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"Peter Lake" Mystery

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"Peter Lake" Mystery

Postby fourputt » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:20 am

Here's a little High Sierra mystery. I have a strong hunch but doubt that it can ever be resolved for sure.

There's place name entry "Peter Lake (Tehipite, George W. Stewart)" in Francis P. Farquhar's Place Names of the High Sierra but not in Peter Browning's Place Names of the Sierra Nevada. One assumes Browning never succeeded sourcing it. It's not found on any map I've ever seen and the description "up the canyon above Wet Meadow ... (Palmer and Wallace)" doesn't provide enough.

Wet Meadow is found on some, but not all, editions of the Tehipite 30-minute and corresponds to present lower Bearpaw Meadow in Sequoia Park. Barring confusion with Lonely, Tamarck, Moose or Hamilton Lakes, which Farquhar would have been able to confirm, there seems to be no candidate lake up the Kaweah Middle Fork, so that leaves Eagle Scout and Granite Creeks.

I've always thought it most likely to be lake 9500' on Granite Creek. I first wondered about it gazing from the High Sierra Trail at a remote lake tucked in a cirque on the Great Western Divide. I've been there a couple times -- predigital photography unfortunately. Besides being a great destination, we mainly confirmed that there's no good way in or out. The "easiest" is to cross the GWD from Little Five Lakes so you're looking at 3 doable or 2 very long days from Mineral King or Crescent Meadow. We tried the short 2-day approach from Cliff Creek once and didn't find it very enjoyable -- we got to the "pass" only to discover we had topped a side ridge overlooking upper Cliff Creek. Down or up Granite Creek from near Redwood Meadow is a long slog with some significant brushy stretches.

I still want to reach Eagle Scout lakes sometime.
Last edited by fourputt on Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: "Peter Lake" Mystery

Postby RoguePhotonic » Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:04 pm

Maybe up from Big Wet Meadow which is often called just Wet Meadow in Cloud Canyon?
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Re: "Peter Lake" Mystery

Postby fourputt » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:53 pm

Farquhar was authoritative as they get so I doubt any confusion on his part.
viewtopic.php?f=27&t=2708
http://www.yosemite.ca.us/library/place ... gh_sierra/

And here's a link to historical topographical maps of California:
http://cluster3.lib.berkeley.edu/EART/C ... nute4.html

Facinating stuff with routes such as the "old" and "new" Tunemah Trails.
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Re: "Peter Lake" Mystery

Postby tomba » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:15 pm

fourputt wrote:here's a link to historical topographical maps of California:
http://cluster3.lib.berkeley.edu/EART/C ... nute4.html
Great resources. One can conveniently view historical topographic maps at CalTopo, for example, Wet Meadow.
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Re: "Peter Lake" Mystery

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:12 am

It's interesting looking at old maps like that and seeing what isn't on it yet. Like Twin Island Lakes or Blue Lakes along the SHR. Must not have been explored at the time.
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Re: "Peter Lake" Mystery

Postby TehipiteTom » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:54 am

Thanks for the historic map links (both fourputt & tomba)--those are seriously cool.

I think the only way to settle it would be to track down Farquhar's sources (Stewart, maybe Wallace). And even then the description could be too ambiguous to pin it down precisely.
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Re: "Peter Lake" Mystery

Postby vandman » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:00 am

Seriously cool historic map site indeed!
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Re: "Peter Lake" Mystery

Postby Cross Country » Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:16 pm

I've been to lake 9500 on Granite Creek about 6-7 times. It is truly a great destination (good fishing for medium size fish) and there IS an easy way into the lake. Hike from Mineral King to Cliff Creek in only 4 or 5 hours. I always drove from LA and hiked to Cliff Creek in 1 day. Leaving the numerous campsites from the CC crossing, hike downhill about 1/2 hour (maybe less) and proceed up the ridge to your right. Angle to the left and after about 3 to 6 hours of ascending (angling alway slight to the left) cross the the ridge above the saddle. You can cross at the saddle (we did the 1st time) — it just make the hike 1 - 2 hours longer. After crossing the ridge angle to the right to barely below the lake. Ascend about 100 to 200 feet to the lake where there is a campsite right on the lake at the outlet or just below the outlet at a legal distance from the stream or make a camp-sight on the SW side of the lake. I have done all 3. The lake above it has even better fishing for slightly smaller fish and several good campsites. One can hike out in 1 long day. 1 1/2 days in. 1 day out. That's easy. For me, from LA, the trip, including drive time was 5 days. That's one reason why I went at leat 6 times.

The 1st 2 pictures are at Lake 9500 on Granit Creek, the last 2 are not.
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Re: "Peter Lake" Mystery

Postby ERIC » Thu May 03, 2012 10:38 am

vandman wrote:Seriously cool historic map site indeed!


Here's another tool:
http://store.usgs.gov/b2c_usgs/usgs/maplocator/(ctype=areaDetails&xcm=r3standardpitrex_prd&carea=%24ROOT&layout=6_1_61_48&uiarea=2)/.do

Some files are even in GeoPDF

EDIT: Think this is the same tool George refers to in the "what do you want to know about the Sierra?" thread. But I one-up'd him by linking to it. :D
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