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T. meadows--1000 island lake via Roper's high route-- advice

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T. meadows--1000 island lake via Roper's high route-- advice

Postby adam » Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:56 pm

Hi,

If possible next week, I'd like to go from Tolumne meadows to 1000 island lake via Roper's Sierra High Route in reverse-- to volgesang, isberg pass trail, XC to twin island lake, N. Glacier Pass, then 1000 island lake and out to the June Lakes road, using the Yarts bus to leave a car there beforehand.

My thinking in going in reverse is 1) the two parts described as steep-- the west side of blue lake pass, and the twin island lakes to N. glacier pass sections-- would be steep going up, which is always easier, rather than down. and 2), we could warm up with two relatively easy days on the trail before the more difficult terrain. Aside from the Raferty creek to volgelsang part, I've never been through this area before-- is there a reason it would be better to do it the other direction? I've gotten in repeated trouble for underselling arduous XC trips in the North Cascades from my wife-- I know that this won't be in that league, but I'd like to be able to be up front about whatever unpleasntries lie in wait.

My second question is what is the upper Lyell fork of the Merced like? My initial motivation for this trip was years ago seeing all the lakes in this basin on a map. For those of you who've been there, what do you recommend? My thought was camping the second night somewhere upstream from the trail along this creek and spending some amount of time (a morning? a day?) exploring around. Given Roper's description of the route between twin island lake and the isberg pass trail, it seems like much of the rest of the terrain is also worth extra attention-- what areas would you recommend for spending any layover time?

And I guess one last question is: if we have the time the first day to keep going past volgesang, are there any recommended campspots along the way from there towards Lewis creek?

Thanks a ton for any advice,
adam



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Re: T. meadows--1000 island lake via Roper's high route-- advice

Postby oldranger » Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:46 pm

Adam

Just completed w to e over "Blue Lake Pass" which I have always called Forester but these young upstarts who write the guidebooks seem attach names that others pick up on. At any rate attached is a snapshot from the west end of the lake just west of the pass.
Blue Lake Pass.JPG
Blue Lake Pass
If you come from lyle fork I would expect that you would come in substantially higher up the ridge to the left and just out of the photo. I hiked up from the lake to that point then traversed thru the talus to the right (se) to the pass. Since the traverse across the talus isn't steep (though the talus and bit of scree is steep) there probably isn't much difference between going e or w across the pass (I did it e to w 40 years ago with my exwife. This time I decided I probably owed her an apology for dragging her over this stuff back then.) Of course from the top you get great views of the Clark and Ritter Ranges.
North End of Clark Range .JPG
South end of Clark Range
Ritter Range.JPG
Ritter Range from Blue Lake Pass

Actually the part of the trip that gave me the most heartburn was negotiating a steep slab on my butt. My guess is that a real climber would have simply walked down it but as Markskor will attest my comfort area ends pretty early on the steepness spectrum. It was only 20 feet or so but I had visions of my pack snagging and pivoting me around and sending me tumbling. Probably much ado about nothing but if you're a wusse like me it was a big deal.
Heartburn Slab.JPG
Looking up slab after successful butt slide


I'm sure you'll love the place!

Mike
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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Re: T. meadows--1000 island lake via Roper's high route-- advice

Postby adam » Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:09 pm

thanks so much for the advice-- and especially the photos!
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