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emigrant wilderness creek crossings

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emigrant wilderness creek crossings

Postby bps999 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:50 am

Hi, I'm looking for info on creek crossings in the emigrant wilderness. I was up there around June 14th this year, but am hoping to get some more up to date info.

1. starting from the south end of relief reservoir, there is a roughly 25 mile loop of trail that goes past emigrant lake and through relief valley. Anyone have info on the crossing along this loop? In particular, relief creek a couple miles above relief reservoir?

2. using kibbie ridge to get in to near boundary lake, the trail crosses cherry creek/east cherry at least once near lord meadow. Anyone have experience with that area?

3. comming in from crabtree, the trail crosses west cherry at louise canyon. I crossed here in mid June 2008 and it was difficult but possible. Anyone have info from this year?

Thanks for any info you might have.



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Re: emigrant wilderness creek crossings

Postby jfelectron » Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:50 pm

I'm curious about this as well, though I doubt we'll get much info because I'm guessing few people (USFS/CCC peeps included) have gone through. I'm entering through Crabtree on Monday. The Ranger I spoke with indicated that the road to Crabtree had opened last weekend, but Gianelli is still closed. I'm worried about fording Piute Creek and West Fork Cherry as the OP mentioned. I've gone through here early in previous wet years and they've been doable but dicey. At the worst, one can just camp near the problematic creek and ford it in the early morning at minimum flow. The level can easily fluctuate by a foot or more at this time of the melt.
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Re: emigrant wilderness creek crossings

Postby balzaccom » Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:51 pm

A post on another board recently noted that Cherry Creek, when seen from Styx Pass (entry to Boundary Lake ) was really booming..

I've just come back from the West Walker River...and man, there was a lot of water there. Both times we forded it with real care...and trepidation.
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Re: emigrant wilderness creek crossings

Postby rrivera » Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:36 am

I just got back from Emigrant on Sat night....we hiked out of Bell Meadow on Thursday intending to get to Rosasco Lake. We hit the Cherry Creek crossing in Louise Canyon around 4 and it was booming. It was too dangerous in my opinion to ford it and it will probably be better in a week or two. We ended up staying at Cherry Creek and did a day hike up to Jewelry Lake the Cherry Creek crossing east of Piute Lake was very easy no more than 3 feet deep. We had Cherry Creek to ourselves which was great and almost no sqeets....never even had to put deet on over the 3 days.
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Re: emigrant wilderness creek crossings

Postby bps999 » Mon Jul 12, 2010 1:02 am

Just got back form a 4 night trip in the boundary lake area. Crossed cherry creek on a day hike to big lake on 7/9. Required swimming across a deep calm pool. The spot we chose to do this was just east of where the creek from yellowhammer lake comes into cherry creek. Once on the north side of cherry we easily walked into the yellowhammer drainage and up it to big lake. kept boots dry by putting them in a plasic trash bag inside our day packs. Cherry creek was raging everywhere except these deep wide pools, I did not see any other way to cross it. Of course it was cold, but the current was very minor in the pool. Width of pool was at least 60 feet. Great trip, mosquitos pretty active at dawn and dusk.
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Re: emigrant wilderness creek crossings

Postby jfelectron » Mon Jul 12, 2010 3:53 pm

Got back from a 6 day trip in Emigrant. Heading out from Crabtree, crossing West Fork Cherry was thigh deep early afternoon but doable. Past Gem lake, snow is very heavy with the trail very seldomly exposed. Only those experienced with spring backpacking over high-angle compacted snow should venture into the deep backcountry. From Deer lake to Emigrant Lake, travel over passes and Northern aspects is tough. Where there isn't snow, there is lots of water over the trail. North and East of Emigrant Lake is pretty much solid snow. We traveled from Emigrant Lake north over Mosquito Pass to Lunch meadow. Lunch meadow is snow free, but Mosquito Pass is a solid snow field. From Lunch Meadow over Brown Bear Pass and through Emigrant Meadow and Middle Emigrant Lake areas is solid snow. North Fork Cherry Creek is not fordable, though there are convienient tress across the creek at a number of points. Blackbird lake is mostly snowbound. The descent down to Maxwell Lake is snow-free as is the lake itself. From Maxwell to Huckleberry is snow free. Fording the East Fork of cherry creek was not a problem. Skeeters around Huckleberry are thick and furious (read: eat in your tent). Little snow from Huckleberry over through Lertora and Cow Meadow Lakes, but skeeters are unbearable. Difficult snow around Wood Lake and the trail goes into the lake for much of its length around the lake. The Eastern crossing of the trail across wood lake is normally partly submerged, but was over waist deep a few days ago. Down the Groundhog Creek Canyon from wood lake, snow for first few miles until trail crosses canyon, which is snow free. Crossing Groundhog creek very dangerous and not recommended. We had to cross it because it was our only way home. We crossed near some rapids, where large rocks made the water level lower but the current was very swift.

