Forum Index » Pre-Trip Planning » Help me plan a loop in Evolution area


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christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
Report on 08/22/2012 10:23:31 MDT Print View

Actually found your trip report. I saw that a few days back. Awesome pics.
Was there plenty of parking at South Lake? Any good places to camp near the south lake trailhead so I can acclimate?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: I'd love to see that trip report on 08/22/2012 11:28:42 MDT Print View

"Is going over Lamark way more scenic"

In my opinion, Lamarck Col is more awesome than beautiful. From 13,000 feet, you can see a long way. Go there some time around April.

If you go around July, the wildflowers will be out. This includes the area of Darwin Bench on the west side and also the area just above Lamarck Lakes on the east side.

If you want a more adventurous trip, go over Echo Col instead.

--B.G.--

christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
Echo Col on 08/22/2012 14:15:18 MDT Print View

What's more adventurous about Echo col? All class 2 stuff or harder?

Also, can anyone guess how bad the mosquito's will be in 3 to 4 weeks from now?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Echo Col on 08/22/2012 14:43:19 MDT Print View

"What's more adventurous about Echo col? All class 2 stuff or harder?"

Yes.

--B.G.--

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
echo col / bugs on 08/22/2012 15:09:18 MDT Print View

Have to assume it's a pretty steep (really steep?) talus slog.

I must assume that all mosquitoes will be (or already are) dead and gone.

Edited by DaveT on 08/22/2012 15:57:25 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: echo col / bugs on 08/22/2012 15:14:14 MDT Print View

"it's a pretty steep talus slog."

I would agree with that, depending on which direction you are going. As I recall, approaching it from the JMT side was a steep talus slog and not much fun. Approaching it from the forest service side (Echo Glacier side) wasn't nearly so bad, but then we had to downclimb the steep talus to the JMT, and that wasn't much fun, either.

--B.G.--

Joshua Billings
(Joshua) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz,Ca
camping near south lake on 08/22/2012 21:54:55 MDT Print View

Yes there is several places to camp near south lake. Up pretty high too. At least 9000. Nice high desert near bishop. Get to the permit office early and you can get a walk in permit.

christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
South lake to N. Lake via Lamarck. on 08/24/2012 15:11:03 MDT Print View

Alrighty, I've made some more progress on my trip planning.

Day 1. Pick up my permit, drop off my car at North lake, and pray I can hitch a ride to South Lake. Camp at South Lake trailhead to acclimate.
Day 2. Hike over Bishop, and then camp somewhere in Dusy Basin.
Day 3. Hop on to the JMT Northbound, and camp somewhere in Le Conte Canyon.
Day 4. Continue on JMT Nobo over Muir Pass, and then camp at Evolution Lake.
Day 5. Leave the JMT, and head up Darwin Canyon over Lamarck Col and back to the car I left at North Lake.

I'm a tiny bit nervous about leaving the trail to head up over Lamarck Col. This will be my first real off trail experience. I'll have a GPS and topo map so I'm hoping I'll be okay.
I was able to secure my permit online via recreation.gov, I guess I just need to pick it up at the Mono Lake station?

Please feel free to share any tips of places to camp, navigation tips, etc.
Are there any water crossings or anything I should be aware of?
Has anyone done this route before and would be willing to share the GPS tracks?
And one more dumb question. Is it totally safe to drive a Prius up to North lake at 9800ft? I'm guessing the road is paved and such...

Sorry for all the questions, I just want to get this right. :)

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: South lake to N. Lake via Lamarck. on 08/24/2012 15:19:22 MDT Print View

First, the road to North Lake is not paved all the way. If you park a car there, you can't expect there to be a lot of traffic going back downhill, so you might think about walking downhill until a car does come by. Once you get to Highway 168, then there is a little more fisherman traffic depending on the time of day.

In the past when I've gone this route, we've camped one night above Evolution Lake in the Darwin Bench area. That was because of wildflowers. If you go in the season without wildflowers, then it doesn't matter. It might be a long haul to get all the way from Evolution Lake to North Lake in a day. It depends on how much daylight you have.

--B.G.--

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: South lake to N. Lake via Lamarck. on 08/24/2012 15:31:04 MDT Print View

Christopher a few things...firstly, Dusy Basin is quite pretty. Are you planning to stop there and soak up the scenery? If not you could make it to Leconte in one day. If you do decide to stay in Dusy Basin then there is no need to stay in Leconte Canyon the next day. I would continue on to Big Pete Meadow. That will give you a nice starting point to ascend Muir Pass. Finding the use trail into Darwin Bench is quite obvious. The JMT will turn sharply west and start downhill. There is a creek there too...Darwin Branch. Just turn right (east) and head uphill. The use trail is pretty easy to follow though it is steep. Camp on Darwin Bench and make the last day for your ascent of Lamarck Col. I will give you more info when I get home from work

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: South lake to N. Lake via Lamarck. on 08/24/2012 15:34:22 MDT Print View

Christopher, why Mono Lake to pick up your permit. Are you flying in to Reno or Tahoe. Bishop is where I get my petmits, and you probably get needed trail info from them

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: South lake to N. Lake via Lamarck. on 08/24/2012 15:51:30 MDT Print View

"Finding the use trail into Darwin Bench is quite obvious."

