Tamarack Lake to Lion Lake

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george
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Tamarack Lake to Lion Lake

Post by george » Wed Jun 13, 2007 8:32 pm

Does anyone know how easy, or not, it is to travel from Tamarack Lake, in the Elizabeth Pass/Bearpaw Meadow area of Sequoia NP, up to Lion Lake, then south over Lion Lake Pass into 9 Lake Basin? We'd like to go that way in 2 weeks as part of our loop hike from Mineral King.








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maverick
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Post by maverick » Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:47 am

I have'nt gone up from Tamarack Lake, but have gone down
from Lion Lake and its not bad, but there are a maze of ledges
some lead down to another ledge others ended in a drop offs which
make route finding a little tedious.
Also the area before you head up can be like a swamp but who
knows what its like this year.
Secor's book describes a trail from TL to LL, check it out.
At Lion Lake go to the uppermost lake and look for a stream thats
empties into the lake from the southwest, follow that up to the bench
west of the lake.
There's a climb to the south up talus where the pass is located,
easy class 2.

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Take-a-Hike
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Post by Take-a-Hike » Thu Jun 14, 2007 8:05 pm

George: I'd be real interested in your trip as we're (wife 'n I) are doing the reverse trip, partially, about the 16th or so of July. We're coming up the HST to 9 lakes then I was wondering about going from there up to Lion then down to Tamarack. I was asking Maverick his advice, so now I have it, in reverse. Also, the post entitled "Thoughts of Kaweah Basin" has some good hints by Giant Brookie. One of his posts indicates a route from Lion down to Tamarack as being "a bit easier". So it must be do-able. From Tamarack we're going out to Tablelands then down and out via Pear lake. Using this as a warm up for an August trip out from North Lake and Lamarack Col to Darwin and back to South Lake.
Keep me posted.
Thanks

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Post by Steve Bearman » Fri Jun 15, 2007 12:23 pm

I've also done the reverse trip - from Lion down to Tamarack. We traversed across the top of the cliffs to the north (below Coppermine Pass) and it was very tricky route finding making our way down the ledge system, though I would do it again.

When we got to the bottom, it seemed as though the southerly route would have been easier, though also requiring thoughtful route finding. There's no way to go straight up the middle. There are waterfalls plunging into deep, vertical crevasses. You have to find a route around to the north or to the south.

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Post by giantbrookie » Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:02 pm

Neither Lion Lake Pass nor the Tamarack to Lion route are all that bad. I did those on descent, which makes for a bit tougher route finding given that there are vanishing points that obscure your line of sight. From the pass to Lion Lake or visa versa one sort does a diagonal ascent or descent (depending on direction) that pretty much exploits the gentler topography (easily seen on topo). Note also my notes in the Kaweah Basin post should you plan on heading for Triple Divide Pass. When I descended from Lion to Tamarack I recall there was one key chute that got one off of a high bench/shelf (S. of the outlet creek, S. side of basin) down to the last flattish area above Tamarack Lake. By initially starting off down the outlet stream my group got a view of the cliff band below the big upper shelf and were able to figure out where this chute was before moving over to this subhorizontal bench nearly on contour (You can see this bench or lower gradient area on the topo). One can stays on this bench for awhile before hitting that chute. While ascending it should be easier to find this key chute and I suspect that there are other class 2 lines of weakness that pierce that cliff band. Below the chute I remember some boulder hopping that needed to be descended before reaching the final flat area just above Tamarack.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Tamarack Lake to Lion Lake

Post by JosiahSpurr » Mon May 04, 2020 12:49 am

george wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2007 8:32 pm
Does anyone know how easy, or not, [ ... ] [ ... ] [ ... ]
That would've been late June 2007. About five or ten years ago, I did it that way (clockwise), but I don't remember which month. The important contribution I'd like to make to this thread is about SNOW / GLACIER CONDITIONS. There was a very, very long snow / ice field (chute?) running down the north side of Lion Lake Pass to the edge of Lion Lake. Other than that, dry. No snow. Nothing. BUT, I made the mistake of ascending the RIGHT side of the snow. Eventually, I ended up wedged between a rock and a snow bank. So, I decided to go across the snow to the other side and then up to the Pass. Without any snow equipment. I kicked holds into the snow which was melting in the noon-ish sun for my feet. I roped myself to my backpack while kicking those foot holds in the snow / glacier, thinking it might arrest a fall and save me from slamming into the rocks at the edge of Lion Lake. Well..... I slowly made those foot holds, and slowly went back and got my backpack, and slowly walked into those foot holds with my pack on my back. Then continued up to LL Pass. Nine Lake Basin (singular, not "lakes") was great. But looking back, it was one of the two instances I might have died, alone. Then again, in a life-threatening situation, staying calm / cool / collected and going SLOW is the key.