Don't venture out there unless you are prepared from Spring like conditions in terms of runoff and snow levels.
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Re: emigrant wilderness creek crossings

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:50 pm

Tomorrow (Tuesday) I will be heading for the Granite Dome area beyond Kennedy Meadows. I called the RS today to ask about the Relief/Summit creek crossing above Relief Res. and they said it was bad around July 4th, so I called Kennedy Meadows and the horse packers, and they said the conditions are now "normal" and they are going to all points of the EW, and did not expect me to have any trouble with the crossing. If y'all are out there too, I am hard to miss 'cause few cover up as much as I do, a good idea during skeeter season anyway. I may have something to say when I come back.
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Re: emigrant wilderness creek crossings

Postby SSSdave » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:24 pm

jfelectron, as I was reading your post and you mentioned your route turn back west at Lertora that made obvious your intentions, I was wondering. ??? how you were going to cross the really big likely water on the NF of Cherry Creek at Cow Meadow and then Buck Meadows Creek (your Groundhog Creek) below Wood Lake??? Or would you backtrack around the Buck Lakes and return how you came in? Guess you crossed the NF on a log? sobering huh
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Re: emigrant wilderness creek crossings

Postby jfelectron » Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:55 pm

The conditions were and probably still are evolving rapidly as the still significant snowpack melts.
We are experienced backpackers and I have never encourntered a creek that I absolutely could not cross. That said, as you guessed crossing the North Fork near the inlet of Emigrant Lake would have been impossible without a tree that we found across it. It was a wide tree and made for a a safe crossing.Also of note, we are lightweoght backpackers, which made trave in challenging conditions more feasible. North Fork at Cow Meadow was waist-deep but wide and not extremely swift. The skeeters were thick through there so we didn't dawdle crossing or in the vicinity of cow meadow. The trail was submerged in Wood lake, so we had to climb up along the Sothern slope to skirt around the lake.Buck Meadows Creek was swift and mostly deep, though we found some boulder strewn cascades to ford across. The West Fork Buck Meadows junction was very wide but shallower than the crossing of the West Fork we made up the canyon on the way in.
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Re: emigrant wilderness creek crossings

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:52 pm

Just a note: Last week out of Kennedy Meadows, the crossing of Summit Creek (ford) heading towards Granite Dome was somewhat swift but not deep, if you chose the right spot. Other places it would be hard to impossible. Some logs are available. Relief/Summit Creek trail crossing, there is a log upstream. Snow at 9000 feet, mostly clinging to the north slopes, and full coverage higher. Still lots of snow to melt.
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The Summit Creek Drainage (Volcanic/Granite contact zone), looking towards Relief Res. from "Lion King Point" near Granite Dome.
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Re: emigrant wilderness creek crossings

Postby anthony » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:50 pm

DoyleWDonehoo, were you able to make it to the top of granite dome? If so, what equipment did you need?
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Re: emigrant wilderness creek crossings

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:34 pm

anthony wrote:DoyleWDonehoo, were you able to make it to the top of granite dome? If so, what equipment did you need?

That was last year, and I did not try for the top of the dome though I do not think I would have had any trouble or need of special equipment: just a snow slog, which it probably is at the moment...perhaps. The PCTers I met recently were using these easy to slip on sorta-crampons they said worked very well, which I wish I had. That would be useful for snow travel (particularly in the morning), along with poles. If there is snow up there, stay away from the edge: That peak had the most killer cornices I have ever seen, more like snow bridges over thousand foot chasms. Look up carefully before you go up (and see the upper left of the picture below...remember to click on the picture for a closer view).
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Granite Dome above Ridge Lake
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