Maverick's 2018 Annual Meet-up 7/26-7/27

A forum to initiate member meet-up. Looking for a hiking/climbing/fishing/skiing/etc. partner, or are you planning a trip where you wouldn't mind having some company? Last minute invites can be just as fun as a well-planned group trip (sometimes even better) so don't be shy! And be sure to post a trip report to the appropriate forum when you get back.
User avatar
oleander
Topix Regular
Posts: 373
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:15 am
Experience: N/A

Re: Maverick's 2018 Annual Meet-up 7/26-7/27

Post by oleander » Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:01 pm

I am just so bummed to have missed this Meet-up. It is glorious to see everyone's photo. Old friends and new. It's been a full 3 years since I've seen RockyRoad or richlong8.

Next year, hopefully.








User avatar
sekihiker
Founding Member
Posts: 415
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 2:47 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Fresno
Contact:

Re: Maverick's 2018 Annual Meet-up 7/26-7/27

Post by sekihiker » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:44 am

oleander wrote:I too am captivated by Phil Arnot's writing, and his choices of wonderful places to see. It's a nice contrast to the bevy of guidebooks that are a bit on the dry side.
- Elizabeth
I like Arnot's accounts as well. In one of my reports I referred to it as poetry.
Here's a link to a trip inspired by him: http://www.sierrahiker.com/GlacierRidge/index.html

User avatar
rightstar76
Topix Expert
Posts: 477
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 3:22 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Maverick's 2018 Annual Meet-up 7/26-7/27

Post by rightstar76 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:38 am

Sekihiker, I always enjoy reading your trip reports. Your descent from Josephine Lake to Cloud Canyon has the same flavor as one of Harlen's recent quotes:
HST posts describing harrowing adventures on "Wallace Col," and some similar descriptions from the HST post on "The Worst or Scariest Backcountry Pass you've done.
http://www.highsierratopix.com/communit ... 37&t=18690

User avatar
Ashery
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:17 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Maverick's 2018 Annual Meet-up 7/26-7/27

Post by Ashery » Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:15 am

Bummed that I didn't make the actual meetup, but I guess I'll have to accept being one of the select few to come within a mile of a meetup and fail to actually make it all the way, :p

Looks like I missed all the fun with my Tuesday afternoon start from Pine Creek. I had plans similar to Jim and co's (Italy Pass to Gabbot Pass) in large part to visit an area I had to bail on last year as a result of a friend having persistent altitude issues. Unlike them, however, I ultimately failed to make the meetup as a result of my own issues and decision making.

My pace for the first day was pretty modest, but not unexpected and unplanned for: I made it up to Honeymoon Lake after starting on the trail a bit after 1pm. Not great, but considering it had been nearly a year since I'd done any significant altitude gain with a full sized pack, I was happy enough with it.

The next day is where things really slipped away from me, though things started off decently enough. I even passed by what I can only assume was Jim and co's campsite (Tent space for three, and a bearikade with a "Got Mountains?" sticker) in Granite Park, and while I kept an eye out for them, I wasn't exactly surprised that I didn't spot'em. But my pace throughout the day just never picked up. Couple that with the consequences from a number of decisions I made around Lake Italy (Getting down to the shoreline and deciding not to use the Eastern shore route to Gabbot after inspecting it up close (While watching a group of four, without packs, make their way across it); Crossing some slow shoreline talus to inspect the Eastern snowfield, realizing that crossing it was impossible, and then wasting a bunch of effort on a harder detour route than was necessary; Assuming the Western snowfield was also impossible to cross, climbing a bunch of talus to bypass it, only to realize at the top of my detour that there was a very obvious footpath going across.), and that day just didn't go well for me. After getting to the outlet of Lake Italy at around 5-6pm, I decided that my best chance of making the actual meetup would be to head down to the PCT and just knock out a bunch of predictable miles. But even after that, I made some poor decisions on routing that evening that cost me even more time, so I think I barely made it a mile or so SW of the outlet before setting up camp for the night.