Josiah S*
Last edited by JosiahSpurr on Mon May 04, 2020 1:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tamarack Lake to Lion Lake

Post by JosiahSpurr » Mon May 04, 2020 1:40 am

josiahspurr wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 12:49 am
[ ... ] [ ... ] thinking it might arrest a fall and save me from slamming into the rocks at the edge of Lion Lake. Well..... [...] [...]
I found a very nice TR by this Physicist/Engineer named Lance Simms (his website is his name, no spaces, plus dot com). See /Hikes/. See the one called "Nine Lakes Basin" (09/15/11-09/21/11, _NOT_ the one called "Nine Lakes Basin via High Sierra"). The most difficult and death-defying part started after reaching the top of Lion Rock Pass from Nine Lake Basin, then hoping he would survive the descent down the snow field to Lion Lake !!! Lance warns us about snow N of LL Pass even in "late season."

Josiah S*

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Re: Tamarack Lake to Lion Lake

Post by Wandering Daisy » Mon May 04, 2020 9:43 am

I did an early season day-hike from Tamarack Lake to Lion Lake. I went on the south side, getting up on the steep hillside quite early and then traversing. Returning I came down earlier. The crux is to get up the initial brushy-cliffy band; there are many possibilities. Having never done the north side I cannot compare. I have also come over from 9 Lakes Basin Sept of 2006 and the route finding can be a but tricky and I did have to cross some snow.
Here are a few photos:
38_TBL_LionLkPass.JPG
39_TBL_TamerakLk.JPG
119_1936B.JPG
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Re: Tamarack Lake to Lion Lake

Post by creekfeet » Mon May 04, 2020 5:20 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 9:43 am
Having never done the north side I cannot compare.
I descended from Lion Lake to Tamarack on the north side, and it was absolutely brutal. The route I took cliffed out repeatedly, and involved quite a bit of lowering my pack on a rope, descending down avalanche chutes, staying in waist-high brush so I wouldn't go anywhere if I fell, and all that fun stuff. This wouldn't be an issue going up, but it was also one of those descents where I kept thinking I was finally going to make it to the lake, only to realize there was still yet another plateau to drop to. Even after getting to the top of the spectacular waterfall that pours into Tamarack it wasn't easy getting down.

But anyhow, you're doing the wise thing and planning ahead, unlike what was a completely impromptu decision for me, so I'd highly recommend the south side.

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Re: Tamarack Lake to Lion Lake

Post by eollinger » Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:08 pm

The hike from Lion Lake to Tamarack Lake (or reverse) can be a joy or a literal cliffhanger…let’s enjoy.

Starting from Lion Lake outlet walk down the right side of the creek upper bank. After about 5 minutes cut into the creek walking along some nice Sierra slabs (a Water Ouzel followed me both ways). When the creek flows under some scree followed by a triangular patch of thick brush – crossover turning left up the bank. Continue left about 1/10th of a mile over a grassy plateau aiming for the granite slab near the foot of Lion Rock (look up left and see all the scree you missed). Descend into the first brushy, boulder slot keeping the brush to your left and the ledges to your right. It was filled with flowers from a small seep stream and just before the bottom there is a field of wild onions. At the large, often muddy, buggy meadow above Tamarack Lake you can drop down left (brushy boulder slot) or right (follow the tree line), but either way take the time to visit the top of Tamarack Falls, the rocks on the right allow you to look over the 150’ waterfall into a hidden grotto. Just reverse going from Tamarack up to Lion, but even easier because you can see the route.

Now about those wild onions you picked…goes perfect with Tamarack trout!

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