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Trip to Langley -- July 4th weekend
#31762 06/11/13 03:41 PM
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Hello All,

July 4th weekend just opened up for me and wanted to take that opportunity to check few off of my list that's been piling up lately smile

I wanted to do Langley from cottonwood lakes TH via NAP, since last year (thanks to Akichow's TR) but with 3 days in hand, looking for ideas to see, if can cover other places to make it a great/fun trip. I haven't worked out all the details including the overnight permit, i guess i'll need to rely on the walk-in quotas. One positive thing being NAP is all free from snow, from a recent report made in portal forums.

Is anyone going to be in the area around same time? It would great to have some company as i will by hiking solo frown

Thanks,
Stalin

Re: Trip to Langley -- July 4th weekend
Stalin #31764 06/11/13 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted By: Stalin
Hello All,

I wanted to do Langley from cottonwood lakes TH via NAP, since last year (thanks to Akichow's TR) but with 3 days in hand, looking for ideas to see, if can cover other places to make it a great/fun trip.

Is anyone going to be in the area around same time? It would great to have some company as i will by hiking solo frown

Thanks,
Stalin

Hi Stalin,
Not sure what flexibility you have on your schedule, but I am planning a one day hike up/down Langley. I am planning on "old" Army Pass. As I understand it, a bit shorter - more direct, and from other posts I guess that you avoid a sandy climb back up to NAP.
I will be doing this hike on June 28th. I picked this date since Miles and Amy (Whitney Portal Store) are doing their dog and pony show on their trip to Patagonia on the 29th.
If you can move your schedule around I would enjoy the company (I too am hiking solo). I understand that you might continue on to more distant camp sites.
Of course if anyone else is looking for a one day up/down of Langley please join me.
John

Re: Trip to Langley -- July 4th weekend
Stalin #31767 06/11/13 07:24 PM
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Awesome, Stalin! You are going to love it! Can't wait to see your pics. You do have time to do a loop...cottonwood Lakes TH-Long Lake-NAP-Langley-Upper/Lower Soldier Lakes via use trail-cottonwood pass-cottonwood pass or lakes TH.

If it were me, no way I'd hike up Old Army Pass right now..... Even if the snow has melted (and I have seen no reports on that...only that NAP is mostly clear), Old Army Pass has some exposure due to rockfall. But it holds the snow far longer than anywhere else...so I doubt the issues at least for now are limited only to a bit of exposure. Yeah, different people weigh this differently so just speaking for myself.

Re: Trip to Langley -- July 4th weekend
Akichow #31769 06/11/13 11:17 PM
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Hi John, I wish i had no plans on that weekend but unfortunately i do and can't move up the dates to Jun 28th. I'm sure you will find someone in this forum that might join you, as that week seems to be perfect getaway smile

Akichow, Thanks for all your TRs. It has all the details one would need for planning, especially like me when opportunity opens up late in the game. Yes i'm in the same mind set of doing the loop as you mentioned, after getting Tom Harrison Whitney High Country Trail map from REI in SJC. so, nice to have REI around smile

Just curious, if i were to extend a day, do you think i could cover LSL->Miter Basin->LSL all in a day and hike out next day from LSL to Cottonwood lakes via Cottonwood pass? The map doesn't give miles between LSL and miter basin, unless i'm missing something obvious in gmap4 t4topo that i find it very useful (thanks Steve).

I'm going to stick to NAP for the said reasons and also many others have recommended NAP over OAP. Just wanted to keep it safe, if it all possible.

Thanks,
Stalin

Re: Trip to Langley -- July 4th weekend
Stalin #31770 06/12/13 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted By: Stalin
Just curious, if i were to extend a day, do you think i could cover LSL->Miter Basin->LSL all in a day and hike out next day from LSL to Cottonwood lakes via Cottonwood pass? The map doesn't give miles between LSL and miter basin, unless i'm missing something obvious in gmap4 t4topo that i find it very useful (thanks Steve).

Stalin, if you look at the Gmap4 map, (and many others), you can find "section" lines, and Township and Range markings. A section is a square, one mile on each side. A "Township" is 36 sections, and is 6 miles on a side. Sometimes the lines are not parallel and sometimes they stretch more than a mile on a side -- because the earth is not flat.

Now, open this map in another browser window. Its cross hairs (in the center) are on the "2" of Section 2, of Township T17S R34E. The sides of section 2 are the red dashed lines that form a square around the 2. So now you can see just how long a mile is on the map.

Since LSL (Lower Soldier Lake) is only about 2 miles south of Sky Blue Lake, it sure seems like an easy day to visit Miter Basin.




Re: Trip to Langley -- July 4th weekend
Stalin #31774 06/12/13 04:14 AM
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Here is another way to use Gmap4 to get an estimate of the mileage.

Click Menu ==> Draw and Save
Click Continue
Click along the route you plan to hike

The mileage is show in the corner of the screen as you click.

