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Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Last minute SEKI trip planing questions (Calling Bob G., Tony W., California Toms, etc.) on 07/30/2011 19:40:28 MDT Print View

So I ran my last minute Sierras questions by the folks over at highsierratopix and I've been having trouble getting a response. I guess I'll ask here, knowing that I'll hear from at least Bob about 5 minutes from now ;)

1. Parking in Mammoth - best place at the reds shuttle lot?

2. Starting at Mammoth, is there a preferred trailhead du jour? Right now, I'll take whatever I can take, but is my guess is Duck pass would be the most interesting? Reds was a bit of a snoozefest and uphill climb, as I recall. Any other trailheads I should know about?

3. New Army or Cottonwood?

4. Crest bus and the Lone Pine->Bishop/Bishop->Mammoth shuttles - reservations necessary? Any hints for making the 6:30a bus in Lone Pine without staying overnight in the hotel?

5. How hard will it be to get a permit for one of the Mammoth trailheads walk up? Assuming waiting at 11a for the next day? Assuming the day of? (for a Friday, Aug 5)

Thanks a million!

Chris


P.S. Here is my little list of notes for "things to consider depending on snow conditions, time, etc." Anything I'm missing, should skip, should definitely do? Any easy (class 1/2) peaks or passes I'm missing? Any lakes or basins that are especially sweet?


Graveyard Lakes Passes
Silver Pass
Pioneer Basin detour/Hopkins Pass or Stanford Col/Stealhead pass

Italy Pass or Marie Lakes/Sharp note lake/selden/Mt Senger
Humphries basin - from L lake to Desolation lake?
Lamarack Col to Darwin?

Evolution (Goddard Canyon)
Davis Lake/Martha Lake from Wanda Lake
Ionian basin - Helen lake
Leconte Canyon
Dusy/Palisade/Knapsack/Potluck

Palisade Lakes
Mather Pass
Lake Basin, Dumbell Lakes, Ampitheter, Marion Lake, Cartridge Pass
Pinchot Pass

Bench Lake
60 lakes basin
Glen Pass

Center Basin
Forrester Pass
Caltech Peak
Kern Loop

Whitney
Crabtree Lakes/Pass, Miter Basin

Cottonwood/New Army

Edited by ChrisMorgan on 07/30/2011 20:04:14 MDT.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Last minute SEKI trip planing questions (Calling Bob G., Tony W., California Toms, etc.) on 07/30/2011 19:47:25 MDT Print View

If you cannot get a permit out of Mammoth you could just get a permit out of the June Lake loop area. It is just north of Mammoth. If that does not work, try Convict Lake which is just south of Mammoth. Dunno about shuttle stuff. Where are you ending up. From what I understand hitching from most trailheads, excluding Sawmill, and Shepherds is pretty easy and I believe doing the same on 395 is pretty easy. I would not think twice of picking up a hitch hiker on Hwy 395 if they looked like they were backpacking for a week....though I would open my windows for some breeze action

Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Re: Re: Last minute SEKI trip planing questions (Calling Bob G., Tony W., California Toms, etc.) on 07/30/2011 19:54:30 MDT Print View

Ha! I'll be washing as good as possible the night before. I thought about starting up towards June Lake loop - my concern was the transportation. I'd actually prefer to start up there, the problem is then I would have to also hitch from the stop on 395 up to the trailhead on the way back. Actual problem? Easy?

The plan is to leave the car in Mammoth, end at cottonwood, then bus it up back to the car.

(I forgot to put Ken on my list! :)

Edited by ChrisMorgan on 07/30/2011 19:55:25 MDT.

joseph peterson
(sparky) - F

Locale: Southern California
convict on 07/31/2011 00:45:32 MDT Print View

Do yourself a favor and start at convict.....there are several routes out of the basin above. Much more scenic than duck pass....one of my favorite areas in the sierra.

And I would assume eastern sierra transit would stop at the road for you, I think it is a 7 mile walk but check into it.

