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Sabrina / Evolution Basin Ideas

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Sabrina / Evolution Basin Ideas

Postby trav867 » Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:20 pm

Hey guys, I definitely take a lot more info than I give to this board but here I am again looking for trip ideas!
I've seen so many great pictures of Sabrina and Evolution Basins that its time for me to see it for myself. My girlfriend and I got next Friday the 15th though Tuesday the 19th off so presumably we'll drive up Friday morning. I'm looking for ideas for a 4 or 5 day trip that just explores the area, on and off trail. If not a trip plan, what are some spots that I shouldn't miss?
Thanks in advance,
Travis



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Re: Sabrina / Evolution Basin Ideas

Postby giantbrookie » Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:13 am

Both are beautiful areas, but they are difficult to combine in one trip owing to the fact that the passes between Sabrina Basin and Evolution Basin are rather nasty. All of the passes are class 3 or worse except for one and variations on that theme that crosses the crest near Mt. Wallace, and that one is much harder than crossing into Evolution via Lamarck Col (from North Lake). For a nice 4 or 5 day trip, I'd choose between the two areas. Either spend a fairly leisurely 4 to 5 days in Sabrina Basin (highlights can include Moonlight, Midnight, Hungry Packer, and Echo Lakes), or a somewhat harder 5 day trip from North Lake into Evolution via Lamarck Col. One thing to keep in mind is that one has to expend a reasonable effort to reach Evolution in two days from nearly everywhere (Lamarck Col being the fastest way in). This reduces the time available (on a 5 day trip) to get around and explore many of the choice off trail basins adjacent to Evolution such as the McGee Lakes and Davis Lakes areas. If you and your girlfriend have done some High Sierra backpacking trips already this summer, I might suggest the Evolution option which is harder, but more remote and exotic. If not, I'd recommend Sabrina Basin.
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: Sabrina / Evolution Basin Ideas

Postby maverick » Mon Aug 11, 2008 12:40 pm

I also would not recommend combining the two areas with such a short time period
unless the both of you move very fast.
If you could add 2 days then the North Lake to South Lakes is a classic using Lamarck
Col.
If your seek some thing more difficult than go up thru Sabrina Basin to Echo Lake and
go over Wallace Col (class 2), lots of loose scree and talus on the western side, and
descend to the small tarns near Sapphire Lake/JMT and head north on the JMT or you
could jump over the ridge and visit McGee Lakes exit thru McGee Canyon head south on
the JMT thru McClure and Colby Meadows and climb up to Darwin Bench and exit over
Lamarck Col.
This trip will involve lots of climbing, but it takes you thru some of the best areas the
Evolution area has to offer.
If you want a leisurely trip with beautiful views of lakes, peaks and fishing than stick
with Sabrina Basin.
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Re: Sabrina / Evolution Basin Ideas

Postby trav867 » Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:49 pm

Thanks for the input- I like the idea of North Lake to South Lakes so I think I'll save Sabrina and Evo and try when I have more time in September.

I've been looking over maps trying to find a good trip and I'm leaning toward leaving from Road's End, and heading over to the JMT and taking it south over Forester Pass to Lake South America. From there, over Milly's Foot Pass to Lake Reflection, then back to Road's End via Junction Meadow. The trip looks like it will be 4 days/3 nights if we make good time, or 5/4 if we take it easy. Lots of climbing, but we're both used to it. My only concern is Millys Foot Pass- it appears to be doable, but has anyone here ever been over it?
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Re: Sabrina / Evolution Basin Ideas

Postby giantbrookie » Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:23 am

Whew, that is quite an adventurous plan. You are right when you note the K-K divide trailless pass as the crux of the trip. Milly's is a class 3 pass and I personally would seek other option. I've near it on both sides but I haven't been over it. I recall one or two members of this board have, and they will probably chime in. You have three main options for getting over the KK divide from the upper Kern to Reflection/East Lake: Millys Foot, Lucy's Foot, and Harrison (and variants of Harrison such as "Ericsson Pass"--see Secor). I've done Lucy's Foot and do not recommend it. The north side has a breathtakingly steep and loose class 2 section at the top--nasty. I've heard reasonable reports of Harrison and its variants although I haven't done it myself; from comparative comments, my impression is that Harrison (or variants) is probably the best bet. If you like that kind (off trail) of adventure, I think a more interesting trip (more off trail, but without a really nasty pass) might be to loop around Brewer out of Road's End by doing the Sphinxes, Brewer Basin, Longley Pass, and Reflection (can be done in either direction, but doing Reflection first is easier because the Longley crossing is less "blind"). The Upper Kern is a very nice place to wander around, though.
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: Sabrina / Evolution Basin Ideas

