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Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake

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Mathes/Nelson Lake
June 24, 2012 02:38PM
I'm looking for information on getting from the Echo Creek Trail to Mathes Lake and then to Nelson Lake. I have no experience in cross country and am trying to decide if I'm willing to leave the trail (by myself) and make my way from Mathes to Nelson to Elizabeth. Most of the directions that I've read have been in the opposite direction and I don't know if this is sane enough for a 55 year old guy who is in decent shape (could be better) but am rugged and motivated. But I would really like to see this area and spend a very quiet 1 1/2 days of bliss.

Does anybody have any advice?
avatar Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
June 24, 2012 05:27PM
I did that in the reverse direction last year.

I wouldn't suggest this if you've never been cross-country and if you won't be with anyone who has - Echo Lake to Matthes wouldn't be bad for a first time as long as you watch what your GPS says the altitude is so you get up into the woods soon enough, but Matthes onward...it strikes me that the Echo Creek/Matthes climb is easier going up than it would be going down, and I'm guessing there's route-finding issues in both directions, from Matthes you'd need to hit the right point on the top, and to Matthes...see my trip report. One thing I'd suggest for a first time cross-country is to pick a route where you have bailout options. If I'm remembering correctly (it was in the first half of the '90s) my first x-country was northwest of Paiute Pass, from Desolation Lake over towards Moon Lake, where I camped. Hardly any trees, so transferring what I saw to and from the map was trivial, and if I didn't find a good route (I found an unpleasant talus slope down to Star, did it anyway) I could just go back to Desolation and still have a fun trip, I didn't have to make the loop from Moon down to Paiute. In Yosemite - Elizabeth to Nelson is easy enough - again watch your altitude so you know when to cut over, and Nelson down towards Echo Valley is pretty straightforward, Basilbop wrote about it last year.

Then look at the Matthes trip...its a nice one.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/24/2012 05:37PM by ttilley.
avatar Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
June 24, 2012 05:34PM
Matthes is fairly simple. But you should go look at Echo first.
From Matthes... um.. that may be a bit of a stickler for "No Experience" with cross country.
Matthes Lake is becoming increasingly popular. So expect to share it.

The best way to Echo is simply follow Cath Fork up. Eventually you will see Matthes Crest
and go "hot diggity dog". First time I saw it I had to go back and get the wifie to show her.
(you GOTTA see this!)
To get from Echo to Matthes... I recommend going around the very end of Matthes Crest
(not thru any saddle). It's simple xcountry.

From Matthes to Nelson is a bit more of a challenge.
You go thru the saddle DUE EAST. The east side is 200 ft. of... well... I'm guessing it
will be a challenge. If it doesn't look your cup of tea... then just go back to Matthes...
camp there... then go back to Echo and follow the creeklet to Cathedral Pass to pick up the trail.

Although there is a trail now to Nelson... you have to be able to nav. w/o it imo.
Don't expect to follow cairns or a trail...

Have fun



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avatar Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
June 24, 2012 06:22PM
Quote
chick-on
From Matthes to Nelson is a bit more of a challenge.
You go thru the saddle DUE EAST. The east side is 200 ft. of... well... I'm guessing it
will be a challenge. If it doesn't look your cup of tea... then just go back to Matthes...
camp there... then go back to Echo and follow the creeklet to Cathedral Pass to pick up the trail.

I wonder if I hit the crest a tad north of the saddle. I didn't find the top-most section difficult at all, the stuff just below it wasn't fun w/ a backpack. From Echo Creek I went up the main granite slope until somewhat below the cliff-like sections, then found a narrow joint in the granite that I followed north-by-north-west until I was just under the top (and no longer exposed to the main slope). To me the most difficult section was just before hitting that joint. If I were coming the other direction without having been up there, that joint would look like it leads nowhere.

Do you have a waypoint for where you hit the crest? I have, on NAD-27 Datum, 37d, 48m, 35s N, 119d, 23m, 37s W, 9896'.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/24/2012 06:23PM by ttilley.
avatar Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
June 25, 2012 07:04AM
Been to and fro a few times now. Once was right at the waypoint you mentioned.
The other couple of times was a bit further south. I recall a rock filled gully-ish
to the south. Pretty sure that is where I came down last time did that "pass".
I know I posted about it... but I'll just put this up instead (includes a map).
https://picasaweb.google.com/yosemite.chick.on/Matthes

The saddle from Matthes is fairly obvious... and the xcountry looks... and is..
fairly easy... it's getting down the other side that may cause pain.
Here's the view (in case it's not in some other pix set I'm missing)


Bearproof and I were just in that area a month ago... we went a round-about-way from
Matthes to Nelson to Reymann, etc.
That is here:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,56017
He put up a very large number of photos... route may or may not be obvious...

Have fun



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avatar Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
June 25, 2012 01:07PM
In your travels to and from Matthes Lake, have you ever come across the slot canyon shown on Greg Aiello's "Still Wild" video of his backpacking trip through the area?




