Solitude in Deadman and Cloud, and Scouting "The High Route"

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar
Satchel Buddah
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:23 pm
Experience: Level 2 Backpacker

Re: Solitude in Deadman and Cloud, and Scouting "The High Route"

Post by Satchel Buddah » Sat Nov 03, 2018 2:21 pm

Thank you for sharing! Beautiful








User avatar
Harlen
Topix Expert
Posts: 512
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:13 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: California

Re: Solitude in Deadman and Cloud, and Scouting "The High Route"

Post by Harlen » Sat Nov 03, 2018 6:18 pm

Giantbrookie wrote:
In '02 I descended the major drainage south of the outlet to give me a more direct route upstream (S). This was a dicey because I did not know anything in advance about the route.... I was aware that if I got badly cliffed on descent out I might have to backtrack and ascend, but I tried it anyway. I recall that drainage went beautifully, steep class 1-2, until the inevitable vanishing point at the bottom where I managed to find a way through the cliff band, with one one class 3 move where we threw our packs over the step.
I just reread this carefully, and I think we chose the same route down John. Were you heading down on the north side of the outlet channel of the lower lake to the south of Josephine Lake? Gunderson and Oldranger seem to have found a route to the right (south) of the actual outlet channel of Jo lake. Since we both reached "vanishing points," I wonder if next time we should follow those wise older guys?

p.s. I tried to find your Wagner fellow in the annals of classic rock, and I reckon he may have played with "The Who." So he was, in fact, a contemporary of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. So we seem to have the same taste in music, along with following the same trails. :nod:

User avatar
cgundersen
Topix Expert
Posts: 927
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 1:07 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Solitude in Deadman and Cloud, and Scouting "The High Route"

Post by cgundersen » Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:23 pm

Hola Harlen,
Absolutely stunning! And, you hardly mention the fun part of picking your way up the hillside out of Deadman Canyon to reach the ridge leading to Josephine. Still, like Daisy, tackling this route when you did is definitely pushing the envelope. The bonus was guaranteed solitude and some amazing photographs. Then again, we were hardly over-run even in August, so I guess if you're lucky, there is solitude to be had.

I also want to second Mike's spot on comments about the route from Cloud up to (or down from Josephine). When I'd ascended to Josephine from Cloud in the early '00s, it was pretty clear from the bottom where one needed to head to avoid class 3 action (namely just South of Josephine's outlet creek), thus I had some sense of where I needed to be coming down. As you probably noted (though did not comment on), even when you get down that very steep hillside, the fun is not over till you reach the creek and Cement Table meadow. The 300 meters of dense vegetation must have taken us an hour to get through, and I still have scars from that spectacle.

I've got to read this again just to relive the moments.
Thanks,
Cameron

User avatar
Harlen
Topix Expert
Posts: 512
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:13 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: California

Re: Solitude in Deadman and Cloud, and Scouting "The High Route"

Post by Harlen » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:35 pm

cgunderson writes:
...you hardly mention the fun part of picking your way up the hillside out of Deadman Canyon to reach the ridge leading to Josephine.
Oh yes I did; the following description was about me fumbling up and over that very ridge:

I wrote:
Here is the troublesome upper section of the the Glacier Ridge Crossing. Gunderson makes it sound pretty easy and I am reminded of the phrase: “Oh, easy for Leonardo!” I thrashed up through a tangle of aspen and boulders; I got stuck here, back-tracked there; left my pack to scout and couldn't find it again- Idiot! Finally made it over, and Jo Lake is indeed wonderful, wild-feeling country.
The "thrashing through aspen and boulders" part occurred in the first 500 feet out of Deadman. Above, I blew it by hugging the northern slope to the top, while looking down at a much nicer path that stayed low in the upper valley, and crossed at the lowest point.

User avatar
cgundersen
Topix Expert
Posts: 927
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 1:07 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Solitude in Deadman and Cloud, and Scouting "The High Route"

Post by cgundersen » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:55 pm

Hi Harlen,
I think I was angling cross-purposes: I was more thinking of the initial ascent out of Deadman canyon where the hillside pitch is at such a steep angle that one could get a sore neck from craning up all the time. At least there was plenty of vegetation to grab onto; seems like we spent more time grabbing onto stuff on the way up while you maxed out going down. But, I do agree that the final ridge over to Josephine is a bit cantankerous, but since we were worried about a possible deluge, I think we did a couple climbs that we'd have rejected on a sunnier day. I'm also not keen about being exposed on a ridge when lightning is a possibility and the adrenaline ramps up to where stupidity becomes a risk, too. But, there were two of us, whereas you were solo, so that's a factor, as well. Regardless, still loved the TR. Cameron

User avatar
cgundersen
Topix Expert
Posts: 927
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 1:07 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Solitude in Deadman and Cloud, and Scouting "The High Route"

Post by cgundersen » Sat Dec 01, 2018 12:44 pm

Hey Harlen,
I just realized that Mav targeted this area for the 2019 HST meetup. Not sure my better half is up for this, but I'm sure it means that Glacier Ridge will see more traffic than it's gotten in a long time! Cameron

User avatar
Bluewater
Topix Expert
Posts: 567
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:33 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Laguna Beach
Contact:

Re: Solitude in Deadman and Cloud, and Scouting "The High Route"

Post by Bluewater » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:28 am

Thanks for the great read and beautiful photos. It is cool to see those areas with a little snow and the late fall colors.

User avatar
levi
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:45 pm
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

Re: Solitude in Deadman and Cloud, and Scouting "The High Route"

Post by levi » Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:01 pm

Saw these gorgeous pictures and fun report many weeks ago, but hopefully a belated thank you is better than none! That before/after snow pair of photos of Colby Lake is something else.

As to the Circle of Solitude being over-trafficked... the northern and eastern sides of the route are obviously busy, overlapping with Rae Lakes Loop and the JMT/PCT, but we encountered very few people this summer on the western and southern (ish) sides (granted, we had two days xc to avoid Avalanche Pass, but still). Ran into a half dozen people on our way from East Lake to Lake Reflection, but no one over Longley Pass to South Guard Lake; we finally saw one person, also doing the Circle, at Big Wet Meadow, and then no one from there, over Colby Pass (on the 4th of July!!!), down to Junction Meadow, and along the High Sierra Trail, all the way until the JMT merge. We probably got lucky with that degree of solitude, particularly on the High Sierra Trail... but I don't think the Circle of Solitude has actually gone viral. Not a single PCT or JMTer had heard of our route, though then again, most of those through hikers didn't seem to have a clue about their *own* routes, either, blindly following Guthooks or a group leader. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Google Adsense [Bot], stephen_sd and 9 guests