cthenn2

Coordinates 500

Uploaded August 30, 2016

Recorded August 2016

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10,735 f
7,581 f
0
3.8
7.6
15.28 mi

Viewed 676 times, downloaded 1 times

near Mill City (historical), California (United States)

A most excellent climb to the best face-on view of the Minarets and Mt. Ritter/Banner Peak. For non-technical dayhikers, this is a perfect cilmb to one of the best views in the Sierra. It's not super difficult, but it is a rather long day. Our total mileage was approaching 16 miles at the end of the day, and it took us 12 hours to complete. Granted, we stopped a lot, and spent probably an hour at the summit, but unless you are one of these super strong dayhiker types, it's a long day. But well worth it!

The trick to this is hike is to get an early start. You can drive into the Red's Meadow area if you arrive before 7AM. After that, there is a lot of red tape, as you must take a shuttle. Then you are at the whim of when the shuttles arrive, and you could be waiting a long time on either end. We drove right to Agnew Meadows trailhead at 6AM, and didn't have to lug all our gear on a bus.

The trail starts out easy, dropping about 300' down to the San Joaquin River (which, at the end of the day sucks to come back up!), then a left turn at "Agnew Jx 1" takes you to Shadow Lake. The trails are never steep, in some places almost too flat (for the pack mules). There is a (very) hidden crossing to Cabin Lake which we almost miraculously found, look for the 2 downed logs in the middle of Shadow Creek near waypoint "Cabin Lake Crossing". You have to fight through some willows in order to get to the logs, but it's easy once you see them. Follow my return track on the way up, it was MUCH easier to follow the trail on our way back then it was on the way up.

This is really a non-technical climb, but we did it in mid July, and there were still many patches of snow on the north-facing slopes. We didn't bring our snow gear, so we had to go around the normal route in places...not fun. The route up the ridge is straight forward, just choose the route with the least loose rock. You can easily find tougher climbing if you so choose, there are many ways up. Once you gain the main ridge, the last few hundred feet is a cakewalk. The view from the top is spectacular...have fun!
Shadow Lake Trail
Garnet Lake Trail
JMT
trailhead
Log Crossing to Cabin Lake If you scroll almost due south from the waypoint marker you can see the 2 white logs in the middle of the creek (satellite images on). That is the crossing. Finding your way after that is difficult, though there are many cairns, it is very easy to lose the trail.
28-JUL-16 11:33:44AM

2 comments

  • Photo of cthenn2

    cthenn2 Aug 30, 2016

    There is a weird drop in the elevation profile data, so the true elevation gain is about 3,800' with the summit being 11,486'.

  • Photo of cthenn2

    cthenn2 Aug 30, 2016

    If you scroll almost due south from the waypoint marker you can see the 2 white logs in the middle of the creek (satellite images on). That is the crossing. Finding your way after that is difficult, though there are many cairns, it is very easy to lose the trail. /outdoor-trails/volcanic-ridge-west-14580716#wp-14580721

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