Casting for Izaak Walton

5-12 Aug 2005 - by Tony Bellaver

Asst. leader Steve Wilson and I were to lead a trip entering the Mono Creek trailhead with a group of 13 participants on an eight-day adventure that would be a mix of trail and off trail through a section of the High Route.

Day 1 We departed the trail head heading to upper Graveyard Meadow, the trekking was easy however a few of our participants found the grade more challenging than the Moderate rating they anticipated, stopping every 15 minutes for breaks. Along the way, we saw views of Seven Gables and Mariposa Lilies. We reached upper graveyard in 5 hours from our departure time.

Day 2 We adventured cross-country over Graveyard Pass a very pedestrian crossing via the two large angled benches. This again posed challenging for a few members with some panic attacks at the Pass. After descending the easy Talus slope, we traveled with out incident staying on durable surfaces to the left of lovely valley to find an easy use trail to Peter Pande Lake. Many campsites were found to accommodate everyone for the evening that was filled with a four hour hail and thunder storm.

Day 3 our adventure took us to Lake of the Lone Indian, unfortunately however one of our members severely sprained his knee while we were negotiating Grassy Lake meadow. Concerned about it stiffening up I sent him ahead with another member to keep moving toward Lake of the Lone Indian. When Steve caught up with me, I sent Steve to catch up to the two members and when arriving at the Lake to immediately triage him, pack knee with snow if available, give two Ibuprofen and compress and elevate, which Steve did.

Day 4 greeted the group with the truth that the group member needed to evacuated, he was able to walk but not carry much weight, so we changed the itinerary of the trip to facilitate his evict. Steve and I decide it was best to take him out through Silver Pass rather than Goodale Pass because of its gentle trail and higher use in case of further emergency. We found nice camping areas around the edge of the south wrinkle just past Silver Pass Lake. After lunch Steve and I stabilized our injured member and then took four strong hikers for a cross-country exploration into what R.J. Secor describes as the "Lovely Valley" that leads to the class two route of Mt. Izaac Walton via Walton Col. From our camping area this route would have been an easy five hour ascent and descent of the peak how ever our hard and fast 2pm turn around time and clouds coming in forced us to only enjoy the lake at the shelf below the Col.

Day 5 Steve left early with our evacuee and to salvage the trip I took the rest of the participants up to Mott Lake up the use trail and arrived to find no one there! We set up camp and enjoyed a good swim.

Day 6 the group had a lay-over Day, a few members investigated the Blue Jay Lake area while I took the rest on a cross-country day hike first to Rosy Finch Lake then traversed over the large bench filled wrinkle to Big Horn Lake then up to Rohn Pass. He had lunch and enjoyed the views of Mt. Izaak Walton, Red Slate, Peak 12238 and its satellites. This day hike seemed to make everyone very happy and the views down into Tully Lake, part of our original itinerary made everyone feel like we accomplished something. We returned via upper shoot NW above Mott Lake near two unnamed feeder lakes from Big Horn Lake making our hiking adventure a large loop.

Day 7 the same group and I went off in the morning to investigate the Blue Jay Lake area we arrived at the second lake easy via a rough use trail and went for a swim while a few other members adventured up to the upper lakes. A good nap at the lake edge was had by four of us, then the others returned. We went back to Mott Lake, had lunch then adventured down trail to a nice spot to camp our last night near the Vermillion Cliffs on a Moraine shelf with a view of Edison Lake. Good soaking holes are found in this part of North Fork before it enters Mono Creek directly across from the Campsites.

Day 8 was an easy dash to the ferry dock and to the resort where Jim kept the kitchen open a tad longer so we could get a Number 3 with Pancakes and Bacon... Even though we drastically had to change our itinerary because of group strength and an injury the Silver Divide gave the group, enough options to still fulfill the need to get and feel adventurous.

click to enlarge Alpine_Glow_at_Lake.jpg click to enlarge End_of_trip_Ferry_ride.jpg click to enlarge Lovely_Valley.jpg click to enlarge Lower_Blue_jay_Lakes.jpg click to enlarge Mott_Lake.jpg click to enlarge Near_Graveyard_Pass.jpg click to enlarge Steve_at_Silver_Pass.jpg click to enlarge Strong_group_at_Rohn.jpg click to enlarge Tony_at_Peter_Pande_Lake.jpg

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