Morgan-Pine Creek etc 7/21-28 (Gold at End of Rainbow II)

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RiseToADry
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Re: Morgan-Pine Creek etc 7/21-28 (Gold at End of Rainbow II)

Post by RiseToADry » Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:14 pm

Excellent report and creative route. Dawn's hiking ability at 14 going on 15 is impressive. You've raised a true Sierra-phile.

Not Cox Col still looks a bit out of my comfort zone despite the Class 2 rating, but it is a tempting way get into some deep back country.








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Re: Morgan-Pine Creek etc 7/21-28 (Gold at End of Rainbow II)

Post by windknot » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:13 pm

Thanks for a wonderful report! Those bento boxes look way better than anything I eat pre-trip, post-trip, and definitely during a trip. I appreciated reading about your ascent up the Morgan Creek trail past the two washouts -- coming down this trail in 2018, we didn't see the use trail bypassing the higher washout until after we had done that "dirt class 3" (much less delicate in our case, and more of a semi-controlled dirt glissade using brush handholds to slow our descent). An entertaining, if slightly nervewracking episode due to the slippery slope seeming much steeper going down than coming up.

Thanks also for the fishing notes. Sounds like you and Dawn both succeeded in finding some quality fish despite the slow action.

That hail on July 24 was intense -- way to persevere through the cubed tofu-sized pellets. I was safely ensconced in my tent at that point in the afternoon a bit north of you, but had spent an anxious few hours before watching the skies darken and then had to scurry to set up camp when the thunder started. I'm now three trip reports behind this year -- I need a vacation from my vacation so I have time to write them up!

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Re: Morgan-Pine Creek etc 7/21-28 (Gold at End of Rainbow II)

Post by Jason » Tue Aug 04, 2020 7:50 am

Sweet report! That looks like such a great trip. Around 2:30pm on Friday my wife and I also got caught in a hail storm in Tuolumne Meadows on a day hike, we had watched the thunderheads slowly building and working their way up from the South.

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Re: Gold at End of Rainbow II--Epilog view back and forward

Post by giantbrookie » Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:46 pm

Epilog:

Looking back 5 years:

In posting on other threads I was taken back to the original Gold and the End of the Rainbow 2015 and the concluding statement of the main narrative (before the notorious fishinng part) caught my eye.

Note that on the 2015 trip it was me and Todd, so here is the quote from that conclusion five years ago:
"Yes, this was one of my best High Sierra trips ever, but something was missing. It wasn’t quite the same as sharing the trip with Judy as I did for many years, especially 1990-1997 when we typically spent >40 days out of the year in the High Sierra and a 5-day trip such as this would have been the “warm up” for a 7-9 day “signature” trip. As with everyone, we all go through stages in life. We’ve slowly brought our kids into the game but it’s not clear they will have the same passion for the mountains (although my daughter Dawn seems to)."

Five years ago and I had no idea...Or maybe a little idea.

Looking forward:
The summer of 2021 is far away and there are lots of fun things to look forward to before then (including some fall 2020 hiking), but Judy plans to return for the big trip of 2021 ("Legends of Goddard Country 2021" or "Lakeboose 2021"?) , which if it happens will be her first week-long trip since Sawboose of 1997. There will be some fun daydreaming over maps (and IPAs) between now and then.
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: Morgan-Pine Creek etc 7/21-28 (Gold at End of Rainbow II)

Post by SSSdave » Sat Aug 08, 2020 9:30 am

Most impressive route for an old guy haha over your high point route. How much was your carrying weight going through all that talus? Something that becomes dangerous with increasing weight. Expect that west of Cox sitting glissade was sans ice axe. See your partner using a trekking pole to slow? If not too steep or firm, prefer to boot ski. Notice hulsea algida on that shot at the pass with Dawn. Pretty sure I know where Dawn was standing with the 2 fish that I also did well at in July 1984. So now she knows how the big ones having amazing entrails colors and taste like salmon.

Of course when getting caught out in the open in scary t-storms with massive hail like that, much less the lightning, we older folk are very aware with the potential for hyperthermia so one learns to avoid such if at all possible as such storm sometimes sit on crest peaks for hours into evening without enough breaks to set up dry.
(mouse select to enlarge)
SY01528-01561-2x1v-cr.jpg
...
SY01528-01561-2x1vy.jpg
A 100% pixel crop of the second full downsized 6600x6000 pixel image that same area from a view August 5 near Dade Lake where I camped that provides a more side view showing why your crossing north of Cox Col 13040+ doesn't include it bedrock headwall. The Caltopo Snipping Tool topo capture was Photoshopped to remove the black obscuring USGS text. Welcome to use it on the "Not Cox Col" page to show your route.
CoxCol1.jpg
I went into Spire Lake and fished in 1984 via the middle Morgan Lake saddle I mentioned to you years ago. At 11550 feet, one of best mid September unblocked to east dawn situations in range given clear weather with cirrus. Unlike your sunrise shot, the sun is further south so doesn't create that shadow that is otherwise blocked some from the 12743 peak. Not a lake to visit during September foul weather.[/color]
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Re: Morgan-Pine Creek etc 7/21-28 (Gold at End of Rainbow II)

Post by brandoge » Sat Aug 08, 2020 9:51 am

Thanks for sharing the trip! Both you and your daughter's hiking and fishing skills are very impressive! Those are some beautiful goldens.

I have much to learn about efficient route making, I'm probably more alike the guy you saw toiling up Jumble pass (need to learn to hike smarter, not harder). We were hiking in the Clark Range in Yosemite around this same time and were getting some nasty weather (thunder, lightning, hail) each afternoon.

