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TR Part 1:Ashley Lake-Nancy Pass-Minaret Lakes-Volcanic Pass

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TR Part 1:Ashley Lake-Nancy Pass-Minaret Lakes-Volcanic Pass

Postby maverick » Mon Aug 03, 2009 4:14 pm

Part 1
Let me start by saying my origional plans were to meet up with OR, Markskor
and Tehipite Tom, but I could not get the extra 2 days I would have liked to have
gotten to give this trip justice.
My alternative was to visit an area I had not seen in over 10 years, and let me
say that I should have been back much sooner!
I had been to Ashley Lake a long time ago, visited her little brother on the
western side of Iron mountain a few years back(Iron Lake).
Ashley is not a highly visited lake and I hope it stays that way.
I have never used the bus system in Mammoth to get to the Devil's Postpile before
but it went very smooth and I was at the trailhead around 11 am.
There were not a lot of people on the trail as a matter of fact I saw 4 backpackers
and 2 hikers, and no one once I got past the JMT onto the Beck Lakes Trail.
Flowers were okay in some of the meadows on the way in but nothing spectacular.
The trail ends about 20-30 min's before the lake, but there is a use trail which can
be easily followed.
Ashley Lake with it's glacier and small falls is a beautiful lake which is one of
the gems of the Sierra.

Ashley Lake: http://maverick.zenfolio.com/img/v4/p833511148-5.jpg

Ashley Falls: http://maverick.zenfolio.com/img/v0/p834355899-5.jpg

The next day it was off to Nancy Pass (class 2) and Minaret Lake.
The pass is not very difficult and the views south from the top towards Iron Lake, Beck
Lakes and the entire basin is very impressive.
There is a pretty meadow right above Superior Lake at the bottom of the start
of the ascent towards Nancy Pass, the skeetrz were a 5 here and a 3 at Ashley Lake.

102nd Skeeter Fighter Squadron: http://maverick.zenfolio.com/img/v6/p545160654-5.jpg

Meadow and Nancy Pass: http://maverick.zenfolio.com/img/v5/p906473689-5.jpg
Nancy Pass is the second dip on the ridge above the meadow.

A peek of Beck Lakes from Nancy Pass:
http://maverick.zenfolio.com/img/v4/p914870904-5.jpg

View back towards Ashley Lake, Iron Mountain, and Superior Lake from Nancy Pass:
http://maverick.zenfolio.com/img/v6/p423801400-5.jpg

View up Nancy Pass from its northern side:
http://maverick.zenfolio.com/img/v4/p812791053-5.jpg

Once down Nancy Pass it was to Deadhorse Pass and Minaret Lakes.
Minaret Lakes is a wonderland for photographers, backpackers, and climbers alike
and its jagged peaks impress all those who look towards the western skyline.
Equally impressive is the Volcanic Ridge, which I got a taste of by climbing over
Volcanic Pass (class 2).
I attempted to cross over a class 2 saddle above the northern lake but was turned
back by the steep snow on the northern side also being 9 am it was very hard so
without an ice axe or crampons I was not taking a chance.
There were clouds filtering in from the south but nothing threatening at least
that is was I thought, it was only 9:30 am.
On top of the saddle looking down at Minaret Lake a darker cloud, nothing
substantial, slowly floated above Minaret Lake, and a lightening bolt struck into
the middle of the lake, and a loud thunder clap shook the the whole area.
Now I was worried, I was on top of this ridge, and did not know which way this
thunderhead was going to continue, it was either coming my way or going back
towards Cecile Lake.
I bolted down to get as low as I could get just in case it came my way.
It started to rain heavily and there was a thunder clap coming from the vicinity
of Cecile Lake, lucky for me I dodged the bullet this time, it could have turn
nasty really quick.
This is a picture of Minaret Lakes from the saddle in which you can see a darker
cloud coming into the area:
http://maverick.zenfolio.com/img/v0/p837364968-5.jpg

Sunrise in the meadow at the upper lake:
http://maverick.zenfolio.com/img/v2/p824098101-5.jpg