Which sets me up for that 25 odd mile attempt at making the meetup on Thursday. Things certainly started off well enough: I was on the move by 6:30am and was hitting all my pace markers at just around the time I had planned on, even making it to the Mono Creek junction 15 minutes ahead of schedule. The storms that were around that day only dropped some light, very pleasant rain and helped cool me down around midday. The problem, however, was that my pace came at the cost of undereating and underhydrating. I had filtered 3L the night before and had only planned on filtering twice (~30oz each session) along Mono Creek, once to drink during that section and the other to last me until the meetup, but I quickly realized that that was going to be painfully insufficient as my pace gradually started to slack on Mono Creek. So, those two planned filtering sessions turned into four. Which wouldn't have been an issue, save for the fact that my filter was on its last legs and took a solid 15 minutes per session. That 15 minute advantage quickly turned into being an hour behind, and so I started up the switchbacks to Grinnell at around 6pm, the very latest I thought I could start them while having a solid chance at making the meetup while at least some folks were still awake.
P7260420s.jpg
With the switchbacks behind me, I thought I was in the clear. I even made it up that last bit of significant altitude gain before Laurel as the last daylight faded from the sky, after having randomly stumbled on the use trail half way up. That use trail was quickly lost, however, as my headlamp just wasn't enough to follow it through the short stretches where it disappeared. At some point, I made the fateful decision to follow the drainage up to Grinnell Lake instead of taking the easier, more roundabout route, as I had figured following a stream would make for easier navigation. That decision got some unfortunate support from the 2004 USGS topo map that I had, as that showed a clear trail heading up Grinnell's outlet stream. And so, after having already been on the trail for a bit over fourteen hours and exhausting myself due to not eating or drinking enough, I started my moonlight scramble up towards Grinnell Lake after crossing a couple streams that could have only come out of Grinnell. I got lucky in some places, including having routed myself into a section where I had cliffs on three sides of me, but where there was this small gap in the back left corner that quickly and easily brought me out on top of that section of cliffs. But not long after, I crossed another stream, and looked up to find myself faced with a granite face that was simply too steep, with the moonlight insufficient to really make out the details necessary to possibly navigate it. Unsure of what to do, a bit of granite that was just about flat and nearly the perfect size for my tent caught my eye, which ended up being simply too tempting to my exhausted self. That's when I decided to call it at 10:30pm, less than a mile and a few hundred feet of elevation gain from the meetup.

The following day, I probably spent over 15 minutes looking at the granite face in front of me, trying to tease out possible routes and even trying the first part of one, before realizing that I simply wasn't comfortable fully committing to such a route, as the exposure was simply outside my comfort zone. So, after having already missed the meetup, I figured I'd just start gradually making my way down the hillside by walking NW until I picked up the use trail from the easier route. As luck would have it, however, I happened to just randomly glance over my right shoulder at the right time and see this perfect little notch that continued up the hillside. Figuring I had nothing to lose, I decided to try it, and sure enough I was able to always find another route up after completing each small section. I eventually crested the small knob just W of the small lake Grinnell drains into and things were smooth sailing from there. Dave's tent wasn't hard to pick out in the sunlight, but with no one else there, I dropped my pack and continued my search. I eventually came upon the remnants of the meetup at around 9am and enjoyed a few hours of conversation before I became the only person at the lake for the rest of the day.
P7270430s.jpg
With the abuse I put my body through that day, I decided that the best move would be to take a slow and simple route back to my car at Pine Creek. Fourth Recess one night, up and over Mono Pass to Gem Lakes the next, and then out via Morgan Pass a few days ahead of schedule. Fourth Recess was beautiful, if a bit crowded and smokey; I ended up perching on a small rock just off the shoreline and watching the sunset while slowly trying to make up for lost calories. The next day when I went up over Mono Pass, however, was when I realized my route out might not end up being as simple as I had hoped. I started chatting with a group of five day hikers while eating lunch at the top of the pass, and when I mentioned my plans, they informed me that the route down to the Pine Creek TH from Morgan Pass was described as "extremely hazardous" as a result of a washout a couple years back at the bulletin board for the Mosquito Flats TH. At that point, however, I couldn't really modify my route as there was no other way to hike to the Pine Creek TH. They offered to drive me to the nearby shop from the Mosquito Flats TH so that I could call and get more complete information, even potentially driving me all the way to the 395 so that I could just hitchhike back to my car. Again, however, I managed to get lucky: It was only Sunday afternoon and they were leaving Tuesday morning. I could camp at Gem Lakes as planned, attempt to get down via Morgan Pass on Monday, and should that end up failing, if I could get back up over Morgan and down to their campsite by 9:30am Tuesday, I had a way back to my car.

