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Ionian Basin entry

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Ionian Basin entry

Postby NiKu » Sat May 09, 2009 10:39 pm

I am thinking about/ planning a trip to the Ionian Basin. I have heard amazing things and have added it to my "to do" list for this year. I want to go in via Lamarack col, darwin bench, muir pass, ionian basin. How difficult is the journey once you leave the JMT near muir pass and enter the basin? Likewise, how is the terrain once in the basin to goddard canyon, which I would probably use to exit?
Thanks for any info/ input you all might have!



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Re: Ionian Basin entry

Postby BrianF » Sun May 10, 2009 10:42 am

Going in from that direction the easiest way into the Ionian Basin is via Wanda Pass, which leaves the JMT at the outlet of Wanda Lake and is easy cross-country to the saddle west of Mt Solomons. The route from near Muir Pass has much more talus as I remember. I can't speak to getting to Goddard canyon, but i have dropped down to Goddard creek from the basin and the route out of the Ionian basin to lake 11,818 was easy. I hae always wanted to circumnavigate Mt Goodard via Davis lake/Ionian basin. When I was at Davis lake I saw little signs of use.
The direction you are moving in is what matters, not the place you happen to be -Colin Fletcher
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Re: Ionian Basin entry

Postby giantbrookie » Sun May 10, 2009 3:15 pm

Wanda Pass is indeed the easiest entry into Ionian Basin. There are several ways to get to Goddard Canyon. The highest route is a notch just south of Goddard that leads to Martha L. You can also drop down toward Goddard Creek 10212 but then cutover toward Reinstein Col (then back over to Martha) on a high bench that takes you to just below Reinstein Col. Finally, you can drop all the way to 10212 and explore Goddard Creek before going over Reinstein Col to Martha. All of these routes are class 2 and you will need to do some quality routefinding to steer around cliffs. Circling Goddard makes for a very nice trip. My wife and I did a very nice trip like this in 1994. We went over Lamarck Col to Darwin Bench, then through Evolution and over Wanda Pass to Ionian Basin, then down to Goddard Creek 10212 plus the lakes downstream of it, mixed in a long dayhike to explore Blue Canyon, then over Reinstein Col to Martha Lake, then around the corner to Davis, then back to Evolution Basin with a side trip to the McGees. This is certainly one of the finest off trail regions in the High Sierra.
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: Ionian Basin entry

Postby maverick » Sun May 10, 2009 3:23 pm

From the southern shores of Helen Lake turn off the JMT heading towards Black
Giant Pass.
Descend the pass to Lake 11828 where there is descent camping on the eastern end
of the lake.
Head west from lake into the eastern side of Ionian Basin.
Best camping is in the small meadows at the northern end of Chasm Lake and the
northeastern end of Lake 11592, there are others scattered around the basin, but
these are my favorite.
You can also leave the JMT at the outlet of Wanda Lake and head up Wanda Pass, which
is a class 2, but steeper than Black Giant Pass, but this route will shorten your trip
by at least 2 miles.
There is another route but it has a lot of loose boulders on the eastern side which makes
it less desirable than the other 2 options, unless you went early enough so the
snow would make travel easier.
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Re: Ionian Basin entry

Postby fishmonger » Wed May 13, 2009 3:08 pm

I've always wanted to visit the Ionian Basin as an alternate to a John Muir Trail regular route - head up Goddard Canyon and traverse through the basin behind the Goddard Divide, and then reconnect with the JMT just south of Muir Pass.

On my 24k topo maps this all looks nice, but I never was able to find a route description for the part that gets me out of the canyon up into the basin. Anyone got some info on that? Secor's book doesn't really talk about this approach and all the online trip reports I found use approaches from the Bishop Pass region.

Anyone know of some resources regarding a trek through the basin coming from Florence Lake? I'll probably end up doing this solo in the coming years and don't want to deal with anything more than brief class 3
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Re: Ionian Basin entry

Postby Mike M. » Wed May 13, 2009 4:08 pm

I have entered the Ionian Basin several times over the years from Martha Lake. It is a beautiful, straighforward cross country hike with stunning views. E-mail me and I will send you some photos from my most recent trip through the basin (2006) via that route.

Mike
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Re: Ionian Basin entry

Postby maverick » Wed May 13, 2009 4:28 pm

Hi Fishmonger

I just posted a reply but it did not show.
Anyways just hike down the JMT until you reach the Evolution Creek/Goddard Creek
junction where you take the Goddard junction 8.5 miles to Martha Lakes eastern
side and hike up the class 1-2 slope into Ionian basin, really easy stuff.
Here is someones picture attached with the approach right in the middle of the picture
above Martha.
http://sekihiker.home.comcast.net/~seki ... /CL06.html
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Re: Ionian Basin entry

Postby fishmonger » Thu May 14, 2009 9:28 am

thanks much for those photos - the trip past Martha Lake clearly doesn't look like a big challenge.

So I sat down and drew my little route line on the topo, mostly based on memory from what I read, like that you can cross the little lake where two peninsulas almost touch, and that you're better off south of Muir Pass to cross the ridge on Mt. Solomon.

In between I am still a bit guessing, though. Clearly looks like an extra day compared to the Muir Trail, especially with all the rough terrain ups and downs in the basin area.

Here's my current route "best guess" - click on image for better view

Image

would I find myself in front of anything impossible trying that? (I want to do Goddard as well, but that route is well documented)

I may even do this route this summer coming south-north on our return leg of the Muir Yo-Yo hike if we have plenty of food left.
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Re: Ionian Basin entry

Postby maverick » Thu May 14, 2009 11:29 am

Route is good except Nietzsche Pass is on the other(western) side of Mt. Solomons
which you ascend up the obvious route on the map from the eastern side of
Lake 11592.
You can also go over Wanda Pass which is located between the "rd" in "Goddard
Divide" on the map you provided.
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Re: Ionian Basin entry

Postby Mike M. » Thu May 14, 2009 2:14 pm

I would recommend Black Giant Pass rather than the route you have chosen over the eastern shoulder of Mt. Solomons. Also, as you make your way into the Ionian Basin from Martha Lake, shoot for a small iced-in lake in the portal above Martha Lake; once you are just beyond this lake and over a small ridge, the Ionian basin comes into view.
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Re: Ionian Basin entry

Postby maverick » Thu May 14, 2009 3:15 pm

BG Pass would allow you visit you most eastern part of the basin, and is easier than
N Pass because of the large and loose boulders on the upper portions of the eastern
side of the pass, and Lake 11828 has pretty descent camping on its eastern shores.
If your short on time Wanda while give you the quickest exit and hook up with the
JMT.
All are easy class 2's take your pick.
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Re: Ionian Basin entry

Postby quentinc » Thu May 14, 2009 11:28 pm

maverick wrote:Route is good except Nietzsche Pass is on the other(western) side of Mt. Solomons

That's called Nietzsche Pass? How did he get mixed up with all that Greek mythology? Guess I'll have to think about the "will to power" next time I go over it.
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