Father/Daughter Hikers Looking for Trip Advice | High Sierra Topix  

Father/Daughter Hikers Looking for Trip Advice

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar

Re: Father/Daughter Hikers Looking for Trip Advice

Postby giantbrookie » Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:51 am

mafkdcio wrote:Giantbrookie, do you have any specific route suggestions for the Bishop Creek area? My dad sent me this link (http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin ... d_id=23926) about a trip that included "Bishop Pass," which I assume is in the area but can't be sure (sorry, my knowledge of this part of the country is painfully lacking!). A route suggestion would be most welcome, or your thoughts on the route that hiker did (and links to maps would be great! Google has been pretty helpful, but I couldn't find a good one for this area). Mt. Sill looks amazing!
Jean

Jean,
I think you have a number of options. Bishop Pass is indeed part of this area. Mt Sill requires the most work to reach. With the parameters you give above I'd recommend day 1 South Lake trailhead to Bishop Lake, day 2 over Bishop Pass and through Dusy Basin, the over Thunderbolt Pass to Barrett Lakes. This is the one problematic part of the this game plan, given that off trail backpacking (Thunderbolt Pass) with a bad hip might not be in the cards., day 3 for climbing Mt. Sill, day 4 reverse out to Bishop Lake, dropping the pack and climbing Agassiz from Bishop Pass if there is time, and, if you plan to stay on longer, climbing Mt. Goode from Bishop Lake.

For other options you can sort of mix or match with easy backpacking segments. For example, you can backpack to Bishop Lake and use it as a base camp to dayhike to Mt Agassiz and Mt Goode. You may either go around Mt Hurd via trail to Treasure Lakes or cross the pretty easy cross country pass over to Treasure Lakes then climb Mt. Johnson on a dayhike. Mt Gilbert is class 2 and easily reachable from Treasure Lakes, too, but the couloir you climb to the crest requires an ice axe and is quite steep. You can also do the Bishop Lake-Mt Agassiz and Mt Goode combo, hike back to the trailhead, hike back in to Green Lake and camp there to dayhike to the Cloudripper. Or, you can go back out to the car, move it to the Horton Lake trailhead (I recommend a high clearance vehicle for this road, though). From lower Horton one can make the dayclimb to Mt Tom, which is truly one of the most distinctive landmarks of the eastern Sierra skyline.

In any case all of the backpacking segments mentioned above are short (5 miles or less) and all on trail with the exception of going over Thunderbolt Pass (class 2 talus) and/or the little pass that goes to the Treasure Lakes (easy class 2). Certainly trips can be designed (see above) that don't require off trail backpacking at all, although the peak bagging is all off trail, of course.

Cheers,

John
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



User avatar
giantbrookie
Founding Member & Forums Moderator
Founding Member & Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 2439
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:22 am
Location: Fresno
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Father/Daughter Hikers Looking for Trip Advice

Postby frediver » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:48 am

IMO for your first trip don't plan to much on climbing, be happy with the walk and see how
dads hip's adjust to the new strain.
Emigrant wilderness would be a make a great 1st trip IMHO.
User avatar
frediver
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 268
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2007 11:15 pm
Location: n.cal
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Father/Daughter Hikers Looking for Trip Advice

Postby mafkdcio » Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:54 am

Hi Everyone,

Thanks again for all of your advice. Maverick, I should have mentioned that we wouldn't attempt to do what the person in that trip report I posted did in 3 days; we would take at least twice as long to do it. I was mostly interested in getting your opinions on the route that he took, rather than the time he took to do it. We are in no hurry to rush through the trip, and hopefully we can get 5 or 6 days out there (although that depends on how much time we can get off from work).

It seems I continue to do my dad injustice! As I mentioned before, his fake hips are not a hindrance and he rarely feels pain in that part of his body. He does a lot of skiing (he went on a ski trip only a couple of months after getting the second hip replaced!) and hiking and does not feel like his hips hold him back in any way. His knee is the only real concern, but even that isn't much of a limiting factor. We actually went backpacking back home (Alaska) for three days this past August and, although it wasn't a long trip, it was very strenuous and he was carrying a lot of weight. The second day we did a lot of very steep climbing for most of the day before hiking out on day 3. So no, it wasn't long, but he tells me he feels about as strong as he did when he used to go on long backpacking trips. I wouldn't be too concerned about what he can and can't do.