Edited by sparky on 07/31/2011 00:53:54 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Last minute SEKI trip planing questions (Calling Bob G., Tony W., California Toms, etc.) on 07/31/2011 16:41:50 MDT Print View

"The plan is to leave the car in Mammoth, end at cottonwood, then bus it up back to the car."

Chris,

That leaves a lot to the imagination. Are you planning on following the JMT with side trips to some of the areas on your P.S. list, above? How many days have you allocated? Are you resupplying along the way? If you are folowing the JMT, how do you intend to get from the Crabtree R.S. area to Cottonwood Pass? Without knowing these parameters, it is sort of hard to comment on the feasibility of some of the areas on your P.S. list, which includes some beauties, BTW.

Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Re: Re: Re: Re: Last minute SEKI trip planing questions (Calling Bob G., Tony W., California Toms, etc.) on 07/31/2011 17:35:12 MDT Print View

>That leaves a lot to the imagination.

I aim to inspire imagination in the hearts and minds of the masses.

>Are you planning on following the JMT with side trips to some of the areas on your P.S. list, above?

Yes

>How many days have you allocated?

11, and just covering the JMT would make it about 14 miles a day from Reds to Cottonwood, which leaves time to flirt with the optional trips. I can imagine some of these will be slow going, especially with all the snow this year, and I'm all for out-and-backing if some of these passes look like they are going to be unfeasible. e.g., I'll probably visit Humphries Basin, but then take the trail back to the JMT. I'm not expecting to do all of my P.S. list, or even half. I've done the JMT once before, so this time I want to spend exploring some more. If I find myself taking more time up top, I'll be bailing at Kearsarge instead. My schedule is flexible, but I don't want to carry more than 11 days of food.

I've toyed with stopping in at VVR and sending myself a mini-resuply, but it would only be day 2 or 3 plus a ferry ride away - probably not worth it.

>Are you resupplying along the way?

No. The most I've ever carried is 8 days, so this should be fun :)

>If you are folowing the JMT, how do you intend to get from the Crabtree R.S. area to Cottonwood Pass?

Either the PCT or Crabtree Lakes->Crabtree Pass->Miter Basin

Also, is the Whitney Hostel still running? Is it usually possible to get a day of place to sleep? I'm thinking this might solve my 6:30 crest bus predicament.

The Secor book has gotten me way too excited. :)

Edited by ChrisMorgan on 07/31/2011 17:51:19 MDT.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Last minute SEKI trip planing questions (Calling Bob G., Tony W., California Toms, etc.) on 07/31/2011 18:05:53 MDT Print View

Chris other than The Whitney Ports Hostel...at Whitney Portal there is a backpackers campground available post hike. Whitney Portal is a little noisy and crowded but that could do in a pinch. If you crave civilization ie burgers, beer, pizza, hot shower then of course Lone Pine is the way to go

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Last minute SEKI trip planing questions (Calling Bob G., Tony W., California Toms, etc.) on 07/31/2011 20:50:37 MDT Print View

"The Secor book has gotten me way too excited. :)"

With good reason. It's a candy shop out there for such as we.

Darwin Canyon would be an easy 1 day side trip off the JMT. You wouldn't have to tackle Lamarck Col to do it if you're coming south on the JMT.

Davis Lake/Martha Lake from Wanda Lake. I've done this route, exiting via Goddard Canyon. It's a neat route, particularly the descent of N Goddard Creek. The only problem is that exiting via Goddard Canyon would force you to retrace you steps once you got back on the JMT. This would be a hard 2, reasonable 3 day side trip unless you're a real hard core type. If you decide to do it, be sure to stay on the north side of Davis Lake to avoid a cliff band on the south side.

