save one person, who has only done one or two trips (this person may dictate the
speed at which we're able to travel)
That is good to read, and shows good leadership.
Black Rock Pass is a long haul, and getting to Mineral King takes a while, so unless
you plan on spending the night before at Mineral King, you will get a late start
and may need to chop down one your original plans. Also do you know how your
group does at altitude, especially driving in and going high for the first night?
Especially you newbie.
If everyone is fine with the altitude, would recommend doing Franklin Pass, down
Soda Creek, visit 5 Big Lakes, Little Five Lakes, go over Black Rock Pass to Spring
Lake, from where you take the cross-country route (easy class 2) up to Columbine
Lake via Cyclamen Lake, and out via Sawtooth Pass. This will allow you to see most
of the Mineral King high country including Forester and Little Claire Lakes.