And, well...
P7300454s.jpg
Let's just say that I ended up taking them up on their offer, :lol:
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Rockyroad
Topix Regular
Posts: 202
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:05 pm
Experience: N/A
Contact:

Re: Maverick's 2018 Annual Meet-up 7/26-7/27

Post by Rockyroad » Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:51 am

Ashery, what an adventure! I've also neglected food, water, taking care of blisters... for the sake of time and always paid the price for it. Glad you were safe and made it to Grinnell on Friday morning. I'd say you made the actual meetup since it was supposed to be 2 days. :nod:

User avatar
sekihiker
Founding Member
Posts: 415
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 2:47 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Fresno
Contact:

Re: Maverick's 2018 Annual Meet-up 7/26-7/27

Post by sekihiker » Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:25 pm

Ashery wrote: I eventually came upon the remnants of the meetup at around 9am and enjoyed a few hours of conversation before I became the only person at the lake for the rest of the day.
So that was you I talked to on the morning of the 27th. I didn't recognize your trail name.
Enjoyed our conversation and reading your very well written account of the trip up from Mono Creek. What an adventure.

User avatar
Jimr
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
Posts: 1786
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:14 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Redondo Beach

Re: Maverick's 2018 Annual Meet-up 7/26-7/27

Post by Jimr » Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:30 pm

Hi Ashery,
I wish we could have crossed paths in Granite basin. We all probably just missed each other.
If you don't want to be eaten, don't look like food.

User avatar
Rockyroad
Topix Regular
Posts: 202
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:05 pm
Experience: N/A
Contact:

Re: Maverick's 2018 Annual Meet-up 7/26-7/27

Post by Rockyroad » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:46 pm

Part 1 of my TR:

I started under sunny, blue, nearly-cloudless skies and enjoyed the view into Little Lakes Valley as I ascended the trail towards Mono Pass. But being at Mammoth Lakes the day before, I got a preview of the lightning and thunder to come. A cloud over the pass grew larger and denser so I picked up my pace in a race against the inevitable storm. Light rain fell as I descended to Mono Creek. I reached the valley floor at about 1pm, but it felt like 8pm since light was obstructed by both trees and dark clouds. Large drops of water became pea-sized hail and the loud patter intensified, interrupted only by claps of thunder. I don’t know if it was the darkness or distraction from the weather, but I hiked in circles trying to find the trail to Pioneer Basin. I finally decided to turn back and go to Fourth Recess instead.

Little Lakes Valley
Image

Mono Pass ahead
Image
Image
Image

Fourth Recess Lake
Image

The morning sky was deceptively bright and clear again. In this condition, it was easy finding the trail up to Pioneer Basin. At the lowest lake was a group of about a dozen tents, most likely part of an organized trip. Continuing up to the higher lakes, I understood why this basin was so popular. Fortunately for me, I didn’t see anyone or any tents after passing the lowest lake. I made note of a prime camping spot at Lake 10862 but continued to explore, watchful of the clouds building overhead. Especially picturesque was the cascading creek flowing east of Lake 10862. I returned to my camping site and had my tent set up just in time to watch and listen to a repeat performance of rain, hail, and thunder. I had plenty of time to deal with small issues like losing the quarter that I use to open my bear canister. After many trial and error cycles looking for a replacement tool, I discovered the lever of my nail clipper was marginally effective.

Lake 10862 in Pioneer Basin
Image

Pioneer Basin
Image

The next day, I retraced my steps back to Mono Creek. I had intended to spend the evening up at Lower Hopkins Lake, but after a few miles alongside mule train tracks and mule train collateral, I changed my destination to Laurel Lake so I wouldn’t have to hike along Mono Creek another day. The first ½ mile up Laurel Creek averaged a steep 30% slope. Fortunately, I was able to follow paths that cut through the manzanita thickets. The trail leveled off into a beautiful meadow, tempting me to stop and camp. I refilled my water bottles and continued on, up past an area of downed trees and into another charming and bucolic meadow. I pressed on, finally reaching Laurel Lake, at the northern end of the hanging valley. Just a little further north and 500’ up lies Grinnell Lake, site of this year’s Meetup. But relaxation and watching the sunset and alpenglow on the face of the flat-topped Recess Peak and its neighbors were the only items on my agenda this evening. A curtain of haze slowly built up and obscured my view of these mountains, reminding me of the Ferguson Fire SW of Yosemite. Today was the first day with no rain.

