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Re: Ultimate Sierra Trip?

Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:31 pm
by maverick

Saw your post on Backpacker about the flowers in Edgewood, we go out there all
the time on the weekends, saw a very nice sized coyote the last time(2 weekends ago).
Flowers were really pretty there several years ago.
We have seen bobcats, rattlers, and I have seen a mountain lion there once about
8 yrs ago.
We do not go as often since we moved to Fremont, but we used to live right
up the street from the park on Brittan Ave.
Did you have a chance to check out the Bootjack Trail, or Cataract Falls in the Tam
Alamere Falls is pretty nice and some nice flowers on the trail in the Point Reyes
the Ohlone Trail has some good areas for flowers out of Del Valle and the Diablo
Range should be great in 2 weeks, and of coarse Henry Coe.
The Grass Valley Loop in Anthony Chabot Park should be looking great pretty soon.

Re: flowers in the CR

Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:26 pm
by giantbrookie
Flowers are already very nice in the Diablo Range. I just went through Panoche Pass (little country road south of Pacheco--east end is Mercy Hot Springs) with a geology class field trip this past weekend. The flowers were very nice. We stayed at Anthony Chabot campground but it was dark by the time we were there and we bailed pretty early the next morning so I don't know how nice things looked there. I'm going to be up hiking all over Sunol Regional Wilderness in a couple of weeks with a field geology class (8 day field mapping exercise). It should be pretty nice by then.

Re: Ultimate Sierra Trip?

Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:05 pm
by TehipiteTom
Haven't done the Bootjack trail; did the upper part of the Cataract trail a few weeks ago, along with Matt Davis & the Coastal trail. Haven't hit the Diablo Range at all yet, but my buddy and I have a long-standing plan to hit Morgan Territory (west of the road) some weekend. Also Mitchell Canyon.

Re: Ultimate Sierra Trip?

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:18 pm
by paul
TahoeJeff wrote:I have had a serious hankering to go to French Canyon and Royce lakes for quite a few years now.
Royce lakes is pretty cool. I skiied through there last spring, coming over the saddle from Granite Park to the highest Royce Lake, then crossing the series of lakes and over towards Pine creek pass. It looked like it would be nice walking in the summer - the areas that were bare of snow were sandy/rocky. Take the time to get over to Merriam Lake while you're up there - spectacular spot.

My ultimate Sierra trip is not so much about one remote spot as a big sampling of them.The idea would be to cover the longest stretch of the crest without a highway crossing. So you'd start from Hwy 120 in tuolumne, going off-trail right away to walk along the Kuna Crest, and end up down near Kennedy Meadows. Some on trail, some off, something like 30 or 40 days. I'd arrange the resupply by hook or by crook so that it would come to me, thus avoiding even seeing a road the whole trip.

Re: Ultimate Sierra Trip?

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:21 pm
by mokelumnekid
Hey G-brookie- gotta toss in a friendly 'back at ya,' recall that my wife and I did your dream route a couple of years ago, after you and I had talked about it during our geology trip to the Sonora Pass area a just prior to that, and despite our in-shape and very experienced outlook, the leg from Barrett to Amp. Lake was a total ****. I still can't mention your name in front of the wife without her crying and she climbs 5.12 and has a black-belt! Part of the rub may be that we descended the hanging canyon part- east side going down from Barrett to Palisade Ck. (NOT recommended) AND the bugs were fierce AND the freakin' Palisade Creek fire (post your trip) had left the place a huge scar of burnt-over trick logs, down-fall and loose rocks, all covered in vertical ferns so you couldn't see your footing. It was like a controlled fall making that descent. Crossing Palisade Ck. was a piece of cake, but then crashing back up through the burn on the other side to Amp. Lake was another nightmare until about half-way up, when we passed out of the burn and just the usual torments were at play. We liked Amp. Lake and getting into Dumbbell Basin was a fun little puzzle.

Pics from that trip here:" onclick=";return false;

We are going to Dumbbells again this year, but this time via Lake Basin. I want to see if I can get to Lake Basin in a day coming in over Taboose (I know the route so that is not an issue). Not likely, but last year I got from North Lake to Merriam in a day with a full start-of-trip pack and I feel stronger this year...

Re: Ultimate Sierra Trip?

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:55 pm
by giantbrookie
Yes, perhaps that fire really buggered that route up. In '93 the Barrett descent (west side) was a riot of wildflowers and spray. The trickiest part was the at the waterfall at the bottom where we had to move further west from the stream to side step the cliffs. That part may be nastier post fire. The lower part of Cataract Creek was bad in 1993, for it was a maze of deadfalls then. Lots of getting wet in 1993 too including multiple wet crossings of Cataract. The condition of the Barrett descent would be a key factor in deciding whether or not this will truly be the dream trip when the kids are strong enough (at which time Judy and I will be in our early 60s).

