Trip advice: Wonder Lakes to Emerson Lake and Loch Leven?

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d_a_sklansky
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Trip advice: Wonder Lakes to Emerson Lake and Loch Leven?

Post by d_a_sklansky » Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:02 pm

Anyone know how hard or feasible it is to go cross-country from the Wonder Lakes to Emerson Lake and Loch Leven? We'll be up there next week and, depending on how energetic we're feeling, we might want to try it. It looks maybe possibly doable on the topos, but I'd love to hear from anyone who's done it or tried it. We won't have ice axes or crampons.








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Re: Trip advice: Wonder Lakes to Emerson Lake and Loch Leve

Post by giantbrookie » Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:06 am

I haven't done it, and I agree that the topography shows the possibility of a class 2 route, especially toward the west side of the low point on the ridge dividing the two basins. However, even if the top of the ridge was class 2, the north side will be a jumble of giant boulders there and it would be both difficult and miserable, so I wouldn't try it there. Better, but steeper, would be the slanting bench that heads down due north to the shore of Emerson. This appears to be entirely class 2 based on Google imagery and it appears that you can dodge snow at key spots, including the top (images I'm looking at were taken very early season when many lakes are frozen over). I cannot vouch for the quality of the talus (ie how loose it is) on that route and there are some cliffs and steps that must be successfully navigated around. Based on my memory and my photos (visited Emerson in 1987), the talus on the S shore of Emerson is quite large and it is a pain to get around (I was fishing on that side in '87 hence the photos and memories). The Google imagery appears to show pretty large talus size, too.

Here's my opinion, for what it's worth. If you are someone who has abundant experience picking out off trail routes on the fly and enjoys that as an end in itself, as I do, then this may be worthwhile. If you are thinking of saving time hiking btw Wonder Lakes and Emerson doing this, I'd guess you can reach Emerson as quickly or more so by going back around (ie down to the trail then up Piute Creek). Looks to me that the north side of this route (ie the descent to Emerson) will be pretty tedious with a lot of large talus so it would be very slow going.
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" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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d_a_sklansky
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Re: Trip advice: Wonder Lakes to Emerson Lake and Loch Leve

Post by d_a_sklansky » Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:32 am

Really helpful. Thanks so much. I think we may just enjoy the Wonder Lakes instead. :)

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