Jun 9, 2011 at 6:30 pm #1275181
Hi all, I was all set to do the JMT this summer for a couple of weeks. I have had a job change and cannot go due to this. I do have a week off and would love to do a Sierra trip of 4 days or so with about 50-60 miles….Is there any suggestions out there??? First, this is a solo trip so no off trail stuff…..my wife will not allow it, so it has to be on trails. Yosemite to SEKI is what I have been thinkingJun 9, 2011 at 7:38 pm #1747249
north lake to south lake (or the reverse) is lovely and takes in the evolution valley and muir pass and dusy basin. somewhere around 60 miles i believe. little bit of fussing with the car to get from one lake to the other, but i have hitched it several times.
have fun out thereJun 9, 2011 at 7:41 pm #1747252
Leonie, I have done South Lake and over Lamarck Col a few years ago, that said, I have been thinking about going over Piute and maybe Larmarck Col (shhhh my wife does not know that part…) such a great area!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Jun 9, 2011 at 7:43 pm #1747254
er, i can see your photo is at muir pass so maybe you have done that north lake to south lake trip. the rae lakes loop is lovely as well, you can go in either from the west or the east, from road's end or over kearsarge. if you want to hump it over shephard pass you could go down to the crabtree meadows and come out by whitney….
have funJun 9, 2011 at 7:49 pm #1747260
Thank you for you suggestions Leonie…I have done every trip you have suggested. I am leaning towards North Lake can coming back over Lamarck Col…..I need some off trail love. Thank you for all of your suggestions….Awesome!Jun 9, 2011 at 8:00 pm #1747268
off trail rambling in the high sierra is sort of my thing. so forgive me if i keep throwing suggestions at you….
i recommend the bighorn plateau, it blows me away every time. the wright creek drainage is this soothing platonic ideal of an alpine meadow and there is NOBODY there, just incredible. in just 4 days your best bet is over shephard, over tyndall col, down wright creek, out crabtree meadows. tyndall col and wright creek are off trail but the traveling is so gentle, it doesn't REALLY count…
or you could go over bishop pass, down to the golden staircase, and turn before the palisade lakes to go over potluck and knapsack pass, back out dusy. those passes are lovely and so well traveled they don't really count as off trail.
there are also endless possibilities between north lake and pine creek pass. i personally don't like going over pine creek pass much, so would recommend coming out there instead of going in. but you could go over piute, then over puppet pas- sometime called carol col (again, class 2), down to french creek canyon and then straight out over pine creek pass. little bit of a car shuttle there, but getting out and back to 395 and up to north lake is not too big of a problem. i think i have taken about 4 different routes between piute pass and pine creek in the past 3 years, there's a lot of possibilities in there.
ok, i am going to stop now. hope some of that is useful and/or interesting to you.
leonieJun 10, 2011 at 8:09 pm #1747697
"in just 4 days your best bet is over shephard, over tyndall col, down wright creek, out crabtree meadows. tyndall col and wright creek are off trail but the traveling is so gentle, it doesn't REALLY count…"
Now here's one that has possibilities. When you get to Crabtree Meadows, you could hike up to Middle Crabtree Lake and do a rising traverse NE up the scree slope that lies immediately to the north of Middle Crabtree and between it and Upper Crabtree Lakes. It will pop you out on a plateau above the Mt Whitney trail just east of Trail Crest Pass. Scramble down a few feet onto the trail, enjoy the dumbfounded looks on the faces of the poor souls slogging up to the summit, and head on down to Whitney Portal for a burger and beer. You'd also have the option of summiting if that was your desire. It's a great route and the off trail bit up the scree slope, while a bit strenuous, is not in the least intimidating. It requires a Whitney Zone Permit, so be sure you mention that when you get your permit if you decide this route interests you.
A variant of this would be to go in over Kearsarge Pass if you didn't want to deal with Shepherd Pass. A week would be enough time. The downside to Kearsarge is that you would have to carry a canister.Jun 11, 2011 at 9:48 am #1747865
Tom, your Whitney idea sounds sooooo cool. Dunno if my wife would allow for it. This one might be best with a few hiking partners. I love that area, so I will keep that one in the memory banks. I have thought about Kearsarge and possibly entering there and exiting at Roads End with a hike over Glen Pass and past Woods Crk. CrossingJun 11, 2011 at 5:03 pm #1747994
"This one might be best with a few hiking partners. I love that area, so I will keep that one in the memory banks."
I hope you end up doing it someday. It is one of those hikes that is aesthetically pleasing and just plain one heckuva lot of fun. To put it in perspective, I met an old guy up at Middle Crabtree Lake many years ago on a fishing trip. He must have been at least 70, but was one of those old codgers that had spent a lot of time in the mountains, and was still going strong. When he went on his way, he did exactly the rising traverse I described to you and disappeared over the over horizon as I watched with admiration. Ever since, I've been telling myself that when I grow up, I want to be like him. I'm getting there. The point being, and you can tell your wife this little anecdote, it isn't at all dangerous, just strenuous. Still, it would probably be even more enjoyable with a friend or two along, especially if you're into fishing. Middle Crabtree has some very large Golden-Rainbow hybrids, along with a lot of fat 10-12 inchers, and they make for great eating.