Each symbol is draggable.
A rightclick on a symbol displays a context menu.

Joseph, the Gmap4 guy

Re: Trip to Langley -- July 4th weekend
Stalin #31776 06/12/13 07:34 AM
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Yes, you can totally do either UBL-Skyblue Lake-UBL or LBL-Skyblue Lake LBL in one day. The hike over to Miter Basin does not take long. You might even be able to tuck in a jaunt up to Iridescent Lake while you are over there. Or scope up the area above Skyblue Lake for a future trip. (I have a hankering to go back myself, to go up and over Crabtree Pass and around to approach Whitney from Crabtree ranger station.)

How good is your route finding? If you take your time it is possible to do all this without ever going beyond class 1 or 2.

The hike out from LBL is about 10 miles, not too difficult some pretty sights but a bit tedious in places. I like doing a loop so I found it worthwhile. There is a connector trail that gets you back to Cottonwood Lakes TH (via the stables). You might think about parking at Cottonwood Pass TH, and walking over to Cottonwood Lakes TH at the start, so that you don't have to do the extra bit at the end.

Re: Trip to Langley -- July 4th weekend
Joseph #31781 06/12/13 08:48 AM
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Joseph! That's a cool feature. I will definitely use it in the future. Thanks!

Re: Trip to Langley -- July 4th weekend
Steve C #31787 06/12/13 03:00 PM
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Steve, Thanks much for the little training on the Section and Township thingy. it really helps and gives some perspective in areas of the map that don't have squares.

Joseph, That is an awesome tip!!! Thanks.

After reading few more posts especially "Routing Advice Requested: Langley/Miter Basin" of yours -- Glenn and Ken have made very good advice and that made me to change my plans a bit. Thank you both! Think i now have a plan as follows,

Day0 (jul 3rd): Drive up to Cottonwood lakes and Car camping if possible, for acclimatization.
Day1: Pick up permits from walk-ins @ ESIVC and hike to Chicken Springs Lake via CP and Camp out.
Day2: CSL->LSL->drop pack->depending on condition, try Mitter and SBL via drainage route on the northwest of SBL per Glenn's advice -> LSL, if i can't do, then next day and make it a 4 day trip instead.
Day3: LSL -> NAP -> drop pack -> Langley -> NAP -> CL -> CP TH parking lot.

Does this seems sane smile and plausible?

Stalin

Re: Trip to Langley -- July 4th weekend
Stalin #31790 06/12/13 07:16 PM
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Last day, I would do LSL-USL-up the use trail to Langley-drop pack/summit Langley-get pack-NAP-out. That is a very long day though. But I prefer that route from the Soldier Lakes to Langley rather than all the extra miles of going around and then up and then across the plateau...the use trail above USL is scenic and more direct.

Btw, I also like the traverse from USL to the Miter and back better than the route options from LSL. But it all depends on how good you feel about your route finding ability.

Re: Trip to Langley -- July 4th weekend
John Sims #31794 06/12/13 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted By: John Sims
Not sure what flexibility you have on your schedule, but I am planning a one day hike up/down Langley. I am planning on "old" Army Pass. As I understand it, a bit shorter - more direct, and from other posts I guess that you avoid a sandy climb back up to NAP.

I will be doing this hike on June 28th. I picked this date since Miles and Amy (Whitney Portal Store) are doing their dog and pony show on their trip to Patagonia on the 29th.


John, I see your plans to do "old" AP. I keep thinking about what Richard P wrote about what he called "Thompson Pass" as an approach up Langley. He posted a few pictures, but didn't describe the route. I am not sure, but it sounded like it might be a better alternative to OAP.

Now looking at his pictures (25 - 34 in this set: Mt. Langley - May 24, 2013 it looks like it is a tough climb, and he used ice axe etc.

I believe from his SPOT track I saw that the pass is the last one north of the Cottonwood Lake #5. (map) You might email RP, or talk to Doug when you are at the Portal to get more info.

Anyway, if you feel bold and adventurous, you might think about trying it out.

Re: Trip to Langley -- July 4th weekend
Akichow #31795 06/12/13 11:45 PM
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That seems to be a good idea. Is there use trail from LSL -USL?

My route finding ability is not great but getting better though. Perhaps this time I will play it safe to see how it goes but I'm very interested to know options around so I can be prepared for the worse.

I will go back and read your route description from USL to AP.

Thanks,
Stalin

Re: Trip to Langley -- July 4th weekend
Stalin #31799 06/13/13 07:09 AM
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Yes, there is a use trail from LSL to USL, though we did not take it (we bushwhacked, not recommended), so you won't find it mentioned in my TR. A ranger tends to hang out at LSL, by the way. The use trail to Langley from USL is on the far right of the sandy wash as you are heading up.

