Hmm . . . I’ve been trying to digest your response and am intrigued. Milo and I in early march did a day hike in to Hell for Sure Falls from White Water Preserve. Based on one of Hikin’ Jim’s blog posts, we took PCT past the turn off to Stone House and Mission Creek (we didn’t know about Mission Creek). Then we took the old road to Walthier Landing you mention. We did this to avoid walking in the White Water wash all the way. On the way out, we followed the road again but before a climb back to PCT, we decided to cut through the canyon back to the wash. This turned out be a joke (in a good way). The wash there is like a super highway and goes directly back to Red Dome. Saved us an hour plus on the way back.
So when we went in a couple weeks latter to camp at the confluence of the MF and NF and explore the MFJO and the mouth of the NF, we retraced this route. It’s super easy to get the Walthier Landing this way. But looking now after your post, it may still be a little closer to start at Mission Creek (we were still ignorant of that though).
I’m still trying to figure out your proposed trip. It seems that following the NF for it’s entire length is not what you are thinking. And as far as getting to the 10k ridge from down near the confluence with MF, I really have no clue. We never looked for a route up that side of the NF from down low in the canyon, looking was only to go “boy that looks nasty.” I know I have some video I took from the ridge to the west of the NF from which we were trying find a way down (and ultimately did) to river above the first falls. I’ll look back at that. That section of NF canyon does some crazy fast twists and in places is probably less that 20 feet wide. A couple places the only through was to walk in the river because the rock canyon walls go straight into the water.
My 10k ridge experience is limited. Many, many years ago I went with my dad to the crash site (Sinatra’s mother’s plane) a year or so after the crash. I was very young so don’t remember much about getting there. Other than starting from Fish Creek Saddle.
Looking more closely, when I said that Milo and I scrambled up to the 10k ridge from the NF below Big Tree, it looks like that is not quite true. We came up to a saddle and big flat area to the west of the ridge. To our east we could see what appeared to be the high point of the ridge probably a 20 minute – half an hour scramble above where we were. We went the other way, west to Lake Peak and down to FC Saddle.