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Suggestions Request: Mosquito Flat to Mammoth Trip

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Suggestions Request: Mosquito Flat to Mammoth Trip

Postby watsonic » Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:53 am

Hi all,

Leaving tomorrow morn for a trip that leaves from Little Lakes Valley / Mos Flat TH and extending 8 days, eventually arriving at Iva Bell hot springs, just south of Mammoth next Saturday eve.

Look for suggestions on side trips / alterations in route.

The route currently looks like this:
Day 1: MF TH -> Pionner Lakes (~10 miles maybe via Golden Lake XC, as suggested on these forums)
Day 2: -> Grinnell Lake (note: 2K down then 2K up over ~11 miles. possibly uncomfortable for 2nd day)
Day 3: -> Rosy Finch / Bighorn via Bighorn Pass XC
Day 4: -> Tully / Cotton / Red and White Lake? via SOR or Rohn Pass XC
Day 5: -> Hortense Lake (possibly via IW Lake, which looks like a steep descent but this guy did it here on day 52) XC
Day 6: -> Lake of Lone Indian, Warrior, or Chief (which?)
Day 7: -> Anne / Peter Pande or Wilber May or Beetle Bug / Scarab? or ...?
Day 8: -> Iva Bell Hot Springs (here we meet friends with more food!)

You can see the relevant areas on this caltopo map.

I would also VERY MUCH like to hear any suggestions for waterfalls to look out for / visit.

This is a trip that includes my partner (26 F). I am quite an experienced backpacker and now have done about 3 trips with significant XC. She did her first XC last year on our Rae Lakes trip (significant section out of 60 Lakes Basin to JMT and another bigger section from Bench lake over pass by Arrow Peak down the basin, followin Secor).

Thanks for any thoughts!

Cheers,
Watson

PS: I owe you a trip report for our trip last year. And thats coming, but not before I take off on another!



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Re: Suggestions Request: Mosquito Flat to Mammoth Trip

Postby TehipiteTom » Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:18 am

watsonic wrote:Day 5: -> Hortense Lake (possibly via IW Lake, which looks like a steep descent but this guy did it here on day 52) XC

Cotton to Izaak Walton isn't that bad. RP's description ("The decent had a few small shelves to find your way down but was not very difficult") is consistent with my recollection; we wound up just above the lake (the SE end). From there it was pretty easy going--IIRC the terrain is somewhat complicated, but all easy ramps and ledges--just keep bearing northwest from the IW southwest shore, aiming for the low ridge NE of Hortense. We dropped down to lake level early, but I think you'd probably be better off following the ridgeline til it gentles out some around the isthmus. Good campsites in that area.
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Re: Suggestions Request: Mosquito Flat to Mammoth Trip

Postby ChasingRainbows » Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:19 pm

I second the comment that Cotton to IW Lake is not that bad. I did it as part of one of my first XC trips and don't remember having any problems with it. I remember basically following the outlet of Cotton down to the inlet of IW.

Or were you talking about the descent from Hortense?
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Re: Suggestions Request: Mosquito Flat to Mammoth Trip

Postby watsonic » Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:46 pm

ChasingRainbows wrote:Or were you talking about the descent from Hortense?


No. the "-> X" is meant to indicate, from the last days destination to X.

Though I am interested in knowing more about how to best do that descent, eventually getting us to the Lake of the Lone Indian area.

Here's the map: HST Map

My reading right now:
(1) The potentially more efficient but possibly more difficult route. From southern side of the northern lake head up over the slight ridge on the W shore and down the drainage (first W-NW then W-SW), making sure to keep going W-SW around 9800.
(2) The longer and more elevation lossy (~4-500 feet by my estimate) following the drainage of Hortense.

I'd default to (1) but would do (2) if you guys have heard of problems with (1) or if the waters coming out of Hortense are super spectacular.

Cheers,
Watson
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Re: Suggestions Request: Mosquito Flat to Mammoth Trip

Postby watsonic » Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:58 pm

Thanks for the info Tom. Anything else you can say about this route?

I think we're not going to take a tent this time. I'm playing with the idea of just taking the poles and a big mos net. (as well as a lightweight tarp) Though I am slightly worried about both condensation and temperature. According to the NOAA 7 day point forecast, it might be in the high 30s. :eek: We do both have pretty good down bags officially rated to about 15 degrees, though I think we start to get a little uncomfortable somewhere in the low-mid 30s.

Any advice there?
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Re: Suggestions Request: Mosquito Flat to Mammoth Trip

Postby maverick » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:11 pm

Hi Watson,

Agree with Tom.
Half Moon Pass is not the easiest and is quite steep, not sure your GF will enjoy it
Could not find my older photos, but found some off it on-line:
http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=htt ... A&dur=3415
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mdv_graupe/3885571775/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/derbilly/3930380111/
Would recommend Lone Indian Lake, and definitely Anne/Peter Panda Lake.
Rohn Pass HST Map is not a difficult pass just approach the pass from above
Bighorn Lakes eastern side, about 30 feet above the lake on the slabs.
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: Suggestions Request: Mosquito Flat to Mammoth Trip

Postby watsonic » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:24 pm

maverick wrote: Half Moon Pass is not the easiest and is quite steep, not sure your GF will enjoy it


Thanks for the info maverick. We aren't considering that one.

What I was referring to is this piece of advice:
desertdawg wrote:They suggested we go up Golden Creek Canyon to Golden Lake to avoid the switchbacks by Trail Lakes, the old guy said we'd thank him later. I'm not too sure about that.

(from this thread)

Someone later in that same thread chimed in:
I find the Golden Creek alternative vastly preferable to those awful switchbacks, both up and down. Yeah, that trail is one of the worst in the Sierra for mule crap.


If this is the correct Golden Lake, it looks pretty nice!
Image

Cheers,
W
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Re: Suggestions Request: Mosquito Flat to Mammoth Trip

Postby TehipiteTom » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:29 pm

watsonic wrote:Thanks for the info Tom. Anything else you can say about this route?

Trying to remember what exactly we did (it was 10 years ago)...I think we probably started out heading up close to the outlet stream from Mace Lake, then zigzagged via grassy gullies along the joint structure of the granite. (As I'm fond of saying, you'll go where the granite wants you to go.) I think you want to shoot for the tiny tarn north of Mace.

Descending from Hortense, the easy way is start from knoll just north of the northern lake and follow gentle slopes north and then northwest (meeting up with the outlet stream around 9800'). There was a use trail down the south side of Fish Creek that hit the main trail right at the bridge.

Looks like the other way is probably doable, but it also looks like more complicated and careful routefinding to avoid cliffing out.
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Re: Suggestions Request: Mosquito Flat to Mammoth Trip

Postby maverick » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:30 pm

Yeap, that is Golden lake and yes the alternative climb is better.
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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