I went back and did the route as a day hike about 5 years later, with a friend, as part of a 9 dayloop from Roads End to Crabtree Lakes and back via Whitney Creek/Kern Canyon/Upper Kern Basin/Harrison Pass/East Lake and back. The day hike was one of the high points of the trip.
"I have thought about Kearsarge and possibly entering there and exiting at Roads End with a hike over Glen Pass and past Woods Crk. Crossing"
Another nice, laid back route, although I doubt it would take a week. One way to stretch it out would be a side trip into 60 Lakes Basin/Gardiner Basin. Gardner is a lot easier to get into from the east that going up Charlotte Creek from the Bubbs Creek Trail.Jun 11, 2011 at 5:25 pm #1748006
Tom, thanks for the ideas! That route sounds like a lot of fun…and I know full well the feeling of wanting to do something. The route sounds sooooo fun. Isn't there another approach that you do from that area but you drop in at the lake at Trail Camp???? Just thinking out loud here. 60 Lakes Basin is still on my list of places to see and I might just go through there and then exit heading south where Arrowhead Lake is. It seems to be pretty simple class 2 travel over that col. The bummer would be parking a car at Roads End……SEKI is just too amazing!Jun 11, 2011 at 7:22 pm #1748031
"Isn't there another approach that you do from that area but you drop in at the lake at Trail Camp????"
I vaguely remember having read about one, but I can't recall off the top of my head. I haven't done it personally.
"Just thinking out loud here. 60 Lakes Basin is still on my list of places to see and I might just go through there and then exit heading south where Arrowhead Lake is. It seems to be pretty simple class 2 travel over that col."
That one I have read about, but haven't done. It is supposed to be a nice way out of 60 Lakes Basin, IIRC. It might not be a bad idea to Google it up or check Secor before committing. I suspect there will be some trip reports floating around in cyber space. Wish I could help, but my only trip through there was into Gardiner Basin up Charlotte Creek, over Gardiner Pass and out through 60 Lakes Basin to the JMT. It is beautiful country, and I hope you can spend a little time there. It certainly would fit well with the trip you are considering.Jun 12, 2011 at 8:17 am #1748137
i went over crabtree pass 2 summers ago with vague notions of connecting to the trailcrest trail and it was way intimidating and kind of confusing. have you done this? can you give me more detail about what it was like? i was coming from the south via miter basin….
leonieJun 12, 2011 at 2:57 pm #1748263
"i went over crabtree pass 2 summers ago with vague notions of connecting to the trailcrest trail and it was way intimidating and kind of confusing. have you done this? can you give me more detail about what it was like? i was coming from the south via miter basin…."
It sounds like you were coming in over Crabtree Pass via Sky Blue Lake and were looking too soon. What you need to do is keep on going down to Upper Crabtree Lake. Then keep going west along the north shore of Upper Crabtree and on down to Middle Crabtree Lake. Then take a rising traverse on a fine scree slope roughly NE until you top out on a large flat area. Then head ~north maybe 200 yards or so until you come out on a lip overlooking the Whitney Trail just east of Trail Crest Pass. It's an easy scramble down to the trail from there, maybe 15-20 feet at most. You could start the ascent of the scree slope sooner, maybe halfway between Upper and Middle Crabtree Lakes, but the scree is very fine and loose, and going directly up it would be a real grunt. It's a bit of a grunt anyway, but going straight up…..ugh. I'd advise doing a rising traverse
Check out what I have described, above, with a map at hand, and I think it'll be pretty clear what you need to do. If you wanted to really nail it, you could lift a compass bearing from Middle Crabtree to the flat area from the map.
Go back and do it; it's a hoot.
TomJun 12, 2011 at 5:52 pm #1748320
Guys thanks for the suggestions…after checking Yosemite which is pretty booked up, though I could do a walk up which I don't have patience for. I have chosen Emmigrant Wilderness. Crabtree trailhead is my choice, and I will be doing a loop…My wife was not having ANY off trail travel. I have to print out a map, and she knows how to read a map, so there is no fibbing. I can just imagine trying to tell her that there is a trail when no trail is on a Topo. Solo=safety and she does not trust me by myself traveling off trail for an extended timeJun 12, 2011 at 6:15 pm #1748329
" I have chosen Emmigrant Wilderness. "
Have a great trip, Ken. "Wherever you go, there you are" *. The possibilities are endless.
* From "The People's Guide to Mexico". A great attitude to carry through life.Jun 12, 2011 at 6:34 pm #1748340
Amen and thank you Tom, I will. There is no such thing as a bad trip in The Sierras…The best day of work cannot even compare to the worst day on a trail, the mountains are truely magical…..We are truely lucky to explore such an amazing place!Jun 12, 2011 at 6:39 pm #1748343
@foundLocale: Sacramento, CA
I've had some baaaaad days on the trail..Jun 12, 2011 at 6:47 pm #1748349
But Jack, even those days are better than working….right????
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