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Mount Johnson from South Lake

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Mount Johnson from South Lake

Postby wingding » Thu Sep 21, 2006 8:38 am

I'm planning on hiking out to Mount Johnson from South Lake via Treasure Lakes on September 30th. Has anyone done this hike/scramble? I'd appreciate input from anyone who has. I believe it's about 12 miles round-trip with 3200 feet gain (some boulder hopping). I'm solo at this time, so if anyone would like to join me the company would be great.


Postby mtnsos » Thu Sep 21, 2006 3:40 pm

I climbed out of S. lake via the northwest ridge from Treasure col. The NW ridge has about 600-700 feet of the best class 3 rock in the Sierra. There is even a 20-30 foot knife edge to traverse which has good footing so long as it doesn't have snow on it. I climbed in Oct and there was fresh snow which made it a bit spicey. 12 miles sounds about right. Half on a good trail the rest boulder and talus scramble. If you use Treasure col for the ascent you will probably need crampons.
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Postby gcj » Thu Sep 21, 2006 6:54 pm

Hi, I once climbed Mt Johnson in a day by following the Treasure Lakes trail from South Lake. Once you reach Treasure Lakes, a side canyon leads up toward Mt. Johnson. The first lake encountered as you ascend this canyon, has a lot of boulders around it. I don't remember any obvious way to avoid them... If you have Google Earth installed, you can really zoom in on this lake (not the one that's to the east of Johnson, but the next one to the north), and you can really see what's there. It's ugly and it seems long, but it's rather insignificant compared to the whole trip. Johnson has an outstanding view from the top... well worth the effort. Have fun!:)
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Postby wingding » Thu Sep 21, 2006 8:23 pm

Thanks for the info gcj and mtnsos. I'm sure I'll be moving really slow through those boulders.

Postby giantbrookie » Sun Sep 24, 2006 8:18 pm

I did Johnson from Treasure Lakes in either 1977 or 1978. This was in the days of little info on routes, of course. I don't remember the exact route, but I recall looking at the topo, then sizing up the peak, and working out a pleasant class 2 route up the peak. The route could go class 3 if one wasn't really exacting in route finding, but even then I don't think the 3rd class would be too bad. We (me and my dad) did Gilbert on the same trip, and found the couloir rather thrilling owing to its steepness (we used ice axe and crampons on that one).
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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Postby Kerstin » Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:00 pm

Wingding, I read on the fall color thread that you're working this weekend. Is this correct? I was thinking of heading up to Mt. Johnson...
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Postby wingding » Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:28 pm

Kerstin -

It looks like I'll be lucky if I'm able to do a hike close to home one day this coming weekend because I have to work at least one day of the weekend - then I'm in school the following weekend. It's probably just as well because I have a pretty raw toe right now and have to hike in sandals, which might not work too good on that boulder field on the way to Johnson. I went to the podiatrist today and he said it'll probably be another couple weeks before I should put my hiking shoes back on.

Last year I did Mount Hurd and Mount Starr the last weekend in September and they were perfect hikes for the shorter fall days. I figured Johnson would be a good one too because it isn't too many miles or too much elevation gain.

I might give Johnson a try on October 12th as a warm-up for our Russell trip the 14th. Until then I'll be on the treadmill and doing short hikes close to trying to stay in shape.

I'll be looking forward to your trip report on Mount Johnson.


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