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Miter Basin and Crabtree Lakes: Questions

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Re: Miter Basin and Crabtree Lakes: Questions

Postby SSSdave » Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:54 pm

Kathy thanks for the picture show. A month ago those areas especially the big meadows sure looked dry so can just imagine how bad they look now. Whole range is so dry. Although I've not been in that zone, I've studied that topo thoroughly so rather quick recognized where you were shooting from and at with each image. Recently noted the view from the top of Mt. Adie is probably rather nice at sunrise given clear air, towards the lineup of Muir, Whitney, Russel, and your pic shows how true that is. But would be quite an effort to lug overnight gear up there through all that steep talus.



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Re: Miter Basin and Crabtree Lakes: Questions

Postby oleander » Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:55 am

I'm disappointed (but maybe not surprised) to learn that both Iceberg and Upper Boy Scout Lakes do not offer any solitude. Is Iceberg really the more likely one to be crowded? On the other hand, at least one source suggests that Iceberg might be the more stunning setting. It would be nice to get morning alpenglow photos there!

Great tip about Girl Scout Lake as an alternative. From my Mt. Whitney Harrison map (7.5-minute maps have not arrived in the mail yet), it looks like the easiest way to get there and back is just to contour over from the main mountaineering trail (just above and to the south of Upper Boy Scout). The way down Girl Scout's outlet into Clyde Meadow looks to be steep, based on the contours.

Any suggestions about routefinding down the Ebersbacher Ledges? We won't have come up that way, so there will be no familiar points of reference.

- Elizabeth
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Re: Miter Basin and Crabtree Lakes: Questions

Postby Jim F » Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:23 am

Hi again,

(1) In the summer, there will almost always be campers at both Iceberg Lake and UBSL. Alpenglow can be appreciated at both locations. The scenery is indeed stunning at Iceberg Lake. The Needles, the East Face Routes on Whitney, and the Fishhook on Russell are in your face. UBSL is more sheltered and there are a few bushes and trees scattered about. By the way, it is just 1.5 miles from UBSL to Whitney Portal (=food) and the route is a fairly straight shot. At the end of a long outing, if it were still light, I personally would consider hiking out rather than camping.

(2) The outlet of Girl Scout Lake rapidly turns into a broad waterfall. In a few months it might be ready for ice climbing (i.e. you are absolutely correct, it is fairly steep). To head down from Girl Scout Lake it is best to return a very short distance and rejoin the path to UBSL.

(3) The E Ledges can be bypassed, but this is not advisable the first time, especially with a overnight pack. Bob Rockwell, a legend in the area and currently a volunteer ranger on Mt Whitney, has some good photos with instructions on how to navigate the Ledges. To see his work Google "Details through the Ebersbacher Ledges-a set on Flickr", "Bob Rockwell route map for Ebersbacher Ledges," or something along those lines. Note that last year a tree fell on the Ledges and is currently stuck in some rocks. Do not think that you are off route if you have to climb over it. It will not appear in photos prior to 2012.

Since your hike starts in the area, it might be wise to go to Whitney Portal the day before you start and hike up to the top of the Ledges. It will take about an hour (less if you take the old Mt Whitney Trail that starts in back of the pond at the Portal). It might be wise to solve this problem before your hike. Stop by the Whitney Portal Store and see if Doug Sr is in (which is likely). Ask him for tips on getting up the Ledges. If business is slow at the store, do not be surprised if he hikes up to the top of the Ledges with you! He is a remarkable and generous person. He will also be very knowledgeable about the entire trip you plan.

Do not underestimate the chance of getting lost on the Mountaineers Route. It is seems to be the biggest problem folks have the first time there. Last Sunday morning, as I approached the Ledges from below in the dark, I saw a group up on the Ledges ahead of me. They appeared lost for awhile. I passed them as they were standing at Lower Boy Scout Lake.

You have a great hike planned!

Jim F
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Re: Miter Basin and Crabtree Lakes: Questions

Postby KathyW » Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:32 pm

Since your hike starts in the area, it might be wise to go to Whitney Portal the day before you start and hike up to the top of the Ledges. It will take about an hour (less if you take the old Mt Whitney Trail that starts in back of the pond at the Portal). It might be wise to solve this problem before your hike.


Very good idea! The ledges are easier to figure out on the way up than down - at least for me.

I did go down in the bushes once in the summer because it was raining and I didn't want to be on the ledges when they were wet. It worked, but it wasn't fun slopping through the water and and pushing through the bushes.
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