oleander wrote:SHR from Minaret Lake to Garnet Lake could be done on a 3-day weekend.
That's what I'm thinking - just eliminate the lower SHR between DPP & TI and leave it for a quick & dirty fast pack over a 3-day weekend. I'm familiar with all the various spurs between/to Garnet/TI, but if I want to keep it simple and straightforward, while saving both time & energy, then I'd probably just head to TI via the river.
I hate to waste a day just getting set, so it would be a rush-rush situation to drive up to Mammoth early, get going by noon, arrive below Glacier pass before 5pm, and chill and rest up for the next couple of days. I think Glacier pass to Blue lake on day 2, then over Blue lake pass to the meet-up on day 3 would be a comfortable schedule. Then, after the meet-up, do some big mile trail days to get back to Agnew.
The other alternative, which Dave & you mention, is to tackle the more difficult approaches over the Cathedral/Ritter ranges. But that could require taking equipment like boots, crampons, ice axe, etc. for a more mountaineering experience. BlueWater, Schmalz, Jim and myself are contemplating a Lamarck to Kearsarge hike along the PCT in late May that would involve just that - including 5am alpine starts - so that's why I'm leaning towards a more UL free-form hike for the summer meet-up.