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TR: NAP to Miter Basin, Crabtree Basin, Whitney Creek

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Re: TR: NAP to Miter Basin, Crabtree Basin, Whitney Creek

Postby oldranger » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:08 am

Matt

Finally got time to read your TR. Great read. Brought back memories of trips with my dad 40 years ago. Got a good laugh from:
We chatted with them for a while and learned that they were both rangers in Grand Teton National Park, and that they drove east to California every September for a lengthy Sierra backpacking trip after the crowds and mosquitoes had disappeared.


Must be a hellofa long drive!

Mike
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!



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Re: TR: NAP to Miter Basin, Crabtree Basin, Whitney Creek

Postby windknot » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:17 am

Ha, you got me. I must have been thinking Eastern Sierra, Wyoming is east of here, etc. when I wrote that. Now fixed!
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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Re: TR: NAP to Miter Basin, Crabtree Basin, Whitney Creek

Postby RiseToADry » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:07 pm

Hey Matt- Great TR! Loved reading it.

I hope to get to this area in the future. If you don't mind me asking... I'm assuming you went over New Army because it was shorter than coming in from the portal? How many miles do you think it is from Cottonwood Trailhead to that upper Crabtree? And how hard do you think Crabtree Pass is (on both sides)?

Filter responses as necessary...
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Re: TR: NAP to Miter Basin, Crabtree Basin, Whitney Creek

Postby windknot » Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:52 am

We chose the Cottonwood Lakes trailhead over Whitney Portal mostly because of permit accessibility issues. I didn't research whether or not all of the permits for the Portal had already been reserved, but for much of the summer they are so I really didn't even consider this option. Although it would be a shorter hike to get to Crabtree Basin from Whitney Portal, the length of hike wasn't the only factor in my trailhead decision. There are some compelling non-hiking reasons for wanting to go through Cottonwood and Miter basins.

Cottonwood trailhead to Crabtree Basin is probably between 13-15 miles if you go cross-country through Miter Basin, and closer to 22 miles if you take the trail route down Rock Creek and over Guyot Pass. We made a loop of it, heading in the first way and coming out the second because my dad's boots blew up and we didn't want to risk the patch job on rocky terrain. Crabtree Pass is easy, straightforward walking on the south side (there's a well-defined use trail on most of the route) and a manageable class 2 on the north side as long as you pick the right route down. Not sure I'd want to do it in the early season when it's covered in snow, though. How hard it is ultimately depends on what kind of experience you have hiking over class 2 passes with a full pack.

Feel free to shoot me a PM if you want any more information of the non-hiking variety. And if you click on the link in my signature to my blog, and scroll down to the bottom of the report on this trip there, you might find some pictures of interest. :)
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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Re: TR: NAP to Miter Basin, Crabtree Basin, Whitney Creek

Postby AvFan » Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:19 pm

Very nice TR and the pictures sure brought back some great memories of my travels in the Mitre Basin. In mid-September three years ago my son and I camped at Sky Blue Lake with intention of climbing Mt. McAdie from Crabtree Pass. A thunder snow storm the day and evening before cut short our fishing and the idea of climbing McAdie as the mountain was snow covered and most likely really slick.

FYI, as an option to dropping down to Lower Soldier Lake from Army/New Army Pass if you head toward Mt. Langley from either pass there is a quicker and really nice way to get into the Mitre Basin. After climbing 300 to 400 feet from Army Pass towards Langley there is sandy use trail that goes down a draw westerly to Upper Soldier Lake. There are many nice places to camp there and it will be much less crowded than lower Soldier. If you head northwest from Upper Soldier you should find another use trail that heads down to lower Soldier. Don't go all the way down the use trail but look to the right and there will be a series of ducks marking a faint trail that traverses the south-facing slope. The trail easily climbs a grassy chute up to a small tarn as you enter the basin. Traverse the basin slope on granite slabs towards the north and you intersect the trail in Mitre Basin about 3/4s of the way to Sky Blue.

Enjoy!
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Re: TR: NAP to Miter Basin, Crabtree Basin, Whitney Creek

Postby Jimr » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:41 pm

AvFan,
I did that a few months ago, except from Upper Soldier Lake, you can head straight toward and stay in the upper part of the tree lined berm that hugs Langley and follow it around in an arc right into the upper part of Miter Basin. We headed for the trees before ever reaching the lake. On the return, we mis-calculated and ended up lower than we wanted. Had to go down the the inlet of Lower Soldier and slog through the mud and deer brush to cross the creek and head upward to the upper lake.
What?!
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Re: TR: NAP to Miter Basin, Crabtree Basin, Whitney Creek

Postby AvFan » Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:33 pm

Jimr:

I didn't know about following the tree line around and it sounds even easier than the route I took. I'll have to try that next summer. One trip I have in mind is to base camp at Upper Soldier with day trips to Langley, Cirque Peak and Mitre Basin. The OP's pictures are helping me decide to go back to that area!

Oh, and I've also squished my way up that trail between the two Soldier Lakes and it can be a challenge. This summer I was too tired to take it on and camped at one of the over used sites near Lower Soldier's outlet. In hind sight I should have rested a half hour and pushed up to the upper lake and its infinitely better camp sites. Next time!
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Re: TR: NAP to Miter Basin, Crabtree Basin, Whitney Creek

Postby windknot » Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:41 pm

Thanks for the input, guys. I'll need to check out this route the next time I come through here. Are there fish in Upper Soldier?
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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Re: TR: NAP to Miter Basin, Crabtree Basin, Whitney Creek

Postby AvFan » Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:34 pm

I haven't fished there so I can't say. However, there are goldens in Lower Soldier so I'd expect there to be some in Upper Soldier too. And it is not that far to Sky Blue and Iridescent Lakes. I've not been to Iridescent yet but I understand there are some nice fish in there and I've seen the nice sized goldens at the outlet of Sky Blue.
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