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SEKI hike advice needed.

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Re: SEKI hike advice needed.

Postby Mike M. » Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:37 pm

Because we've had so little precip this weather year, skeeter season should be over by the time you hit the trail in late July, making camping near meadows (like Big Wet Meadow) an enjoyable experience rather than one big annoyance.

Mike



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Re: SEKI hike advice needed.

Postby RoguePhotonic » Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:50 pm

You know that you have to carry a bear canister in Sequoia, correct?


Actually you don't in any of the areas they are hiking to but as always it's still a good idea to have one. If nothing else it will protect your food from mice and squirrels.
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Re: SEKI hike advice needed.

Postby rlown » Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:59 pm

I agree with Rogue on carrying the can.

Now, on this:

Second: You're going out for what looks like a bunch of days. You know that you have to carry a bear canister in Sequoia, correct? A bear canister holds, at most, eight days worth of food. So, unless you carry two canisters (and there are people that do that) that kind of limits your time out on the trail, unless someone else restocks you. The rangers will probably want to see your bear canister and it is the law. Not trying to discourage you, but as with all of us, its important to know what your constraints are. Make sure that your pack will comfortably accomodate the bear canister.


Only 8 days? i can carry 10-12 days (bearikade 12") and we need to be specific about the can you're carrying and what food stuff you carry.

On my trips, everyone carries their own bear can. Split up the food as you will at that point.
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Re: SEKI hike advice needed.

Postby tim » Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:25 pm

Given you have a drop off, rather than taking the shuttle, I would suggest starting at Marvin Pass. That allows you to have a couple of shorter, lower elevation days at the start of the hike which will make acclimatization easier and give you some extra time for a hike up Deadman Canyon.
With a first day to Sugerloaf, second day to Deadman Canyon and a third day back round to Cloud Canyon, you should have plenty of time to acclimatize before going over 10K feet.

On the bear can issue, I assume you will carry one can each for 8-10 days. But if you are renting a can other than the Bearikade you will need to be careful about volume. Probably worth trying it out before you head off to CA!
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Re: SEKI hike advice needed.

Postby Fallujah04 » Sat Apr 05, 2014 3:28 am

Wow. Thank you all for the awesome advice! A lot of stuff to think about and will probably adjust the route/number of days.

As far as bear canisters, we're probably both going to carry one. We've always hung our food but a bear canister seems more convenient, albeit more weight. We might even buy one for use in the Smokies since it's pretty dense with black bears. The majority of our food is freeze dried so that should save on space.

Getting acclimated is a concern. The highest I've hiked is Mt. Fuji (12,388), essentially starting at sea level and was at the top a few hours later. I didn't feel the effects, but than again, we wern't at the top very long. Since we don't plan on camping at over 10k feet for at least the first few nights, do you think it will be an issue? Is it common to have high altitude sickness at 9k? I know my ex-wife felt sick when we visited Giant Sequoia but when I took my current wife she was fine (but that's only around 7k feet).

We definitely want to push ourselves and do a route that is challenging, as long as we have time to take pictures and reach our campsites a few hours before the sun drops. We both love the feeling of being completely worn out at the end of the day. haha.

After doing more research and taking into account what you guys said, I gonna change my route quite a bit, go the opposite direction and make it 10-11 days instead of 8. Which of these routes do you think would be better for flowers/forest/meadows/lakes? best passes? and which do you think would be an overall more challenging hike? (I've been tempted to plan a hike in the Cascades as it seems to match my wive's taste more!)

Route 1 - Wolverton --> Nine-mile creek --> Hamilton --> Big Arroyo -- > Moraine Lake --> Junction Meadow --> Colby Lake --> Roaring River then doing the Rye Lakes loop --> Roaring River --> Bubbs Creek --> Charlotte Lake --> Woods Creek Crossing --> Road's End = 11 days/10 nights

Route 2 - Same as above except head south from Roaring River up Deadman's Canyon. Roaring River --> Upper Ranger Meadow --> Bearpaw Meadow --> Pinto Lake --> Lost Canyon --> Over Sawtooth Pass to Mineral King. 12 days/11 nights

We will have a few days extra to spare in case we get held up/feel like we bit off more than we can chew and a few options to take alternate routes to cut the hike short if need be. Another question, do you guys prefer Junction Meadow or Gallats Lake?

Thanks again for everyone who has spent the time to give suggestions.
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Re: SEKI hike advice needed.

Postby sekihiker » Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:18 am

Considering your fitness levels and experience, I think the only unknown will be your reaction to higher elevation. Your experience with Fuji, however, bodes well. I have been criticized many times over the years for the daily milage I used to put in on hikes. But, in my opinion, slow hiking is for older hikers like myself. "More miles, more smiles," is what young and exceptionally fit hikers should be thinking. Plan the hike so you have bailout places along the way if problems develop. Ideas for ambitious hikes in Sequoia-Kings Canyon can be found at my website: www.sierrahiker.com
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Re: SEKI hike advice needed.