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Re: Morgan-Pine Creek etc 7/21-28 (Gold at End of Rainbow II)

Post by giantbrookie » Sat Aug 08, 2020 11:27 am

Dave, Your photos and enlarged topo illustrate beautifully why the shoulder is topographically gentler (on the east side) then the col (low point) and therefore a more sensible way to cross the crest in this area. How much weight? A lot. It was day 3 by then and I had consumed some of the day 1 weight, but I was probably still around 50lbs or so. Bit heavy. My normal "walking weight" (ie not boxer's weigh in conditions dehydrated and starved) is 160lbs at 5'10" and change ("weigh in" weight is 150, the weight I was after my drive home before the enormous return pig out). All of the talus scrambling and hopping led to a fair number of knicks and dings on the shins and arms. Most of the damage, though, is through sheer carelessness in foot placements that I've been telling myself for the last 30 years I need to improve upon (ie maintaining focus). Of the folks I've hiked with only Dawn (unfortunately) is so careless. My worst crash and burn, though, was when I was fishing on the morning of day 8 and scrambling over remarkably easy stuff---I am fortunate I did not break something. I still have a big swelling on my left shin from that mess up. Lapses in concentration are something I need to reduce. The three times I've broken things up there have been lapses in concentration plus one exceedingly poor route choice while fishing around the perimeter of various lakes (two broken fingers on a fall along the amazingly mellow shoreline of Big Harriet L. in 1994, thumb in 2010 at Weaver L; and the dodging the giant boulder and breaking my ankle on landing at Upper Horton in 1991). So the load is a bit of a pain but the main safety issue for me on this off trail stuff is my lapses in focus.

Speaking of age and this off trail hiking with a full pack, I told Todd before we started that I expected to be in top shape for this trip, which I was, but I also told him that my days of enjoying talus boulder hopping (long an oddball signature of my hiking) were over. Well, I said that before I got to my first boulder field (btw Peppermint and beginning of Cox ascent) and I "relapsed" as soon as I stepped onto it. I still enjoy that stuff and move over it unusually fast. Later on the trip I was thinking about it and explaining the theory to Todd and Dawn. If one goes slow and takes it a "boulder at a time" then there are serious balance issues that, of course, would get more acute as one gets older. Moving relatively fast uses one's forward momentum and balance issues are minimized. Not only that, maintaining balance takes a lot of energy, so the fast boulder hopping is not only easier for balance but I don't get as tired as I do if I painstakingly do this one at a time. It's sort of a basketball/football mentality thing in that it is keyed by making quick "reads", in this case on stable places to land the step. The only thing I have really dialed back are the flying leaps I once did between boulders. The impact on landings scare me, so I phased out most of those about 20 years ago.


Brandoge, from what I understand the entire Sierra was getting hit hard those days, but especially on July 24. That you were ducking for cover in the Clark Range also reminds me of 2019 when Dawn and I were hiking around there at about the same time of year and were hit by dramatic thunderstorms, the most amazing one dumped on us while we were executing the sketchiest part of the trip, which was the climb up to Edna L. over snow that we really should have had ice axes for safety. Unlike this July 24, last year the most intense hail didn't hit until we pitched out tent at Edna. Then it came down so heavily I had to keep lifting up on the hail-weighted rainfly to coax the load to slide off--we ended up with quite a "snowbank" of hail below our rainfly. Most dramatic of all, though, was the temporary runoff. There is this beautiful waterfall inlet of Edna, and right after the storm it had swelled to an enormous cascade of brown water much like water down the spillway of a dam during a big storm when a reservoir is full. It was one of the most awesome displays of running water I've ever seen. Anyhow, yes the storms were clearly hitting the entire Sierra pretty hard at that time, but we still say that Dawn brings that weather with her on these trips: we're now at 4 consecutive years of backpacking trips with really fierce thunder and hailstorms.
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: Morgan-Pine Creek etc 7/21-28 (Gold at End of Rainbow II)

Post by windknot » Sat Aug 08, 2020 11:38 am

giantbrookie wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 11:27 am
I still enjoy that stuff and move over it unusually fast. Later on the trip I was thinking about it and explaining the theory to Todd and Dawn. If one goes slow and takes it a "boulder at a time" then there are serious balance issues that, of course, would get more acute as one gets older. Moving relatively fast uses one's forward momentum and balance issues are minimized. Not only that, maintaining balance takes a lot of energy, so the fast boulder hopping is not only easier for balance but I don't get as tired as I do if I painstakingly do this one at a time. It's sort of a basketball/football mentality thing in that it is keyed by making quick "reads", in this case on stable places to land the step.
Interesting theory. This seems to be the reason why I too like to move unusually fast when boulder hopping, even/especially uphill. I don't consider my balance to be better than average, so I do find it to be easier from a balance and momentum and stamina perspective. I wonder if biologists who have studied mountain goats or other animals who are renowned for climbing up steep terrain quickly have come to the same conclusions regarding the physiological efficiency of such behavior.

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Re: Morgan-Pine Creek etc 7/21-28 (Gold at End of Rainbow II)

Post by astrogerly » Sun Aug 09, 2020 9:27 am

I just re-read the part about the solo backpacker. Ouch. I mean maybe if you need water, but there is also water on the way to the pass (probably not later in the season though?!). I just remember looking down at Jumble and wanting to stay as far away as possible... which is easy given the bench to the pass.

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Re: Morgan-Pine Creek etc 7/21-28 (Gold at End of Rainbow II)

Post by steiny98 » Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:43 am

This is an epic trip. I am particularly impressed by Dawn's ability to tackle some (to me) sketchy passes and traverses. I doubt anything will ever top your epic 2015 hour, but good to know that you had luck at that lake. Also some absolutely stunning country - Granite Park still ranks as my top sierra location. Cheers.

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