I was able to find a map of this area and follow the route that hiker took. It certainly is roundabout! But my dad seems like he's leaning towards that route. He really wants to see the Evolution basin area. I think he's been there before and is dying to go back. This hiker took a similar route to the one I posted before but got to Evolution via Lamarck Col (http://www.ljhelms.com/albums/0608Evolution/index.htm.) What are your thoughts on that route? Would it save much/any time? Would it be more/less strenuous? Ionian Basin seems like it might be a nice day trip, as this person suggested.

You're right, Wandering Daisy, that route is a lot of walking and not much climbing. I think my dad would prefer that, though, and maybe I should be content with a day trip somewhere along the route. I mostly want to be above tree line (I've been on the east coast for much of the past four years, and have rarely been able to go above tree line! Having the view while hiking is what makes it all worth it to me).

As always, thanks again for your thoughtful comments. I'd appreciate any feedback on the link I posted, and if you have links to any other North Lake-South Lake routes, I'd sure like to see them! Now that I have a map I can get a better sense of our different options.

Thanks,
Jean
User avatar
mafkdcio
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:38 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Father/Daughter Hikers Looking for Trip Advice

Postby mafkdcio » Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:22 am

Someone made this comment about Lamarck Col:

"There is one challenging permanent snowfield to cross at Lamarck Col, and only a vague suggestion of a trail down from the Col to Darwin Lakes."

Would this still be the case in late August? Would it be difficult for someone who hasn't been here before to navigate?

Thanks,
Jean
User avatar
mafkdcio
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:38 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Father/Daughter Hikers Looking for Trip Advice

Postby maverick » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:10 am

Yes, there is a small snow field beneath the col on the eastern side which should not
be a big deal, especially if you go over after the snow has softened a bit.
The western side is a long way down with a lot of scree and takes time, but again, if
you have dealt with this before than it is no big deal.
Darwin Canyon and especially Darwin Bench is beautiful, and well worth visiting.
Doing this version can be done in 6 nights though you will need to stay at Lower Lamarck
Lake to acclumate.
Phil Arnot's book "High Sierra" describes the route over Lamarck Col very well, as into
Ionian Basin, and other great backcountry Sierra destionations.
You will not be able to visit Ionian Basin with the time you have available since you want
spend some time in Evolution Basin, then you have to go over Muir Pass, then the
long hike down LeConte Canyon, and then a long up into Dusy Basin, which is gorgeous
in itself, and then over Bishop Pass.
There should be some trip report about Lamarck Col here, check the search feature, and
there are several trip reports you can google that have pictures.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8028
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Father/Daughter Hikers Looking for Trip Advice

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:33 am

As a climber, I do not count Emigrant Wilderness as big mountains. It has great backpacking and fishing and is beautiful, but no comparison to Evolution Valley, Dusy Basin or Barrett Basin. If you can somehow at least do a day-hike into Barrett Basin (via Knapsack Col or Thunderblot Pass from Dusy Basin) you will not regret it. It is a very reasonable day trip. Darwin Canyon down from Lamark Col is spectacular. A great 2-hour side trip is to Lake 11640 is recommended. I like to camp on Darwin Bench. I think the best camping in Evolution is off the trail on the southeast side of Saphire Lake. I personally do not think Wanda Lake is a good place to camp - too many bugs. Others probably have different opinions!

