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Edith Lake TR 5/24-27

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Edith Lake TR 5/24-27

Postby fourputt » Wed May 30, 2012 7:33 pm

I wanted to "improve" on an Edith Lake trip I did with a buddy in July 2005 by 1) going earlier (this is the year) to avoid record heat waves, and 2) making Edith in 2 days with a layover to fish and dayhike the falls. I overcompensated on the weather and was forced to substitute layover [in]activities.

(See viewtopic.php?f=6&t=838&p=5870.)

I drove up Wednesday evening getting to the gate before 9 p.m. and stayed at the Hetch Hetchy backpackers campground, a really nice spot in a Day-Use Only area -- very quiet with only one other party as far as I could tell. Maybe others were paying attention to unfavorable forecasts.

Thursday was fine and clear and I started up the trail before 8 a.m. accompanied at one point by the cascading notes of a Canyon Wren (http://birdweb.org/birdweb/bird/canyon_wren), one my favorite bird songs. Though you rarely see them, higher up you hear Mountain Quail (http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Moun ... ail/sounds).

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Snags all the way from Beehive to Laurel Lake where I turned off the trail to the rim of Kendrick Creek canyon. Great views from the top with the large tarn we camped at in '05 immediately below. I don't remember spotting the falls previously so we must've been lower ... or too baked to notice.

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The hiking is mostly over exposed granite with stretches of thick brush. A similar scratchy experience is the Cherry Creek "Niche" route several miles to the NW. I wanted to make Lake 5728' but stopped a little short at a campsite we previously spotted on the creek at about 5 p.m. That evening a large blond bear wander down the brush to within 50' of my camp before we were aware of each other.

I must've been tired because I didn't notice it cloud up that night and woke Friday to complete overcast racing overhead and clouds rolling up the canyon behind me. Oh yeah, the forecast. Back to Laurel Lake which would probably mean hiking all the way out, or continue and hope that the ones that had it blowing through by Saturday were right? I packed up by 7 a.m. and continued on knowing there sheltered spots along the way should it come to that. It was cold with occasional drops but held off as I headed up the canyon.

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Lake 5728' and campsite.

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Water over the rocks on right makes a nice shower in warmer weather.

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Steaming tarn with lone Bufflehead.

I made Edith by 11 a.m. and camped at the one good campsite on the southeast. I battened down and lit a fire. It started snowing by one o'clock but wasn't sticking much. It broke for a few hours starting at five then continued steady through the night. Luckily there as another short break for breakfast on Saturday but started even heavier through the day till 4 p.m. So much for the most favorable forecasts. It's amazing how much you can nap when there's nothing else to do except re-read Chekhov plays (that's not a literary opinion). Saturday evening turned out to be the end of the storm, but a fire was impossible that night.

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This is getting boring so I take pictures of dinner:

One-Pot Dal-Bhat -- my lightest and most compact recipe makes a surprisingly big slug o' food

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1/2 c Rice
1/2 c Red Lentils
~ 1/2 tsp each Turmeric, Ground Cumin, Coriander, Ginger; Red Pepper flakes or Cayenne to taste
large Garlic clove
Olive Oil
Knorr Bouillon
4 c H2O

Sauté minced garlic in oil, add H2O, rice, lentils, spices and bouillon, bring to boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook ~25 mins (30 at 10K').

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Macaroni w/home-made Pesto with lots of Parmesan

Sunday was clear so I fished for an hour with no results; the trout were drying out gear too.

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I needed to make back by early Monday afternoon so I started out at 11 a.m. I had dinner and breakfast to camp near Beehive but figured I could make all 15 mi. in 9 hours. I was certainly rested enough. The first off-trail miles at least are interesting.

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Looking up towards saddle to Frog Creek. Not too steep but to stay off wet spots.

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Maybe some other day.

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Edith and Nance

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Top of saddle with foot of Jack Main peeking over.

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We passed to the S of the large tarns in '05. I circled to the north on exposed granite.

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It's a level 3/4 mi. traverse SE from broad saddle E of biggest tarn to the trail. I followed this guy's tracks for a way and had a late lunch at the top of Moraine Ridge where a Bald Eagle made a few passes.