Merriam L. from North Lake on day 1? Wow, that's pretty amazing. Why North Lake and not Pine Creek to go to Merriam on d1? Lakes Basin on d1 is in another league, though, and would be worth many style points (that would make my upper Blue Canyon d1 goal look positively pedestrian) . I did Upper Basin easily on d1 in 1980 w/o cutting the corner (losing lots of unnecessary elevation; figured this out coming back), but Lakes Basin would be worthy of Muir to be sure.

On a related note, I asked Judy the "what would be her dream trip" question and she devised almost the same itinerary. I have advised her about the possible adverse changes to the Barrett segment, however. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait awhile before the rules of the house allow this one. In the meantime, I get one 5 day death march per year (forfeited for 2009).

Re: Ultimate Sierra Trip?

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:16 pm
by mokelumnekid
Yeah- our mistake was staying on the east side of Barrett Ck. We followed old ducks part way down, (and I came across an old round compass, situated nicely on a rock right at the edge of the creek)and then came to some smallish falls about 1/4 way down, and the east side looked better there- bad call on our part because we shortly were stuck on that side. But no doubt the fire debris really contributed to the hazard and freak-out factor as the whole upper surface had been 'cut loose' by the fire (fire was in 2002). Your comments on the amount of deadfall on Cataract Ck. are interesting, becasue take that and then burn it, and it makes it even more of a big mess. And we only crossed the creek once, about 3/5 of the way up! But Amp. Lake is a dandy!!

I don't seriously expect to make it to Lake Basin in one day coming in Taboose (but you never know!), but we might make it to that big lake that is about 3/4 of the way up to Cartridge Pass. I am confident that we can easily make it across the three rock slides along the South Fork Kings at a minimum (like you getting to Upper Basin on d1, or folks that have made it to Bench Lake in a day). In fact it probably isn't wise to descend Cartridge Pass into Lake Basin at the end of a long day with full packs, because it is loose and steep and when the ligaments are tired...

Last year we went in over Piute Pass because I didn't expect to make it to Merriam in a day (not a big fan of French Canyon)- but we got to Hutchison Meadow before lunch time (we were flying!) and thought what the hell, let's go for it. I am glad we did because that gave us an extra day and we went up Royce Peak and screwed around exploring that wonderful basin above Merriam Lk.

Re: Ultimate Sierra Trip?

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:22 pm
by maverick
On my Observation Lake Loop in 2007 I descended rather high on the eastern side of
Cataract Creek which worked out fine though I would probably drop down a little
lower next time.
I did not encounter any problems getting down to Palisade Creek and on to Deer
Meadow, where I followed Barrett Creek to Barrett Lakes.
I stayed in the drainage as long as I could sometimes leaving it because of downed
trees and once in the forested area I stayed on the western side of the creek.
The route up to the Mt Shakspere was slower going especially from Shakspere
to the Observation Lake area which was extremely rocky.
Here is a shot looking back at the first lake in Observation Lake Basin and
then one from an unnamed pass going over to lower Dumbbell Basin and looking
back at another lake in OLB.
As you can see especially from the shot at the pass the terrain is very rocky." onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false;

Re: Ultimate Sierra Trip?

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:51 pm
by mokelumnekid
Thanks maverick- good to know that there are decent ways- sounds like you found the best way- EAST side Cataract and WEST side Barrett. We did just the opposite, I guess I was hoping that the trail shown on the old maps up Cataract would be there. We did find scraps of it in upper Cataract on the west side, above the burn. But I still probaly wouldn't go that way again since I'm guessing I can get to the Dumbbell's from the car in two days coming in from Taboose (I'm kind of sick of Bishop-Knapsack Pass to be honest). Is it possible to get into the Dumbbell's in less than two days from any approach?

Great pics thanks for those (the colors seem wild, kinda like black-lite- are they scanned slides or?). We didn't get over to Observation area when we went in 2006, but will this year.

Re: Ultimate Sierra Trip?

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:30 am
by maverick
Yeah Dumbbell is doable coming over Taboose by spend the night at the parking lot
and shooting over early in the morning.
You should be able to make Lakes Basin, or like you mentioned the lake under
Cartridge Pass if you run out of daylight, and then into Dumbbell the next day.
Dumbbell Pass from Dumbbell Basin" onclick=";return false;