.
avatar Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
June 25, 2012 09:48PM
Haven't gone that way. Mentioned it to Bearproof... and after very little conversation...
we decided to hit about 20 domes south of Matthes Lake instead.
There's so much to explore in that area.. And it's so easy to get to.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
July 16, 2012 03:01PM
Quote
plawrence
In your travels to and from Matthes Lake, have you ever come across the slot canyon shown on Greg Aiello's "Still Wild" video of his backpacking trip through the area?

I have just been looking into a trip in that area. I am fairly sure that the slot canyon is here (right in the center of the map, where the cross-hairs are - zoom in to get a better look at it). So far as I can tell, Aiello's group camped on the crest above Elizabeth the first night, then stayed high on the west wall of the canyon that goes down to Nelson Lake, probably aiming for the apparent saddle just south of the slot canyon (assuming I am right).
Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
July 18, 2012 07:02PM
I was looking at Google Earth myself awhile ago after viewing the video and came to the same conclusion that you did. I've got a permit for that area for next month and was thinking of day hiking up from Matthes Lake to see if I can find it.
avatar Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
June 25, 2012 06:28PM
Quote
chick-on
Been to and fro a few times now. Once was right at the waypoint you mentioned.
The other couple of times was a bit further south. I recall a rock filled gully-ish
to the south.

I didn't take a picture looking up, but my memory is similar, except I remember that gully being brushy as well, which is why I went up the granite north of that gully to that joint. In any case, my waypoint wouldn't let him see the way down, whereas from the main saddle he could see the entire thing and decide whether to continue on or not. And if not...I personally could live with 2 nights at Matthes.

Quote
chick-on
Bearproof and I were just in that area a month ago... we went a round-about-way from
Matthes to Nelson to Reymann, etc.
That is here:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,56017
He put up a very large number of photos... route may or may not be obvious...

I noticed and meant to check it out on a map for future reference, the views from the south of Matthes looked quite nice. Looking at it now, yes, its obvious.
.
Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
September 12, 2012 05:39PM
This area really is spectacular. I'm contemplating a Johnson-Reymann (or peak 11,357')-Rafferty triple for this weekend.
avatar Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
September 12, 2012 09:49PM
+1 here. I went up to Nelson Lake for the first time a couple weeks ago, spent a couple of nights, did a loop around Reymann & 11,357.








Still sorting through my shots, a couple more here:
http://www.qitnl.com/v/090112/

Beautiful rock, I hope to get up again before the end of the season, saw all sorts of stuff I wanted to climb.
Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
September 12, 2012 11:27PM
+2

Matthes is very nice, too. Sublime, even.


Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
September 13, 2012 12:13AM
Sounds as if you had a blast. Thanks for sharing these photos. It's making me wish I was there already.
avatar Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
September 13, 2012 07:25AM
+12,000 (approx size of park in sq. miles)

Cool Grape Goodness.

This is a good example of why it pays to explore and explore and explore.
So many great things out there. This area is spectacular indeed... as is
about 11,999 other sq. miles of the park.

Tanks for Sharon
Have fun out there



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
September 15, 2012 07:39AM
Quote
chick-on
+12,000 (approx size of park in sq. miles)

Cool Grape Goodness.

This is a good example of why it pays to explore and explore and explore.
So many great things out there. This area is spectacular indeed... as is
about 11,999 other sq. miles of the park.

Tanks for Sharon
Have fun out there

12,000 sq. miles? Me thinks you have an extra zero! smileys with beer
avatar Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
September 17, 2012 08:37AM
OOOPS!



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
September 13, 2012 10:51PM
The combination of both being on your own and no x-country experience would make me hesitate. Both my wife and I have pretty decent skills and there have been many times when having two heads to interpret the map/terrain helped. If you decide to go I would suggest using USGS 7.5 minute topos and a compass, if you know how to use it, or a GPS if thats your style. You'll probably find alot of solitude. We were just in Jack Main Canyon and did'nt see anyone but the trail crew for 3 of 5 days.
avatar Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
September 17, 2012 08:31PM
In my shot from the top of Reymann, above, you can see Mt. Starr KIng in the distant horizon.

This is in the reverse direction, from the slopes of Starr King:





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/17/2012 08:34PM by QITNL.
Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
September 17, 2012 09:35PM
Teaser - guess which peak? smiling smiley





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/17/2012 09:36PM by Ohnivy-Drak.
avatar Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
September 17, 2012 10:56PM
Did you "ski" down it?



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
September 17, 2012 11:37PM
Although I consider myself an "althlutic" person, I'm rather bad at downhill skiing. I had a feeling someone would make that guess. From this particular angle, it certainly does look like it. This won't take you too many more guesses, so let's continue I suppose. Thanks for playing along with this dumb game. smiling smiley

You do get a nice view of Nelson Lake from the top of this thing (so there's connection to the thread topic).