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I don't remember Moraine Ridge being so burnt. Was there a fire since 2005?

Ranger Tran checked my permit at Beehive. She said I could camp at the HH BP campground but by this time I was sure I'd make the trailhead by 8 p.m.

Good hiking all. Early looks good this year.
Last edited by fourputt on Wed May 30, 2012 10:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: Edith Lake TR 5/24-27

Postby jessegooddog » Wed May 30, 2012 8:35 pm

Truly an interesting and entertaining trail report, beautiful shots of such gorgeous country (I must board my dog sometime and hike the west side) and I especially enjoyed the bird reports. Imagine the bigger numbers in Muir's day; I find the forest so silent. Where are the thrushes and white crowns, mountain bluebirds and warblers? On a hike to Long Lake out of Bishop this weekend I only heard or saw 5 birds in 4 hours, very depressing.
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Re: Edith Lake TR 5/24-27

Postby windknot » Wed May 30, 2012 8:50 pm

Thanks for the report and pictures! Looks like a great trip, weather notwithstanding.
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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Re: Edith Lake TR 5/24-27

Postby Jason » Thu May 31, 2012 9:22 am

Fantastic trip report. Thanks!
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Re: Edith Lake TR 5/24-27

Postby maverick » Thu May 31, 2012 9:31 am

Thanks Fourputt for the great TR and pictures too a place not very often visited it
bought back some fun bushwacking memories.
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: Edith Lake TR 5/24-27

Postby TehipiteTom » Thu May 31, 2012 12:29 pm

Excellent report, great pictures; brings back lots o'memories (says the guy who was fourputt's buddy on the 2005 trip).
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Re: Edith Lake TR 5/24-27

Postby fourputt » Thu May 31, 2012 1:00 pm

Thanks all.

Late Spring in the sub alpine zone is the best for bird songs and wildlife in general. Most of the time it's incredible and worth chancing sub-optimal conditions. And of course like many I still tend to regard clear Sierra skies as a birthright.
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Re: Edith Lake TR 5/24-27

Postby SSSdave » Thu May 31, 2012 1:27 pm

Classic Memorial Day foul weather. One MD back in early 80s we actually got caught without tents in one of those storms along your route. Bivouac'ed near Laural Lake at the big frog pond near the rim of the canyon. Was a rock outcrop with an overhang and no flat place below but we managed. Unpleasant.
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Re: Edith Lake TR 5/24-27

Postby sparky » Thu May 31, 2012 4:08 pm

Up canyon from Edith looks SO FUN! I really hope to explore this area soon.

Scrambling yosemite granite is tops in my book.

Thanks for the trip report!
There is a million ways to be human, all are worthwhile.

True happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.
-Chuang Tzu.
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Re: Edith Lake TR 5/24-27

Postby kpeter » Thu May 31, 2012 9:38 pm

Thank you for that wonderful trip report. I will be headed to that vicinity (Boundary Lake) in a week and it really helps to see the conditions.
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Re: Edith Lake TR 5/24-27

Postby giantbrookie » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:56 pm

Wow I can't believe I missed this report last year. Anyone who has ever been to Edyth knows that ANY trip to that place has an epic nature. The route,itinerary, and photos bring back such fond memories of my May (5/14-17) 1992 trip there with my wife and a friend (very similar except Bearup was part of the trip, too). What a stupendous place that is, the crown jewel of the "Bermuda Triangle" (trailless NW Yosemite). Anyhow, I'm glad this was brought to the front, because I missed this last year.
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
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Re: Edith Lake TR 5/24-27

Postby michaelsmith » Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:54 am

Edith Lake is a small alpine lake in Custer County, Idaho, United States, located high in Central Idaho Sawtooth National Recreation Area.Järvi is approximately 16.5 miles (26.6 km) south of Stanley.Polkua Yellow Belly Lake and Pettit Lake trailheads leading towards the lake Edith Farley Lake. Nama trailheads access to State Highway 75 via Sawtooth National Forest road 208.
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