8 Day High Sierra trek : Humphreys Basin, Star Col, Granite Park, Lake Italy & Piute Canyon 6/25-7/2/22

Joined
May 3, 2018
Messages
283
Hello everyone.

It's been a good minute since I've posted anything here so with my return and some free time in the winter I'm going to post some of my (bigger) trips of the year. This was an 8 day backpacking trip in California's Sierra Nevada mountains. This trip was excellent and I was surprised at the amount of solitude we had at all of our camps minus the last one (but the people there were freaking awesome to talk with). All pictures are screen grabs from my trip video.

Trip video



THE DAY BEFORE THE TRIP, CAR CAMPING IN THE DESERT
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JUNE 25th | North Lake TH > Piute Pass > Humphreys Basin
7.67 Miles 2358ft of Gain


3 PRO'S of the DAY : Gained high country fast, dynamic clouds, good sunset
3 CON'S of the DAY : Lots of people, dodging a thunderstorm, eye kamikazes


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Camp at lower Desolation lake

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The Glacier Divide

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Wife fishing in evening

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GOODNIGHT


JUNE 26th | Lower Desolation Lake > Star Col/Pass > Little Lake > Pine Creek Pass
7.59 Miles 1360ft of Gain


3 PRO'S of the DAY : Amazing high country, non-stop lakes, good fishing
3 CON'S of the DAY : Lots of bugs, Star col was a time sink, altitude started to get us


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Good morning friends

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Desolation Lake outlet crossing

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The target and backup

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Wife and I on our way up

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Star Pass/col view

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x2 pack passing down sections

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Lake below Col. Fished for a few hours.

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Lake below the lake below the col

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Any waterfall/cascade enthusiast here?

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Camp at Pine Creek Pass. Tired but slowly acclimatizing. All camps on this trip were above 10,000 feet.



JUNE 27th | Pine Creek Pass > Granite Park > Italy Pass > Lake Italy
8.44 Miles 2578ft of Gain BEST DAY OF THE TRIP


3 PRO'S of the DAY : Most scenic day, Lake italy, granite park
3 CON'S of the DAY : Only spent 1 night in the area, should have stayed a night at granite park, too pretty


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Heading to granite park

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Start of Granite Park

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Italy Pass #1

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Italy Pass #2

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Lake Italy, amazing place

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Lake Italy camp

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Food and stuff for the trip

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Alpenglow sunset


JUNE 28th | Lake Italy > Lake Italy Drainage "Route" > PCT/JMT > Marie Lake
10.22 Miles 1564ft of Gain BUGGIEST DAY OF THE TRIP


3 PRO'S of the DAY : Upper drainage is wind river esque, cooler weather, great colors
3 CON'S of the DAY : Nat geo map is horrible, should have bought a local map, bugs bugs bugs


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First sun cup section over lake

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2nd Sun cup section over lake

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the drainage descent begins

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Many crossings like this

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Several bush whack sections. Some tedious, no where near as bad as a cascade schwack though. This is when the mosquitoes started attacking in droves.

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Found their home! Very long marsh sections. Wet feet unavoidable.

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Got back to PCT/JMT, saw some people on it but smooth sailing to Marie Lake. Camp.

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the view

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Sunset dinner


JUNE 29th | Marie Lake > Nameless Lake > Heart Lake
2.7 Miles 611ft of Gain BEST FISHING DAY


3 PRO'S of the DAY : Beautiful cirque, phenomenal fishing, only 18 passerbys despite near PCT/JMT
3 CON'S of the DAY : Swallowed mosquito on off trail ascent to nameless lake, several bites on knuckles, boot sidewall blowout


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To a nameless lake for lunch after very late start

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The lake

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Lower lake

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Heart Lake, best fishing on the trip. Bush whacked down instead of taking the trailed pass. PCT/JMT on left, only 18 or so people passed through all day.

