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TR: South Lake to North Lake to South Lake complete loop

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Re: TR: South Lake to North Lake to South Lake complete loop

Postby kpeter » Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:27 pm

Thanks Doyle, I think you are right, but now I am mystified as to what that substantial pool of water could be. A closer look finds the outlet falls from Ladder Lake, though, so this pretty well settles the matter. Here is another try at labeling things.
Ladder Lake Skyline labeled copy.jpg
West LeConte Canyon wall from Dusy Basin

Ladder Lake Skyline close up labeled.jpg
Close up



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Re: TR: South Lake to North Lake to South Lake complete loop

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:41 pm

kpeter, I think you have it right now. As for the pool of water, I bet WD could answer that question having camped near there (see map in this thread) and one of the few I know who has been there. Hester Lake is beginning to look good to me too.
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Re: TR: South Lake to North Lake to South Lake complete loop

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:14 pm

I am not sure what you labeled as water is water. I do recall a few swampy areas/meadows down there and in a high snow year like last year, it well could be a shallow melt pond. Also, given the runoff last summer, it is possible that some debris was trapped and dammed up some water. Ladder lake is definitely the higher bench.
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Re: TR: South Lake to North Lake to South Lake complete loop

Postby kpeter » Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:51 pm

DoyleWDonehoo wrote:Kpeter, I think your first picture has the correct location of Ladder Lake. The blowup lake location is more like WD's camp spot (see map). You can see water cascading down from Ladder Lakes outlet. I wish Ladder was that easy to get to! ;)

Found this picture of Ladder Lake:
http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2923 ... 4913MKgxLs

Doyle, I finally figured out how to access the whole 22 picture set that you referenced with this link. There is a link to the album under the picture. It looks like the folks who took those pictures pretty much followed WD's route.

Using WD's wonderful map and description, and illustrating a few points along the way with those photographs, can give a pretty good idea of what is involved and what some of the visual rewards might be. Hester lake and the talus slog
http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2816 ... 4913UjghmS
does not seem like my cup of tea, but Ladder Lake certainly looks pretty.
http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2331 ... 4913tqJMat
The photographs show the backpackers lowering packs down a ledge on the climb down.
http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2807 ... 4913kueLtA
It would certainly be slow going.

WD: I keep blowing up my picture in my photo editor (much clearer than what I can upload) and staring at the area where I think I see water. It is right at the edge of the morning shadow, so perhaps the optics are playing tricks on my eyes. But at extreme close range it certainly looks like water.

Here is a better shot of the area that does seem to have been taken with a telephoto from out of the album that Doyle linked, although it doesn't really solve any mysteries:
http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2258 ... 4913NxhCFQ
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Re: TR: South Lake to North Lake to South Lake complete loop

Postby maverick » Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:06 pm

Hi KP

The route is not difficult from the JMT just stay away from the outlet stream
on the way up and down because there are small cliffs and bush that can make
thing slow going.
Just head up towards the falls (outlet of Ladder in you pic), and yes you are
correct, Ladder Lake is on the bench above the falls, and there is no lake under
Ladder Lake.
You can either climb up the northern wall and come around to the northern side
of Ladder Lake which was my route up, or climb up the narrow chute which will
put you directly at the eastern shore of the lake which was the route that was taken
on my way back down.
The small lake just west of Ladder is very pretty, as is the route WD used from
the north to get to Ladder, especially the narrow lake area.
The Citadel is well worth the climb, class 2, and has great views.
Also following WD's route back you can access Hester by climbing a rocky pass
which is quite easy to get to Hester.
Here is a link to a few pic's to the area: http://WildernessApertures.com/p1003266800
Click on the picture twice to get a larger size.
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Re: TR: South Lake to North Lake to South Lake complete loop

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:31 pm

Thanks for the info Maverick. I especially liked this picture:
http://wildernessapertures.com/p1003266 ... #h2cd62b67
I have always assumed the best camps would be to the left in the picture (with nice views down the canyon), but from my readings, the trees to the right (under the watermark) is where most people camp (peakbaggers).
In Phil Arnot's book "High Sierra" in the "Black Divide" chapter, he waxes rhapsodic about Ladder Lake and the little nearby lake, but his info is vague on routes except to say there used to be a horse trail from the JMT to Ladder Lake which is still visible in places and roughly follows WD's map route.
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Re: TR: South Lake to North Lake to South Lake complete loop

Postby kpeter » Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:37 pm

Thanks, Maverick, stunning photos, all. I'm particularly fond of the black and white, but you have captured some of the deepest blue in the Ladder Lake shot that I've seen since I saw Royce Lakes on a sunny day! Thank you for sharing.

By the way, is there a preferred place to cross the Kings River when leaving the JMT before heading up to Ladder Lake?
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Re: TR: South Lake to North Lake to South Lake complete loop

Postby maverick » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:03 pm

Kpeter wrote:
Thanks, Maverick, stunning photos, all. I'm particularly fond of the black and
white, but you have captured some of the deepest blue in the Ladder Lake shot
that I've seen since I saw Royce Lakes on a sunny day! Thank you for sharing.

By the way, is there a preferred place to cross the Kings River when leaving the JMT
before heading up to Ladder Lake?


Thanks, and your welcome, happy to help.
No preference on crossing point, just be north of where Ladder Creek meets the Kings
so to avoid the cliff/bush on the way up. There were several places were the water
levels were quite low, and since I always carry water shoes, did not waste a lot of time
trying to find a dry crossing. Water levels will be even lower this year so crossing will be
a none issue.
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
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Re: TR: South Lake to North Lake to South Lake complete loop

Postby juscro » Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:27 pm

That was a great TR. Thanks for taking the time.

Also checked out those amazing photos from Maverick on the wildernessaperture additional gallery pages. I felt my hair crackling looking at that matthes crest lighting shot
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