Help me plan a loop in Evolution area
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christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
Re: South lake to N. Lake via Lamarck on 08/24/2012 17:17:30 MDT Print View

Gotcha. By chance would anyone be in this area on Fri, Sept 14th?
If so private message me. *crossing fingers*

Gray Kinnier
(kinnier) - F

Locale: Bay Area
Re: South lake to N. Lake via Lamarck on 08/24/2012 21:07:23 MDT Print View

Try calling Parchers resort near South Lake, We were there last month and they mentioned having a shuttle service between the two trailheads. We didn't use it so no idea of price.

christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
Re: N. Lake via Lamarck on 08/24/2012 22:28:39 MDT Print View

Ill check that out. Thanks Gray!

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: N. Lake via Lamarck on 08/24/2012 22:52:12 MDT Print View

Such a small world Christopher! However that tape thingy was done on some bad recordings....something that I am not too proud of...however I think the song is Sounds of The City..Yes I have heard of your bands......Man I am laughing about this as the rock world and backpacking world does not collide...Tell Eric this as I think he will get a chuckle out of it. Seriously, if you want a good backpacking partner albeit slow and steady I am there. I would love pics from your trip. Enjoy and savor it, that area is such a great place to visit. Don't worry too much as it is heavily traveled (aside from the whole Darwin region, but there is NO danger). Have fun and treat it as an adventure, your rides will happen and you will have a great experience!

Katy Anderson
(KatyAnderson) - F
Some thoughts on 08/25/2012 20:26:44 MDT Print View

Did this loop a couple of summers ago. We did it North lake - Lamarck - Darwin Canyon - Evolution - Muir Pass - Le Conte - Dusy Basin - Bishop Pass - South Lake. Won't give you a full trail report, instead I'm trying to remember the first portion as it covers the off trail portion of the trip.
Started the trip late in the day as I had come from the Bay Area and my friend from LA. We parked at the backpacker designated parking lot at North lake and then hiked a mile or so to the trail head. Continued up a couple of miles on trail to Lower Lamarck lake, it wasn't far but with the 1000 foot or so elevation gain it was slow going. Camped overlooking Lower Lamarck lake.
Next day we continued on trail for half a mile or so. Just before Upper Lamarck lake the trail disappears completely. We checked the map, and yes in fact the trail terminates right there for no apparent reason.
Looking around we found, then lost and then found the use trail that doesn't really go to Upper Lamarck, instead winds the most logical way towards Lamarck Col. Once we passed the confusion around Upper Lamarck lake it was really quite straightforward and the use trail clearly visible.
We knew that we were in the right place as we approached the little tarn below Lamarck Col. There was a permanent snow field there and a season of footprints that made the trail across it very clear.
Once at the top there was a very official sign welcoming us to Kings Canyon National Park. The next switch back or two going down was official looking trail, then nothing...Boulders, kerns, possible paths, but nothing that you can say definitely was the trail. So we just winged it and continue down. We could at this point see the lakes of Darwin Canyon so we knew where we were heading. We reached the middle lake, made camp, ate and went to sleep exhausted.

My concern for you is that you would be going in the opposite direction, heading from Darwin Canyon lakes up towards Lamarck Col. It is not obvious looking up from the lakes exactly where Lamarck Col is located, and there is no real use trail. The risk of getting completely lost is probably small as you have the Darwin Canyon lakes on one side and Mount Lamarck on the other, but you might spend many hours picking your way up through the boulders.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Some thoughts on 08/25/2012 20:49:38 MDT Print View

"exactly where Lamarck Col is located"

I agree. It isn't too hard to find the approximate area for Lamarck Col, but you might need to look around a bit to find the exact spot. There are several little windows through the rocks that all look alike. I would say to go with the one that seems to have the heaviest use. The good news is that there is no need to hit Lamarck Col exactly as long as you find the old foot trails. It's even worse in April when everything is covered in snow.

--B.G.--

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Help me plan a loop in the Evolution Area on 08/25/2012 23:07:28 MDT Print View

5973
Evolution Valley right before you head up to Darwin Basin.

christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
Re: N. Lake via Lamarck on 08/26/2012 03:11:29 MDT Print View

Thanks for the info. Oof... This is getting a little intimidating. Does anyone have gps coordinates for the sign at the top of Lamarck? Or maybe some other tips to help find it?
I usually get anxious about advanced trips like this, and then later realize it wasn't a big deal... But still I don't want to get over confident.
I don't know what I'd do without all of your advice. THANK YOU

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: N. Lake via Lamarck on 08/26/2012 11:58:08 MDT Print View

If you are reading your map carefully, you can shoot a compass bearing on it from a couple of miles down the hill in either direction. If not, then read my previous post.

--B.G.--

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Re: N. Lake via Lamarck on 08/26/2012 13:22:39 MDT Print View

Christopher, It took about 15 minutes to find the correct notch...it is not hard trust me.

