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Marmots in Mineral King

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Postby mountaineer » Sat Jun 24, 2006 7:41 pm

Snownymph, did the wire keep the buggers out? That looks like the route I would take. I would probably take some huge tent stakes to nail it down with rather than setting rocks on it. I still want to go but it looks like I will be pushed back to mid-July for my trip. I hope to do some exploring in the Florence Peak region.



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Postby Shawn » Sun Jun 25, 2006 4:02 pm

Hey Mountaineer......

I know SN has vastly more experience than I do, so I took here advice yesterday. I returned to an intact car at Mineral King. :D

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Postby mountaineer » Sun Jun 25, 2006 5:32 pm

hey Shawn, where did you go? Franklin Lakes by any chance? I plan to go to upper Franklin Lakes and do some routes on those peaks, including Florence. How low is the snow line?
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Postby Shawn » Sun Jun 25, 2006 5:50 pm

We went up to Mineral Peak (I put a link to my TR on another post but here it is again: http://www.theradioroom.org/MineralPeak/MineralPeak2.htm

The snow was patchy as low as 8000', with snow fields at 9000' and consistent above 10,000'. I was surprised how much snow remains on the north facing slopes (isn't this the end of June?). Lets just say I got some real world experience using the old ice axe - and I was praising the higher powers for having it hand when I truly needed it (twice I was "unzippered" down a slope when the crud broke loose from under me. Yee-haw.

Still lots of fun having the snow around but at the end of the day marching thru the deep sun cupped stuff was a tad tiring.

I'm sure the Franklin Lakes and the peak have heavy doses of snow and ice - which just might make the climb up Florence a little easier?
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Postby mountaineer » Sun Jun 25, 2006 6:04 pm

That is a great TR! I love this photo...
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As far as Florence is concerned, with ice axe and crampons, the snow gully at the right edge of this photo looks interesting.
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Postby mountaineer » Sun Jun 25, 2006 6:05 pm

P.S. Late June snow? Here is Columbine Lake in Late July of '83.
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Postby SSSdave » Sun Jun 25, 2006 9:01 pm

Back for more Shawn! I camped next to the upper Crystal Lake in your pic one night late season in 1980. Took a pic and recall there being a large white marble block above the little tarn. Was doing some potential trip planning the last couple days and am warming to an idea of going over Sawtooth Pass and down the other side to a foxtail land we'd visited a decade ago. The first day would reach the Monarch area where I've wanted to climb the northeast arete for a late afternoon then a sunset image of the colorful pointy peak in the same frame as Sawtooth. Right now considering the end of July. ...David
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Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:20 am

SSSdave wrote:...Was doing some potential trip planning the last couple days and am warming to an idea of going over Sawtooth Pass and down the other side to a foxtail land we'd visited a decade ago.


Going over Sawtooth Pass from Mineral King is just cruel and unusual punishment. They have "improved" the trail from the lake to the pass some recently, but it is still a sliding mess. There are really no easy ways to get over to the east side, but Sawtooth is the worst. Ideas: Timber Gap and Blackrock Pass, or Glacier Pass to Black Rock, or trails south. But hey, people do go over from the west, usually after a night at the lake. And some use the old north canyon trail too.
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Postby Steve Bearman » Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:56 am

The worst thing is the giant marmots - not much you can do to protect your car from them!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Image

At least they're friendly. Here's my wife posing with one.
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Postby SSSdave » Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:20 am

DoyleWDonehoo wrote:...Going over Sawtooth Pass from Mineral King is just cruel and unusual punishment. They have "improved" the trail from the lake to the pass some recently, but it is still a sliding mess.


Yeah as bad as slogging up the gruss to Lamarck Col from Darwin Canyon. With the huge weight I carry, my boots sink in even more. I habitually wake up at dawn in the backcountry and would likely be stumbling up the modest 1400 feet up route from Monarch well before sunrise so it would at least be in pleasant cool shade. Even if I wasn't interested in doing some photography by Monarch there is no way I could go over the 4k pass in one day like many do. 3k vert is about my limit carrying 70 pounds or more.
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Postby Shawn » Mon Jun 26, 2006 7:01 pm

Wow Dave, 70 pounds - now that's backpacking.

I agree with Doyles comments about Sawtooth Pass, but then again I've been up it more times than I care to admit so I am apparently not the brighest guy in the back country. :D

And Moutaineer - you now have me thinking about that snow gully on Florence too!

PS. Damn, that is one big honking Marmot
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Postby ndwoods » Tue Jun 27, 2006 9:11 pm

Wow, that Giant Marmot is pretty scary...are they just at the trailhead?:)
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