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Route Planning

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Route Planning

Postby RoguePhotonic » Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:22 pm

Well once again my planned route is coming together nicely and it's time to seek advise from the more experienced. Is there any place along this route that I really should detour to see? Is a planned day just too ambitious? I think I learned pretty well last year when it comes to planning but I still have probably made mistakes.

You don't even have to say that this is an extremely ambitous hike and I don't know if I will be able to pull it off physically or mentally but I am excited about it so I am going to give it a try.

The breaks are resupply points.

It's incomplete but this is what I have so far.

See my notes at the bottom for details about sections.


June 1 - 1 - Mineral King <--- drive to and stay at
June 2 - 1 - Franklin Lakes
June 3 - 2 - Forester Lake
June 4 - 3 - Amphitheater Lake
June 5 - 4 - Climb Mineral Peak - Monarch Lake
June 6 - 5 - Climb Sawtooth Peak - Columbine Lake
June 7 - 6 - Big Five Lakes
June 8 - 7 - Layover
June 9 - 8 - Little Five Lakes
June 10 - 9 - Lake 11,720
June 11 - 10 - Lake 11,520 <--- Kaweah Basin
June 12 - 11 - Layover
June 13 - 12 - Hamilton Lake
June 14 - 13 - Mehrten Creek
June 15 - 14 - Lodgepole
--------
June 16 - 15 - Bear Paw Meadow
June 17 - 16 - Big Arroyo
June 18 - 17 - Moraine Lake
June 19 - 18 - Kern Hotspring
June 20 - 19 - Layover
June 21 - 20 - Wallace Creek
June 22 - 21 - Guitar Lake
June 23 - 22 - Guitar Lake
June 24 - 23 - Junction Meadow
June 25 - 24 - Lake 11,400
June 26 - 25 - Tamarack Lake
June 27 - 26 - Lake 10,760
June 28 - 27 - Pear Lake
June 29 - 28 - Lodgepole
June 30 - 29 - Layover
--------
July 1 - 30 - Bear Paw Meadow
July 2 - 31 - Below Copper Mine Pass
July 3 - 32 - Roaring River
July 4 - 33 - Talus Lake
July 5 - 34 - South Guard Lake
July 6 - 35 - climb brewer
July 7 - 36 - Layover
July 8 - 37 - Lake Reflection
July 9 - 38 - Roads End
July 10 - 39 - Cedar Grove
--------
July 11 - 40 - Bubbs Creek
July 12 - 41 - Lake 9,500
July 13 - 42 - Lake 10,500
July 14 - 43 - Above Woods Creek
July 15 - 44 - Lake 11,120
July 16 - 45 - Layover
July 17 - 46 - Climb Mt. Ickes - Bench Lake
July 18 - 47 - Lakes Basin
July 19 - 48 - Marion Lake
July 20 - 49 - Lake 10,590
July 21 - 50 - Palisade Creek
July 22 - 51 - Lake 11,600
July 23 - 52 - Climb Mt. Sill
July 24 - 53 - Lake 11,420
July 25 - 54 - Parchers Resort
July 26 - 55 - Layover
--------
July 27 - 56 - Leconte Canyon
July 28 - 57 - Hester Lake
July 29 - 58 - climb Langille Peak
July 30 - 59 - Ladder Lake
July 31 - 60 - Climb Citadel
August 1 - 61 - Lake 11,840
August 2 - 62 - climb charbydis
August 3 - 63 - Layover
August 4 - 64 - Lake 12,320
August 5 - 65 - Climb Goddard
August 6 - 66 - Climb Scylla camp at Lake 12,080
August 7 - 67 - Mcgee Lake
August 8 - 68 - Evolution Valley
August 9 - 69 - Muir Trail Ranch
--------
August 10 - 70 - Lower Desolation Lake
August 11 - 71 - Desolation Lake
August 12 - 72 - French Canyon
August 13 - 73 - Black Bear Lake
August 14 - 74 - Toe Lake
August 15 - 75 - Second Recess
August 16 - 76 - VVR
August 17 - 77 - Layover
---------
August 18 - 78 - Third Recess Lake
August 19 - 79 - Dade Lake
August 20 - 80 - Pine Creek Mine A level
August 21 - 81 - Extra Day
August 22 - 82 - Brownstone Mine
August 23 - 83 - Granite Park
August 24 - 84 - Bear Creek
August 25 - 85 - VVR
August 26 - 86 - Layover
---------
August 27 - 87 - Graveyard Lakes
August 28 - 88 - Beetlebug Lake
August 29 - 89 - Iva Bell Hotsprings
August 30 - 90 - Reds Meadow
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August 31 - 91 - Beck Lakes
September 1 - 92 - Above Nydiver Lakes
September 2 - 93 - Lake 10,680
September 3 - 94 - Layover
September 4 - 95 - Lake 11,520
September 5 - 96 - Upper Lyell Fork
September 6 - 97 - Tuolumne Meadows
---------
September 7 - 98 - Great Sierra Mine
September 8 - 99 - Cascade Lakes
September 9 - 100 - Soldier Lake
September 10 - 101 - Horse Creek
September 11 - 102 - Peeler Lake
September 12 - 103 - Benson Lake
September 13 - 104 - Layover
September 14 - 105 - Matterhorn Creek
September 15 - 106 - Glen Aulin
September 16 - 107 - Tuolumne Meadows

