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5 Day 4 Night Minaret Trip

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5 Day 4 Night Minaret Trip

Postby jasondaven » Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:43 am

Hello. I am planning on a 5 DAY 4 night trip to this region. I am a level 3 hiker. I am a class 2-3 hiker. I am looking for Big Mountain scenery and fishing. I am looking to string together a trip. I have seen recomended:
Devils postpile to Mineret Lake- Camp.
Mineret Lake to Cecil, Iceberg, Ediza- Camp
Ediza to Nydiver, Garnet and thousand islands lake-Camp
Hike back to Postpile with a night at Shadow.

I have been looking at some topos for this trip and I was wonderng how difficult the off trail backcounty work is? I will be travelling with my girlfriend. Is the mineret lake to cecil, iceberg, ediza leg difficult? Any verbal descriptions on any of the legs? Any advice on the route?

Also does anyone have any ideas on other routes through the area taht are reccomended? Agnew meadows etc. Thanks alot for any advice!



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Re: 5 Day 4 Night Minaret Trip

Postby copeg » Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:11 am

Its a beautiful trip and a spectacular area - definitely fits the bill for big mountain scenery. Depending upon how soon you go you may want to be prepared for snow. I saw a photo of Minaret Lake take last weekend and it still looked a bit frozen over, tough to fish. There is a perennial snowfield on north facing slope between Cecile and Iceberg you should be aware of with a steep drop down to Iceberg Lake, and if your not careful INTO the Lake.
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Re: 5 Day 4 Night Minaret Trip

Postby Todd2700 » Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:23 am

I'm looking into the same trip but the oppo direction.

Shadow lake trail or high trail to 1,000 Island, then to garnet, Ediza, Iceberg, Cecile, Minaret, Devils.

Thoughts ?
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Re: 5 Day 4 Night Minaret Trip

Postby Todd2700 » Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:26 am

copeg: do you have that pic of minaret from last week ?
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Re: 5 Day 4 Night Minaret Trip

Postby maverick » Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:06 am

Here is a shot off MInaret Lake taken this past weekend by a photographer.
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/787779
As you can see the lake is still just starting to thaw, and from what I have read
1000 Is Lake is still frozen.
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Re: 5 Day 4 Night Minaret Trip

Postby maverick » Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:15 am

Hi Jasondaven

You mentioned your experience, what about your girlfriends comfort level?
The x-country travel is not difficult, but trekking poles should be used for balance
crossing the snowfield at the Cecile-Iceberg section of the route, which should
be done later in the day so the snow softens, unless your willing to carry crampons.
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Re: 5 Day 4 Night Minaret Trip

Postby Todd2700 » Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:36 am

Has thousand island been frozen over this late in the year before ? I mean it's july, right ?
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Re: 5 Day 4 Night Minaret Trip

Postby maverick » Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:52 am

As of 6/24 1000 Island Lake is still snow bound according to the Inyo NF
update, and snow level is at 10000.
1000 Is Lake is at 9833, and Minaret is at 9793, so my guess is that it has probably
thawed out a little since that last report almost a week ago.
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Re: 5 Day 4 Night Minaret Trip

Postby copeg » Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:20 pm

Todd2700 wrote:copeg: do you have that pic of minaret from last week ?


Floris' pictures that maverick posted a link to was what I was thinking of. Here's another with a higher perspective showing more of the lake:
http://www.naturephotographers.net/imag ... &pr=124926
Concur with maverick's assessment regarding the other lakes
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Re: 5 Day 4 Night Minaret Trip

Postby Ozark Flip » Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:38 pm

Its a beautiful trip and a spectacular area - definitely fits the bill for big mountain scenery.


It certainly is! Morning shots of Ritter and Banner....one of the most scenic areas I have ever been to. This, however, attracts hoards of hikers. I was flabbergasted my last time there, campers at Shadow (special camping regs apply there so beware), ALL up and down Shadow creek, Ediza, heck I even counted 15 people camping at Iceberg!

There is a perennial snowfield on north facing slope between Cecile and Iceberg you should be aware of with a steep drop down to Iceberg Lake, and if your not careful INTO the Lake.


;) For Sure!!!

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Re: 5 Day 4 Night Minaret Trip

Postby markorr » Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:54 pm

We just did a loop around Ritter and Banner June 24-28
day 1: starting from Rush Creek to Thousand Island Lake
day 2: Over North Glacier Pass down to Slide Creek
day 3: up Dike Creek to tarn 10,300
day 4: over Ritter Pass to Garnet Lake (with side trip to the ridge above Iceberg Lake)
day 5 out

Thousand Island, Garnet, and Ediza are melted out, Iceberg, Catherine and Nydiver are 90% frozen. I'd guess Cecile is completely frozen. On the east side the snow line was between 9500 and 10000 ft, on the west side it was much higher. Ritter Pass (11,200) was mostly snow free on the west, but solid snow all the way below tarn 9,700.

The cross country route you describe is tame, other than the wall of snow between Cecile and Iceberg. I'd want crampons and an ice axe to get down that. between Minaret and Cecile its a couple of class III moves, but not much exposure. Once you get down to Iceberg its easy cross country travel, although the drop from Whitebark pass down to Garnet L might be a little steep for some people (completely snow covered on saturday). I'll try to get a TR and pics together later this week if i get a chance. Mosquitos were fairly annoying
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Re: 5 Day 4 Night Minaret Trip

Postby cvr » Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:45 pm

As others have stated, this is indeed an outstandingly scenic route. I think the Ritter Range is one of the most scenic and relativley easily accessable areas in the Sierra, but because of this, you will likley not find solitude.

A few comments:

1. As Ozark Flip correctly states, Shadow L. is closed to camping. It is also well within the reach of dayhikers so you probably would not want to camp there anyway.
2. I personally would exit at Agnew Meadows rather than hike back to Devils Postpile, as the stretch between the two is the least spectacular of your planned route. There is a mandatory shuttle service in the valley that would make getting from Agnew to Devils very quick and simple.
3. I recommend you eliminate the extra night at Shadow and the hike back to Devils (by exiting at Agnew from 1000 Island) and instead dayhike from Minaret L. to the summit of Volcanic Ridge (Easy Class 2, maybe 1 mile and probably 1000'). It has an amazing, close-up view of the Minarets, Ritter and Banner as well as the lakes you will pass on your way from Minaret to Ediza. Minaret L. is beautiful and will probably be the least crowded of all your camping destinations, so why not enjoy two nights there.
4. Unless your girlfriend is an experienced backpacker, your itinerary appears pretty agressive. The route bewteen Minaret L. and Ediza is not terribly difficult, but it is not for beginners. As others have stated, the snowfield between Cecile and Iceberg is pretty steep and the run-out is right into the lake. I have crossed it numerous times using just a single walking stick, but I was glad to have it.
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