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Re: TR: Ansel Adams Wilderness 6/14-6/17

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TR: Ansel Adams Wilderness 6/14-6/17
June 21, 2016 06:06PM
Hey Folks!

Decided I was tired of winter trips and opted to go on my first spring/summer trip of the year in the Ansel Adams area. Didn't really have an itinerary but knew I wanted to hit Thousand Island Lake and possibly Ediza. With 4 days worth of food packed, that would be no problem!

So to start...

Day 1 - Car camping for the first night!
We left from Los Angeles around 9am. We were supposed to leave earlier but the pasta sauce was taking longer to dehydrate than expected.
Got to Mammoth around 3pm and set up camp at the Twin Lakes campground and also grabbed our permit at the visitor center.



We were going to cook dinner at the campground that night but opted for real food in town so we checked out a place called Delicious Kitchen (next to the mammoth mountaineering shop). Definitely pretty good pre-hike Mexican food!

Came back to the campground and called it a night at 8:30pm





Day 2 - First day on the trail
Total distance = 9.47 miles

Woke up around 6am and left Twin Lakes around 8am. Got to the "trailhead" by 8:30am and had to hike down the 2.7 mile road to the actual High Trail trailhead (agnew meadows area) as the Postpile road was still closed. Took maybe 50ish minutes as it was downhill and got on the trail. Weather starting out was pretty good. Clear skies with 10-15 mph winds and high 50s.The wind sure helped us stay cool going up the exposed switchbacks.


After a few switch backs we finally started getting that awesome Sierra view




Shadow Lake


After about 2.5 hours of hiking, we took a quick lunch break ...Clif bars and stinger waffles!





Now the original plan was to try to make it to Thousand Island on the first day but the extra 2.7 miles at the start tired us out so we opted for Badger Lakes

Nice little campsite


Took a quick dip to rinse off and boy was it COLD! Thankfully the rocks made for a nice nap area as they were scorching hot from the sunlight


Afterwards, we went on a short stroll around the lake







After awhile we got hungry and went back to cook up some pasta w/ arriabiata sauce and hot links!


After cleaning up, my friend and I jumped in the tents and called it a night while our photographer buddies went out looking for that perfect sunset







Day 3 - On our way to TI Lake and Garnet!
Total Distance = About 6 miles


Woke up at 6 and left by 7:30.
As we got closer to TI Lake, Mt. Banner appeared






Arriving at TI Lake




Now we either could of gone down the JMT or around the lake over to Garnet...Being that their was snow at the western end of the lake we went that way


Iceberg!








Relatively easy stream crossing


Sun cups everywhere! Maybe we should have gone down the JMT...


This area had a bunch of red algae in the snow


Looking back at the Donohue area before going TI/Garnet pass






Around 10am some dark clouds were coming in and the wind starting averaging out at 20mph. So we got up the pass as quick and safely as we could. The last part got pretty steep




Made it!


Other side of the pass. Some of the bodies of water around Garnet were still frozen over


Going down the pass on this side was much easier then going up


Garnet Lake


Pretty windy. Was cool watching the gust flow over the lake surface
video: https://www.facebook.com/ashley.chwastyk/videos/10206499327981737/

Took a little scrambling to get down


Some icebergs left in Garnet


Last sketchy part of the day before we got to our campsite


Same slope. One of my friends misplaced her foot and slipped down that slope and was just able self arrest before going off that edge you see in the photo. After that, we opted to just call it a day since she was shaken up and everyone was pretty exhausted from the sun cups and the pass.


Was planning on making gumbo that night but we were so knackered so we opted for our mountain houses/backpackers pantry. Gotta say the Jamican Style chicken from backpacker's pantry sure has a kick! Try it!




Day 4 - Ediza or Exit?
Total distance = 9.66 miles


So same thing like yesterday, got up at 6 and left by 8. The night prior was a bit chilly as it dropped to below freezing but our 20F bags handled the conditions like a champ

Parts of the body of water near us froze a little. See how the lighting changes a shot! (previous shot)


After bushwhacking for alittle more we found the trail iced over!




Making our way around the north shore




From here on was the fork to ediza or back down to the river trail. As the trail to Ediza was snow covered and steeper than the day before, we opted to exit via the river trail as we didn't bring ice axes along.

View of the bridge at the eastern end of Garnet


Went down the trail to the river trail and ran into this...started to think that the trail to Ediza might of been a better choice haha. Threw on our microspikes and went for it.






