Reality Check: Glacier Divide Aug. '12 | High Sierra Topix  

Reality Check: Glacier Divide Aug. '12

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Re: Reality Check: Glacier Divide Aug. '12

Postby mokelumnekid » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:01 pm

Thanks all for the helpful feedback. Regarding the rock furniture and so on- we broke down everything at Lake 10907 and scattered the stacked firewood. But we didn’t do it at Ramona as many of the rocks were too big, and we were trying to get from Lake 10907 to as far as we could (where there was water) up Piute Ck. So all that stuff is still there. See pic below of peace sign and the message from the Pink ladies. I’ve also posted a pic (looking North) of the nifty route down to Lake 10907. The only crux is finding the rabbit hole at the start, a one has to punch through some stiff, sticky pines at an unlikely spot.

IMG_1539.JPG


PPP.jpg


LK-10907-A.jpg


OR: Understood. I have been in shape all of my adult life and for the last 30 years or so making it to the gym 3 – 5 days a week, ride my bike to work, always walk when I can etc. Plus I have one of those naturally skinny bodies that likes exercise. But a year before the trip my schedule got broken and I fell off the wagon. I gained about eight pounds which is a lot for me. And although I was doing a lot of white water kayaking and scuba diving that is not especially much exercise. But I was confident I could rally, as we had always been able to power through anything we had planned previously. We did acclimatize somewhat by spending about a week at the family cabin on Ebbetts Pass (Hermit Valley) at 7,000 feet and doing day hikes.

I expected to be wiped after the first day as North Lake to Lower Honeymoon with full packs is a pretty solid day. What I didn’t expect was to wake up as wiped as when I went to bed. And it simply accumulated after that. So now I have a hill to climb to get back into shape, which is not fun. My problem is that I stopped working out right when I was about to go over an aging step. Double whammy. I have motivation however as I am going to run the Grand Canyon in my kayak in Sept. and so I will have to be in seriously better shape by then.

IM: Our permit for this trip was from Aug. 7 - 13

Mav: My wife’s knee condition is complicated- mostly long term wear and tear from too much running and competitive rowing. I think it is fair to say she is addicted to exercise and will try and run through injury until it is almost crippling. She won’t tell me about it as it is a ‘sore’ subject between us. She is getting P-T and is pretty much fully recovered.

SS: Wow that must have been out trip in 2008! How time flies. We went over Seven Gables Pass but (unwisely) stayed on that exposed rocky ridge that connects Gemini to Turret Peak before dropping down into West Pinnacles Creek and camping at Pemmican Lake. We basically followed your steps all the way out. Thanks for the shout out.

SSSdave: Thanks for the sage words as always. We will def have to no longer assume that what worked even as recently as a few years ago is prudent now. Heck in that 2008 trip we went from North Lake to Merriam Lk the first day. It was kinda brutal but that was only four years ago. Hard to imagine doing anything like that now (yikes!).

LMBSGV, Freestone, austex and sparky: Thanks for the kind words. As far as going much lighter one thing I worry about is adequate shelter. On that trip we got hammered by hard rain. But I’ll take that up in another forum.
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Re: Reality Check: Glacier Divide Aug. '12

Postby SSSdave » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:40 am

Last summer I saw one of those large peace sign rock patterns on the knob above the west side of Lower Graveyard Lake. We were camped just below there in some sparse trees which is well above the lake. Lower down illegally close to the lake edge were firepits and well used tent spots all along that shore edge. Some only 20 feet from the edge. Note the elevation is just below 10k so fires are generally ok.

For a long time I've been advising the NFS use those yellow metal NO CAMPING warning placards on tree trunks at such spots to emphasize just because groups have been using such campsites does not mean it is ok. Human nature of many visitors is they want to camp as close to lake edges as possible because well lakes are beautiful and water is convenient to be right next to. And too many regardless of whether they have read the permit policies, have little sense of personal environmental ethics, so are quick to rationalize setting up camp at such lake edges particularly since they are aware there is a small chance any wilderness rangers ever come by. And over years such groups increasingly are likely to ignore all manner of policies which only gets noticed by others with weak attitudes. So not surprisingly at some lakes above legal fire limits, one will see depressing numbers of recently built and used firepits. Well see someone else did it...

Unfortunately there seem to be some making decisions that actually prefer to remove all manner of wilderness signage playing into the hand of non-conforming extremists that arrogantly selfishly revel in doing whatever they want. The signage removal would make sense IF there were backcountry rangers but of course there are very few due to funding and such is unlikely to change for many years .
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Re: Reality Check: Glacier Divide Aug. '12

Postby schmalz » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:35 pm

This is the weirdest trip report I've ever read, so congratulations on that. Even though you might feel like you're getting old, remember that the route you did was far beyond what most able bodied hikers would even consider doing. You obviously have some good years left :)

The stuff you found out there isn't what is baffling me as much as where you found it. That is the last place I'd expect to see that bizarre stuff.
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Re: Reality Check: Glacier Divide Aug. '12

