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3 Day Trip Ideas?

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3 Day Trip Ideas?

Postby quentinc » Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:59 pm

I'm trying to come up with a 3 day trip idea for next weekend, with my main obstacle being the slow-melting snow (I was shocked, last weekend, to find New Army Pass to be
an Impasse -- had to turn around and go out the way I came in over Cottonwood Pass). I was particularly interested in suggested trips out of Sequoia, since I've never done one (just hiked Alta Peak once). I want to stay in the southern part of the range, and have pretty much done everything I can imagine on the Eastern side, as well as Mineral King and out of Florence and Edison.

I'd like to go about 15 miles/day, either a loop or out and back (out and back could be one day each way if there's a good, hard day hike for a layover day). Not interested in fishing. Off-trail is fine; my only limitation is no major snow travel, which is why I thought the lower west side would be a good bet.



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Re: 3 Day Trip Ideas?

Postby balzaccom » Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:45 am

WE'e always loved the entry by Mitchell Peak---you can go over Marvin pass there into the Sugarloaf area, or head south into the Jennie Lakes area.
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Re: 3 Day Trip Ideas?

Postby cgundersen » Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:50 am

Hi Q,
I think you may be hard pressed to get anywhere without running into some snow (photos accompanying my post on Kaweah basin from an early June trip will give an idea; however, the melt rate was impressive, so it should be clearing fast). One nice, challenging loop would be to go from Crescent meadow and head for Lonely Lake (off the Elizabeth Pass trail). Next day over Horn col (East side of Lonely) and across the upper Deadman basin to Secor's Coppermine pass into Cloud Canyon heading for Glacier Lake (and, the tiny lake at the top of Cloud canyon is nice, too). If conditions are good, or you're really ambitious, you could go over Triple Divide Pass into the upper reaches of the Kern-Kaweah basin (and then head back via Pants Pass where I'm sure you'd hit lots of snow). Otherwise, from Glacier you can loop back to Lion Lake and head for somewhere on the Tablelands (even Moose Lake) or make it an easy day and stay at Tamarack. I've done all of those passes fairly recently and Coppermine is a bit of a grunt, but everything else is straightforward. Another obvious alternative is to do the Bubbs- East Lake-Reflection Lake, Longley Pass, Sphinx Lake loop out of Cedar Grove, but the real crux there will be high water in Bubbs Creek. Thirdly, the schlep up to Grouse Lake (Copper Creek trail) from Cedar grove provides tons of off-trail possibilities on the Monarch Divide. Virtually all of the ridges in the direction of Marion Lakes basin are "doable" and afford splendid views (and, because they're a bit lower. may have less snow).
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Re: 3 Day Trip Ideas?

Postby maverick » Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:15 am

Are we talking 2 or 3 nights Q?
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Re: 3 Day Trip Ideas?

Postby quentinc » Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:10 pm

Thanks for the suggestions! I'll have to check them out on the map.

Mav -- it would be 2 nights/3 days. Also, I don't mind running into some snow, just so long as I don't need ice axe skills to get over a pass.

(By the way, I have the Kaweah Basin/Pants Pass on my immediate radar, but for a trip when I'll have more than 3 days.)
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Re: 3 Day Trip Ideas?

Postby copeg » Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:55 pm

Not sure how the snow level is up there currently, but look into tablelands. Take the Pear Lake trail then follow Table Creek x-country. Incredible views. Its high in elevation so there is probably still snow, but it is south facing and most of the slopes are gradual.
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Re: 3 Day Trip Ideas?

Postby maverick » Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:23 pm

How about Sunset Meadow to Seville Lake - xcountry to Lost lake via Sheep Camp Lake
then over Silliman to Twin Lakes - Back to trailhead via JO Pass
Seville, Upper Sheep Camp, and Lost Lakes are very pretty.

Wolverton to Tablelands (Moose Lake) - Over Pterodactyl Pass and down to the
Buck Canyon area via HST(or you can stay at Bearpaw if there are not a lot of people)
Back to trailhead via Mehrten Meadow

Roads End to Grouse Lake - Granite Lake via Grouse Lake Pass - back down to the
trailhead

Roads End to Junction Meadow - Over Bubb's Creek to East Lake - Back to trailhead

Cedar Grove to Frypan Meadow - Over Kennedy Pass to Kennedy Lakes - Back to
trailhead
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Re: 3 Day Trip Ideas?

Postby quentinc » Sat Jul 04, 2009 10:59 am

Thanks, some great suggestions! I'm particularly looking into the Tablelands route.
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Re: 3 Day Trip Ideas?

Postby MountainMinstrel » Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:49 pm

I was up on Atla Peak last Tuesday. There was quite bit of snow between Alta Peak and Pear lake, but towards Moose lake and the Tablelands it looked pretty clear. Here is a shot of Alta Meadow. The weather was not very good for photography but it will give you an idea. Image

The rest of the shots are here. http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/573363963NbkCsL
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Re: 3 Day Trip Ideas?

Postby mountaineer » Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:53 pm

Quentinc, would new Army be passable with snowshoes or crampons?
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Re: 3 Day Trip Ideas?

Postby Mike M. » Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:23 pm

Quentinc, here's a nice three day loop from North Lake: over Lamarck Col, down to Darwin Basin, over either Alpine Col or The Keyhole, back to North lake via Piute Pass. I've done this twice, each time on a three-day weekend. Alpine Col is easy from the south, but the climb down involves lots of large talus and boulders. I've only done The Keyhole from the other direction, but the short Class 3 section is nothing more than a 15 foot stretch where you pass your pack down through a hole in the ridge, and then scramble down after it. If you like staying high and off-trail, this would be a good choice.

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Re: 3 Day Trip Ideas?

Postby quentinc » Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:34 am

mountaineer wrote:Quentinc, would new Army be passable with snowshoes or crampons?

Mountaineer, it's hard to say -- my skills are so shabby that I would never have tried it, and I know some others with ice axes chickened out too. It's a very steep angle, about 20 feet of solid snow (I have a picture, but I need to get my butt in gear to upload them to Webshots), so looks scary. On the positive side, I'm sure it's pretty soft, since the snow considerably higher up on Langley was soft even in the (late) morning.

Edited to say, I can't believe I got this to work on my first try! Anyway, the pass itself is at the back right of the photo (you can spot the cairn). Usually, it's easier early season to descend from where I shot this, and work your way down diagonally.
Image

MikeM: It's funny you should mention that, since that's the exact eastside trip I was considering (although as an out and back)! I read a post by CSF that Lamarck had enough footprints that it wasn't hard to get over (although I wonder about it being icy in the morning). I'm not sure that I would try Alpine or Keyhole though, without some direct beta as to the snow. Those get a lot less traffic than Lamarck, I would bet.

Has anyone explored the lakes to the west of Darwin basin? I've been above it to climb Goethe, but never to the west.
Last edited by quentinc on Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:58 am, edited 4 times in total.
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