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Mineral King Winter time access

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Mineral King Winter time access

Postby Bascuela » Tue Dec 01, 2009 7:49 am

Couple of questions for those that know. Since the road closed on the 1st of November, access is only allowed from cabin owners.
My understanding is that there are two locked gate on the Mineral King road now. This first being at ~10 mile just prior to Lookout point and the other being around ~17 mile prior to the Atwell Mill campground. I believe that the 17 mile gate is the official winter closure point and has a mini parking lot with bear box and possible wilderness permit log. Again, I don’t actually know all this for sure so I’m looking for answer from someone who has ski/snowshoe/snow mobile/jet packed back in the valley during the winter time. What is the deal with the ~10 mile gate prior to Lookout point? I have seen a picture on another website showing it closed and locked. Another source says that is it possible to call Ash Mountain and obtain the code for the locks in the road? Thanks in advance.
:)
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Postby SJD » Tue Dec 01, 2009 6:14 pm

I don't have all the answers, but here are a few bits of info.

The gates are largely controlled by the cabin owners in MK. There are four padlocks on the gate(s) - one of them is for cabin owners usage and they can come and go as they please during the winter months (assuming they can get thru). My understanding is the gates are locked mostly for security reasons (and then naturally safety and no doubt the FS doesn't want to have knuckleheads on the unplowed road and so forth).

The FS will entertain letting others thru in the winter months if they believe the passage is warranted.

The MK cabin association has a mail list which often addresses these issue; if you PM me I can try to get you that email address.

The gate closing and opeing dates are always announced via email list and usually hinge on the dates the water to the valley is turned on or off.

HTH,

Shawn
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Postby Bascuela » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:12 pm

Cool, thanks for the info.
I think I’ll call Ash Mountain to find out the details. I've always wanted to see the valley in the winter time. It would just be one hell of a snowshoe and I don't have skis. The problem would come in this "2nd" gate right outside the park boundary. According to another website, it was there to help stop "pot farms" in the hills. ???? It's just that if one had to park here, it would be 1) 15 more miles to the valley, 2) Little low for the snowline and thus a hike will all my snow gear prior to reaching the snow.
- Aaron

http://www.summitpost.org/image/578883/ ... le-10.html
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Postby Bascuela » Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:17 am

According to the ranger at Ash Mountain, the mile 10 gate is now is continuous operation during the “normal winter road closure times”. He says that they put that gate up to help stop marijuana problems they were having. For anyone who wants access beyond that point, you must stop by the Ash Mountain station and chat with the rangers. Let them know your plans (ski/snowshoe) and they will give you the combo to unlock the 1st gate which just beyond the slick rock area before Lookout point. The second gate which is the normal one will always be locked. Only cabin owners have this combo. You can park here (don’t block the gate) and there is even a bear box here. I believe this gate is located at mile 18.
There you have it.
Guess I kind of had a conversation with myself since I asked the question, lol.
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Postby SJD » Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:43 am

Hey, ditto on the cool info. Some years back I was up there soon after the gates were open for the season. Ample snow on the ground and some back country skiers in the valley. Kind of nice to be able to pick a line and walk straight up....

Image
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Postby Bascuela » Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:13 am

SJD wrote:Hey, ditto on the cool info. Some years back I was up there soon after the gates were open for the season. Ample snow on the ground and some back country skiers in the valley. Kind of nice to be able to pick a line and walk straight up....

Image


Is that Mineral Peak? Did you use crampons and just head straight up?
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Postby SJD » Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:21 am

It is Mineral Peak, but my photo was taken while ascending Glacier Pass. If you look closely, the little specs in the bowl are skiers (two of them in there somewhere).

Another year I was up there and ascended the ridge in the right hand side of the photo above enroute to Mineral Peak but I underestimated the traverse around the top of the ridge to the summit. Always meant to go back and do it again in early season.

The place is a great playground in the snow.

Looking back while ascending the ridge to Mineral Peak
Image

Oops - should have gone up the bowl instead....(the peak is around to the left)
Image
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Postby Bascuela » Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:29 am

Rad, I was going to head up Mineral Peak at the end of October, but opted for Vandever only to turn around from below zero winds on the East Ridge from Farewell gap. Bummer.
Mineral Peak spring climb - I’ll have to check that out. Thanks.
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