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X-Country Peter Pande Lake to Graveyard Lakes

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X-Country Peter Pande Lake to Graveyard Lakes

Postby richapple » Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:43 am

X-Country Peter Pande Lake to Graveyard Lakes

Any tips/hints from anyone out there (sounds like there are plenty of fans here for this area!) for venturing cross country back to Graveyard Lakes to close a loop out Goodale Pass to Peter Pande and Anne Lakes?

I can dig out old slides (film!) of Graveyard Lakes from an old trip and maybe see what the ridges look like, but from the topo chunk (image follows) in this post, I'm thinking that from Peter Pande Lake taking the trail east and then turning south where the trail crosses the outlet of that little lakelet directly east of Peter Pande, passing the little lakelet and following the drainage into it would be the easiest route. Looks like we'd cross over just to the right of the "E" of "SILVER" and then probably angle south and west to the left of the "35". (I'm guessing those landmarks won't be visible out there in reality!)

Image

Our experience/preference levels are:

Solid Level 3 for "What level of backpacking experience do you have?", but maybe enough x-country under our belts to say "Level 4" with the qualification of the following:

"What terrain are you comfortable/uncomfortable with?": Class 2 - terrain, pass, x-country (thinking the Yosemite Decimal Class rating system such that Class 2 means "Simple scrambling, with the possibility of occasional use of the hands. Little potential danger is encountered."

For anyone in the know (saw that founding member mountaineer called a Silver Pass version of this his/her favorite trip in the whole Sierra!), hipping us to the easiest route - specially if my topo guess is totally off - and giving us clues would be greatly appreciated. (Maybe it's easier from Anne Lake and/or there's even a light "use trail" somewhere?)

Since we've been over Silver Pass a couple times, we're looking at the Goodale route as something new, and since we've been to Graveyard Lakes years ago, it seems it would be most fun to do the trip to end up in Graveyard Lakes rather than start there. (But if one recommends at all that it would be easiest to x-country north from Graveyard Lakes, we'd turn the trip around no problem.)

Thanks!
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Re: X-Country Peter Pande Lake to Graveyard Lakes

Postby TehipiteTom » Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:57 am

You've got the right idea on the route. That valley east of Peter Pande is lovely. The north side is a talus slog up the last part (steep-ish, but not scary steep IIRC); the south side is easy ramps (and yeah, you want do bear westish from the top). I recommend going north to south (the way you had in mind), because I think it's easier going up that talus than down it (YMMV).
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Re: X-Country Peter Pande Lake to Graveyard Lakes

Postby Take-a-Hike » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:32 am

Wife and I did it south to north, our 1st mini cross country route and she hates talus and we are old..... It took us a while to come down the north side, but we made it easily enough. IMO, coming down talus is worse than going up. That particular year, it was late July, there was a small patch of snow still clogging the north entrance/exit...which at least made it more visible heading that direction from Peter Pande. There was also a makeshift wooden sign up there, (remants of one anyway), paying tribute to someone posthumously.
Route is quite easy, but the day before we ran into 4 guys who came across your way...they split up 2 and 2...taking a different route. Not sure how/why, but they mentioned 2 went the "right" way and 2 went the "wrong" way. But, they still all made it.
Once you get down on the other side of the large Graveyard Lake, there is a host of use trails leading down to the main trail out of there. Still one of our overall favorite areas is all along that Silver Divide.
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Re: X-Country Peter Pande Lake to Graveyard Lakes

Postby cmon4day » Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:44 pm

Years ago I went over the pass at "E" in Silver from Graveyard to Peter Pande. From what I can recall it wasn't that bad. We then went up to Anne Lake. Beautiful. It is a place I wouldn't mind going back to.
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Re: X-Country Peter Pande Lake to Graveyard Lakes

Postby maverick » Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:00 pm

I too did not think Graveyard Pass to be difficult at all.
Doyle has a good TR if you have not read it:
http://www.sierra-trails.com/sliver/silver01.htm
Anne Lake is pretty, as is Olive.
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Re: X-Country Peter Pande Lake to Graveyard Lakes

Postby cvr » Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:54 pm

I did this pass just 2+ weeks ago , but from the other direction. You have the route exactly right. There is only a very small snow patch remianing at the very bottom of the North side of the pass, but not on the route itself, so you will not even step foot on snow. I would check out both Wilbur May and Anne lakes if time permits.
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Re: X-Country Peter Pande Lake to Graveyard Lakes

Postby giantbrookie » Tue Sep 07, 2010 9:06 pm

I agree with the others that you should have no problem with the pass N of Graveyard that leads to the valley E of Peter Pande. Given that you were able to pick out this route on the topo bodes well for your off trail hiking. This pass is easy class 2 with a bit of moderately steep talus on the north side. The north side can be hairy in early season if covered with snow, because the top becomes corniced, but that won't be an issue now with the snow gone as reported. I should add that you can in fact enter Minnow Creek drainage via this pass and exit via the class 2 pass from Anne L. (10840+ SE of Anne L.; this is the saddle SW of pt 11225) or visa versa. This western pass is a bit steeper than Graveyard, but it is still fairly mellow class 2. Anne, Peter Pande and Wilbur May are all outstanding destinations. Anne is probably my favorite of those three.
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: X-Country Peter Pande Lake to Graveyard Lakes

Postby windknot » Wed Sep 08, 2010 6:36 am

Thanks for your contributions to this thread, guys. I'll be doing one of the two passes from the Minnow Creek drainage over to the Graveyards this weekend and from reading past reports they both look to be rather straight-forward.