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Heart Lake sunset


JUNE 30th | Heart Lake > PCT/JMT > Piute Canyon > Humphreys Basin
18.57 Miles 3798ft of Gain HARDEST DAY OF TRIP, TOO HOT OUTSIDE


3 PRO'S of the DAY : It ended eventually, waterfalls, dinner was good
3 CON'S of the DAY : Lots of bugs, too hot out, no shade in Piute canyon



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Cool tree. From below heart lake and a little beyond gave me yellowstone vibes

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Classic sierra scene

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He is loving the heat. I am not.

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Heading up piute canyon. No shade the whole way up. Mid 80s out.

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Back into Humphreys Basin

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Camp set up. Next step, make dinner.


JULY 1st | Tarn > Piute Pass > Goethe Lake
4.51 Miles 943ft of Gain


3 PRO'S of the DAY : Amazing lake camp, great final night, amazing people to talk with all evening
3 CON'S of the DAY : Morning bugs, hot again, people in the area(but read pro #3)



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Good morning. I hate these things.

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Well, time to pack up...

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Back into the wind and away from the bugs

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Lake near Piute Pass, headed for Goethe Lake now.

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First view of Goethe lake and our camp for the last night of the trip.

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Illegal fire ring. No fires allowed above either 10,400 or 10,900 feet. This lake is a good stretch above 11,000 feet. Time to clean up.

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After shot putting the rocks around and hiding the burned log I found out that using your rain fly to "shimmy" under the old coals clears an old ring out pretty darn fast.

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ALMOST) like new

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Eagle eating while watching me work like my foreman.

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Alpine col

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Goodnight

LAST DAY RETRACE OF STEPS BASICALLY

3 PRO'S of the DAY : Feel good about trip, easy hike down, friendly people for 4th of July weekend on the way up
3 CON'S of the DAY : Mcdonalds bigmac not good idea after 8 day trip, gas @ 7.89 a gallon at the time, had to cancel our tourist day due to gas prices



GOOD MORNING

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OldBill

Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Messages
304
Great trip, excepting the mosquitos and hot temps. Fine scenery and photography work. CA gas prices are notorious! Thanks for posting.
 

Bob

Trailmaster
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
3,555
Nice pics.....looks like a good trip.
 

priz1234

Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
195
Great photos and sounds like it was a great trip. I'm jealous though, I had that exact route planned starting on July 2nd this summer. Before we left though we found out we'd have to cut the trip short so ended up just spending a couple days in Humphrey's basin. That's a beautiful area and was still a great trip. Got to get out to Granite Park and Italy lake this next summer now. There is a chance we actually passed you since we were on our way up the trail on the 2nd.
 

wsp_scott

Member
.
Joined
May 16, 2016
Messages
1,073
I love the High Sierra, thanks for sharing

And thanks for cleaning up that fire ring. I would probably have scattered the rocks and log, but you went way beyond that, thanks
 

Janice

Member
.
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
806
Thanks for the beautiful photos and trip report. This reminds me that I want to go back to the Sierras. (Our first ever backpacking trip was in Yosemite almost 10 years ago but we haven't returned to that region yet.)

Fun to read your pros and cons - some made me laugh (June 30 pro "it ended eventually"). At the risk of sounding stupid (and/or old and/or not aware enough of pop culture), what are eye kamikazes?
 
Joined
May 3, 2018
Messages
283
Thanks for the beautiful photos and trip report. This reminds me that I want to go back to the Sierras. (Our first ever backpacking trip was in Yosemite almost 10 years ago but we haven't returned to that region yet.)

Fun to read your pros and cons - some made me laugh (June 30 pro "it ended eventually"). At the risk of sounding stupid (and/or old and/or not aware enough of pop culture), what are eye kamikazes?
I just call the gnats that love flying/suiciding into peoples eye balls "Eye Kamikazes"
 

Janice

Member
.
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
806
I just call the gnats that love flying/suiciding into peoples eye balls "Eye Kamikazes"
Sounds like the bugs were awful. I wonder if the only way to have fewer bugs is to have more people by going later in the season?
 
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