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Re: Crosscountry from Harriet to Bernice Lakes?

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Crosscountry from Harriet to Bernice Lakes?
August 09, 2012 10:31PM
Hello. I am new to this forum, but am happy to have found it! My husband and I have permits for a two-week circuit of Yosemite from Glacier Point to Yosemite Falls, beginning this coming Monday August 13th. As part of this hike we’re planning on hiking the upper trail along Triple Peak Fork from Red Peak Pass to Vogelsang Pass. From the topo map, it looks possible to hike cross-country from Harriet Lake to Florence and Bernice Lake above the 10,000’ topo line. We think that would be a much more beautiful and interesting trip. Is it possible? Has anyone done this? Any tips or resources you can suggest? Many thanks !
Re: Crosscountry from Harriet to Bernice Lakes?
August 10, 2012 08:22AM
Hi Jane

That's some pretty steep country you are trying to cross. If you take the direct route north from Harriet, you are crossing the west ridge of Mt. Ansel Adams...and I don't think you can do this without some technical aid (climbing ropes etc.). The trail really does take the best and most walkable route.

And the ridge just south of Florence Lake is the western ridge of Mt. Florence---another steep cliff to climb and very steep descent.

If you look at those topo maps, you can see that every line is a change in elevation. The closer those lines are together, the steeper the angle of the slope. That ridge south of Florence Lake is almost vertical.

I am all in favor off getting off trail from time to time, but this isn't the route I would suggest as a starter.

If you want something easier that would be off trail and more or less on your route...depart the trail at Tuolumne Pass and head northwest over that ridge to Reymann Lake. From there you can follow the valley down to Nelson lake, and from there you have lots of options that are open to you,



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
avatar Re: Crosscountry from Harriet to Bernice Lakes?
August 10, 2012 08:59AM
Quote
balzaccom
If you take the direct route north from Harriet, you are crossing the west ridge of Mt. Ansel Adams...and I don't think you can do this without some technical aid (climbing ropes etc.).

That's class 2. Without question getting to Lyell Fork is not supremely difficult from Harriet.

To Jane:
Please take a real hard look at the 7.5 topo map.
As "intermediate" hiker (if that is true) I would say that there is no way you get to Florence Lake
by going over the Florence Crest.
From Florence Lake to Bernice sans the trail is all class 2. (done it)
I highly recommend that you stay on the trail mostly and simply zig on and off it to
check things out. Even the Florence to Bernice section....

Roper's Sierra High Route stays completely on trail south of
Lyell Fork all the way to Tuolumne Meadows. He doesn't say kind things about
Hutchings Creek Headwaters. O well...

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Crosscountry from Harriet to Bernice Lakes?
August 10, 2012 11:02AM
The trail goes from Harriet to Lyell Fork. But off trail takes you right up over the ridge...



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
avatar Re: Crosscountry from Harriet to Bernice Lakes?
August 10, 2012 03:56PM
The trail is a ways away from Harriet. I'm talking xcountry from Harriet heading north
just west of Foerster ... around the flanks of Foerster ... just west of Ansel Adams...
then down to Lyell Fork. That is all class 2.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Crosscountry from Harriet to Bernice Lakes?
August 10, 2012 08:16PM
Hello Janefish,

Curious about what you are proposing. I looked at that and my reaction is you must be looking at a large scale topographic map like a 100K:1 that provides little resolution instead of a 7.5 minute USGS topo.

OK so here is the topo:

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.69116,-119.31401&z=14&t=T

From Harriet Lake, 10272, the most efficient choice is to follow the outlet stream down to 9850 then traverse north to the trail near the L in Wilderness. And then follow that all the way to Vogelsang.

Otherwise as balzaccom noted, the ridge west of Forester Peak is VERY steep snow cornice caused cliffs at the top. The only way through that would be to reach the saddle at 11240 just north of Forester Peak and then make what is certain to be an unpleasant descent to lake 10211. To do that would have no value unless you were visiting the upper Lyle basin as chick-on likely did. And then what are you going to do to stay above the 10000 line you noted? You certainly are not going to traverse across the southwest face of peak 12113. Instead you would need to descend to the trail as trying to keep above 10000 through all those southwest facing canyons would have no value.



http://www.davidsenesac.com
Re: Crosscountry from Harriet to Bernice Lakes?
August 10, 2012 09:38PM
Hello everyone and thanks so much for the suggestions and feedback. First, I should have said we are advanced backpackers (but I was a little intimidated by the group’s experience!). We have been backpacking together for 40 years - in the Sierras a lot, in the Grand Canyon (a little), and trekking in the Himalayas. We looked at Balzaccom’s website – wow! So many familiar places – but also full of ideas for hikes we haven’t done yet.
And yes, I was looking at Tom Harrison’s Yosemite map. The link to the acme mapper was great (THANK YOU David) – much more detail than the 7.5 maps we currently have access to. Class 2 isn’t a problem, we’ve done cross-country scrambles before, but we’re not climbers. Mostly, we were looking for a path with more water since the creeks are reportedly mostly dry this year. We may stay on the trail and just take our extra time exploring the head of Lyell Fork. We’ll let you know how things work out when we return.
Many thanks again –
Jane and Glenn
________
FYI – here’s the current plan (leaving for Yosemite from the Bay Area this Sunday):
Leave Yosemite Valley via Glacier Pt. Bus
Arrive Glacier Point
Take Illouette Ck. trail
Camp day 1 - Illouette Ck
Via Buena Vista Lake, Buena Vista pass
Camp day 2 - Royal Arch Lake
Buck Camp, Moraine Mt., Merced Pass
Camp day 3: Lowe Merced Pass L
Red Peak Pass
Camp day 4: Merced Lake Fork
Upper Triple Peak Fork trail
Camp day 5: Lyell Fork
Up Lewis Creek trail
Camp day 6: Bernice Lake
Vogelsang Pass, Rafferty Creek, Lyell Canyon, Tuolumne Meadows
Camp day 7: Tuolumne Backpackers Campground (pick up re-supply)
Glen Aulin
Camp day 8: Cathedral Creek
Tuolumne Peak, S. Fork Cathedral Creek
Camp day 9: Ten Lakes
Camp day 10: Grant Lakes
Yosemite Creek trail
Camp day 11: Yosemite Creek below Whitewolf trail junction
Yosemite Creek trail, Yosemite falls trail
End: Yosemite Valley, Yosemite Lodge
We really have 13-14 days, so may extend - nice to have some leeway.
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