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Re: TR: Isberg and Post Peak Passes from the south

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TR: Isberg and Post Peak Passes from the south
September 06, 2011 05:14PM
Just back from a wonderful five day trip into the Ansel Adams Wilderness. We started at the Granite Creek trailhead and hiked up past Cora Lakes (a bit overused, for our taste) and then on to Sadler Lake the first night. While the first half of htis trail was dull (a climb up to The Niche and then more ambling through the forest to Cora Lakes) the second half of this hike was delicious--along the banks of a burbling stream, lots of flowers, butterflies. It may be September, but it felt more like spring up here.



Caught a few nice trout in Sadler (smaller rainbows and bigger brooks) and called it an early night. There was one other group at the lake, and they were on the far side.



The next day we hiked up past the Isberg Lakes (wonderful alpine scenery here) and then left the trail to take the more direct route up Isberg Pass. The trail makes a crazy switchback way off to the right for no reason....so we just hiked up to the pass. The views there were good, particularly of Banner, Ritter and the Minarets, but got even better once we crossed over the pass and started down towards the Merced Canyon.

The trail here, however, is a mess. Lots of jagged blocks of rock, lots of slippery sand, and no fun. It times it seemed as if it would be easier to hike outside the trail on this section as well!

As we descended, we noticed Lake 10005 at the bottom of Isberg Peak...and decided that it looked like a good campsite. We were originally going to head over to Turner Lake--but this one seemed too good to pass up.

It was. A beautiful lake that reminded us a lot of the Gaylor Lakes---but those are closed to camping because they are too close to the road. Here we had the same open vistas, another stunning mountain range (the Clark Range here, instead of the Cathedral Range at Gaylor) and no people at all.



Even better, there is actually a sandy beach at the east end of this lake: a rarity in the High Sierra. We washed, sunbathed, and fished (tons of nice 10-12 inch brookies) and generally enjoyed the rest of the afternoon here. And the sunset was stunning, too!

The next morning we headed up Post Peak Pass to one of the great hikes in Yosemite. As you climb up the pass you can see most of the park open up to the North…and then when you get up on the ridge, you get the whole southern Sierra as well. And the trail must hike along this ridge for half a mile or more. It’s hard to keep hiking because you just want to stop and enjoy the view!



But once again the descent was through about a mile and a half of ugly talus that had fallen off of Post Peak. Slow going, and no fun for the knees at our age. This must have been a real job to build a trail through this stuff!

It felt good to finally reach the more reasonable sections of the trail below Porphyry Lake.

From there we took Fernandez Pass trail up to within about a mile or so of THAT pass before turning off to stay at Rutherford Lake. It started to sprinkle just enough for M to ask for her rain gear out of her pack. By the time she put it on, it had stopped sprinkling. But that did give us some motivation to get up the last half-mile to the lake!

Rutherford is truly scenic, with nice-sized trout as well. Except that we were joined by a solo hiker who seemed to want company, this was a perfect day. And a perfect sunset as well.



Day four had us taking a nice downhill run to Lillian Lake ( very busy—lots of campers here!) through Stanford Lakes (small and boggy) and then down to Vandeburg Lake. Nice easy terrain, easy trail, and we didn’t meet anyone at all until we got to the Lake.

But if Lillian was busy, Vandeburg was crammed, particularly on this busy Labor Day weekend. We expected as much, but were still disappointed with the amount of toilet paper we found in the woods. Sigh. It makes you wonder how many people are TOO many for a busy weekend...and if they all really did have permits for that day. I caught a couple of nice rainbows here on a #20 fly, but there were just too many people (including one couple who arrived about dusk and asked us what the name of the lake was!). Still, some nice views here.



The next morning we were up early, hiked out to the trailhead, and then began the LONG and slow drive home. Total was five days, about 38 miles, more fish than I could count, and more views than fish. Mosquitoes were still around, but bearable. And I got more bites on my fly rod than on my skin.

The rest of the photos are here:

https://picasaweb.google.com/balzaccom/AnselAdamsWilderness2011#



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
Re: TR: Isberg and Post Peak Passes from the south
September 06, 2011 05:45PM
I approve of this trip. cool smiley

What is with those people who show up with no idea where they were going?? And why do they always ask me? You obviously look like you know what you are doing!

Last time I was at Cora, a hunter walked up to us and asked where his campsite was. confused smiley Like, okay. Was it the one with the really poorly hung bear pinata? Turned out it was...

Great pictures, as always!
Re: TR: Isberg and Post Peak Passes from the south
September 06, 2011 06:00PM
LOL---great stories, AT!

If anyone ever asked me where to camp, I am not sure I would be able to keep a straight face while directing them to a spot well down the trail!



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
avatar Re: TR: Isberg and Post Peak Passes from the south
September 06, 2011 06:15PM
I interpreted that as a request for Almost to tell him where he had already set up camp, not where he should set up camp.

Nice pictures.
Re: TR: Isberg and Post Peak Passes from the south
September 06, 2011 07:03PM
Yup, he lost the camp he and his buddies made, complete with a bear bag dangling four feet off the ground (maybe they were more afraid the chipmunks would get it).

Not sure how you misplace four Coleman 4 person dome tents with the tiny half-fly and the massive fire pit surrounded by empty water bottles and beer cans. Was kind of obvious. I suppose it helps if you have the memory of being at the very south end of the lake, and, well, which way is south....



