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#13029 - 04/18/11 10:30 AM Meysan Lake to Irvine/McAdie/Mallory
Burchey
Unregistered


Afternoon gents.

Weather and road condition permitting, I've got a trip planned for Easter weekend up against the Whitney Zone. I've been on Whitney a few times, but I'm new to this adjacent area. I know there is a lot of combined experience on this board, so please chime in if you've got some useful input. I very much appreciate it.

Plan: Leave San Diego Thursday after work, drive to Horseshoe Meadows (or as close as I can get) to sleep at high altitude. If that road isn't clear very high, I'll head directly to the Portal Road.

- Early start Friday from Meysan Lake TH, travel the west side of the creek all the way up to just above Meysan Lake. Set up base camp.

- Early start Saturday, climb Irvine and traverse to McAdie. On return, decide if I have time/energy for Mallory, or just head back down to camp the way I came. If Mallory is in reach, I'll have a funky time getting back to camp, it appears.

Here is an idea of the path(s) I might take. I want two peaks for sure, and a possible 3rd if conditions/time allow.






- Early start Sunday, pack up camp and head back down to car, eat an entire pizza on the way home somewhere.

My concerns are:

1. Road conditions. Any input on the situation with Horseshow Meadows Road? I understand the actual campground doesn't open until late May. Portal Road - I know Doug has been up there working, and they may be blasting this week. Just curious if I can get my 2WD up to any place near the portal.

2. Snow conditions. It's supposed to be sunny and somewhat warm at the lower elevations. I anticipate a slog in wet snow until I get fairly high. I'm mostly worried about avalanche trouble - big wet slides coming down to ruin my day. The first 2/3 of the trail seems to run below some fairly steep terrain. In addition, I'm worried my camp spot (blue X) might be a bad choice. Thoughts?

Thanks for reading and chiming in. I'll keep my eye on the board and the weather reports.

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#13053 - 04/18/11 08:32 PM Re: Meysan Lake to Irvine/McAdie/Mallory [Re: ]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7740
Loc: Fresno, CA
Burchey, that's a pretty ambitious trip -- even in summer!

Please be aware there is an above average amount of snow up there. The Cottonwood Lakes snow depth graph shows 3 feet right now at 10,100. The snow may be fairly consolidated... Are you taking snow shoes?

I'll try to find out about the road, but I am pretty sure you won't be able to get up to Horseshoe Meadows. Since it is nearly the same elevation as the snow sensor, the area is sure to be still under snow.

And take lots of pictures! We'd sure like to see them.

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#13062 - 04/19/11 06:16 AM Re: Meysan Lake to Irvine/McAdie/Mallory [Re: Steve C]
Burchey
Unregistered


Thanks Steve, it will be my toughest one so far, I think. I feel like I may only get two of the three peaks I'm hoping for, but we'll see. It all depends on the level of consolidation, I think. I do have shoes and everything else I'll need, probably end up stashing them somewhere if the snow proves to be solid enough. We'll see.

On the roads - thanks for the insight, my guess is I'll end up sleeping in the car on the side of the road/parking lot on Portal road someplace instead. I'd rather sleep higher, but what can you do? I'm coming off a brutal Snow Creek summit a week ago, and several other winter summits this season, so this would be a nice one to step up to.

I'll take plenty of pictures - fingers crossed my camera doesn't finally die, it's been dropped several times and submerged/dried out.

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#13063 - 04/19/11 06:36 AM Re: Meysan Lake to Irvine/McAdie/Mallory [Re: ]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7740
Loc: Fresno, CA
I called the Inyo County Road dept number, and was told both Whitney Portal and Horseshoe Meadows roads are closed, and should be open by the end of April.

Since crews are working on clearing the Portal Road, I am thinking they may be more aggressive about enforcing the road closed condition.

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#13079 - 04/20/11 05:32 AM Re: Meysan Lake to Irvine/McAdie/Mallory [Re: Steve C]
Burchey
Unregistered


I guess I'll have to play the road thing by ear. I'd rather not have to tack on that extra distance/gain to my climb - I feel like it will be a challenge enough as it is. Fingers crossed.

After looking at some more photos and maps of the area, I think I'd be better off camping near Meysan Lake (just south of), and then heading up Mallory first to McAdie, then a possible Irvine summit to traverse over and down the East Chute back to camp. It seems to make more sense. Has anyone been up to Irvine or Mallory from this direction recently?

Edit: From the looks of things, perhaps we should change this to a car-rental board instead of a mountaineering board. Seems to be a lot more knowledge on Enterprise than there is on winter routes/camping in the Sierras. Yikes! =)


Edited by Burchey (04/20/11 07:37 AM)
Edit Reason: Laughter / Sadness

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#13085 - 04/20/11 10:07 AM Re: Meysan Lake to Irvine/McAdie/Mallory [Re: ]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7740
Loc: Fresno, CA
> Edit: From the looks of things, perhaps we should change this to a car-rental board instead of a mountaineering board. Seems to be a lot more knowledge on Enterprise than there is on winter routes/camping in the Sierras. Yikes! =)

It's a slow time here for Whitney hikers, Burchey. Sorry about that.

McAdie, Mallory and Irvine just aren't climbed that often, and practically never in the winter/early spring. You might try the California forum over on SummitPost.

I sure do want to hear how your trip goes!