Laurel Creek
Image

Laurel Lake
Image

Laurel Lake
Image

Laurel Lake
Image

Fritos burrito, a backcountry favorite
Image

User avatar
Rockyroad
Topix Regular
Posts: 202
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:05 pm
Experience: N/A
Contact:

Re: Maverick's 2018 Annual Meet-up 7/26-7/27

Post by Rockyroad » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:51 pm

Part 2 of my TR

My wife has never been comfortable with me hiking alone so I offered her some relief by letting her know via text that I would be hiking with a legendary hiker today. Bill Finch, aka sekihiker, arrived at Laurel Lake and we arranged to hike up to Grinnell Lake together. He shared his knowledge of geology and botany as we made our leisurely way up the grassy ramps. I ignored the dark clouds that congregated over us at Grinnell Lake, as today and the rest of the week was supposed to be clear. However, rain surprised us and the best tent sites that sekihiker and I could find were near the shore and over a bit of vegetation. The storm was short-lived and as we emerged from our tents, Gazelle and Robert passed by on their return from summiting nearby Peak 12,238. They were camped at the southern end of the lake by the outlet.

Grinnell Lake
Image

Another group of hikers also arrived at the lake. They were on a 50+ day variant of the SHR. Notable among them was Ken Ransford, son of Carol Ransford, whom Puppet Pass (Carol Col) was named after. He described how his mom frequently took them hiking in the wilderness and when she passed, they petitioned to have her memorialized.

By the end of the day, there were 7 of us, Richlong8, Gazelle, Robert, Dave_Ayers, Cameronm, Sekihiker, and Rockyroad (me) and Richlong8’s dog, Beau, congregated at the outlet. Richlong8 had just finished frying his trout in butter and seasoned salt and shared it with the group. Scotch, home-made jerky, and chocolate was also passed around and everyone had a great time conversing with new friends and reconnecting with old friends. Since Cameronm came via Grinnell Pass (Pace Col), my exit route, I asked him about its northern slope. An unexposed class 3 climb along Red and White Lake’s western side was required due to a snow field. This sounded like more work than I would enjoy so I decided to go with my plan B option of exiting over Bighorn Pass and Shout of Relief Pass the next day.

Image

Image

Image

Grinnell Lake
Image

Image

The next morning, we met another forum member, Ashery. Although the official meetup was 2 days, everyone eventually left the 2nd day. I headed up and over Bighorn Pass. Supposedly, there is a route that only loses ~75' from the top of Bighorn pass towards Shout of Relief pass. However, after staring at the granite slopes piecing together a route, I felt it would be faster and safer if I just descended down to Rosy Finch Lake below and regain 500’ up Shout of Relief. I was acclimated and hiking uphill didn’t require much more effort. At the base of Shout of Relief Pass, I filled my water bottle and started ascending. The large infinity pool midway up the pass is a good place to rest. I crossed the Silver Divide over the top of Shout of Relief Pass, and walked around a small snow field. The landscape metamorphosed from rock to lush mounds of grass, creeks, and small lakes as I hiked down to the benches above Tully Lake. I found one particular lake with a cascading inlet and excellent views towards Red Slate Mountain that I had to camp at. I stopped to watch the local habitat, specifically a male finch, flutter his lowered half-spread wings in an attempt to court a female. I explored nearby pools, creeks, and the surrounding area a bit and nearly got chills from the captivating beauty of it all. But I also noticed haze build up north and began to worry if the recent lightning storms had ignited new fires and whether my path out the next day was impeded. I texted my wife and daughter and got confirmation that there were no new fires, just the Ferguson Fire and the Lions Fire that had become more active again. So I enjoyed the sunset the rest of the evening.

North side of Bighorn Pass
Image

Infinity pool midway up Shout of Relief Pass
Image

From the top of Shout of Relief Pass
Image

Top of Shout of Relief Pass
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Past Tully Lake and along Fish Creek the next day, I was soon back on trail, hiking along in a perfunctory state. What a contrast to yesterday’s off-trail wandering. I heard from a passing hiker that smoke at Little McGee Lake was pretty bad the previous evening so I altered my plan from staying at Big McGee Lake to speeding down to the trailhead and driving home.

McGee Pass trail
Image
Image
Image
Last edited by Rockyroad on Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Ashery
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:17 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Maverick's 2018 Annual Meet-up 7/26-7/27

Post by Ashery » Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:32 am

I've only had four full days at home, my feet haven't even properly healed yet, and those pictures just make me want to go back out again.
Jimr wrote:I wish we could have crossed paths in Granite basin.
Yea, I was a bit bummed as well, but that's the nature of the hobby. The three of you were also the ones I had been banking on hanging around the meetup longer on the second day.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests