Jul 27, 2020 at 3:35 pm #3666721
We are planning a lollypop trip from Courtright Reservoir over Hell For Sure Pass, up Goddard Canyon to Martha Lake, then across the Ionian Basin to the JMT, back to Goddard and out over HFS. We have been unable to find much information about Ionian Basin. The cross-country looks quite up-and-down but fairly straight forward. I’ve only been able to find 2 descriptions of traversing Ionian Basin, and most of the mentions are from before 2015. Any suggestions on route thru the basin and possible campsites?Jul 27, 2020 at 9:13 pm #3666981Amy LauterbachBPL Member
@drongobirdLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Over the years, we have been in the Ionian Basin three times:
• once crossing south of Mt. Goddard and over Goddard Col from Martha Lake and out over Nietzsche Col west of Mt. Solomons and down to Wanda Lake; Goddard is an easy summit from the first col
• once over Wanda Pass on the Goddard Divide from Wanda Lake to climb Scylla and out over Charybdis Col, east of Charybdis, and Peak 13041
• once in over Black Giant Pass west of the summit of Black Giant and out via Enchanted Gorge.
I do not recall any significant technical difficulties on any of these trips. There was, of course class 2-to very easy 3 terrain to deal with and your perception of scrambling difficulty may be different than ours.
I also do not recall any specific campsite locations, but much of the area is talus covered and sites can be more difficult to come by than in many Sierra locations. However, we always were able to find an at least tolerable place to set up a tent. I suggest reviewing satellite imagery prior to your trip and marking the obvious potential open areas on your map.
The good source of info on these routes is, as always, R.J. Secor’s The High Sierra: Peaks, Passes and Trails.
The Basin itself is fabulous and must be one of the most isolated places in the High Sierra.
James (and Amy)Jul 28, 2020 at 11:17 am #3667043
James (and Amy) – thanks for your feedback. I hadn’t thought to look at satellite images, so I will do that. And got a copy of Secor’s book from Kindle so I can take it with us on my phone.Jul 28, 2020 at 11:36 pm #3667168Cameron MBPL Member
@cameronm-aka-backstrokeLocale: Los Angeles
Hello, it is wonderful and easier than it appears in topo. I did Martha lake-Goddard Col, Goddard, south of 11951, 11818, 12491, 11837, north of Chasm, 11828, over Black Giant Pass onto Helen and the JMT. I regret not climbing Black Giant but a storm showed up and I cleared outta there fast.
If you scroll towards the end of this trip report on the KCHBR you can find some images:Jul 29, 2020 at 12:27 am #3667169
Great pictures and helpful route information, thanks, Cameron!Aug 3, 2020 at 8:25 pm #3668730Steven ThompsonBPL Member
I did a route through Ionian Basin entering over Black Giant Pass and exiting over Wanda Pass. Route wise there are no particular difficulties, though the route from Lake 11828 down into the basin is steep. I would call it all Class 2.
There is good camping available at the unnamed lake below and west of Lake 11828 and above the NE end of Chasm Lake. The spot at Chasm Lake is nice as there is a nearby waterfall /shower.Oct 12, 2020 at 5:53 pm #3679388
Thank you, Steven, Cameron, and James and Amy. This is all great and useful information. As often happens, life intervenes. A bike fall injured my hip which slowed down my hiking, and we weren’t able to make as many miles as we hoped the first day, so we ended up just exploring the Red Mountain Basin. We did get up Hell for Sure Pass (and Red Mountain –what a view!!!), after watching a group of about 15 horses come over it from Goddard (and trashing the trail in the process). We hope to get to Martha Lake and Ionian Basin next summer, possibly from Florence Lake which avoids the 3000′ climb over Hell for Sure from Goddard on the way out!Oct 12, 2020 at 8:29 pm #3679428obx hikerBPL Member
Below.Oct 12, 2020 at 8:31 pm #3679430
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