The reason I ask about route finding is that there are a few places that can get confusing and topo helps. For example, if you take the use trail up the wash, at some point other use trails will split off. A topo map will show you that you want to curve left at some point as you gain altitude (following use trails), until you see Langley, at which point the choices are obvious. The use trail up the wash takes you nowhere near NAP if you do it right...it takes you directly to Langley (via a huge sandy plateau). Once you are done with Langley, you'll be on the huge sandy plateau, which you have to traverse to find NAP (southeast). Lots of use trails traverse the plateau, but a topo map will enable you to make good choices.....

Re: Trip to Langley -- July 4th weekend
Stalin #31803 06/13/13 09:20 AM
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Stalin, Your plan to camp the first night at Chicken Spring Lake is great. It's real nice there and that makes for a relatively easy first day and good acclimatization. If you can manage to make it a four day trip per your Day 2 option, you won't be disappointed by having a full day to explore the Miter Basin. You could get back to camp in early afternoon and rest up for your long summit day. Have fun!

Re: Trip to Langley -- July 4th weekend
Glenn #31807 06/13/13 11:21 AM
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Glenn,

Thanks for all your advice. i'm sure this is going to be great adventurous trip for me. Looking at all the options, i might end up in a 4 day trip.

Akichow,
Glad to know there are use trails from LSL to USL. I got the far right of the sandy wash hiking up to Langley. Did you use the Gmap4 t4 topo high to traverse these use trails or something else. If you can share topo link or picture that would be great help.

Appreciate all your advice.

Thanks,
Stalin

Re: Trip to Langley -- July 4th weekend
Stalin #31842 06/14/13 07:26 PM
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I had available to me the Harrison map and also GPS-enabled topo loaded on my iPhone. However, we didn't really use them for the USL/Langley portion (though they were helpful for the LSL/Miter Basin/Skyblue Lake/USL portion).

By the time of our our true summit day, we'd already spent some time in the region and had a sense of how it all fit together. We had came in from Cottonwood Lakes basin, and traversed the plateau from NAP to Langley at the start of the trip, when we first attempted the Langley summit. So I was able to scope out the general geography -- where the passes were in relation to Langley, etc. -- during that first (aborted) attempt. Then, later in the trip, when we got to USL after exploring The Miter, I spent a couple of hours locating and scoping out the use trail up to Langley the day before we did the actual summit attempt.

By the way, I'm with Glenn...Miter Basin/Skyblue Lake deserves a full day. It's not all that long or hard (though you can extend it for more challenge), but it's not something to rush.

Re: Trip to Langley -- July 4th weekend
Akichow #31844 06/14/13 11:10 PM
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Thanks for all your advice. It has given me the confidence for doing it.

I really appreciate it.

Stalin

Re: Trip to Langley -- July 4th weekend
Stalin #31854 06/15/13 09:50 AM
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Just identifying options...only you know what is right for you! smile We had a lot of fun, turned back when we needed to, and had enough time to do a little trial and error. Stay safe and have fun!

Re: Trip to Langley -- July 4th weekend
Akichow #32138 07/09/13 05:28 PM
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Just posted my Trip Report. Check them out!

Re: Trip to Langley -- July 4th weekend
Steve C #32146 07/10/13 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted By: Steve C
Originally Posted By: John Sims
Not sure what flexibility you have on your schedule, but I am planning a one day hike up/down Langley. I am planning on "old" Army Pass. As I understand it, a bit shorter - more direct, and from other posts I guess that you avoid a sandy climb back up to NAP.

I will be doing this hike on June 28th. I picked this date since Miles and Amy (Whitney Portal Store) are doing their dog and pony show on their trip to Patagonia on the 29th.


John, I see your plans to do "old" AP. I keep thinking about what Richard P wrote about what he called "Thompson Pass" as an approach up Langley. He posted a few pictures, but didn't describe the route. I am not sure, but it sounded like it might be a better alternative to OAP.

Now looking at his pictures (25 - 34 in this set: Mt. Langley - May 24, 2013 it looks like it is a tough climb, and he used ice axe etc.

I believe from his SPOT track I saw that the pass is the last one north of the Cottonwood Lake #5. (map) You might email RP, or talk to Doug when you are at the Portal to get more info.

Anyway, if you feel bold and adventurous, you might think about trying it out.


Steve,
I just noticed your post. Not sure how I missed it. confused As luck would have it I did talk to Doug about Langley, and he showed me on a topo the route in question. Really, I think it would be a much better alternative to either New, or Old Army Pass. You simply head up to lake 6, go around the west side of Lake 6 to the North side, turn left and climb out. I did not try it because it seemed to have a similar orientation to Old Army Pass, which would have meant that there might still be a good bit of snow. I did not want to go to Lake 6 only to have to turn around, so I went with OlD ARMY PASS. At this point in time, however, I would "guess" that the snow would be melted out, and if I were going this week it is definitely the route I would attempt.


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