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Fish Creek / Cascade Valley ???

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Fish Creek / Cascade Valley ???

Postby intrek38 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:32 am

Any Advice anyone may have on this upcoming trip I have planned ???

I'm planning a week long trip to the Cascade Valley from July19th though the 27th. I hiked this area last year and very familiar with this area from a list of (10 ) other trips. I'm gonna try to go a little off trail to keep it interesting so as always, it should turn out to be a different trip altogether. The 10,000 plus down tree situation from last winters storm will defintly/positively play a roll in my route. The upper Fish Creek / Cascade Valley regions are in the process of being cleared at this time and should make thing interesting enough. I'll be solo (4th time out) and not be taking any chances with anything to difficult. If I have to, I'll just turn around and choose a different route..Not that I plan on using it, but I'll have a PLB with me for emergencies. As of now my pack weight fully loaded for 7 days is at 35 lbs. I feel I'm in OK shape but will takeing it slow the first day or two.

Day 1 ,19th
Drive to Mammoth, get permit and take a short hike to Skelton Lake from the Coldwater Creek Trailhead. Camp

Day 2, 20th
Hike over Duck Pass, down to Duck Lake outlet, and try to hike down the creek to Fish Creek. If it doesn't seem doable (to steep) and depending on weather, I'll hike back up and take the JMT over to Purple Lake and make my way down the trail to fish creek. I'm planning to Camp along Fish Creek or Lost Key's Lake. If I'm up for it ????, I might even choose to hike up to Beetlebug Lake and Camp. A lot will depend on how I feel and of course, the downed tree situation.

Day 3, 21st
Hike to Beetlebug Lake, then backtrack on the trail over to Olive Lake. Camp there for the night.

Day 4, 22nd
Hike over to Peter Pande Lake, then back down Minnow Creek off trail past the Pick & Shovel mine on my way to Brave Lake, then off trail over Fish Creek and if possible, try to hike up Hortense Creek to the Hortense Lake. Camp .

Day 5, 23rd
Hike down and over to Cotton & Tully Lake area and then on over to Lee and Cecil Lakes and Camp there for the night.

Day 6, 24th
Work my way North cross country up and over to Franklin & Ram lake, Camp. May choose to just take the trail past Virgina Lake to Franklin instead.

Day 7, 25th
Could possibly hike over Pika Pass to Pika Lake. More then likley, I'll probably just play it safe and hike down to the JMT by Purple lake then over to Duck Lake and camp at Pika Lake.

Day 8, 26th
Hike out and drive home.

Questionable Routes subject to change..
??Down Duck Creek to Fish Creek??
Alternative, Hike the trail down from Purple Lake


??Up Hortense Creek to Hortense Lake??
Or just continue north through Tully Hole up to Hortense Lake

??Tully or Cecil Lake and North up to Franklin Lake??
Or just hike the JMT to Virginia Lake and then up.

??Over Pika Pass to Pika Lake??
Or just hike the trail from Purple to Duck Lake

Due to the down tree situation, I may just have to hike the route I have chosen in reverse and probably stay on the North side of Fish Creek altogether. I may however, try to access Peter Pande / Olive Lake from the JMT coming off the Silver Pass.



Thanks for any advice you may have.
Be safe and enjoy...
Bruce...



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Re: Fish Creek / Cascade Valley ???

Postby maverick » Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:58 pm

Intrek38 wrote:
Questionable Routes subject to change..
??Down Duck Creek to Fish Creek??
Alternative, Hike the trail down from Purple Lake


??Up Hortense Creek to Hortense Lake??
Or just continue north through Tully Hole up to Hortense Lake

??Tully or Cecil Lake and North up to Franklin Lake??
Or just hike the JMT to Virginia Lake and then up.

??Over Pika Pass to Pika Lake??
Or just hike the trail from Purple to Duck Lake


Definitely the Purple Creek route, piece of cake especially compared to the Duck
Creek route. Duck Creek one the other hand should not be done following the
creek because you'll run into some inpassible cliffs starting at around the 9600 level.
Instead if you descend the trail from Duck Lake a little ways there is a point in the trail
where it starts to bend ever so slightly eastward at around 10400 and starts to gain
elevation slightly that is the point where there you leave the trail and head south
to a rock out crop which one follows down in a ravine/ramp down to Fish, but do not
veer off to far eastward because there are cliffs again at 9600 just east again. This is the approximate route on our HST Map: HST Map

I prefer the Hortense Creek route.

Definitely take the JMT route to get to Franklin. Franklin Col is very steep on its
northern side and a class 2-3 pass, and would not recommend you doing this route
unless you enjoy gnarly, painful routes.

Same goes for Pika, though easier than Franklin, it too is very steep, but on its southern
side. You will be able to check it out some what from the Glen Lake area, and make
a decision at the time whether you are comfortable doing it or not. Trail is longer but
faster and safer.
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: Fish Creek / Cascade Valley ???

Postby freestone » Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:25 pm

I visited Lee and Cecil lakes during a tremendous heat wave in late September of 2010. My impression of this basin is that it was heavily visited by stock parties in years past but no longer. It now seems out of the way and seldom visited despite the fact that both lakes were quite scenic and well populated with Rainbows to 14 inches. The "pothole" topography of this region must make it a mosquito hell in the early season which may explain in part why it is no longer frequently visited.

Cecil from my campsite.
Image

Lee.
Image

Another campsite view at Cecil.
Image

My access to this area was via McGee Pass which was not mentioned as an option in your itinerary. If you decide to visit Cecil, you will not be disappointed, there is plenty of scenery and isolation to be found.
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Re: Fish Creek / Cascade Valley ???

Postby jessegooddog » Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:39 pm

If you take the creekside trail towards Emerald Lake on your way to Skelton, look for the little Dipper, or Water Ouzel, the singing little gray sierra bird that walks under water! I always see at least one flying along the stream. Your trip sounds awesome.
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Re: Fish Creek / Cascade Valley ???

Postby intrek38 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:50 pm

Thanks Mav for the tips on Duck Creek, I've been wondering about that route but having Purple Creek as a back up helps. I went down that trail last year and there a lot of nice size tree's in that area. Sounds like it got hit hard with last years wind which in one way makes me think of going elsewhere but then my curiosity has got the best of me and I just gotta go check it out. Also, thanks to freestones comment on the 14 “ rainbows, I'll definitely have to check that out as well. And Jesse, I've seen a lot of those dippers over by Olive Lake along with a lot of other species. Looking forward to it all... Thanks Everyone
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