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#13087 - 04/20/11 10:49 AM Re: Meysan Lake to Irvine/McAdie/Mallory [Re: Steve C]
Burchey
Unregistered


Thanks Steve, after I wrote that I figured that might be the case. That actually makes me happy if this is so lightly traveled. While the supposed hordes are swarming up to Whitney on the last weekend before quotas hit, I'll be all by my lonesome...easier prey for the lions.

It will be interesting to see what the McAdie situation is with snow/ice/hidden routes over and around the middle peak/notch. I may just summit the southern peak and call it a day.

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#13098 - 04/20/11 03:52 PM Re: Meysan Lake to Irvine/McAdie/Mallory [Re: ]
DUG Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 370
Loc: Wildomar
Lightly traveled is a major understatement. I easily got all ten overnight permits for Meysan last year for a scout troop and we only saw two others the whole time. On group hikes there I've never seen anyone but folks from the group. The area is just as nice as the Whitney Zone and pretty much ignored. Lack of use makes it harder to find good info on conditions there though. To get solid info for my scout trip I had to send in the Mighty MooseTracks to recon it for me or we would have had to wave off.

Count on being alone and having a great time. The boy and I have it on the list just for fishing this year..........................................DUG

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#13107 - 04/20/11 07:01 PM Re: Meysan Lake to Irvine/McAdie/Mallory [Re: DUG]
tdtz Offline


Registered: 08/26/10
Posts: 511
Loc: CA
Meysan Lake, Irvine, Mallory are on my to do list this summer....and I have a question to add.

I have read that Meysan is a bit more challenging than the MMWT, but I never got a true perspective of what the hike is like.

Is it harder than the MR?

Could I expect an 11yo boy to make it from Meysan Lake to Irvine and Mallory? Or is that asking a bit much.

Basically, I'm a (we are) hikers not a climbers, should I plan on stopping at Meysan Lake or going on up to the summits.

My plan is to give us plenty of time to get there...maybe two days to Meysan Lake so we can acclimatize on the way up.

note: I'm planning an August hike on the Meysan trail...so snow shouldn't be too much of a consideration.


Edited by tdtz (04/20/11 07:01 PM)

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#13109 - 04/20/11 07:27 PM Re: Meysan Lake to Irvine/McAdie/Mallory [Re: tdtz]
DUG Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 370
Loc: Wildomar
Originally Posted By: tdtz
Meysan Lake, Irvine, Mallory are on my to do list this summer....and I have a question to add.

I have read that Meysan is a bit more challenging than the MMWT, but I never got a true perspective of what the hike is like.

Is it harder than the MR?

Could I expect an 11yo boy to make it from Meysan Lake to Irvine and Mallory? Or is that asking a bit much.

Basically, I'm a (we are) hikers not a climbers, should I plan on stopping at Meysan Lake or going on up to the summits.

My plan is to give us plenty of time to get there...maybe two days to Meysan Lake so we can acclimatize on the way up.

note: I'm planning an August hike on the Meysan trail...so snow shouldn't be too much of a consideration.


The hike to Meysan Lake is somewhat steeper than the the MT, but really not a big deal. No idea how you would take two days to get to the lake unless you hiked up there, came down and went back on the second day. It's not really that far.

I couldn't say if your 11 year old can do it or not. I've only been to the lake and to Candlelight Peak which seemed pretty tame. The MR is much steeper and higher.

My 13 year old made Candlelight with a double ear infection (didn't know he was sick until later). He struggled some, but got it done ok. On that hike he secured his invite for the MR which he bagged easily weeks later. (I got to go only because I'm the dad - the invite was for him).

Get an early start and make camp before the lake. I don't remember seeing good campsites right at the lake. Also, the usual route (use trail) to the lake during the last 10-15 minutes of hiking is actually the hard way. Richard P took us a much easier way. I can try to describe it to you via PM.

After setting up camp you can tag all the peaks you like................................DUG

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#13119 - 04/21/11 06:15 AM Re: Meysan Lake to Irvine/McAdie/Mallory [Re: DUG]
Burchey
Unregistered


I'll do my best to take good mental notes and pictures of the trip, although now and the summer will be two totally different animals. I love how the addition of snow and ice can drastically change a route, for the better and for the worse.

I do hate how much extra weight you have to carry in the winter - loading the 75 liter pack in the car bummed me out this morning. I was compressing my sleeping bag way down and making winter weekend trips with my Variant 52 liter pack, but then I sleep colder. If I just lightly pack the sleeping bag in the bottom of my larger pack without compression, then set the other gear on top if it, it retains a lot more of the loft. It just doesn't have time to bounce back before I need to sleep if I super-compress it.

I love hacking away at the earth with my axes/crampons, but I hate how much they weigh. Life is tough, eh?

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#13120 - 04/21/11 07:02 AM Re: Meysan Lake to Irvine/McAdie/Mallory [Re: ]
DolbyBear Offline


Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 11
Loc: Beaumont, CA
The road closed sign recently read "blasting 19th, 20th". The road was cleaned up nice last weekend all the way to the portal except for "the rock" and another large slide further up. People were parked in the overflow and on the sides of the road. Snow was very soft by mid-morning above the North fork. I'll probably join the crowds while the lower drainage allows for a quick ascent to lower boyscout. Good luck.

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#13122 - 04/21/11 07:30 AM Re: Meysan Lake to Irvine/McAdie/Mallory [Re: DolbyBear]
Burchey
Unregistered


Dolby, thanks man. I was worried about the blasting. It would seem I'll be okay, planning to park somewhere near the Meysan Lake trailhead in/around that lower campground. I'll see how it looks when I get there.

Good luck with the crowds.

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