Thursday, March 10, 2011

Western Loop Plans

July 27 - August 17 or 18

Any parts are open for participation. Check with Dick Worm for more detail about the following ways to Explore and Enjoy.

July 27 - 31 or August 1

Creede Repertory Theater--July 28, 29, 30 ("Unnecessary Farce", "I Capture the Castle", "Boomtown Comedy Improv", "How to Succeed in Business", and "Road to Mecca"); acclimatization/scenic hikes on July 29 and forenoon of July 30, with a July 31 or August 1 attempt to scale Fourteener Mount Sneffels (14,150 ft) near Ouray. (Anyone not going to California would leave after Sneffels.)

California Sierras
August 1 - 9 or 10

Leave from Colorado August 1 for a John Muir Trail backpack trek August 3 - 9/10. A permit has been obtained for 8 people to backpack from Devil's Postpile National Monument northwestward to Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park, with a side trip to the Minarets in the Ansel Adams Wilderness. Californians are also being invited to do this portion of the Western Lop. More details can be provided.

However, a lottery drawing has also been submitted for 6 people for a JMT trek from Whitney Portal northward to Onion Valley and, if drawn, would receive primary consideration, leaving the other permit available. Although I day-hiked the Whitney Portal route to Mount Whitney and back last summer (attend the program at the April 26 meeting for that and other JMT details), my cohort for these JMT trips did not, and the only option still available this summer was the Whitney Portal entry permit by lottery. This southernmost section of the John Muir Trail includes the JMT's highest pass, Forester Pass (13,180 feet). The lottery drawing is sometime around March 15.

Idaho's Sawtooth Mountains
August 10 - 17

--To try again for my now bucket-listed "The Arrowhead". This could extend to August 18 or no later than a noon August 19 return to Iowa. Bill Jamison is considering this Idaho option if he gets a travel companion(s).

Meet August 12 near Stanley, ID to backpack from a 6760 ft. trailhead to Hell Roaring Lake (7407 feet) and then ascend a steep, unofficial trail to scenic Clarice Lake (8180 ft.) to base camp two or no more than four nights, for me anyway, depending on conditions to reach "The Arrowhead".

One day-hike/scramble option during the potential August 13, 14, and 15 stay WILL BE "The Arrowhead" (10,579 ft.), passing the ominous "Finger of Fate" spire before the near vertical, ought-to-be-awesome view of the Cramer Lakes Basin, 2200 feet below.

Other treks from relatively small Clarice Lake (so its island is an easy swim away) may include views of Profile Lake, Mount Cramer (10,716 ft), Sevy Peak and other peaks, lakes and waterfalls. Exit via the same route on August 16 to begin the drive homeward, arriving late on August 17, at the earliest.

Other options for some folks may include only a day-hike to Clarice Lake skipping The Arrowhead and backpacking on to Imogene Lake from Hell Roaring to possibly camp on an "island" to enjoy an easier day-hike up a lake- and waterfall-strewn valley, apparently popular for fishing.

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