If you go visit 60 Lakes Basin, it would be worth your while to poke around in Gardiner Basin while you're at it. It's really pretty back in there. I understand there is a way trail that goes from Gardiner pass over to Charlotte Lake where you could pick up the JMT again. When I was in there, I bushwhacked up Charlotte Creek from Bubbs Creek and exited via 60 Lakes, so I can't vouch in person for the Charlotte Lake/JMT connector trail from Gardiner Pass, but it was mentioned in a trip report here a few months ago. You might want to look that one up if this sounds interesting. It would be a 2 day side trip, 3 if you fell in love with the place.

The Kern Loop. I'm not familiar with this name, but if it describes the loop from the JMT to the Upper Kern Basin via Lake South America and back to the JMT via the connector trail from the Kern Canyon Trail back to the JMT, I'd very highly recommend this one. You could do it in 2 days, but adding a 3rd day to explore Milestone Basin would be well worth your while. It's a gorgeous area, my favorite in all of the Sierra.

"Either the PCT or Crabtree Lakes->Crabtree Pass->Miter Basin"

I'd advise Crabtree Pass. It's a much nice route. A bit of scrambling up to the pass and some beautiful lakes on both sides of it. Lots of bears in the Sky Blue Lake/Miter Basin area. Be on your toes.

Edited for content: One thing just occurred to me. If you end up doing the Wanda/Davis/Martha loop, you'd be wise to inquire about stream conditions first. The crossing of either N. Goddard Creek or the S. Fork of the San Joaquin could be problematic if they are running high, especially the S. Fork. If they are running high and you still decide to go, consider crossing North Goddard Creek higher up. This will allow you to follow the S. Fork of the San Joaquin up to Martha Lake(~ 1 mile) and cross it at Martha Lake. From there on down Goddard Canyon it is trail all the way to the JMT where there is a bridge. For my money, I think the Kern Loop is the better choice on aesthetic qualities alone. My 2 cents.

Edited by ouzel on 08/01/2011 17:48:31 MDT.

Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Thanks Tom! on 07/31/2011 21:35:36 MDT Print View

>The Kern Loop. I'm not familiar with this name,

That's because I made it up. But basically, yes, that loop. Will do.

"Either the PCT or Crabtree Lakes->Crabtree Pass->Miter Basin"

>I'd advise Crabtree Pass. It's a much nice route. A bit of scrambling up to the pass and some beautiful lakes on both sides of it. Lots of bears in the Sky Blue Lake/Miter Basin area. Be on your toes.

Great! Hoping to see bear this time.


Anyone have any thoughts about Mammoth parking, Cottonwood vs. New Army, feasibility of getting a walk in for one of the Mammoth trailheads on a Friday?


It's so much easier to just cruise down the JMT. :)

Edited by ChrisMorgan on 07/31/2011 21:37:04 MDT.

Erik Dietz
(erikdtz)

Locale: Los Angeles
Cottonwood vs. New Army on 07/31/2011 22:26:11 MDT Print View

Hi Chris,

I've never done either of them but that's where I'll be starting my JMT hike in a few days. As of right now I'm gonna go over New Army because I've heard that the trail after Cottonwood is kinda flooded. Either way, an adventure for sure. I'm sure you check this but it's where I've been getting some of my updates:

http://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/trailcond.htm

Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Re: Cottonwood vs. New Army on 07/31/2011 22:51:59 MDT Print View

Thanks Erik - I've been looking for SEKI's trail conditions page for weeks! They're always hard to find. I guess I was probably looking on Inyo's site.

See you on the trail! You're probably doing it in the right direction - they say there is generally less snow to the south right now.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Thanks Tom! on 08/01/2011 17:41:06 MDT Print View

"Anyone have any thoughts about Mammoth parking, Cottonwood vs. New Army"

Cottonwood is 11,200 feet, New Army Pass is 12,385'. Going over New Army Pass eliminates a long, boring, often waterless stretch from the New Army Pass cutoff to Chicken Spring Lake.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Cottonwood vs. New Army on 08/01/2011 17:52:19 MDT Print View

"I'm sure you check this but it's where I've been getting some of my updates:

http://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/trailcond.htm"

This is a very useful link! Thanks, Erik.