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SHR side trip and alternate route questions

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Re: SHR side trip and alternate route questions

Postby The hermit » Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:08 pm

Thanks for the encouragement WD. Roper makes that first day seem like a death march.
Coming from sea level with a full pack is always hard now it seems doable to at least get to grouse lake on day one



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Re: SHR side trip and alternate route questions

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:08 am

I agree that the Copper Creek trail from Roads End is very easy to do even though it has so much gain. An early start is a must though or you will be hurting from the heat.

Water up at Upper Tent Meadow because it's pretty much the last source of water before your close to Grouse Lake.
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Re: SHR side trip and alternate route questions

Postby TehipiteTom » Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:48 am

Another vote for the Copper-Creek-trail-ain't-so-bad side here. Just keep plodding and you'll get there.
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Re: SHR side trip and alternate route questions

Postby Ska-T » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:09 am

IMO the SHR is much more enjoyable, as well as easier and safer, if your pack weight is light ( say, less than 30lb with bear canister on Day 1 of 7). For an August trip in a lower than normal snow pack year, a light pack makes the difficult passes merely strenuous. For most people comfortable on class 3 terrain there is no reason to avoid Frozen Lake Pass or Snow Tongue Pass, although a heavy pack can make class 3 seem like class 4. Traveling from Roads End to North Lake is going to involve carrying a lot of food and will increase pack weight. The first leg of the SHR has a lot of up and down and when you get to Dusy Basin you may wish you had planned to resupply via Bishop Pass.

Dogs that can do class 2 talus, and lots of it, should be able to to get from Piute to Reds.

If the Tuolumne to Twin Lakes section is too tame then substitute a Mineral King to Kings Canyon section like:
http://sierrahiker.home.comcast.net/~si ... index.html
or
http://climber.org/reports/1985/339.html
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Re: SHR side trip and alternate route questions

Postby urnotreal » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:37 pm

So I've now secured 6 weeks off of work so I have a lot of room to play. For logistics reasons (and a good warm-up), I'll be starting at Onion Valley. I was originally thinking of starting light and picking up a package in Cedar Grove, but now, skipping that and resupplying in South Lake makes more sense as it will make it easier to take my time exploring Kid Lakes and Dumbell/Amphitheater basins along the way (I'm still not sure whether to run Dumbell>Cataract Creek>Upper Basin Crossing or Dumbell>north to Lake 10,565>down to Palisade Creek). Also, by making South Lake>North Lake its own leg, I'll be able to take a few days to check out Ionian Basin as well.

As for time on the trail, I'm in agreement with you, Wandering Daisy. Arriving at camp by 3-4 is ideal. I'm not afraid of a long day here and there, but I prefer to find a spot, set it up, then spend a few hours exploring/fishing/photographing the area to get a real feel for the environment into which I've immersed myself. It is home after all, even if only for a night or two.

I appreciate the suggestion on including a southern section. I've been completely ignoring that area (research wise) up until now. A quick look at the links has definitely gotten me interested, though. These are areas that need to be seen, if not this summer, then sometime in the future.
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Re: SHR side trip and alternate route questions

Postby ManOfTooManySports » Fri May 10, 2013 11:21 am

A little late to the party.... I've been looking at older threads for info on the leg of the SHR from Thousand Island Lake to TM, which we're planning to do in late July. All these suggestions are great. I'm hoping to go over "Foerster Ridge" (Secor) into the upper part of Lyell Fork. I was there decades ago and a return is on my bucket list.

Regarding the Ionian Basin, definitely do a search on this site. We went through there last year and others have trip reports from there. I also posted some info on Black Giant Pass and Wanda Pass. Neither are easy, but they are very doable. You sound like you're capable and able to manage the Ionian Basin, which is a serious endeavor. Skipping Muir Pass to get in that basin is a worthwhile trade IMHO.

Good luck!
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Re: SHR side trip and alternate route questions

Postby ManOfTooManySports » Fri May 10, 2013 4:33 pm

So, we're planning to do some of this part of the SHR in late July:

1) TM up Lyell Canyon to "Lyell Base Camp"
2) Over Donahue and Island Pass; try to get to Lake Catherine
3) Up Ritter (bucket list item) - to Twin Island Lakes if possible
4) To Blue Lake
5) Over Blue Lake Pass then either take the Isberg Pass Trail and head east up into the Lyell Fork basin or go over "Foerster Ridge" into the Lyell Fork basin (bucket list item)
6) To Lewis Creek
7) Over Vogelsang Pass to Tuolumne Meadows

Any advice? We figure this will be challenging but less rigorous than our trek last year (South Lake to North Lake with swings through the Ionian Basin Davis Lakes Basin and heading out over Lamarck Col). But I'm still a bit concerned with the XC after Lake Catherine.

