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Peak suggestions for the JMT and Center Basin area?

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Peak suggestions for the JMT and Center Basin area?

Postby Rosabella » Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:31 am

I will be hiking the JMT again this year, and I have some extra time that I'd like to put to good use with a few side trips up various peaks. I've not done a lot of peak-bagging and I will be solo, so I need to keep it fairly conservative, preferably no more than class 2...which narrows my choices.

I was going to go up Half Dome again, but decided instead to go over to Clouds Rest. I’ve never been up there, and I don’t particularly have any desire to fight the crowds on Half Dome again.

Some of the peaks that I’m considering so far along the way are Donahue Peak, Mount Senger, Painted Lady and Mount Bago. These all have fairly easy access from the trail and have class 2 faces.

I’m going to take a day and go up the Center Basin Trail; there are a number of Peaks that I’ve been looking at in that Basin (Mt. Keith, Mt. Bradley?), but would really appreciate some feedback regarding this area.

Thanks for any suggestions or ideas regarding the peaks I’m considering, or any alternate ideas and choices.

Rosie



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Re: Peak suggestions for the JMT and Center Basin area?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:21 am

Split Mountain (north slope) is a great climb and it is a 14'er too. You can camp at the large unnamed lake half a mile southeast of Mather Pass. There is basically a path up the route. From the east side of the lake, it is about 2 miles and 2350 elevation gain to the top.

Southwest ridge of Mt Fisk from Saphire Lake is a fun climb. It is closer to class 3 but the higher rating is due to scrambling up big rock blocks on the ridge - sort of like lots of little bouldering moves, but not too exposed.

Although not climbs, side trips up Wrights Creek or to Wallace-Wales Lakes are worthwhile. And definitely, a short side trip to Arctic Lake (from Guitar Lake) is well worth the effort.

There are lots of other possibilities but I hesitate to recommend anything I have not actually done myself.
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Re: Peak suggestions for the JMT and Center Basin area?

Postby Jimr » Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:17 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:Split Mountain (north slope) is a great climb and it is a 14'er too. You can camp at the large unnamed lake half a mile southeast of Mather Pass. There is basically a path up the route. From the east side of the lake, it is about 2 miles and 2350 elevation gain to the top.


I second.
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Re: Peak suggestions for the JMT and Center Basin area?

Postby maverick » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:38 pm

Hi Rosie,

Split is fun, and fairly easy. You'll enjoy Clouds Rest, much more encompassing
views than from the top of HD, and a lot less people.
Wallace & Wright Lakes Basin is well worth the effort, and would recommend spending
time there than extra days in Center Basin, especially if your trip is towards the end
of July or the beginning of August when the wild flowers can be great.
Here are some photo's of the North Slope of Split: http://infolab.stanford.edu/~crespo/Pictures/Split02/
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Re: Peak suggestions for the JMT and Center Basin area?

Postby quentinc » Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:54 pm

University is a good class 2 climb out of Center Basin, but if you had to choose between it and Split, I would join the others in preferring Split.
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Re: Peak suggestions for the JMT and Center Basin area?

Postby Rosabella » Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:17 am

Thanks everyone! I did the searches on SummitPost, etc. and Split Mountain really looks intriguing. I really like your suggestion, W.D. about camping at the (un-named) lake. The day before going over Mather Pass I had a fairly easy day planned, only stopping at Palisade Lake. If I continued on over Mather and then camped at the above-mentioned lake I could just leave my pack at camp and go up Split Mountain first thing in the morning.

Which brings to me to another question that I’ve been trying to find a solution to – I don’t want to carry my whole pack up these side trips unless I’ll be “hiking thru” (i.e. Clouds Rest), but I also don’t really want to carry a separate day pack that I will be using only occasionally. My pack doesn’t have the “convertible day-pack” option that some backpacks have. Obviously with >2,000 elevation gain I’ll need to carry more than just a nalgene bottle of water. There’s probably a simple solution here… I’m just not coming up with it. I’m curious how others carry water on side trips.

If I don’t take a layover day at the Center Basin Trail Turn-off site as I had planned, it would give me the time to make the side trip to the Wallace-Wales Lakes area. I may change my schedule to include these lakes. I’ve also got an easy day ending at Guitar Lake as well, so I will add a trip to Arctic Lake. It will be interesting seeing Mt. Whitney from that perspective.

Maverick, my schedule is from mid-July thru the first part of August… hopefully there will be plenty of flowers along the way!

Thanks again everyone for your ideas and suggestions!

Rosie
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Re: Peak suggestions for the JMT and Center Basin area?

Postby Carne_DelMuerto » Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:46 am

Rosabella, regarding your daypack problem, I have a couple suggestions:

* REI Flashpack 18 (http://www.rei.com/product/827110/rei-flash-18-pack)--lightweight, room for a bladder, compresses down to almost nothing. I bought one of these for exactly the situation you describe. I've been using it for day hikes and it's been great. I figure it can double as a stuff sack if needed.
* Bandana: I tie opposite corners together through the belt loop on the back of my pants/shorts. The other two corners I tie to the belt loops on my hips. This makes a "fanny pack" of sorts that can carry a Nalgene bottle. Only drawback is that the bottle can bounce a bit off the bottom of the spine/top of the coccyx.

Enjoy your trip!
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Re: Peak suggestions for the JMT and Center Basin area?

Postby Rosabella » Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:28 am

Carne_DelMuerto wrote: REI Flashpack 18 (http://www.rei.com/product/827110/rei-flash-18-pack)--lightweight, room for a bladder, compresses down to almost nothing. I bought one of these for exactly the situation you describe. I've been using it for day hikes and it's been great. I figure it can double as a stuff sack if needed.
PERFECT!! This is exactly what I was looking for! I can carry my water and essentials, and it only weights 11 ounces. Thanks for the suggestion and link!! :) I've ordered one.
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Re: Peak suggestions for the JMT and Center Basin area?

Postby maverick » Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:01 am

Rosie, make sure you spend a night at Bench Lake, it is a beautiful lake, and Arrow Peak
is another peak with outstanding views. You could base camp at the lake therefore not
needing to carry and spend money on an extra pack.
http://www.summitpost.org/arrow-peak/151436
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Re: Peak suggestions for the JMT and Center Basin area?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:35 pm

I simply use my regular pack when I day-hike on a long trip. Yes, it means I have a bit more on my back, but then I do not have to carry extra weight of a day pack when I move from place to place. I have the small REI day pack, but I really find that I do not use it much.

The reason to go to Arctic Lake is NOT to see the back side of Whitney, but for the great view you get of Mt. Russell.
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Re: Peak suggestions for the JMT and Center Basin area?

Postby Rosabella » Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:43 pm

:) I'm wishing I had more time... the reports and pictures I've seen of Bench Lake are beautiful, I just don't think I'm going to be able to fit it in this time. I'm meeting a friend at Charlotte Lake on a set date to climb Mt. Bago. I have a little more flexibility from there on.

I'd really like to get Split Mountain in and I think it's workable in my schedule.

W.Daisy, have you climbed the ridge to the north of Arctic Lake? It looks like it should have a nice view of the Wallace and Wales Lakes area; the contour lines look tight, but not necessarily unmanageable. Just wondered....
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Re: Peak suggestions for the JMT and Center Basin area?

Postby giantbrookie » Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:47 pm

I would second the recommendation of Split Mtn. and University. I too like Arrow although it is not quite as direct from the trail. One of the more accessible Evolution Basin area peaks, such as Black Giant, might not be a bad call, either.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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