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Davis Lake to Martha Lake?

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Davis Lake to Martha Lake?

Postby LMBSGV » Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:07 pm

I am planning a trip this summer over Lamarck Col, Darwin Canyon, Evolution Basin, Davis Lake, Martha Lake, Goddard Canyon, Evolution Valley, McGee Lakes, Evolution, and back. One section I was particularly wondering about was the best route from Davis Lake to Martha Lake.

From the topo map, I’ve come up with the following route: cross North Goddard Creek at the outlet of Davis Lake, go west over the ridge north of peak 12434 to the small lakes/tarns at about 11,200, turn south/southeast and go about a mile to the lakes northwest of Goddard, and then head south down to Martha.

Or would it be better to follow North Goddard Creek to Goddard Canyon and then head up to Martha even though it’s longer? My 56 year old knees and declining balancing ability are telling me my talus hopping days with a full pack are now rather limited, especially on steep slopes, but from the map, the shorter route looks like it might be better and more beautiful.



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Re: Davis Lake to Martha Lake?

Postby giantbrookie » Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:35 pm

Your route seems fine to me. My wife and I went from Martha to Davis (then to Evolution) in 1994 as a part of a big loop out via Lamarck Col (North L. to Darwin Bench to Ionian Basin to Goddard Creek 10232 to Blue Canyon to Martha to Davis (and McGees) to Evolution Basin and out. Our route from Martha to Davis went a bit higher but was still fairly mellow class 2. We went from Martha to the first lake north of it (11120+) then to the next chain of lakes north of that (11440+) to another pair of lakes NNE of that at 11600+ then NE over a saddle (rather steep at the top on the east/north side) then down the chute NNWestward to Davis Lakes. I suspect your route is a bit easier (more or less contouring westward around the bench that north and west of 12438).
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: Davis Lake to Martha Lake?

Postby Sierra Maclure » Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:43 pm

I've walked your easier version (N Fork of Goddard to the South Fr. San Joaquin) but turned N to Hell For Sure Pass instead of S. to Martha Lk. It was very doable. We took Secor's recommendation and went South around Davis Lk and crossed at the waist of the hourglass to continue on the N side of the lake. Your first choice looks really delightful, though. Looking forward to the trip report.
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Re: Davis Lake to Martha Lake?

Postby maverick » Sun Mar 02, 2008 11:16 am

The descent down North Goddard Creek is pretty steep especially if your worried
about your knees.
You can also get down to Martha by going southwest from the Davis Lake outlet
and head up to a bench at approx 11200 ft.
Then head south and climb up another 400 ft to another bench and follow the
chain of lakes around and then descending southwest to Martha.
There is a pass (class 2)which you can use to get from Davis to McGee Lakes
Pass 11720 which will cut back on your milage too.
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Re: Davis Lake to Martha Lake?

Postby LMBSGV » Sun Mar 02, 2008 1:04 pm

Thanks for all the good advice and encouragement. Maverick’s route sounds pretty close to the one I’d come up with from the map. I was considering the saddle south of Davis and it’s good to know it’s doable but rather steep at the top, confirming my guess from the map. My knees/balance do better with steep ups then downs, but I’ll probably still follow the benches around. I’ve wanted to hike Goddard Canyon for years - the couple of times I’ve passed through on the JMT, I find myself stopping at the junction, looking up the canyon, and thinking how wonderful it would be to follow it all the way up to Martha, which is why I’m not going directly from Davis to McGee. However, if my time for the trip gets shortened by a day, I’ll have to consider it. I’ll do my best on a trip report though I find they never do justice to the experience itself and so seem inadequate.
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Re: Davis Lake to Martha Lake?

Postby Sierra Maclure » Sun Mar 02, 2008 7:40 pm

LB: I checked out some of your book and pix. Perfect. Thanks for putting it into words and images..
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Re: Davis Lake to Martha Lake?

Postby LMBSGV » Mon Mar 03, 2008 1:21 pm

Sierra, you're welcome . . . and thanks.
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Re: Davis Lake to Martha Lake?

Postby SSSdave » Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:10 pm

In 1980 I almost did your whole route on a 9-day backpack. Difference was I didn't go to McGee but instead used the easier crossing to Davis Lake before Wanda. I made a big mistake taking the route along the south shore of David Lake. Be sure NOT to do that as one will need to cross at least one very dangerous snow slope where a mistake means a possible scary steep slide into icy waters without an obvious way to climb out. At the outlet I did take the same route you mention and Maverick apparently also did. Not much difficulty for a good map navigator. The next day I was pulling out a big 15 inch golden trout from Martha. And the following day gazing out north from atop Mount Goddard. ...David
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