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Twin Island Lakes to Thousand Island Lake- info needed

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Re: Twin Island Lakes to Thousand Island Lake- info needed

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:40 am

Both your route and mine go to the little valley at the confluence of the creek from Ritter Lakes and an unnamed creek from the north. Did you see the old cable? The reason I showed my route from below was that the question referred to coming up from Hemlock Crossing. From the valley at the creek confluence, if you simply want to get to Catharine Lake, Roper's route is more direct. I often take odd routes just to see and photograph stuff. I am in no way saying my route is easier or shorter. I really like Ritter Lakes and think you should at least drop your pack at the outlet of Catherine Lake, and day-hike/side trip to some of the other lakes. These lakes are hard to get to and you are right there! Finding a campsite at Ritter Lakes, however, is difficult. Flat ground free of rocks is in short supply. I have camped two nights at Ritter lakes, one on the bench above the north-northeast shore and once on the saddle between the large southern lake and unnamed lake to the north (a real wind tunnel!).



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Re: Twin Island Lakes to Thousand Island Lake- info needed

Postby Pietro257 » Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:32 am

Interesting discussion! That there is a use trail through this area amazes me. That someone actually built it is doubly amazing. Why did they build it? What did they hope to find?

The route I describe, I believe, is Roper's route. All I know from my two times going from Lake Catherine to Twin Island Lakes is that, two hundred yards southeast of Lake Catherine, you hit a dangerous-looking dropoff. Getting away from the stream seems like a very good idea.

I'm going to be in this area next week (I'm camping at Garnet Lake and will take a day-hike to Lake Catherine). Maybe I'll head to the Ritter Lakes and see if I can find this use trail. Future hikers would be very grateful to us if we could give them instructions in how to find the use trail from Lake Catherine and how to find it from below.

The use trail from North Glacier Pass to Thousand Island Lake stays near the stream. It isn't hard to find it my experience.

And to get around Lake Catherine, go on the north side. It's much easier.
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Re: Twin Island Lakes to Thousand Island Lake- info needed

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:52 am

I suspect there are several use-trails from North Glacier Pass to Thousand Island Lake. The only way NOT to go is to stay too far north of the stream and get stuck in the large talus field below the pass. If you find one of the use-trails you should not get into talus until you are on the Catherine Lake side.

I would think that the use trail below Ritter Lakes is an old historical trail made for mining purposes. I found a large (maybe 2"diameter rusted cable) and saw several rock piles that looked like old mines. I have not researched the area for historical activities. When I found the cable a 30 foot section was sticking out of the ground and the remaining was under a big snowfield so I do not know how long it actually is. I think most of the mining activity is up the northern unnamed stream. I accidently went to far up this drainage and kept running into small tailings piles. For those into old mines, this may be an interesting area to explore.
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Re: Twin Island Lakes to Thousand Island Lake- info needed

Postby Enuf2B » Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:15 pm

Wow thanks everyone for your imput on this trip. I really appreciate the different views and route decriptions. If I remember correctly I saw a mine marked back in area between Hemlock and Catherine it was on a very old forest service map my father-in-law had from his forest service days in the early 20's. I could be wrong but it would fit with what Wandering Daisy said about finding cables back there. Will have to find that map again, have too many of them packed away and its a faint memory at best right now. After viewing Pietro257's photos Ive come to conclusion that I have to make this part of the trip a separate journey next summer and spend more time back there, hitting bench canyon also. My main purpose for going that route from yosemite was so I could come down Glacier pass and visit the Rettenbacher grave (if I can find it). Long way to go for a grave but Ive done the JMT recently and didnt want to do a repeat. Anyway its fun to plan for next year since this year begins Friday and Ive got that one all packed and ready to go. Thanks again for all your help in making my decision. :nod:
"It's enough to be on your way,it's enough to cover ground, it's enough to be moving on." James Taylor
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