The chute wasn't too bad. Pretty fun actually!
We weren't able to find the trail as the shrubs were overgrown. We did find some parts of it but it was tough to follow so we just xced it


The river crossing for the trail was too dangerous so we opted to follow the river for sometime till a safer alternative was found


This was the best we could find...


After that we had our last scene while enjoying the scenary




and then finally exited the wilderness ending our trip



No not really we still had to go up steady uphill 2.7 mile road in the scorching sun...

Finally made it back to the car around 3pm and headed down into town to get a beer and burger at the Mammoth Brewing Company (https://www.yelp.com/biz/mammoth-brewing-company-mammoth-lakes-3).
Sadly we were too hungry to take any pics of the food...so I'll end it there!

Here's the route we took http://caltopo.com/m/H770

Thanks for reading!



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 06/22/2016 12:56PM by KevinD.
Re: TR: Ansel Adams Wilderness 6/14-6/17
June 21, 2016 06:51PM
Great pics ! Thanks for posting.
Re: TR: Ansel Adams Wilderness 6/14-6/17
June 21, 2016 07:17PM
Love the area!

Great write up and pics! Soooo glad no major bad! I've slipped on steep snow and slid for a bit. V scary!

Dunno how heavy your ice axes are, but if weight deterred u from carrying, there are some very nice very lightweight ice axes.. I have a couple from Camp I love.. Handy when conditions warrant! Better safe than sorry.
Re: TR: Ansel Adams Wilderness 6/14-6/17
June 22, 2016 12:58PM
Thanks!

I definitely agree! The original mindset of the trip was to just stay on trail and avoid the snow patches. Our friends on the PCT confirmed it was relatively snow free so I was like YES! Less weight! (you called it right haha). But after seeing the snow...I couldn't resist... sad smiley

Was thinking about getting some Camp ice axes to see how they compare in weight to my Petzl Summit. The Petzl is a bit heavy but it has helped me in a few cases so...sentimental value remains strong ahha.

-Kevin
avatar Re: TR: Ansel Adams Wilderness 6/14-6/17
June 21, 2016 08:52PM
Thanks for posting such a detailed trip report. It was excellent! And thanks for sharing all those photos.



Leave No Trace
avatar Re: TR: Ansel Adams Wilderness 6/14-6/17
June 21, 2016 09:57PM
Awesum!

You run into any (or I prolly should say... any run into you) PCT hikers?

Last two weekends... in Cold Canyon area... we were literally on the trail for
MINUTES and PCTers were bombing thru...

I was told around 40 or so thru TM by 6/12. Ran into more on 6/19 (literally
on trail for less than 1 minute... and 5 came by).

Anywho. Tanks fur Sharon!



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: TR: Ansel Adams Wilderness 6/14-6/17
June 21, 2016 10:33PM
Quote
chick-on
Awesum!

You run into any (or I prolly should say... any run into you) PCT hikers?

Last two weekends... in Cold Canyon area... we were literally on the trail for
MINUTES and PCTers were bombing thru...

I was told around 40 or so thru TM by 6/12. Ran into more on 6/19 (literally
on trail for less than 1 minute... and 5 came by).

Anywho. Tanks fur Sharon!

On day 1, ran into 2 PCTers. Few more actually off trail at the mammoth McDonalds haha. The majority of hikers we ran into were coming from Donohue pass. Day 2, we ran into 0 hikers. Day 3, 4 more PCTers and a few "normal" backpackers. Was kind of happy we didn't run into many people!
Re: TR: Ansel Adams Wilderness 6/14-6/17
June 21, 2016 10:56PM
Nice work!!! Thanks for sharing the fun TR and pics. Love the pics with snow patches around the lakes.

Will be there on the Labor day weekend and hope to do Banner peak as well as this time I am going with an extra day.
avatar Re: TR: Ansel Adams Wilderness 6/14-6/17
June 22, 2016 10:55AM
Awesome reportage! I loved the photos.
avatar Re: TR: Ansel Adams Wilderness 6/14-6/17
June 22, 2016 02:34PM
I miss the Ansel Adams Wilderness so much. Thanks for making me a little bit less homesick. I love that route along the Garnet Lake outlet.
Here's Garnet with a lot less snow:

avatar Re: TR: Ansel Adams Wilderness 6/14-6/17
June 23, 2016 12:20PM
Nice, I love that area.

The Badger Lakes make for very nice swimming once things warm up a tad.
Re: TR: Ansel Adams Wilderness 6/14-6/17
June 27, 2016 06:13PM
Nice report!
I was surprised you had to cross all that snow!
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