Ken, try that in April.

--B.G.--

christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
South lake to N. Lake via Lamarck on 08/24/2012 15:58:53 MDT Print View

Bob:
Thanks for those tips. I'll start walking toward 168 and pray someone gives me a ride.
Otherwise it looks like 12 miles...and I right? I won't get there until probably early afternoon (I live in San Jose)...so part of that walk would be in the dark :(
Evolution lake to North lake according to google earth was only 9 miles. But I know you said that can be very inaccurate. How many miles do you estimate?
The unpaved part of the rd to north lake is still drivable for a Prius right? I wish I had a truck.

Ken:
Good info thanks! I'll do that and camp at big Pete meadow and Darwin bench since Bob suggested that too. Any additional info is always appreciated.
Btw, I think we know some of the same people! I think I saw you post on Eric Power's facebook the other day. Eric was in a band called Sloe that my old band used to play with years ago.
And yes, thanks I will pick up by permit in Bishop instead. I didn't even know there was a ranger station there.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: South lake to N. Lake via Lamarck on 08/24/2012 16:30:51 MDT Print View

Yes Christopher there is a Ranger Station in Bishop. That is where most of us grab our permit for east side SEKI trips. They will probably give you any information that is more current since your trailhead is west of Bishop on 168.

Once your into Darwin Canyon and at the last lake in the chain, you will want to start up hill at the most eastern part of the lake end. Basically you are going to shoot right up. It is not that steep nor is their talus or scree issues. It's actually quite pleasant. Just take your time. Once at the top, you will need to find the Lamarck Col sign. THAT is the correct notch to take for your descent. Sometimes you will have a snowfield on the eastern part of the col. Just tread carefully and you will be ok. Once off the col, it is pretty straightforward. At one point the trail kinda makes a V.....stay to your right (southern side) and proceed....once you hit the defined use trail you are home free....seriously Cristopher, this is a pretty safe cross country route and the crossing of the col is not that bad. Have fun and take many pictures, you will be in some amazing country. If you have any other questions please feel free to ask. This is one of my favorite trips in the Sierra. Next year I will be leading the same trip but going over Piute and back over Lamarck....any takers are welcome!
Edit, if you have decent map skills you will not need a GPS...however if that makes you feel more secure than by all means bring it

Edited by kennyhel77 on 08/24/2012 16:35:10 MDT.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: South lake to N. Lake via Lamarck on 08/24/2012 16:33:58 MDT Print View

Small world Christopher....hahahah yes I know Eric and many of his friends are my friends too. I just saw him a few weeks ago at our SKUNX BBQ in SJ. I am a musican too, played in a band called Slip and then The Forgotten...originally from San Jose but live over the hill know. We gotta hook up for some backpacking...my specialty is Sequoia and Kings BTW

What band did you play in...obviously you guys played the Cactus right?

Edited by kennyhel77 on 08/24/2012 16:38:00 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: South lake to N. Lake via Lamarck on 08/24/2012 16:37:59 MDT Print View

It might be only nine miles, but up there the miles don't count so much. It is the degree of off-trailness. When there isn't any real trail, you have to spend a certain amount of time watching the paper map and glancing around at the rocks to figure out your next steps. The elevation gain and steepness are big factors.

If you can't get a Prius to North Lake, then there is something wrong with it.

I tend to do hitchhiking at the end of a trip rather than at the start. At the end of the trip, my pack is a lot smaller in case I have to walk part of it.

--B.G.--

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Help me plan a loop in the Evolution Area on 08/24/2012 16:41:28 MDT Print View

790
Looking back to the Darwin lakes from the Lamarck Col



742


745
Evolution Lake

Edited by Creachen on 08/24/2012 17:17:50 MDT.

christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
Whoa! on 08/24/2012 16:44:40 MDT Print View

No way!!! I've heard of both of those bands! I had a comp tape from back in the day with Slip, The Kindred, etc. Didn't you have that song "meowmeowmeow meow meow this is what we're fighting for! meowmeowmeow meow meow who will win the human war!" or something like that?
Sorry I replace words with "meow" when I can't remember them.

I was in The Muckrakers, Keeping Ellis, toNavigate, and Metabear.

I'm always down for backpacking so anytime. I want to do some winter stuff this year in seki, so I'll have to study up for that. :)

christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
South lake to N. Lake via Lamarck on 08/24/2012 16:49:38 MDT Print View

Thanks for the pics Jay!! Awesome.

And Bob, I was worried about doing a long day of hiking over Lamarck on my last day and then not being able to get a ride and having to walk another 12 miles back to South lake.

I wonder if it would cost an outragious amount to have a taxi follow me to North lake, then give me a ride to South lake...just thinking out loud.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: South lake to N. Lake via Lamarck on 08/24/2012 17:14:42 MDT Print View

"I wonder if it would cost an outragious amount to have a taxi follow me to North lake, then give me a ride to South lake."

Yes.

It is for reasons like this why we often organize into groups. With two carloads of hikers, you can do a car shuttle.

--B.G.--