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/06/2011 07:04PM by AlmostThere.
avatar Re: TR: Isberg and Post Peak Passes from the south
September 06, 2011 07:09PM
Quote
AlmostThere
Yup, he lost the camp he and his buddies made, complete with a bear bag dangling four feet off the ground (maybe they were more afraid the chipmunks would get it).

Not sure how you misplace four Coleman 4 person dome tents with the tiny half-fly and the massive fire pit surrounded by empty water bottles and beer cans. Was kind of obvious. I suppose it helps if you have the memory of being at the very south end of the lake, and, well, which way is south....

I saw a camp w/ a bear pinata while day hiking at Shealor Lakes over Labor Day. Thankfully it didn't contain the other features you mention. And nobody asked me to locate it for them.

But seriously...dood...if your child can reach the 'bear bag', how do you think you've protected it from a bear?
avatar Re: TR: Isberg and Post Peak Passes from the south
September 06, 2011 06:43PM
Nice.

If you want to see hardly anyone next time head up / then down to Hemlock crossing and
up NF San Juaquin... as far as you like. Twin Island Lakes and the entire canyon is incredible.
And hardly anyone goes there. There's a reason there are so many camping restrictions on
all those lakes in that area. If you search for Bench Canyon you can find a few photos I took in the area perhaps.

I didn't look through all your photos... but ... some things don't change much.
Here's the gnarly tree from July of 2006:


The photos you have marked as Vogelsang... um... that's actually Mt. Maclure, Mt. Lyell, and Foerster

Some other lakes with beaches:
Miller, Barney, Benson, Mary, and Kibbie ... off the top o my noggin
(the beaches size varies by time o year though)

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: TR: Isberg and Post Peak Passes from the south
September 06, 2011 08:21PM
Thanks for the trip report, I love that area! Lake 10005 remains one of my favorite campsites despite the mosquitoes. I last visited over July 4th weekend in 2007 (we did the high passes loop - a very dry year, there was no snow even on Red Peak Pass). It was a perfect swimming temperature even that early in the season.
Re: TR: Isberg and Post Peak Passes from the south
September 06, 2011 10:40PM
Yep--thanks Bill. I've corrected that caption, plus a couple of others. And I LOVE your photo of the same old tree!

I do hope to get to Hemlock Crossing at some point...lots of places, not so much time.

And yes. Benson Lake came to mind...Barney is more dirt than sand...but not many others!



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
avatar Re: TR: Isberg and Post Peak Passes from the south
September 07, 2011 06:10AM
Quote
balzaccom
And yes. Benson Lake came to mind...Barney is more dirt than sand...but not many others!
Barney is quite sandy (would you like a picture?).

After thinking more:
Roosevelt, Lower Young, Evelyn, Doe, Nelson, Matthes, and a small little lake called Tenaya

Depending on when you go... the "beach" may be of varying size or not there at all...
(example is your lake... in 2006 when we were there... it was covered with water)



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: TR: Isberg and Post Peak Passes from the south
September 07, 2011 07:54PM
As usual, I stand corrected...although there wasn't much beach at Nelson two weeks ago. Just meadow to the edge of the lake, and more mosquitoes than you would think possible.



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
avatar Re: TR: Isberg and Post Peak Passes from the south
September 08, 2011 08:06AM
Not trying to give you a hard time. really...

Thought of a couple more. smiling smiley Dog, Lower Skeleton, and "Johnson" Lake

Here's Johnson (largest lake W of Johnson Peak, SE of Elizabeth):


Beach size, etc. varies.

(ok, I'll stop now)



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: TR: Isberg and Post Peak Passes from the south
September 08, 2011 02:25PM
No worries. I am always happy to learn.

And I do think you are right--that these vary from year to year and season to season depending on conditions.



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
avatar Re: TR: Isberg and Post Peak Passes from the south
September 08, 2011 08:46PM
Quote
chick-on
Not trying to give you a hard time. really...

Thought of a couple more. smiling smiley Dog, Lower Skeleton, and "Johnson" Lake

Here's Johnson (largest lake W of Johnson Peak, SE of Elizabeth):


Beach size, etc. varies.

(ok, I'll stop now)

Put them all on:

https://picasaweb.google.com/103089501068510688008/Johnson



Old Dude
avatar Re: TR: Isberg and Post Peak Passes from the south
September 08, 2011 09:19PM
What are you trying to say? (I lost my Old Dooood Secret Decoder ring)



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: TR: Isberg and Post Peak Passes from the south
September 08, 2011 09:23PM
Quote
chick-on
What are you trying to say? (I lost my Old Dooood Secret Decoder ring)

All of the Johnson Lake pictures or at least the link to them. They are pretty nice.



Old Dude
avatar Re: TR: Isberg and Post Peak Passes from the south
September 08, 2011 09:31PM
Ah. OK. I had forgotten even had that set and uploaded the same pix to a diff. set.
I thought maybe u were asking for a picture of all the lake's beaches I mentioned.
It should be noted that camping isn't allowed at Johnson Lake.... in this instance
though it was OK in our opinions since LNT principles were adhered to and the
weather dictated that we hunker down and ride out the storm. Pretty irritated to
find fire rings near that beach... an obvious violation and disregard for the regs.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: TR: Isberg and Post Peak Passes from the south
September 07, 2011 09:46AM
I was going to mention Tenaya. I had some fun on the beach (and in the water!) with a good family video the day before my hike. It was cool to clearly see the Beach from Clouds Rest the next day.
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