Any information on a direct route from Blue Lake/Blue Lake Pass to the upper part of the Lyell Fork would be very much appreciated!
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Re: SHR side trip and alternate route questions

Postby John Dittli » Fri May 10, 2013 5:45 pm

The XC past Catherine can be tricky, but that's the fun of it. Stay right following weaknesses as you work your way down from the basin below Catherine to Twin Island; cliffs to the left!

TI to Bench- there is pretty much only one weakness into Bench. Turn the corner at about 10,300.

As far as crossing directly over the "Merced Range" into the Lyell Fk, I have done that thru a small notch just east of Mt Ansel Adams via the north fork Bench Canyon. This was on skis so I'm not sure how it would be in summer; it is a steep chute on the north side. Other than Blue Lake Col there is Harriet Pass which is my favorite way across, very scenic.

Foerster ridge is best passed up high next to the peak at ~11,240. Been over that thing four times now and the only problem I've had is dropping off a 10' cornice on the north side (shouldn't be a problem in summer).

I don't think it's all that much more difficult than the Ionian/Davis loop, just a couple of places you need to hit right.

John
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Re: SHR side trip and alternate route questions

Postby John Dittli » Sun May 12, 2013 7:08 am

here are some photos of the Lyell Fk area that might help. They have snow, but you can still get an idea of terrain.
1205_ 901_D1L.jpg
Foerster Pass (right)
1205_ 882_D1L.jpg
Foerster Pass
1205_ 887_D1L.jpg
Foerster Pass
1205_ 889_D1A.jpg
Ansel Adams col (left)
1205_ 902_D1A.jpg
Ansel Adams col
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Re: SHR side trip and alternate route questions

Postby urnotreal » Sun May 12, 2013 2:52 pm

So Upper Lyell Fork and Hutchings Creek Basins are still on my agenda as well. I read somewhere that the saddle just east of Peak 11210 (straight west of Mt Ansel Adams) may be an alternative to Foerster Ridge. It looks like a stroll on the south side, and the elevation is a good bit lower than Foerster Ridge, though the descent into Upper Lyell Fork may not be as spectacular. Has anyone been this way?

Also, is "Harriet Pass" the next saddle south of Blue Lake Pass or is it somewhere on the long ridge to the north of Long Mountain? I can't find much mention of it anywhere (books or internet), but I was hoping to check out Harriet Lake anyway, so this may be the way to do it.

As for Ionian Basin, Manoftoomanysports, I've definitely checked out your report and found it to be quite helpful (thanks for that!). That place just looks to be really unique and I'm pretty excited to see it in person. As of now, I'm looking to go in over Black Giant Pass, through Martha and Davis to McGee Lakes, and out over McGee Pass to Sapphire Lake, though It's good to know that Wanda and Davis Lakes Passes are available if need be.

Thanks again
Pete
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Re: SHR side trip and alternate route questions

Postby markskor » Sun May 12, 2013 4:58 pm

Never have done this entire route but – Maybe because it did not have a fancy name back then.

Catherine to Upper Three Island, stayed high, almost due West – hitting the Northern TI Lake from above…slab and talus (mostly around Catherine) but a class 2 stroll.

From Harriet, wanted to see Rockbound, Blue and Bench Canyon. From Upper Harriet (the most eastern Harriet) went SE, crossing the crest at the gap, (Pass name?) just north of Long Mountain – east then northeast (never got down to Rockbound) and made my way up to Blue Lake – magic place.…again Talus slab but obvious class 2/3 route up… my way up to Blue, actually bit messy; the route on the way back came easier but both solo doable...returned to Harriet the same way the next day.

Last year at Harriet again, this time with the OldRanger, he described his past route to Blue/Bench Canyon as crossing a little north of the Harriet’s – ridge 11,200. He said that is where the SHR crosses over but to me, just looking at things from Harriet, my way looked easier and was slightly lower in elevation.
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Re: SHR side trip and alternate route questions

Postby John Dittli » Sun May 12, 2013 5:03 pm

I've never been thru lower on Foerster ridge. I've skied to the low spot and it always has a huge cornice on the north side (even last May). I don't seem to have a photo showing it.

I've used "Harriet Pass" summer and winter, nice walk. It's the low spot just north of Long Mountain.

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