The beginning of the hike has low miles to account for most likely hiking on tons of snow.

Many of the numbered lakes were not listed on my maps so I clicked the nearest contour line on Mapsource for name so it may be a bit confusing.

After Little Five Lakes It's over Pyra Queen Col to Kaweah Basin and then back.

The out and back of the High Sierra Trail is so a friend of mine can do it and get back to his vehicle.

After Junction Meadow it's over Pants Pass then Lion Rock Pass and on up and over Pterodactyl Pass and across the Table Lands.

After Copper Mine Pass it's over the Whaleback - Talus Pass - Thunder Ridge. After Brewer it's over Longely Pass.

On Bubbs Creek it's over Gardiner Pass then Kings Col.

From Woods Creek it's up over White Fork Saddle then pass.

Drop down from Bench Lake hopefully by the best route the local Ranger can advise me.

I will take Cartridge Pass so I can see more of Lakes Basin.

One or two days like Lakes Basin it shows me only moving camp about a mile. This is for a layover style day.

I am going to try and cross the first saddle West of Observation Peak.

After Ladder Lake I will attempt to cross the Black Divide West of Hester Lake. If I cannot I will drop down North to the Muir Trail and make my way around to Black Giant Pass.

When leaving McGee Lake I will take a route up past the lakes East of Emerald Peak.

I'll take Third Fourth Divide out of the Third Recess and then attempt to cross the ridge to the South East in order to reach Treasure Saddle.

I have an extra day planned around the Pine Creek Mine A level to spend more time exploring the area.

I plan to do some serious exploring of Brownstone Mine after the time I spent in it in 2010.

From Granite Park it's over Italy Pass.

From the Graveyard Lakes I want to pass directly over to the North down to Peter Panda Lake then over the ridge to Beetlebug Lake.

After following the Sierra High Route to Twin Island Lakes I will move up the basin to the North of the Lakes and try to cross the ridge to the SW of Rodgers Peak into the Lyell Fork area. Then ascend up towards Lyell Col but hopefully up directly to the SE of the summit to hook around and bag the summit itself. Then descend down to Lyell Canyon.
Last edited by RoguePhotonic on Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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Re: Route Planning

Postby oldranger » Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:10 pm

Rogue

Great trip and much better snow year for ambitious itenerary. For the parts I know well your routes are reasonable. But I have a couple of questions.

