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Harrison Pass - TR

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Harrison Pass - TR

Postby quentinc » Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:17 pm

Since I've gotten some requests for more photos of the Harrison Pass area (from the recent thread on "backcountry conditions"), I figured I should do a brief trip report. Last weekend I did a 3-1/2 day trip from Onion Valley > JMT > Forester Pass, then cross-country over Harrison Pass to Lake Reflection, and back to Onion Valley via Junction and Vidette Meadows.

As others have noted, the skies have been quite clear for the first time in a while. Even though I've been by Bullfrog Lake maybe 30 times, the view of East Vidette (and Deerhorn) always amazes me.

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The route from the JMT just south of Forester towards Lake South America affords some nice views, at least when done cross-country:

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A good view of the Kaweahs:

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Looking north (Mt. Ericson rt.) from the unnamed pass leading into the upper Kern basin:

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This brings me to the Harrison Pass photos I posted on the backcountry conditions thread:

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I was about to turn around before I discovered a plausible route to the south (left) of the snowfield:

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The view north from Harrison Pass (Deerhorn Mt. rt.):

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This is the second stage of the descent from Harrison Pass. I'd forgotten how much talus there was -- it was all talus going through the basin above this too:

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Still, I was happy I hadn't come down Lucy's Foot, which I did about 15 years ago and said never again. This is from the north, and it doesn't even begin to capture the mayhem of refrigerator-sized rocks coming loose all around you:

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I made it to Lake Reflection that evening; here is a picture from the next morning:

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Bubbs Creek was amazing. Just a short way off the trail, this cascade was like my very own mist falls:

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Also, the wildflowers were the best I can remember for late August.

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Re: Harrison Pass - TR

Postby Cross Country » Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:54 pm

That was great. Thank you. Thank you. When I saw Harrison from below (long ago), I made note. Years later from the South I chose Lucy's foot because Harrison looked so mean from afar. I obviously choose wrong. I though that I might die or be injured coming down LF. Lucy's foot is nasty coming down on the North side. I was alone. Looking back on this experience it was great, only because I made it. Also I was probably not in danger because there a man following me. I didn't know this, but he did. We camped together at the lake just below the pass and at the end of the trail from below. We had a good fish dinner that night. Backpackers really are the good guys.
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Re: Harrison Pass - TR

Postby gary c. » Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:11 pm

Beautiful pictures, especially that one over Bullfrog Lake.
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
-- Lionel Terray
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Re: Harrison Pass - TR

Postby Cross Country » Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:19 pm

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, sort of. I like the one from Reflection way better. Bullfrog is easy, Harrison and especially LF are not. Each to his own. I taught art and yet I'll take substance over esthetics(?) anytime, but of course that's just my point of view.
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Re: Harrison Pass - TR

Postby Snow Nymph » Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:32 pm

Nice trip! :D
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


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Re: Harrison Pass - TR

Postby copeg » Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:39 am

Thanks for posting. Saw the photos of Harrison in the conditions thread, and was hoping more was to come.
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Re: Harrison Pass - TR

Postby cgundersen » Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:36 am

quentin,
My computer is severely fickle and I could not access your latest set of photos, but even so, the guy I took the trip with a couple years ago took a few shots (in the link) when we were in the heart of the loop (we did essentially the same trip as you did except that we went up Vidette and over Deerhorn saddle rather than visit Reflection/East Lake). The only point of the photos, aside from illustrating the scramble up to Deerhorn saddle is that one gets a nice comparison of Harrison versus Ericsson in the shots from astride Deerhorn. Really, a tossup! But, as commented by others, both these routes win hands down over Lucy and Milly.
cg

http://www.flickr.com/photos/10845599@N ... 546429200/
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Re: Harrison Pass - TR

Postby windknot » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:01 am

Thanks for the report! Gorgeous pictures (especially of the harrowing Harrison Pass). They really help evoke that wildness of the Sierra.
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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Re: Harrison Pass - TR

Postby richlong8 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:19 am

Wonderful trip report- superb photos. I almost think you should post a warning label, "don't try this at home"(I'm kidding). Your routes are not for the faint of heart, or the inexperienced.
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Re: Harrison Pass - TR

Postby obxcola » Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:19 pm

Beautiful photo looking wsw across lake reflection. What did Longley look like?
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Re: Harrison Pass - TR

Postby lostcoyote » Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:43 pm

thanks for posting. your photos bring back many wonderful memories. i have done harrison 3 times. once going up with lots of snow back in 79 and twice going down on dry years in the late 80's/early 90's. i read that the old timers actually let horses go down - amazing.
how were the skeeters once you got to reflection?
i've always liked the first lake up above reflection (i have heard that some people call it golden lake??) enroute to harrison - ericson crags just really soars up to the sky from that viewpoint.
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Re: Harrison Pass - TR

Postby quentinc » Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:21 pm

Thanks everyone.
LostCoyote, I'm guessing this is the lake you mean. This doesn't capture it well at all -- it's taken from far too close with my P&S, but it would have taken some work to have reached a good vantage point. The skeeters on the use trail to Reflection in the evening were horrendous -- the first time I think I've ever hiked with mosquito netting on. But what was bizarre is that when I got to my granite slab surrounded camp spot, I took off the net and didn't even have to put on DEET. It was like this all trip -- there were be no mosquitoes, suddenly a pocket of mosquito madness, then no mosquitoes a few hundred yards further along. Very strange!

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Obxcola, I'm not sure I got a really good look at Longley Pass, but from what I could see the snow didn't look too bad.

CG, thanks for the Deerhorn Saddle pix. How is that at the top? (it looks pretty loose.)
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