I was planning to do a loop from Edison to Goodale Pass to Peter Pande/Anne and then back over to the Graveyards and out, but now I'm considering a modified loop which both enters and exits through the Graveyards in order to possibly collect more time at the lakes at the head of Minnow Creek. For those of you who have hiked in this area before, is it quicker to get to, say, Wilbur May by taking the trail over and around or by cutting the corner and going over the pass SE of Peter Pande? How are the views from the trail to Goodale? If taking this route, I plan to cross-country down from the pass directly to Wilbur May unless someone convinces me that it would be just as fast to walk the trail through the Indian Lakes.

Thanks!
Matt
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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Re: X-Country Peter Pande Lake to Graveyard Lakes

Postby richapple » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:29 am

Thank you everybody for all the replies and all the good information. I totally know we can do this now, and it's going to be a great trip! I'll actually be surprised if the x-country hop doesn't turn out to be easier than a couple others we've done...

Sounds like we may even see windknot (Matt) out there, and any further posts to his new questions will be interesting.

We are going to have lots of time "out there" so we're going to be able to visit all the mentioned lakes. And if my camera behaves hopefully I'll be able to post a nice TR.
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Re: X-Country Peter Pande Lake to Graveyard Lakes

Postby giantbrookie » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:29 pm

windknot wrote:I was planning to do a loop from Edison to Goodale Pass to Peter Pande/Anne and then back over to the Graveyards and out, but now I'm considering a modified loop which both enters and exits through the Graveyards in order to possibly collect more time at the lakes at the head of Minnow Creek. For those of you who have hiked in this area before, is it quicker to get to, say, Wilbur May by taking the trail over and around or by cutting the corner and going over the pass SE of Peter Pande? How are the views from the trail to Goodale? If taking this route, I plan to cross-country down from the pass directly to Wilbur May unless someone convinces me that it would be just as fast to walk the trail through the Indian Lakes.
Thanks!
Matt

Given that the Graveyard Pass route all the way to the trail doesn't save a huge amount of distance over Goodale Pass to get to Wilbur May it's a bit of a toss up. Now if you're up for adventure and the unknown...If I were doing a loop and wanted to include Wilbur May plus Anne Lake and my time was very limited (say just 3 days or something), I would (bear with me, I'm just daydreaming off the topo) beeline it NE from the biggest Graveyard L. to Wilbur May via the saddle that sits at 11040+ (I'm using a topo w 80' contours right now). I'm willing to bet a sixer of good IPA that I can find a reasonable class 2 route there. That route, in my estimation, would in fact be faster than the Goodale trail to Wilbur May. If I had more than 3 days, though, I'd opt for Goodale Pass, because that route is better for reaching some other interesting (fishing) options than any of the off trail passes to the west.
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: X-Country Peter Pande Lake to Graveyard Lakes

Postby windknot » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:29 am

I thought about that route over the top of the saddle, but we ended up crossing over as a day hike so we took the more conventional pass SE of Anne instead. Coming back over however we decided to take the pass just E of Peak 11347. Has anyone gone over this pass? We did see a few stone ducks near the top, although the pass itself is hidden from view until you get right up beneath it and the route to the pass looks to be impassable (pardon the pun) until it appears almost out of thin air right before your eyes. Although all of the fun parts of the hike don't show up within the 40' contours, here's a map showing our wanderings on Sunday:

Image
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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Re: X-Country Peter Pande Lake to Graveyard Lakes

Postby richapple » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:32 am

Just thought I should update this thread to confess that even with all the great advice, our wonderful 12 day trip into the area had us returning via the same Goodale Pass by which we came (rather than south over the X-Country pass to get back to Graveyard Lakes). We explored the route on a really nice day hike once we'd made it to Peter Pande Lake, but our bottom line is that we aren't comfortable hiking on talus. The advice here was honest, described it all to a tee, but we had to be there and see it to remember that "yeah, we don't like hiking on this kind of stuff". The kind of "stuff" is just like really really big blocks of granite, like giant scree.

This pass seems to be called both Silver Fox Pass and Graveyard Lakes Pass (I think), and anyone researching who finds this should probably have no qualms about hiking it if you are comfortable hiking on talus. I think most the members of this forum would be comfortable with it, and often hike even gnarlier stuff!

We do love getting "out there" and the 12 day trip had 8 days without seeing another human. I've posted a Trip Report at:

http://www.highsierratopix.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5766

Here's a photo of what we decided not to do, and with the camera angled up toward the horizon, it is probably at least a little steeper than it appears here. (now I get why all those ski shots over the years turn intermediate runs into bunny-hills) But really, steepness isn't an issue, and if you like hiking on talus, this is the route for you!

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