1. After crossing Lion Rock Pass why do you want to lose so much elevation dropping down Tamarack Creek before heading up to Pterodactyl Pass? If you just want to see as much territory as you can, nuf said, go for it. Being basically lazy I'd head to Lion Lake Pass, Coppermine, and then work my way to Horn Col to get to the tablelands.

2. When you say below Coppermine do you mean in Deadman Canyon or above Tamarack Lake? If the latter I would not try and make my way directly to Coppermine but go to Lion lake Pass

3. After Coppermine eyeball your proposed route when you are actually there. If you have doubts you can traverse to the tarn on the N. side of Lion Lake Pass, then traverse up to Glacier Lake and go up the ridge to the e. before dropping down to the drainage e of the Whaleback. It worked for me once.

4. I don't think dropping down from Bench to intersect the old Cartridge Pass trail requires any special navigation.

Have fun!

Mike
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Re: Route Planning

Postby markskor » Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:15 pm

Once again amazed by how thorough you pre-plan everything. Personally, I have trouble scheduling anything detailed and then keeping to the plans - 50+ Sierra nights allotted this summer and still only a vague notion of what lakes to hit. Even at that, if the fish are biting, all plans are subject to immediate change.
Sounds like a great summer whatever you do Sierra-wise, but, sigh... doing all that hiking with nary a mention of fishing...the follies of youth.

Haven't really dissected your entire route but one thing does stand out:
September 11 - 102 - Peeler Lake
September 12 - 103 - Benson Lake
September 13 - 104 - Layover
September 14 - 105 - Matterhorn Creek

While Benson does have that nice sandy beach - Riviera of the Sierra – and all, during that later summertime, being as it is a somewhat lower lake, would prefer to stay Smedberg – where you have that layover day slotted – instead and layover there. BTW, some nice high lakes up there too…Rodgers stands out in my memory and always wanted to see Sister.
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Re: Route Planning

Postby Ikan Mas » Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:25 pm

I liked the beach at Benson:
Image
But I had to work for the fish.
Image

Fishing at Smedburg was better:
Image
Image
Image
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Re: Route Planning

Postby RoguePhotonic » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:16 pm

1. After crossing Lion Rock Pass why do you want to lose so much elevation dropping down Tamarack Creek before heading up to Pterodactyl Pass? If you just want to see as much territory as you can, nuf said, go for it. Being basically lazy I'd head to Lion Lake Pass, Coppermine, and then work my way to Horn Col to get to the tablelands.


You have a point. Generally I planned this because I have never been to Tamarack Lake but it might be worth doing Lion Lake and Copper Mine. I'll give it some more thought for sure.

2. When you say below Coppermine do you mean in Deadman Canyon or above Tamarack Lake? If the latter I would not try and make my way directly to Coppermine but go to Lion lake Pass


Based on miles and gains I plan to camp some where along the Deadman Canyon headwall. Maybe near the old mines even though snow cover will probably be heavy.

3. After Coppermine eyeball your proposed route when you are actually there. If you have doubts you can traverse to the tarn on the N. side of Lion Lake Pass, then traverse up to Glacier Lake and go up the ridge to the e. before dropping down to the drainage e of the Whaleback. It worked for me once.


That's the plan. I don't know where exactly to cross the Whaleback but I have some ideas. This year I am going to bring a monocular so I can study terrain as I approach it.

doing all that hiking with nary a mention of fishing...the follies of youth.


Yeah I actually at the moment anyway am planning to not bring a fishing pole at all this year. It's something I have jumped around on but with all this cross country I have been doing what I can to knock down weight. As it is I am looking at around 22 pounds base weight. Another problem is spending so much time above the fire line and being unable to cook the fish proper. I only ate fish last year a hand full of times but it does give me something to do.

The water at Benson is sure to be really low but that only makes for a bigger beach. It's certainly a nice lake to swim in.
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Re: Route Planning

Postby RoguePhotonic » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:23 am

Other then some basic fine tuning I think this will do it. If I made it back to Cedar Grove as planned and weather was looking good and I still had money enough I would just keep hiking.

