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Sierra 6-day loop backtip suggestions wanted.

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Sierra 6-day loop backtip suggestions wanted.

Postby nsmeier » Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:32 pm

Looking for suggestions for a trip in the high Sierras. Probably for about 6 days, 5 nights. Prefer a loop or at least a semi-loop. We are fairly experienced hikers, in good physical shape. Looking for as much cross country hiking as possible, and also prefer high altitude--e.g. spending a lot of our time above tree line. Passes are nice. Fishing a plus. Peaks for non technical climbers are also a plus. Last preference is for a trail head from the west side of the Sierras.
thanks!



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Re: Sierra 6-day loop backtip suggestions wanted.

Postby maverick » Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:53 pm

Hi Nsmeler

Welcome to HST.
A few question before I give my recommendations.
How many miles a day are you comfy with when including x-country?
Is class 2, or 3 your limit?
You also say semi-loop, are you open to taking two cars too 2 different
trailheads as long as both cars are on the western side?
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Re: Sierra 6-day loop backtip suggestions wanted.

Postby nsmeier » Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:00 pm

Mileage really depends on the terrain. Probably under 10 if it is really off trail, especially of doing a pass or much altitude climb. We do not do technical climbing, so more like class 2, though passes that are close to 3 are probably doable.
We will only have one car, though we have been known to have someone hitch to pick up the car if the trail heads are fairly close.
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Re: Sierra 6-day loop backtip suggestions wanted.

Postby stevet » Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:42 pm

A not too difficult option:
day 1 - onion valley to center basin via kearsarge pass
day 2 - over junction pass (near non existent old jmt route) to the pothole
day 3 - over shepherd pass, to lake 11440
day 4 - up past lake south america, x-country over harrison pass to east lake
day 5 - east lake to vidette meadow
day 6 - out over kearsarge pass to onion valley

A somewhat more difficult trek:
day 1 - south lake to dusy basin via bishop pass
day 2 - x-country over knapsack and potluck pass to glacier lake
day 3 - x-country over cirque pass to jmt, over mather pass into upper basin
day 4 - down jmt, then west at taboose passjunction, over cartridge pass and into lakes basin and on to dumbell lakes
day 5 - x-country to jmt and north into le conte canyon or on into dusy basin
day 6 - out over bishop pass
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Re: Sierra 6-day loop backtip suggestions wanted.

Postby maverick » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:19 am

Stevet those are all great trips, but they are all from the east, he asked for trips
from the west preferably.
I will post some trips later when I get to work.
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Re: Sierra 6-day loop backtip suggestions wanted.

Postby Mike M. » Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:32 am

How's this:

Day 1 Florence Lake to JMT/Goddard Canyon Junction
Day 2 Hell-For-Sure Lake via Hell-For-Sure Pass
Day 3 Schoolmarm Lake via Devil's Punchbowl and "Two Passes"
Day 4 Martha Lake via Gunsight and Confusion Passes
Day 5 Evolution Valley via Davis Lakes Basin and Evolution Basin
Day 6 Out (a long day!)

Coming in from the west side makes it much harder to get to the high country quickly. If your aim is to experience a high cross country route and you only have six days, it is best to go in on the east side.

Mike
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Re: Sierra 6-day loop backtip suggestions wanted.

Postby stevet » Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:54 am

my bad. missed the west side start. i am much less familiar with routes from that end. perhaps something out of wolverton and into the tablelands.
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Re: Sierra 6-day loop backtip suggestions wanted.

Postby TehipiteTom » Fri Jun 19, 2009 12:20 pm

Mike M. wrote:Coming in from the west side makes it much harder to get to the high country quickly. If your aim is to experience a high cross country route and you only have six days, it is best to go in on the east side.

Mike

In my experience, on the west side it takes longer to get up into the high country, and on the east side it takes longer to get away from people. Not universal or absolute--just a general rule of thum. I'm a misanthropic old coot, so I prefer the west side. ;)

That said, the Flo & Eddie area is one of your best bets for getting quickly into the high country from the west side. Mike M's trip looks great, although it has an...um...ambitious last day. ;) Another option would be to turn north at Hell for Sure Lake and loop back via, say, one of the lakes west of Mt. Henry (Diamond X, Davis, one of those), Mosquito Pass, Lake 10,200 (SE of Ward Mountain), and out via Ward Mountain Lake.

From Lake Edison, you can get up to Mott Lake in a day, then head north into the Fish Creek headwaters, maybe hit Hortense Lake or head west to Peter Pande--lots of options for any length on the Silver Divide.

I did a short trip last year into Recess Peak Lakes--one day in from Edison on the Bear Ridge trail--and it was lovely; from there you could hit First Recess and Second Recess, returning either via Mono Creek or going over Gabbot Pass and coming out Hilgard Branch and Bear Creek.

Another westside area you might consider is Ansel Adams. 6 days could get you a loop over the Clark Range, or a nice loop into the North Fork San Joaquin headwaters (west side of the Ritter Range).

Finally, there's the Monarch Divide in Kings Canyon. If you're not averse to a 5,000' climb the first day, the high-country off-trail options are limitless--lots of great lake basins up there, and it seems like every one of them has a hikable pass or two into the neighboring basins.