Lamark Col is not bad. I think there will still be snow on it this year in late August. So many climbers use this route that huge footprints will already be there. The only problem is ice. Try to do it in the afternoon. If you plan on going over in the early AM you may need crampons. You may want to think about going only to Lower Lamark Lake in the late afternoon. Then you can easily make it all the way to Darwin Bench the next day and hit Lamark Col when the snow is softer. Lots of people make it to Darwin Bench in one day. I tried it once and unfortunately got hit by altitude and had to camp at the little tarn just NE of the col. There is a good use-trail all the way up, although it is not shown on the map. There is also a little creek along the upper part so you could really stop and camp a lot of places if you bonk. The stream is shown as an intermitten stream on the map, but with the high snowpack this year it should be OK. The descent to Darwin Canyon is very steep and you do not need to find all the little trails. The traverse along the north side of the lakes has more talus. There is a good use-trail althoug it goes in and out of talus so is easily lost. But there is nothing you cannot just walk over even if you loose the trail. You just have to plan on fairly slow travel for this mile. For anyone who has done mountaineering, Lamark Col is not difficult. Those who have never been off-trail find it difficult.
User avatar
Wandering Daisy
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 2606
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:19 pm
Location: Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento area)
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Father/Daughter Hikers Looking for Trip Advice

Postby mafkdcio » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:56 am

So my dad nixed the Lamarck Col idea because of his knees. Too bad! I was really excited about that. He would prefer to stay mostly on-trail (even though all the hiking we do in Alaska is off-trail). He is now suggesting possibly going right after Labor Day. How are the mosquitoes/temperature that time of year?
User avatar
mafkdcio
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:38 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Father/Daughter Hikers Looking for Trip Advice

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:44 pm

September? Mosquitoes are negligible, not real problematic.

I go with the same gear late spring - early fall, expecting a chance of any amount of rain or snow, and temps well below freezing (usually prepared for 20 degrees F, if the forecast is for 20F I prepare for 10 degrees lower than that). Never had a reason to regret being prepared for 20F. Often glad that I did.
User avatar
AlmostThere
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1758
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:38 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Father/Daughter Hikers Looking for Trip Advice

Postby giantbrookie » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:05 pm

mafkdcio wrote:So my dad nixed the Lamarck Col idea because of his knees. Too bad! I was really excited about that. He would prefer to stay mostly on-trail (even though all the hiking we do in Alaska is off-trail). He is now suggesting possibly going right after Labor Day. How are the mosquitoes/temperature that time of year?

Oooh, too bad--Lamarck Col is, in my estimation, the premier gateway to the very best part of the High Sierra. Now, if the knees are more of the barrier instead of the hips and your dad is obviously a pretty good athlete, does he do strength (weights) and flexibility exercises to firm up his knees? I mention this because as a really battered ex-basketball player I wouldn't have my off trail mobility were it not for my weight training routine--originally formulated to keep me on the basketball court for more punishment, of course--I have been seriously re-habbing my knees for 33 years now.

In any case, if your dad doesn't like off trail with a full pack, it sounds as if he still likes peak bagging, which is off trail without a full pack, and something like the Bishop Creek options noted above with trailed backpacking access, good scenery, and lots of easy peak bagging options, might be the ticket.

Mosquitoes are a non factor by Labor Day. Note Labor Day is THE peak weekend in the backcountry after which usage falls off very rapidly, so you idea to go after Labor Day weekend is a good idea to avoid crowds and potential wilderness permit quota issues.
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
User avatar
giantbrookie
Founding Member & Forums Moderator
Founding Member & Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 2439
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:22 am
Location: Fresno
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Father/Daughter Hikers Looking for Trip Advice

Postby East Side Hiker » Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:27 am

Another great hike is out of Saddlebag Lake. The Lundy Pass loop.
User avatar
East Side Hiker
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 391
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:10 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Father/Daughter Hikers Looking for Trip Advice

Postby SPeacock » Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:44 pm

This trip fits most of your desires. It would be considered strenuous for most backpackers - especially the first two days. It is a 7-10 mile a day trip and covers some the most spectacular high Sierra scenery. This is a July/August trip. Maybe a bit later this year because of extra snow on the passes. But you will be following the foot prints of the hordes before you on the JMT.

This can be done either way but I suggest clockwise for better scenery and some WOWs along the trial that you might miss going the other way. It is a little bit more gain in altitude going clockwise.

