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Anyone here do a "full Monte"?

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Anyone here do a "full Monte"?

Postby mokelumnekid » Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:45 pm

Curious who on this list has hiked the legendary Monte Wolfe trail all the way down the N. fork Mokelumne River from Hermit Valley, past the Meadow Creek junction to maybe the Jackass Canyon junction or to Camp Irene (esp. curious if giantbrookie has). Info much appreciated! I have been about 5.8 miles down from the trailhead at Hermit Valley in 2006 and on that trip clearly saw evidence of Monte’s old trail. Pics from that trip here:


But on that trip it was hot and I got tired of the bushwhacking and turned around; river swimming was a lot more fun. Travel was very slow to say the least. We were on his old trail I know that for sure (but I won’t say how I know that), and it was climbing pretty high above the river when I turned around.

But I might be getting ahead of myself, for those of you who don’t know about Monte see pics and info here:


What’s odd is that my family has had a cabin right at that trailhead since 1943 (built maybe in 1920) but I was never interested in going downstream the Mokelumne (I’m an uphill kind of person, peaks before fish :unibrow: ). So it is only now, many moons later that I suddenly have an interest in exploring the canyon more (and also because I’ve hiked everything else to the point of near-boredom in the last 40-odd years I’ve been hiking there on my own). Pics of the casa here:


and here


In closing I would like to propose that April 21 be declared Monte Wolfe Day, as that is the day he likely disappeared in 1940. On that day we should all eat trout, Spring vegetables and enjoy some rustic zin from the Sierra foothills. Just a suggestion!

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Re: Anyone here do a "full Monte"?

Postby rightstar76 » Wed Oct 15, 2008 12:20 am

Thanks for sharing with us a slice of life from the forgotten Sierra. In an age when Cedar Grove and Whitney Portal seem to be the center of the Sierra hiking universe, it's refreshing to be reminded that yes there's more to the Sierra than SEKI.
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Re: Anyone here do a "full Monte"?

Postby Cloudy » Wed Oct 15, 2008 7:13 am

Yes, thanks for sharing the local history! If you delve into the history of your favorite Sierra stomping ground, you'll usually find "characters" like Monte.
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Re: Anyone here do a "full Monte"?

Postby TehipiteTom » Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:25 pm

Fascinating local history. I had heard of Monte Wolf before (I think there's a reference in the Alpine Trailblazer guidebook), but could never find a lot of detail about him.

I've done several trips north of there and one trip to the south, but I've never gotten down into the North Fork Canyon. I love the Mokelumne area; it's not as high or dramatic as the SeKi/John Muir areas, but it does have its own beauty and charm.
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Re: Anyone here do a "full Monte"?

Postby JMat » Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:16 pm

I've never hiked the route you described, but in my younger days I did hike the old "Tahoe-Yosemite Trail". The route take you from Round-Top Lake down into Summit City Canyon and further down to Camp Irene and then out by way of Lake Valley Creek/Bee Gulch and onto Lake Alpine.
That is some very rugged yet beautiful country. I remember the hike out from Camp Irene being about a 3000 ft elevation gain and it certainly gets HOT in the canyon.
I had never heard the story of Monte Wolfe before but love that kind of history. Now I'm gonna have to research it more and try it for myself.

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