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/17/2012 11:42PM by Ohnivy-Drak.
Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
September 17, 2012 11:47PM
When I was a kid everybody refered to it as the Rump of Unicorn. Longtime lurker here, really enjoy this forum.
avatar Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
September 18, 2012 06:54AM
Everthing is related. tongue sticking out smiley

If you didn't ski down it then you "Raferted" down it. With the low water this year... that is a mean feat.
(now show the picture of Reymann PLEASE!)
(and maybe I show you some benchmarkers) smiling smiley

On a unrelated note... but in the same realm.
Name this Mountain:


Or in a different area of the park (in 3D) (and not a peak) :


Good luck and Have fun out der



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
September 18, 2012 09:45AM
Quote
chick-on

On a unrelated note... but in the same realm.
Name this Mountain:

That's obviously “Rocky Top“ in Tennessee! wink

.
avatar Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
September 18, 2012 05:55PM
Nah, way too much blue sky. If it were the TN/NC Rocky Top the photographer would have had to wipe the condensation off the lens then take the picture within the next five seconds or so.

Edit: that was actually a major part of the challenge to photography on the Smokies trip - I take a picture, there's fog, did I capture actual fog, or did I also capture condensed moisture making the 'fog' look even foggier than it should. If the latter, delete, wipe, quickly take, review, etc.

That won't be an issue with the next set of photos I post.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/18/2012 06:17PM by ttilley.
Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
September 18, 2012 10:17AM
Well, it depends on which mountain you consider to be Reymann. Sorry to disappoint: 11,357 was too tough. But 11,105 feet was a fun scramble and is also directly above Reymann Lake.

Two lazy guesses: Johnson and Basket.White flag
avatar Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
September 18, 2012 11:20AM
You couldn't see Reymann LAKE?
(btw... only been up Johnson a couple of times. haven't been up Rafferty, 11357 or 11105)
Now tell me you at least got ur booty up Doda..
smiling smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
September 18, 2012 01:30PM
Quote
chick-on
You couldn't see Reymann LAKE?
(btw... only been up Johnson a couple of times. haven't been up Rafferty, 11357 or 11105)
Now tell me you at least got ur booty up Doda..
smiling smiley



Weather permitting, Doda & other domas in 2-3 weeks.

Man, the connection to the forum is sloooow and laaaaggy today.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/18/2012 01:32PM by Ohnivy-Drak.
avatar Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
September 19, 2012 11:18AM
Quote
chick-on
Everthing is related. tongue sticking out smiley

If you didn't ski down it then you "Raferted" down it. With the low water this year... that is a mean feat.
(now show the picture of Reymann PLEASE!)
(and maybe I show you some benchmarkers) smiling smiley

On a unrelated note... but in the same realm.
Name this Mountain:


Or in a different area of the park (in 3D) (and not a peak) :


Good luck and Have fun out der

Is the second one somewhere on the North Dome trail shortly before North Dome?
avatar Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
September 19, 2012 10:06PM
Jim, I'll give you full credit even though it's wrong.
I was just poking fun at OVD ... I mean, how da heck you suppose
to ID a pile o rubble?
My top photo is actually a "Mountain". Mount Bruce
The second one is actually near White Wolf area.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
September 20, 2012 06:44PM
Quote
chick-on
Jim, I'll give you full credit even though it's wrong.
I was just poking fun at OVD ... I mean, how da heck you suppose
to ID a pile o rubble?
My top photo is actually a "Mountain". Mount Bruce
The second one is actually near White Wolf area.

How do I get full credit when I'm 9 miles off?
avatar Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
September 24, 2012 07:01AM
Participation Trophy.
It's kind of molded after the original Galloping Gobbler... only it's a Squawking Chick-on.

(FWIW you were +10 miles off)



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Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
September 21, 2012 09:17AM
Quote
chick-on
My top photo is actually a "Mountain". Mount Bruce
The second one is actually near White Wolf area.

Did you find the old plane crash near Mount Bruce?

And that second one was pretty much impossible to guess.
Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
September 21, 2012 01:05PM
Quote
buster
Did you find the old plane crash near Mount Bruce?

I've seen this plane crash (and have some pix somewhere...), but there's not much left to see... you pretty much have to stumble upon it to find it.
avatar Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
September 24, 2012 07:02AM
Old Plane Crash? Dang.
Been up Mt. Bruce twice now... and didn't see any srappnel or anything.
General vacinity w/r to "summit"?



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Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
September 24, 2012 08:06AM
The crash was roughly south of the summit--maybe slightly southeast, still in the trees, so maybe 9400'-9500'-ish. There's not much there--some small, partially molten parts and a few small sheets of aluminum.
Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
September 28, 2012 12:43AM
Nelson & the less difficult side of Clark I hope to get up



I believe the highest peak in the middle is Clouds, correct if I'm wrong.

avatar Re: Mathes/Nelson Lake
September 28, 2012 07:30AM
Looks difficult. wink

When you going?

(and yes, that's Clouds Rest) smiling smiley



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