September 17 - 108 - Nelson Lake
September 18 - 109 - Echo Valley
September 19 - 110 - Triple Peak Fork
September 20 - 111 - McClure Lake
September 21 - 112 - Layover
September 22 - 113 - Dike Creek
September 23 - 114 - Lake 11,360
September 24 - 115 - Climb Clyde Minaret - Cecille Lake
September 25 - 116 - Reds Meadow
September 26 - 117 - Mammoth
----------
September 27 - 118 - Deer Lakes
September 28 - 119 - Franklin Lakes
September 29 - 120 - Red and White Lake
September 30 - 121 - Mono Creek
October 1 - 122 - VVR
October 2 - 123 - Layover
----------
October 3 - 124 - Blayney Hotsprings
October 4 - 125 - Colby Meadow
October 5 - 126 - Lake 10.360
October 6 - 127 - Cartridge Creek
October 7 - 128 - Marion Lake
October 8 - 129 - Muro Blanco
October 9 - 130 - Upper Paradise Valley
October 10 - 131 - Cedar Grove

I would go up Dike Creek to Mcdonald Pass then up to the small lake West of Clyde Minaret and over South Notch. The High Sierra Map says South Notch needs an ice axe. Would this still be true late September? It would suck to have to carry the thing for pretty much the whole trip.

Leaving Mammoth would be up onto the Mammoth Crest. Then over Pika Pass and Franklin Col. From there over Pace Col.

I would hitch a ride again from VVR to Florence and go from there.

After taking Cartridge Creek to Marion Lake I would take Petes Col into the Muro Blanco.
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Re: Route Planning

Postby oldranger » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:43 am

Rogue,

FYI--McClure Lake has a dam and will be sure to have a large ring around it this year as the water is sure to be low. If you want a lake consider Lower Isberg or Sadler (does get a lot of stock use earlier in the year, though). Lower Isberg will be same distance to next destination and Sadler a little closer.

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Re: Route Planning

Postby RoguePhotonic » Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:15 pm

Any one of them will do. Just a nice place to relax and recover for a day.

My goal this year is to go longer without resupply to spend more time in the wild. It will save me allot of money that I would spend hanging around resorts. Last year I think I spent about 2600 dollars while on the trail.

I did layover days at resorts to get my GPS batteries charged up but this year I am going to bring a Brunton Solaris 4 which hopefully will be enough to keep things charged in the field.
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Re: Route Planning

Postby Jimr » Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:28 pm

What portion is your dad joining you?
What?!
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Re: Route Planning

Postby RoguePhotonic » Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:43 pm

Right now he isn't. After last years hike his knee was giving him allot of problems and after he joined me for another couple of days in September it has taken up until now for him to fully recover and he is afraid to do any more harm. Also he started a new job that is not going to allow for the time off like the old one did so I don't think he will be making it out at all.

I have given offers to a number of other people that if they wanted to join me they can. If someone does decide to I will probably be turning one of these sections into a loop for them. Some of them of course cannot be looped in any reasonable way but others like leaving Parchers and into the Ionian Basin I would be willing to go back out to Parchers for resupply and then plan something from there.
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Re: Route Planning

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:14 pm

Well, for those who think Rogue over-plans, you probably would think I needed to be sent to the loony bin. I actually have a spreadsheet that calculates daily mileage, estimated travel rate, elevation gain and loss, etc. I subdivide the route into small increments and then do a million different combinations until I get an optimum plan. This excercise really makes me study the maps and when I am done, whether I follow my plan or not, I could loose my map and be OK as I just about have everything memorized. I like my list with the small increments, because if I get to a point and think about going farther, I already have everything figured out and down in writing, including the estimated time.

A few observations:

Three times I have made it to Hamilton Lake in a day. It is just a preference of mine. I really hate Bearpaw. I would rather work hard one day and get to spectacular Hamilton Lake. You certainly can make it back from Hamilton lake to Wolverton since your pack would be light.