These are all just suggestions...but my best advice to you is to get the USFS John Muir Wilderness topo map (3 sheets, covering all of SeKi as well as the JMW), look at the trailhead areas we're talking about, and construct your own route that looks like it's got what you want.
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Re: Sierra 6-day loop backtip suggestions wanted.

Postby maverick » Fri Jun 19, 2009 12:28 pm

Trip #1 Bubbs Creek to Avalanche Trail to Sphinx Creek, and then x-country up
to Sphinx Lakes - Over Sphinx Pass and then Cinder Col(both class 2) and then
over Longley Pass(class 1) down to Lake Reflection - Either from Reflection Lake
or go down to East Lake climb Brewer using the East Ridge route(class 2) - Go
up to Deerhorn Saddle and descend to Vidette Lakes - Hike down to Junction Meadow
or to Bubbs-Avalanche Trail junction for the last night.

Trip #2 Same as above till South Guard Lake but you'll be going over Thunder Ridge
(class 2) - Go over MacLeod Pass(class 2) and spend the night in the Kern River
Basin near Lake South America - Go over Harrison Pass and on to Lake Reflection
to East Lake - Climb Brewer next day form East Lake - Hike out to Roads End

Trip #3 Crescent Meadow to Hamilton Lakes-Nine Lakes Basin - Pyra Queen Col into
Kaweah Basin - Explore the Basin, check out Picket Lake, go back out the same
route.

Trip #4 Mineral King to Amphitheater Lake via Crystal Pass(class 3) - Climb Sawtooth
Peak via South Ridge route(class 2) and then hike down towards one of the
lake near Little Claire Lake - Descend Soda Creek and then up to Big Five Lakes-
Go over to Little Five Lakes and fish - Over Black Rock Pass to Spring Lake
and then up to Cyclamen, Columbine Lake - Over Sawtooth and back down to MK.

Trip #5 Wolverton to Moose Lake via Pear Lake Trail-Pterodactyl Pass(class 2) to
Horn Col(class 1) above Lonely Lake - Copper Mine Pass to Lion Lake Pass
to Lion Lake - Lion Rock Pass to down Nine Lakes Basin - Kaweah gap to
Hamilton Lakes - High Sierra Trail to Mehrten Meadow - Wolverton

Trip #6 Rancheria Traihead to Crown Valley(Deer Meadow) - Blue Canyon Creek area(check
out Tunemah Lake for the fish) - Over Blue Canyon Pass(class 2) to Lake 10232 -
Over Reinstein Pass (class 2) and then Valor Pass (class 2-3) to Blackcap Basin -
Go down into Crown Basin following Crown Creek to Mountain Meadow - Rancheria
Trailhead

Trip #7 Roads End to Paradise valley and onto Castle Dome Meadow - Up over King Col(class
2) into Gardiner Basin - Sixty Lake Col(class 2) into Sixty Lakes Basin - Down
to Rae Lakes - Hike down to Paradise Valley - Roads End
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Re: Sierra 6-day loop backtip suggestions wanted.

Postby SSSdave » Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:29 pm

I'm not one to give people strenuous trip advice, especially to those maybe more interested in fishing than being on trails. From TA Edison Reservoir up over Goodale Pass to Chief Lake, down to Fish Creek, up cc to Hortense Lake, cc to Tully Lake, cc over Shout of Relief could climb Izaak Walton Peak, to Rosy Finch Lake to Mott Lake and back down the trail to the reservoir ferry.
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Re: Sierra 6-day loop backtip suggestions wanted.

Postby Telkwa » Thu Jun 25, 2009 2:32 pm

SSSdave wrote:cc to Hortense Lake, cc to Tully Lake, cc over Shout of Relief could climb Izaak Walton Peak,


Sheesh, dave, I'd hate to see one of your strenuous trips! :paranoid:
We went from Larch Lk. to Cotton Lk. a few years ago - that country south of Shout-of-Relief was pretty broken up. Of course, if one dropped towards Rosy Finch you'd bypass the worst of it.
Can you roughly describe your route to Hortense? I asked about that lake last year on HST and it seemed info was pretty sketchy.
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Re: Sierra 6-day loop backtip suggestions wanted.

Postby TehipiteTom » Thu Jun 25, 2009 2:46 pm

Telkwa wrote:
SSSdave wrote:cc to Hortense Lake, cc to Tully Lake, cc over Shout of Relief could climb Izaak Walton Peak,


Sheesh, dave, I'd hate to see one of your strenuous trips! :paranoid:
We went from Larch Lk. to Cotton Lk. a few years ago - that country south of Shout-of-Relief was pretty broken up. Of course, if one dropped towards Rosy Finch you'd bypass the worst of it.
Can you roughly describe your route to Hortense? I asked about that lake last year on HST and it seemed info was pretty sketchy.

I did Hortense from Fish Creek headwaters in 2003. We passed Cotton Lake, dropped down to Izaak Walton--that part is all pretty straightforward. Rounded the west side of Izaak Walton and then wound generally up and northwest, following a nice system of mini-valleys, to the ridge east of the easternmost point of Hortense; then a steepish drop down a broad gully to the lake.

From Hortense the next day we headed up top of the east ridge at the isthmus, where we picked up a ducked route heading more or less northwest down to the flats at Fish Creek. No need to cross Fish Creek if you come this way--the use trail continues to the bridge.

By the way, for my money Hortense is one of the two prettiest lakes on the Silver Divide (Peter Pande is the other one).
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