TR: Agnew loop in Ansel Adams Wilderness 8/23 – 8/26

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar
Rockyroad
Topix Regular
Posts: 240
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:05 pm
Experience: N/A
Contact:

TR: Agnew loop in Ansel Adams Wilderness 8/23 – 8/26

Post by Rockyroad » Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:00 pm

Ansel Adams Wilderness, east of the Ritter Range is a magical place, especially when bright colorful wildflowers, lush green meadows, active streams, and snow-patched granite spires call for your attention. It is a desirable location for many backpackers and day hikers, making solitude here rare. Giving a nod to spectacular scenery over solitude, I selected this area for a trip with my brother. My strategy was to avoid popular camping locations.

We started out of Agnew Meadows, followed the trail past Shadow Lake, turned north onto the JMT and eventually diverted to modest Clarice Lake for the evening. Our destination the following day was the tarn above the west end of Garnet Lake. It is no more than 3.5 miles away along the north shore of Garnet Lake, but I wanted to show my brother Thousand Island Lake so we added another ~3 miles by looping around Thousand Island and returning over Garnet Pass.

Garnet Lake
Image

Flowering corn lilies and Thousand Island Lake
Image

Indian paintbrush
Image

Day 3 included a climb over rocky and steep Whitebark Pass. Over the previous weeks, I monitored Caltopo’s hi-res satellite photos and saw our chance of success increase as the snowfields shrank. We would not need to take an alternate path back to the JMT. After tiring of climbing over talus, we reached the left side of the large snowfield near the top. Here, we had to climb up ledges and scramble to the left into a large chute for the final ascent to the top, getting our first views of the Minarets. We crossed above Nydiver Lakes, past the first tarn to its west at about 10,300’ and ended up at the snowy 10,100’ tarn at the base of Mt Ritter and Banner Peak. Spectacular scenery AND solitude. Although we did see a solo climber descending from Mt Ritter. Multiple waterfalls flowed down Mt Ritter into the tarn on its way to Ediza Lake and Shadow Creek far below.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Whitebark Pass
Image

Snowfield on Whitebark Pass
Image

Whitebark Pass
Image

Nydiver Lakes
Image

Image

Image

Image

Morning sun
Image

On the last day, we followed the stream down to Ediza Lake but at the lake, instead of my intended south shore route, we accidentally took the north shore route which required a ~quarter mile of climbing over talus. We traveled along Shadow Creek, eventually retracing our steps back to Agnew Meadows.

Image

Image








User avatar
The Other Tom
Founding Member
Posts: 831
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 6:06 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Upstate South Carolina

Re: TR: Agnew loop in Ansel Adams Wilderness 8/23 – 8/26

Post by The Other Tom » Sat Aug 31, 2019 5:18 am

That's a nice area. Great pics, especially the flowers with the lake backgrounds. Thanks for posting

User avatar
davidsheridan
Topix Regular
Posts: 158
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:56 pm
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

Re: TR: Agnew loop in Ansel Adams Wilderness 8/23 – 8/26

Post by davidsheridan » Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:16 am

Excellent TR. Thanks for posting.

User avatar
sekihiker
Founding Member
Posts: 571
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 2:47 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Fresno
Contact:

Re: TR: Agnew loop in Ansel Adams Wilderness 8/23 – 8/26

Post by sekihiker » Sat Aug 31, 2019 3:02 pm

Thanks for sharing, Michael. Photos and report were topnotch, as usual.

User avatar
tie
Topix Regular
Posts: 116
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:42 am
Experience: N/A

Re: TR: Agnew loop in Ansel Adams Wilderness 8/23 – 8/26

Post by tie » Sat Aug 31, 2019 4:48 pm

So pretty!! I was just there a couple days before you. I liked the white heather the best. Ritter's summit was covered in butterflies. Perfect weather.

User avatar
torpified
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2015 5:59 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Re: TR: Agnew loop in Ansel Adams Wilderness 8/23 – 8/26

Post by torpified » Sun Sep 01, 2019 9:21 am

Thanks for the detailed account and the splendid pictures! I'm hoping to visit that neck of the woods soon, and now I'm even more excited at the prospect!

User avatar
kpeter
Topix Expert
Posts: 915
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:11 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: TR: Agnew loop in Ansel Adams Wilderness 8/23 – 8/26

Post by kpeter » Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:46 am

Spectacular paintbrush! Nice photos!

User avatar
jeremiahkim
Topix Regular
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:45 am
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: TR: Agnew loop in Ansel Adams Wilderness 8/23 – 8/26

Post by jeremiahkim » Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:02 pm

Spectacular wildflowers. Thanks for sharing.

User avatar
kylekuzma
Topix Novice
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:30 pm
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

Re: TR: Agnew loop in Ansel Adams Wilderness 8/23 – 8/26

Post by kylekuzma » Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:30 am

Absolutely beautiful. Great TR

User avatar
Cloudy
Topix Regular
Posts: 119
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 11:08 am
Experience: N/A
Location: Central California

Re: TR: Agnew loop in Ansel Adams Wilderness 8/23 – 8/26

Post by Cloudy » Thu Sep 05, 2019 6:23 pm

Gorgeous photos! Much appreciated.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: bulaklakan, mschnaidt, RiseToADry and 8 guests