Minaret Sunrise Reflection:
http://maverick.zenfolio.com/img/v0/p731743533-5.jpg

Minaret Sunset:
http://maverick.zenfolio.com/img/v2/p682852315-5.jpg

Volcanic Ridge:
http://maverick.zenfolio.com/img/v5/p905092829-5.jpg

Volcanic Ridge Reflection in upper lake:
http://maverick.zenfolio.com/img/v3/p680887122-5.jpg

Minaret meadow flowers:
http://maverick.zenfolio.com/img/v1/p399211689-5.jpg

Since I could not descend the ridge above Minaret Lakes I hiked thru a small
meadow and down a ravine (class 1) to the Minaret Mine and went over
Volcanic Pass (class 2),which is easy on its southern side, but a scree, talus, and
snow mix on its northern side, plus it is pretty steep on the upper half making
it a solid class 2.

Minaret Mine: http://maverick.zenfolio.com/img/v0/p498904494-5.jpg

Southern view of Volcanic Pass:
http://maverick.zenfolio.com/img/v4/p510151781-5.jpg

Northern view of Volcanic Pass:
http://maverick.zenfolio.com/img/v2/p272816765-5.jpg

Part 2
Lake Ediza - Whitebark Pass - Garnet Lake - 1000 Is Lake - High Trail Flower
Extravaganza



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maverick
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Re: TR Part 1:Ashley Lake-Nancy Pass-Minaret Lakes-Volcanic Pass

Postby oldranger » Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:06 pm

Maverick

What days did you end up going on this trip. From July 18 through the 29th whenever I could see in that direction it looked like the Ritter Range was a magnet for thunder and lightning! Hopefully I can put a TR out myself soon but between you, Markskor, and Tehipte Tom I'm to busy reading to write.

Mike
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Re: TR Part 1:Ashley Lake-Nancy Pass-Minaret Lakes-Volcanic Pass

Postby maverick » Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:16 pm

I was out the 16th thru 20th, and the storms started on the morning of the 18th.
The weather was forecasted to be clear 2 days before the trip, and when I got
to the ranger station I found out about the tropical depression that had got
caught up in the monsoonal flow, which I was very happy about because stormy
weather makes for some dramatic sunsets and sunrises.
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Re: TR Part 1:Ashley Lake-Nancy Pass-Minaret Lakes-Volcanic Pass

Postby oldranger » Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:46 pm

Ah yes! I remember the booms from the other side of Long Mountain as I headed toward Isberg lakes! We did have some memorable sunsets.

Mike
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Re: TR Part 1:Ashley Lake-Nancy Pass-Minaret Lakes-Volcanic Pass

Postby copeg » Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:29 pm

Thanks for sharing Maverick! Ashley Lake looks like a gem indeed! Looking forward to the next installments
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Re: TR Part 1:Ashley Lake-Nancy Pass-Minaret Lakes-Volcanic Pass

Postby markskor » Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:09 pm

Nice job Mav,
Sorry we missed you...just over the hill.
Looking forward to your "High Lake Extravaganza" report.
Mark
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: TR Part 1:Ashley Lake-Nancy Pass-Minaret Lakes-Volcanic Pass

Postby giantbrookie » Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:22 pm

Hi Maverick,

Nice report. My one track mind has to ask...Take any casts along the way?

Cheers,

GB
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: TR Part 1:Ashley Lake-Nancy Pass-Minaret Lakes-Volcanic Pass

Postby randy77 » Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:53 pm

Maverick,
What happened to your beautiful photos?
Andy
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Re: TR Part 1:Ashley Lake-Nancy Pass-Minaret Lakes-Volcanic Pass

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:38 pm

Ashley Lake is one of my favorite lakes in that area. Sorry I could not see most of the pictures you posted. All I get is "Content Protected by the Owner".
I also waxed rhapsodic about Ashley Lake here: http://www.doylewdonehoo.com/minaret/minaret017.htm I look forward to your full story.
Doyle W. Donehoo
Sierra Trails:
http://www.doylewdonehoo.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: TR Part 1:Ashley Lake-Nancy Pass-Minaret Lakes-Volcanic Pass

Postby HighSierraRockHopper » Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:11 am

I am planning a trip to Nancy Pass in July and was hoping to view your pictures of your 2009 trip. Nancy was my cousin (on of 6 toehead blonde girls born to my Aunt and Uncle) and my sister and I are going to revisit our memories of her memorial from our childhood. Any tips on being able to view your photos of that area?

Thanks!
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