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south lake north lake loop question

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south lake north lake loop question

Postby Mradford » Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:27 pm

Hey guys, I am wondering about a north lake over lamarck into darwin canyon over to dusy basin over bishop pass to south lake loop. Can this be done in 3 days? Seems like it to me!

Thanks.



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Re: south lake north lake loop question

Postby windknot » Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:16 am

Hate to be pessimistic, but I'm going to say no. Yes, it's technically possible, but you'll be spending all of your time hiking and won't have any time to relax/fish/enjoy the scenery. Heck, even fitting in a good trip to Darwin Canyon wouldn't be an easy undertaking in a three-day format if you want a lot of time to fish (but would certainly be much more doable). Unless you think you can make it all the way over Lamarck on the first day (bit of a haul, if you ask me), that means two days into the canyon, and then the third day out. This would actually give you several hours on the second day to fish, and I'll just say that it's worth spending some time in here.
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Re: south lake north lake loop question

Postby Mike M. » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:35 am

A more enjoyable three-day option would be to hike over Piute Pass, then enter Darwin Basin from The Keyhole and exit at Lamarck Col. You would have time for a day hike down to Evolution Valley if you wanted.

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Re: south lake north lake loop question

Postby Mradford » Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:01 pm

windknot wrote:Hate to be pessimistic, but I'm going to say no. Yes, it's technically possible, but you'll be spending all of your time hiking and won't have any time to relax/fish/enjoy the scenery. Heck, even fitting in a good trip to Darwin Canyon wouldn't be an easy undertaking in a three-day format if you want a lot of time to fish (but would certainly be much more doable). Unless you think you can make it all the way over Lamarck on the first day (bit of a haul, if you ask me), that means two days into the canyon, and then the third day out. This would actually give you several hours on the second day to fish, and I'll just say that it's worth spending some time in here.


Thats kind of what i was thinking.

Thanks guys!
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Re: south lake north lake loop question

Postby BrianF » Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:48 pm

Could be done in three days if you go fast and far each day. I have gone over Lamark to Darwin lakes in one day a few times with a 45lb pack and it was a tiring day, fast and light you could probably make it to Evolution basin. Right now tho' is not a good bet for fast and light - short days, cold nights and chance of snow for the rest of this week.
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Re: south lake north lake loop question

Postby maverick » Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:10 pm

Hi Mradford,

Have done this before, but it was done in 3 days because of the lack of time off.
It really offers so much too see/do that anything less than 5 days is a waste
unless of coarse your are hell bent on doing it, and 3 days is all you have.
Driving several hours too pick up your permit, getting over Lamarck Col, and down
too the lakes in Darwin Canyon makes for a pretty long day, altitude and
conditioning could be an issue for some.
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south lake north lake loop question

Postby Bluewater » Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:52 pm

There is a good trip report by a guy who did a very similar route in 3 days/2 nights (total of 47 hours) although he stayed on trail from north lake to south lake. He went with minimal gear but did bring a tent, down jacket and full rain gear. Definitely no time for fishing.

http://www.caseyandemily.com/backpack/2 ... thLake.htm

+1 re taking some time to enjoy the route. My wife and I did it in 4 nights this summer which allowed for swimming, nice long dinner breaks and sleeping in.

If you're interested here's a link to a trip report from this season where a group of 5 made it from the north lake t/h to evolution lake the first day.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin ... d_id=66010

I agree a shorter x/c trip might be more fun. Weather permitting I'm planning a 3 night trip next week in the area. Easy 1st day out of Lake Sabrina t/h to Midnight Lake. Over Haeckel Col to Evolution Lake or Darwin Bench on day 2. Over Darwin Col back to Midnight Lake day 3. Then out by lunch the last day.
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Re: south lake north lake loop question

Postby quentinc » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:24 pm

I've made it to Evolution Lake on day 1 also, but three days in a row of that sort of death march would be really miserable. And I've been over Lamarck dozens of times, so I didn't have to feel like I was racing past spectacular sights I'd never see again.
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Re: south lake north lake loop question

Postby xshift28x » Thu Jun 20, 2013 1:30 pm

Could this be done better in 4 days? I'm looking for a good 4 day 3 night trip and hoping I could work this loop in as it. Any suggestions on how to break it down and where to camp?
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Re: south lake north lake loop question

Postby ManOfTooManySports » Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:21 pm

1) North Lake over Lamarck to Darwin Canyon
2) to Sapphire Lake (might as well stop at the best lake than push it to Wanda)
3) to Lower Pete Meadows
4) out over Bishop Pass

The two middle days are the least hard, but all days are still long without time to really enjoy it. And you are at risk if the weather goes bad.
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Re: south lake north lake loop question

Postby Hobbes » Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:53 am

I'm planning on doing it in 3 nights in a few weeks. Actually 4 if I count the first night just getting up to N Lake, shuttling my car to S Lake, and making it to the the upper Larmarck lake (2.5 miles) by late afternoon:

D1: Larmarck - Wanda 12 miles, 8-9 hrs @ 1.4-5 miles per hour
D2: Wanda - LeConte, 11 miles, 6-7 hrs @ 1.7 mph
D3: Dusy - S Lake, 13 miles, 7-8 hrs @ 1.7-8 mph

On all my trips, I carefully track my time (mileage is already plotted on maps), not just for the day, but for each particular section. After building up a pretty good reference base for all kinds of x-c terrain & tails, I have a pretty good idea of what it takes for me to get somewhere.

For instance, my estimated D1 avg of 1.4-5 mph is actually composed of two sections:
Lamarck @ .85 mph
Evo - Wanda lake @ 1.8 mph

These time estimates are actually all padded - in reality, I generally keep going, oftentimes walking 20 miles on the last day to just get out.
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Re: south lake north lake loop question

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:55 am

I have a spreadsheet that calculates estimated travel time given miles, elevation gain, and my own personal travel rate, based on previous experience with trail, off-trail, etc. I know it sounds kind of geeky, but it does answer the question of how feasible a proposed route is. I too "pad" my rate - would rather overestimate the difficulty than underestimate and get stranded. For everyone with a spreadsheet software and especially if you have a map program that easily does profiles, this is something you can easily do. In order to refine my personal travel rates, when I return from a trip, I then adjust the travel rate to match the actual time it took me for each segment of the trip. Over time you get a really good idea of how far you can go. In fact, for shorter trips, I often can skip the actual calculations.

As I get older, I find that daylight hours usually exceed my energy! So I no longer can "plan" a 12 hour day. My old body just does not do this very well anymore. If I want to enjoy a trip I plan to stop at 3-4 in the afternoon so I can explore without my pack on, wash up and photograph in the good late afternoon light. (I am an early riser so can easily get on the trail by 7-8AM).
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