Postby TehipiteTom » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:58 pm

Very interesting trip report. That's a trip I've wanted to do for a long time. Sorry you didn't get to do the whole circuit.
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Re: Reality Check: Glacier Divide Aug. '12

Postby Mike M. » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:25 pm

M'kid:

I'm another older hiker (60 years old now) and I have to say your first day itinerary was awfully darn ambitious. I always like to baby myself the first day out. Coming from sea level as I do, I try to sleep one night at the trailhead (or near it) after the long drive, then hike just shy of the first pass. I'm usually out for two weeks at a time, so I suppose if I only had a week's food on my back I could make it to Lower Honeymoon Lake, but I know I'd be crawling like a wounded critter at the end of the day. No wonder you were hurting the rest of the trip. Sorry to hear about your wife's knee; I trust she'll be back on the trail again this spring.

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Re: Reality Check: Glacier Divide Aug. '12

Postby mokelumnekid » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:05 pm

For the sake of completeness and off-key humor, here is the pic of the contents of the container that was in the peace sign at Ramona Lake. The Dad's and Daughter's wrote their note on the back.

PPPMC-Ramona.jpg


PPPMC-Ramona-2.jpg
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Re: Reality Check: Glacier Divide Aug. '12

Postby kpeter » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:28 pm

This stuff reminds of the the geocaching craze that started in the last decade. Certainly inspired by it.

So this is the sign near the horsepackers camp that is useless for helping find the way to Lower Honeymoon?
Trail SIgn-1.jpg
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Re: Reality Check: Glacier Divide Aug. '12

Postby mokelumnekid » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:07 am

kpeter: Well one can cross Piute Creek at that sign by wading which is what we did. However once across there was no obvious use trail. After poking around for awhile we simply started bushwhacking south-west until we ran across the well used hikers trail which ascends up against the topopgraphy to the west, quickly climbing out and away from the drainage of Honeymoon Lk's. On the way out we saw the "real" cut off from the Piute Creek trail which may be as much as a hundred yards west of (maybe more maybe less) that sign, although it was not marked in any way. In fact at that location one can cross Piute Ck. on a log, although the location of that crossing is not at all obvious or easily spotted from the Piute Ck. trail.

I'm sure that someone on this forum can provide better beta. It may be that given how logs to cross Piute Ck. on will come and go, the actual start location may vary. But the trail once found is quite obvious.
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Re: Reality Check: Glacier Divide Aug. '12

Postby giantbrookie » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:22 pm

Sorry to hear about your wife's knee, but glad you got out there, even if it was a bit of a bizarre trip. Your round the corner route from Ramona is a nifty one. I wish I had thought of that when I was doing this trip clockwise with Judy back in '97. We did a 5 day trip which went via Lamarck Col, Darwin Cyn, 11106 (11092), 11236, over the saddle but then straight down the drainage to Piute before going to Knob Lake, dayhiking to Puppet et al, and Pilot Knob, then going out via Piute Pass. If I had thought about heading around the corner to Ramona, we would have done that. Although I wasn't 40 yet when I did that trip, it was a grueling trip for me because I came down with some sort of intestinal ailment on night 2.

It is still good to hear you getting out and doing fun off trail backpacking. This is all the more inspiration for me to get the family out there this summer--and I will be looking for a break when I finally take a breath after Cordilleran 2013.
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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Re: Reality Check: Glacier Divide Aug. '12

Postby Troutdog 59 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:48 pm

Thanks for the TR Moke. I fully understand the title and it appears it hit me sooner than it did you (I'm 53). Seems like a little added conditioning and you will be fine. Im hoping thats the remedy for myself as well!!! I do hope the wifes knee is doing better.

That said, other than feeling poorly and your wifes dinged knee, IMO you guys did pretty well to make it to Honeymoon on day 1. I did a similar trek in July without going around the horn and our route was Muriel day 1, and Honeymoon day 2. Kinda funny, cuz we did day hike over to Ramona and traverersed pretty much the entire northern shore. I didnt see the camp or peace sign, but my son told me last night that he did on the way out. They stayed a tad longer than I as they hike about twice as fast and we could hear thunder in the direction the clouds were coming from so I took off a little early. . In fact, I didnt see much sign of camping at all yet alone large fire pits, but then again the whole fishing thing kinda grabs my attention sometimes and I'm pretty oblivious to other things around me at certain lakes, and this was one of them. From your pic, it looks like it might have been a bit upslope from where we were on the lake. Still not cool. There were many an illegal fire ring at Lower Honeymoon and around Lower Golden Trout Lakes as well. We tore the one at our camp at Honeymoon down, but we saw others traversing around the lake. They seem to be anywhere and some in the most alarming places like the two you mention.

As far as the trail to Honeymoon goes, I had been alerted to it being downstream of the sign a bit. We crossed at the sign, but found it to the SW right away. On the way out we followed it to the creek, and your correct, the logs downstream made it much simpler to get across. Again, thanks for the TR.
"Don't accept that what's happening
Is just a case of others' suffering
Or you'll find that you're joining in
The turning away"
D. Gilmour, Pink Floyd
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