Brian Raap
(braap) - F

Locale: Bay Area
Re: Re: N. Lake via Lamarck on 08/26/2012 13:55:37 MDT Print View

I went over Lamarck 3 years ago from the east side. In fact that was my first ever backpacking trip! I echo what others have said in that it is not especially difficult to find, but from the west it might be a little harder. If you want GPS coordinates, there are a couple people that have posted their tracks on Everytrail that you can download:

http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=296889

http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=349998

Keep in mind that these are not mine, and you should use them at your own risk. However, a quick glance at them it seems like they both follow the same route and top out at the correct place. Good luck and have fun! That is a great trip.

Katy Anderson
(KatyAnderson) - F
Lamarck from the west on 08/27/2012 09:09:19 MDT Print View

Christopher, it wasn't my intention to scare you. Just to point out that Lamarck Col is harder to find from the west than the east.
Here is a recent discussion from High Sierra Topix http://www.highsierratopix.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8077&p=58986#p58986

christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
Lamarck on 08/27/2012 10:47:53 MDT Print View

No problem Katy! I appreciate the info.

Bob was mentioning it would be difficult to do Evolution to N. lake in a day given all the route finding and such. I think I saw in Bob's last trip report that he hiked from roads end to Reflection lake in a day. 20 miles with 4K ft elevation change, which I could not have done so I'm guessing I should split up the evolution to N. lake route if he says it will be hard.

I'm planning on camping at Darwin bench to help shorten that distance. But just so I have options, are there good places to camp in between the Darwin bench and N. lake?

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Lamarck on 08/27/2012 12:29:30 MDT Print View

"I think I saw in Bob's last trip report that he hiked from roads end to Reflection lake in a day. 20 miles with 4K ft elevation change, "

Christopher, you have your facts wrong.

--B.G.--

christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
Lamarke on 08/27/2012 14:12:52 MDT Print View

Sorry Bob, Here's the actual quote:

"On Day 1, I hit the trail at Roads End at 6 a.m. and arrived at Lake Reflection by 3 p.m. That is about 15 miles and 5000 feet of gain, and I can do that only on my first day when I am fresh. Unfortunately, the sky was not cooperating and photography was somewhat limited. It rained before 4 p.m."

5K ft and 15 miles in a day is still freken hardcore. I've done 15 miles many times, but never gaining 5K ft. I think I'd pass out.

christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
Camping near trailhead at South Lake? on 09/01/2012 03:06:43 MDT Print View

From google earth I can see tons of parking at South lake near the trailhead. Is there plentiful camping as well near the parking lot or up the trail a little? I'm spending a night there to acclimate so I'd prefer to stay under 10K ft or so.
Given the size of the parking lot I'm guessing it can get crowded?

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Lamarck on 09/01/2012 16:00:48 MDT Print View

Christopher - Re evolution to North Lake in a day: I came out over Lamarck col at the end of a backcountry ski trip in late May 2011, and we went from just below the evolution outlet to Grass Lake in a day, despite having to deal with extremely high winds going up to Lamarck - wind such that we had to wait for the lulls to be able to move. So that slowed us down a lot. This was a ski trip, but the conditions at the time were such that we were walking on top of the snow that day. So getting to North Lake in a day is not a major challenge, especially on the last day when you're the most acclimatized and your pack is at its lightest.

Re finding the correct notch at Lamarck Col - don't sweat it. It's not a big deal if you hit the one with the sign. We didn't. No problem.

re campsites on the way - depends on the weather and what kind of spots you like and whether you can find water. I general, not many that suit most people's tastes. But If I were you, I would plan to camp somewhere at Darwin Bench, because it is a special spot. and from there, getting to North Lake should be no problem. The worst case is it turns out to be a long day for you, and so what - the car is waiting to take you to the fleshpots of Bishop.

christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
Places to camp at South lake? on 09/04/2012 15:05:42 MDT Print View

heya, Just a quick bump. I'm planning to acclimate overnight at the South lake trailhead. (I live at sea level) Are there ample places to camp either at the trailhead or within a mile or so? Any tips?

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Places to camp at South lake? on 09/04/2012 17:27:31 MDT Print View

Usually you only get the permit for your day of entry, I get mine the day before, so I can't start my trip on time. Last time at South Lake, I drove most of the way up, checked out the last campground and talked to a guy who was car camping by himself, asked him if I could camp there too, only having to pay for a extra car. Bonus, he had extra beer and he was someone to chat with until bedtime. We got to watch as a long motorhome came thru, turned around in the tight turn around and as they were going past a large tree, watched the driver as he did not pay attention to the rear of that beast and take out the rear of his home on wheels. I got up early the next morning before he was up, packed up, drove the short distance to the TH, ate breakfast there as parking is on the short side.
Duane

christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
Camping at South Lake on 09/04/2012 18:11:41 MDT Print View

Thanks Duane. Would you say there's a lot of good places to camp there? I'm leaving my car at North lake and getting a ride to South lake, so I won't need to park.