The drop to Tamarak is very tricky (lots of cliffs that do not show up on the map). I did it as a day hike and would not want to do it with a full pack. Tamarak is pretty, though. The view down valley from above Tamarak is spectacular. But, you get nearly as good a view from Elizabeth Pass.

At Wallace Creek you would be really missing out if you did not spend a day going up to Wales and Wallace Lakes.

At Gutair Lake, it is well worth an afternoon hike up to Arctic Lakes.

South Guard to Reflection Lake- Longley Pass is a bit more than Class 1. The problem is getting all the way to Reflection. I really got hung up when I descended on the left (north) side of the drainage. Perhaps the south side would be better. There are lots of little slot canyons and cliffls. It also took me three tries to get around Reflection lake. Again, lots of back-up and find other routes on the slabs. The south side is talus and has one cliff that may not be passable. It is my understanding that you have to negotiate the slabs on the north side.

The lake below Scylla to McGee Lake in a day is streching it. There are tons of ugly talus around Davis Lake.

For me, Sky Pilot Col was one of the worst passes on the High Route. It probalbly scared the daylights out of me more than any other pass. It is STEEP dirt, hard dirt, with a coating of ball bearing sand. The north side is horrible loose scree and boulders. The drainage to Shepherd Lake can be miserable in a low snow year. Shepherd Lake is beautiful. Really wish I would have camped there. So if you cannot make it to Soldier Lake, Sheperd is a really good second choice.

Mc Clure Lake is really ugly. I made a special point to drop down to it last year and was SO disappointed! Rather than camp there I continued up and over to Porphory Lake. If you are into geology, Porphory Lake is really cool. Also, from Isberg Pass, forget the stupid switchbacks, and just go down x-country.
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Re: Route Planning

Postby RoguePhotonic » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:23 pm

Three times I have made it to Hamilton Lake in a day. It is just a preference of mine. I really hate Bearpaw. I would rather work hard one day and get to spectacular Hamilton Lake. You certainly can make it back from Hamilton lake to Wolverton since your pack would be light.


I don't really mind Bear Paw with all the Deer but I also have done both to and from Hamilton in one day. I'm not sure how easy it would be though that first time since I would have 14 days of food. I might decide to go all the way back instead of staying at Mehrten Creek though.

At Wallace Creek you would be really missing out if you did not spend a day going up to Wales and Wallace Lakes


Yes I have been to Wallace Lake. Great fishing for sure but the route was planned based on my friends schedule and just the idea of the High Sierra Trail out and back. I do want to get back to this area and do a summit of Russell from the North but resupply is more difficult on the East side of SEKI. Your only options seem to be illegal stashing at trail heads, pack station support, get Doug to take a package to Whitney Portal, get someone to meet you or hitch hike into towns. None of those options I like too much although I have done illegal stashing at the trail heads a couple times.

Good to know with Longely Pass. I'll just have to see what it looks like when I get there and see if I can find a decent way.

The lake below Scylla to McGee Lake in a day is streching it. There are tons of ugly talus around Davis Lake.


That bad huh? The route I was going to take is about 5 miles even. I was thinking of dropping down from Wanda Pass and hiking along the ridge between Wanda and Davis Lakes until it climbs up to a small peak so I could get a nice view and then drop down to McGee.

As for Sky Pilot Col maybe I will bring a bit of extra food for that section just in case it becomes slower then I had planned.

Mc Clure Lake is really ugly. I made a special point to drop down to it last year and was SO disappointed! Rather than camp there I continued up and over to Porphory Lake. If you are into geology, Porphory Lake is really cool. Also, from Isberg Pass, forget the stupid switchbacks, and just go down x-country.


That is 0 for 2 on McClure lake. I will pick another lake for sure. I do love interesting geology but Porphyry Lake is on the other side of Post Peak Pass. I'll probably try for something in the fire line.

Thanks for all the info.
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