I asked for advice here a few days ago about doing this route (and got it-- thanks!). I did it this weekend, here are pictures, including maps:
I tried to make notes to myself on the maps and mark up a few pictures with the route; hopefully if anyone wants to do it themselves, it will be helpful. The route was exactly what I was after-- not technically difficult, mostly slabby granite as opposed to loose talus, and very easy access-- right off hwy. 120 in Yosemite, and beautiful scenery with big views, lots of lakes, etc... Below are more notes I made to myself before I forgot it all.
Ten Lakes-Lake 9566-Lake 9820-Wegner Lake-Back to Yosemite Creek/Ten Lakes trailhead notes.
-From ten lakes up to the pass back into the Yosemite Creek drainage is easy, pleasant walking. The small lake labeled WL9734T, on the cathedral creek side of the pass, would be a beautiful place to camp
-Getting over the first ridge after the pass was easy, but no-fun talus. We went low and then over—not sure that just doing it right away and getting it over with wouldn’t have been better.
-We descended into the little hanging valley more or less directly—we should have descended, then traversed, then descended more (there are two sort of parallel valleys), as we did some unnecessary steep stuff. We followed the hanging valley to the end of a small meadow, and then turned left around the ridge to begin traversing to lake 9566.
-we should have dropped immediately down to easier walking ~150 feet below us. In general on the traverse, we would have been better off a little lower, as the walking was easier.
-getting out of lake 9566 was not difficult—benches make the steep ascent easier. The valley above the benches levels off, then, up and over a little rise (mini-pass), turns into two hanging meadow valleys that end in a ramp providing access to the big plateau north of mt. Hoffmann.
-Leaving lake 9820 (which is beautiful), it makes more sense to drop low (to about 9620) on a broad ramp and then rise again on a grassy ramp/shelf than to try to hold elevation across what looked to be horrible talus fields.
-descending to wegner lake got a little steep at the end, but no big deal; same with the descent to the next lake, 8980+.
-From here, I think the best route is to just descend the outlet creekbed from lake 8980. We tried, briefly, to get onto the broad, gentle ridge south of the creek at about 8700ft, thinking it would be the easiest way to the road and we could hitch back- but it was a disaster—horribly difficult large blocky boulders/talus all over the place. Going back along the creek was mostly mellow—one rough rocky section in the middle, and then somewhat steep going at the end. Toward the end where it got steep, rocky, and brushy, we cut left (south) back into forest (about 50 ft. of manzanita) for the rest of the descent, which was fine, then walked the road back to the car.
Overall, technically easy traveling—mostly slabs (little talus) above treeline, and open forests (almost no brush) below. Generally low angle—only had to use my hands a few times, and never enough to warrant putting away the trekking poles.
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Thanks Adam for posting the TR, and happy to hear that you had a good time.
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