mon Feb 18, 2008 4:37 pm

Oops, the photos did not embed, but the links to Flickr should suffice till I figure it out,
Sorry,
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