TR:2006 Ionian-Tunemah-Blackcap

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tomba
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Re: TR:2006 Ionian-Tunemah-Backcap

Post by tomba » Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:18 pm

No need to be sorry about the repost.

I did the route from Tunemah Lake to the lakes north of Blue Canyon Pass in August 2016. My route was similar to your red route. The pass north of Tunemah Lake Secor calls "Libby Pass" in his book. I am quite sure that the dashed blue route would work fine as well.


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Re: TR:2006 Ionian-Tunemah-Backcap

Post by Bishop_Bob » Sun Dec 08, 2019 6:48 am

Thanks - I was thinking of going in that area this year, too. I had heard/read that Ionion Basin can be a hard spot to find a place to camp because of the terrain. Is that your impression, too?

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Re: TR:2006 Ionian-Tunemah-Blackcap

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sun Dec 08, 2019 8:30 am

I only have Secors 2nd book, and Libby Pass was not in that edition. Not only am I happy the pass works, there would be less backtrack and repeat miles using it.

As for camping, yes, Ionian Basin is really rocky! But there are lots of small flat spaces, either sandy or on lumpy grass, if you spend the time to look for them. A small tent or even a bivy sack are ideal because finding a space big enough for a larger tent is difficult. Also, a sleeping pad that is thick enough for lumpy ground is helpful. There are no trees, thus you are exposed. Luckily, I have never had to withstand a serious storm while in the Ionian Basin. In Ionian Basin, you take what you can get, and that often means you camp illegal distances from water. In that case, be very careful to do all potential polluting chores well away from camp and water.

My other observation is that the rocks are really sharp so a beefy shoe sole will save your feet. And there are lots of permanent snowfields. When I went with trekking poles only, and no traction devices, I was limited; when I did my first trip with mountaineering boots and an ice axe, I was much more aggressive in the routes I took. For example, I went around the south side of Davis Lake, which I would never do without an ice axe (I actually HAD to use it several times). On that trip, due to not having actual crampons, camped at Chasm Lake, I was unable to get back to camp on a day-hike down to look at Enchanted Gorge after I descend an icy patch. I ended up going all the way around, with a bivouac! Micro-route finding is pretty complex so plan enough time to get places.

Ionian Basin can be quite gloomy in overcast or cloudy conditions. But with deep blue skies, it is absolutely stunning. As for photos, you have to adjust for the extreme contrast. I just had the first-generation of digital cameras with little control, so the photos I show are the best I could do and had to be post-processed a lot, and still are not that great. Cloudy conditions can be great for good black and white photos.

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Re: TR:2006 Ionian-Tunemah-Blackcap

Post by c9h13no3 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 2:58 pm

One of the more interesting things about the Tunemah region is that it is the 7th most remote place in the lower 48 states (air miles from a road), and most remote in California.
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Re: TR:2006 Ionian-Tunemah-Blackcap

Post by torpified » Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:59 pm

c9h13no3 wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 2:58 pm
the 7th most remote place in the lower 48 states (air miles from a road).
I love that some place in FLORIDA makes the top 10!

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Re: TR:2006 Ionian-Tunemah-Blackcap

Post by c9h13no3 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:32 pm

torpified wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:59 pm
c9h13no3 wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 2:58 pm
the 7th most remote place in the lower 48 states (air miles from a road).
I love that some place in FLORIDA makes the top 10!
Yeah, no doubt you need a kayak & hip waders to get there, quite different from the usual spots on Peakbagger.
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Re: TR:2006 Ionian-Tunemah-Blackcap

Post by Wandering Daisy » Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:47 pm

Although I have not been to Florida, deep in a swamp with all those creepy crawlies and alligators :eek: sound more remote to me than the Sierra?

Does it not strike you as odd that they use "air miles" from a road to define remote in wilderness areas, when only non-motorize travel is allowed in wilderness areas?

I think we had a thread going a while back on the most remote place in the Sierra with lots of discussion on what makes a place "remote". Tunnemah did not feel like the most remote area I have been in the Sierra, because, even though long, getting there is straight-forward, with a lot of trail miles and then easy cross country travel. Lake 10232 and the rest of the way down Goddard Creek, as well as Enchanted Gorge felt a more remote to me, as did Keweah Basin.

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Re: TR:2006 Ionian-Tunemah-Blackcap

Post by c9h13no3 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:22 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:47 pm
Does it not strike you as odd that they use "air miles" from a road to define remote in wilderness areas, when only non-motorize travel is allowed in wilderness areas?
Just makes for easy math/code. If you start getting stuff like difficulty of travel in there, things get subjective really fast.

The Everglades, the Okefenokee, or the Great Dismal Swamp are a whole 'nother type of wilderness. Way bigger fish than the Sierras too :P
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Re: TR:2006 Ionian-Tunemah-Blackcap

Post by CAMERONM » Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:46 pm

Your route covers a lot of territory that I have wondered about and would like to visit. Blackcap looks very interesting. I did Goddard Canyon-Martha Lake-Mt. Goddard-a winding path westward across the Basin to Black Giant, and out via Helen Lake. The view from atop Mt.Godard looking out over the Basin is one of my favorites in the Sierra. The place feels prehistoric, is very remote, and is not fun in a storm; I spent an hour under a poncho riding out a significant hailstorm. It is definitely a severe place, but in reality it is not that difficult for anyone comfortable with off-trail travel.

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Re: TR:2006 Ionian-Tunemah-Blackcap

Post by sekihiker » Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:16 pm

CAMERONM wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:46 pm
I spent an hour under a poncho riding out a significant hailstorm.
Goddard seems to attract weather. In the late 1980's, my hiking partner and I were on the final ridge leading to the summit after witnessing six waves of snow/hail when lightning struck less than 100 feet away. Needless to say, we skied down the slope and re-climbed it the next day. The re-climb was a piece of cake with all the snow/hail covering the talus. We climbed from the Martha Lake side and the little cone of rock between the two summits was one of my least favorite crossings - and we had to do it twice. I hate exposure.

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