Independence CA, Trail Head (6,299) Shepherd Pass (12,047) , Forester Pass (13,200), Kearsarge Pass (11,760), Onion Valley Trail Head (9,100). The trail is generally well graded (not steep), and except for Shepherd Pass itself is generally as routine a grade as you will find in the Sierra. Near the pass there are a few short steep rocky parts or snow.

A signed dirt road to Shepherd Pass leads off to the left on the road before you start the climb up the hill to Onion Valley out of Independence CA. The start at Symmes Creek trail has your sun to back on a west facing trail.

http://www.topo.com/explore?lat=36.7241 ... &type=topo

It could be very warm - start early. You have a crossing of the creek early on and will be the only significant creek crossing on the trip. The trail tops a ridge within 2 miles or so and then drops 500 feet down toward Shepherd Creek which you will be well above and then up to a creek crossing with a waterfall not far away.

http://www.topo.com/explore?lat=36.7028 ... &type=topo

Along this stretch you will have (early season snowmelt) water falls cascading off near vertical walls 1000' feet above you on the left. Williamson and Tyndall (both 14rs) on your left continue a slow strip tease as you get closer and higher. Mahogany Flats is the first possible camp. A long switch back gets you over the wall left from glacial action on up to Anvil Camp (around 8 miles from trail head) another camp alternative. It will have been a hard day getting to 10,000' here.

http://www.topo.com/explore?lat=36.6842 ... &type=topo

The next day's objective will either be a camp on the west side of the pass or farther down to where Tyndall Creek crosses the JMT/PCT. If you stay near the pass, you will have a direct shot at Tyndall Peak (around 14,015') and then down to the crossing. From the pass you get a panoramic view of one of the gems of the Sierra - the upper Kern River drainage. Anchored on the southeast by Whitney, the north by Forester Pass and on the west by the Kaweahs it is favorite of many who pass through.

http://www.topo.com/explore?lat=36.6842 ... &type=topo

You can spend time here dayhiking to South America Lake and a look down from Harrison Pass for another high view of the drainage or up into the almost never visited Wright Lakes or Wallace Creek drainage on a day trip. And scurry up to one of the highest lakes in the US Tulainyo at 12,800.

http://www.topo.com/explore?lat=36.6842 ... &type=topo

These are some of the least visited lakes considering the amount of traffic passes them each day on the JMT. People are usually goal directed to getting up Whitney the next day south, or on their way north with the intent of getting over colossal Forester.

There is a very much unused beautiful trail down the west side of the basin that a few lucky people who have taken out of their way down to Junction Meadow and a bridge for the trail up to Colby Pass or to follow the trail through a spectacular canyon similar in many ways to Yosemite Valley. But no wheels are allowed to get you there. Feet or hooves only.

Ok enough of a special place, If you are in a hurry on your way down from Shepherd Pass, cut trails around the south of Diamond Mesa to catch the trail to Forrester. From Tyndall Creek to where the JMT leaves Bubbs Creek is a moderate day - mostly down hill. I like the north route up Forester because you first see a marvel of trail engineering unfold before you and then the trail down just opens up more and more views to the left and right as you get past barrier ridges. There are lunch spots with views just screaming for more leisurely trip down.

http://www.topo.com/explore?lat=36.7030 ... &type=topo

Spend the night at Vidette Meadows with the idea that you could be out to Onion Valley around lunch time leaving early the next day. Or you could stay at Kearsarge Lakes and enjoy one more night in the Sierra. If you don't spend the night at Kearsarge Lakes, take the higher trail to the north above Bullfrog (contour 3300/3400) and watch the lakes appear slowly below you as you head to Kearsarge Pass.

http://www.topo.com/explore?lat=36.7662 ... &type=topo

Once down at Onion Valley you could pick your car up if you had stashed it there (having dropped your packs at the trail head). Or catch a hitch down the hill to the turn off to the Shepherds Pass trail head and about a 3 mile walk to the car if they won't drive you there. You can flip a coin who will stay with the packs. Might be an imposition if you both try to cram in with your AND their packs.
User avatar
SPeacock
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 5:50 pm
Location: Pasadena area, CA
Experience: N/A

Previous

Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 10 guests