Postby trav867 » Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:41 am

I definitely like off trail adventure, but I the more I research, the more impractical Milly's Foot looks for us. Harrison is a possibility, but I'm thinking these steep, off trail passes are better left for when I'm by myself or without the gf. I think the Brewer loop trip sounds pretty good- I don't have a map in front of me so I can't envision the route totally, but when I get home I'm sure I'll have questions about it.
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Re: Sabrina / Evolution Basin Ideas

Postby maverick » Tue Aug 12, 2008 12:42 pm

Milly's and Lucy's Foot Pass is not for the inexperienced and you'd better be a
lover of very steep passes, like me (smile).
I do not think your girlfriend would appreciate you even trying to take her over
either of these passes from what you've wrote.
Harrison is easier with some loose stuff on the northern side of the pass.
I agree with GB on going up to East-Reflection Lake and then over Longley Pass and
down to Brewer Basin-Sphinx Lakes.
If while going over Longley you may consider climbing Mt.Brewer (beautiful views
from the top) though your outing may not be long enough for you to acclimate to
do the climb without getting ams.
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Re: Sabrina / Evolution Basin Ideas

Postby SPeacock » Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:18 pm

Harrison and Longley are good passes compared to Lucy/Millie

Another loop, from the east, would be Kearsarge Pass, Forester pass and spend time in the upper Kern drainage and exit down Shepherd with a walk to the road and a hitch back up to Onion Valley parking lot (or reverse leaving car at Shepherd Trailhead). This would be on all marked trails. You could also cut over to Rae Lakes, from Kearsarge Lakes (Charlotte is not that great a lake) on an overnight then down to Junction up to Forester. Spectacular scenery. Except for the longer haul over Shepherd Pass I'd suggest doing it counter clockwise. This would be a strenuous adventure if you just stay on the trails.
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Re: Sabrina / Evolution Basin Ideas

Postby trav867 » Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:50 am

Haha Maverick I think you hit the nail on the head with my girlfriend. She's a trooper though and I've definitely dragged her out of her comfort zone on multiple occasions. The only tricky pass I've been over with her is Sawtooth, and she claims she enjoyed the class 2+ above columbine lake.
As far as the Brewer loop, heading west after Longley Pass, where do you think I should aim to rejoin the trail?
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Re: Sabrina / Evolution Basin Ideas

Postby maverick » Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:56 am

Hi Trav867

Sawtooth does not even compare to the Foot passes!
Once over Longely you go over Cinder Col and then Sphinx Col both class 2
passes Longley is a class 1.
On a Tom Harrisons Kings Canyon High Country trail map Cinder Col is above the
smaller lake north of South Guard Lake with the two small lakes on the
northern side of the pass.
Sphinx Col north-west above the lone lake north of the "w" in Big Brewer Lake.
If you decide to stay at Big Brewer Lake descend Brewer Creek on it southern side
over the glaciated granite then once you get closer head for the north shore where
you'll have to leave the shore to by-pass some cliffs a few times, follow the outlet down
a couple hundred feet to a small pretty meadow with great views.
From Sphinx Col head down in to the Sphinx Lakes Basin and follow the stream
down to Avalanche Meadow where you pick up the trail heading towards Bubbs Creek.
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Re: Sabrina / Evolution Basin Ideas

Postby giantbrookie » Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:58 am

trav867 wrote:As far as the Brewer loop, heading west after Longley Pass, where do you think I should aim to rejoin the trail?


The simplest route is to hit Big Brewer Lake first (very pretty place and good fishing, too), then go over the pass (forgot the name) to the Sphinx Lakes (also very nice with good fishing), before descending the outlet from the Sphinxes to meet to the Sphinx/Avalanche trail below. From there the trail descends some very scenic switchbacks to the Bubbs Creek trail. You'll be entirely off trail from the time you leave Lake Reflection until joining the Sphinx trail below the Sphinxes. With good route finding the route tops out at class 2. You will see a big contrast in the crowds between on the on-trail part (Bubbs Creek trail, East Lake, Lake Reflection) where you'll certainly see people, and the trailless section where you may not see anybody (my wife and I spent 4 days in the Sphinxes, Big Brewer, South Guard L. the weekend after Labor Day once and didn't see a soul the entire time).
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: Sabrina / Evolution Basin Ideas

Postby trav867 » Wed Aug 13, 2008 12:25 pm

Thanks a lot guys- yeah I realized pretty quickly that either of the Foot passes were not a good idea for us. I think every trip I've ever planned starts as a completely unrealistic epic quest before it becomes a reasonable hike. All this research has unfortunately planted the seeds of a solo trip to that area!

I just saw MooseTracks' trip report of a Brewer summit, is that eastern approach the best way to go?
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