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:28 am

Everyone has their own style of hiking. If yours is making miles, that is fine. I would then add a day or two to see MORE country, not necessarily slow down. Deadman Caynon is a fine few hour day-hike from Roaring River. Same with a jaunt up the head of the Kern Keweah above Gallet's Lake. I personally was not that impressed with Kern Hot Springs or Kern Canyon. Others rave about this place. Some day-hiking in Nine Lakes Basin would be very worthwhile. I have not taken the trail out to Mineral King from Bearpaw so cannot comment. The route out to Crescent Meadow or Wolverton has some very scenic sections. I personally would rather take the quick route out to Crescent Meadow (you can take a shuttle bus back to Wolverton) and spend half a day hiking up Pine Creek? (the valley on the back side of Angle Wings).

There are numerous bear boxes along your route. One at Ranger Meadow. The amount needed to be put in the bear canister can be reduced if plan on first night at a camp with a bear box. You may be able to rent a Bearikad Expedition can. I would call ahead and try to reserve one of these. For a 7+ day trip you may both have to carry a bear can.

It is also informative to think about reversing the route. Sometimes the logistics just work better when a route is reversed. With an early start (7AM) I have made it to Hamilton Lake carrying a heavy pack on the first day. The altitude is moderate and the elevation gain is lots of little ups and downs and the trail is well maintained. It is a bit of a march, but doable. And if you poop out there are plenty of campsites with bear boxes. Not saying the reverse is a better route, but something to consider.

This is just my opinion, but as nice as Emigrant Wilderness is, SEKI is much more spectacular. If this is your first time in the Sierra, SEKI would be my choice.

Another thought - since you have someone willing to pick you up, an alternative entry would be from Roads End (Cedar Grove), over Avalanche Pass. The best strategy for this is first night at the Sphinx Trail junction and second day at Ranger Meadow.
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Re: SEKI hike advice needed.

Postby Fallujah04 » Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:57 am

Thanks! That's what I was thinking. I have uploaded file that shows what I'm thinking. Basically, once we get to Roaring River on day 7 (tentative), we will have to choose to go north to Rae Lakes, South to Mineral King, or west to Ranger Lake. If we get to Roaring River later than planned or earlier than planned it will effect which route we choose.

I forgot to mention that I've hiked the Shadow Lakes area in Mammoth growing up and my buddy and I were caught in that "freak" snowstorm in Oct 19-22 of 04' that required multiple SAR backpacker rescues. Luckily, we managed to hike out from Moose Lake, but it sucked. So I've had a SMALL taste of the Sierra Nevada's. Oh, awesome website btw!

Wandering Daisy - Thank you. I did decide to reverse my route and it would be awesome if we could make it to Hamilton the first day. We really want to stay there and it would cut out a short 6 mile day (giving us an extra day). I think the main reason I'm going through the Kern Canyon is because I want to hike the section to Kaweah gap and also Gallats Lake/Colby Lake area and I hate backtracking. If I wasn't so worried about lightning I would try to x-country it through Nine Lake basin and skip the Kern and Big Arroyo canyons completely. I just don't want to be above treeline that long (although I'm probably just being way over concerned.)

Edit: My file was too big. :(
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Re: SEKI hike advice needed.

Postby markskor » Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:12 am

Fallujah04 wrote: I just don't want to be above treeline that long (although I'm probably just being way over concerned.)

Personally prefer spending the majority of my Sierra hiking-time at or above timberline...
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Re: SEKI hike advice needed.

Postby maverick » Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:40 am

Fallujah04 wrote:
I forgot to mention that I've hiked the Shadow Lakes area in Mammoth growing up and
my buddy and I were caught in that "freak" snowstorm in Oct 19-22 of 04' that required
multiple SAR backpacker rescues. Luckily, we managed to hike out from Moose Lake, but
it sucked.


Thought I was familiar with most of the lakes in the Minarets, where is Moose lake?
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Re: SEKI hike advice needed.

Postby alpinemike » Sat Apr 05, 2014 11:12 am

Fallujah you have a great trip planned. I was in just about all of these parts last year when I did a 110+ mile trip that took about 11 days. I definitely rushed through some areas, but since I was alone I could. And toward the end the being alone part started to get a bit daunting.. surprisingly I didn't see very many people on the entire trip. I started fairly early in the season. End of June into early July. Absolutely phenomenal trip.

You mention that when you get to Roaring River you have the choices of going back towards Ranger Lake, Up to Bubbs Creek to Roads End, or to Deadman Canyon and then to Mineral King. I would highly suggest going through Deadman Canyon to Mineral King. You will definitely not miss anything spectacular if you choose not to go to Ranger Lake. I have been on that stretch of trail and as others have pointed out it is dry dusty and gets quite hot. It was definitely my least favorite part of the trail last year. Going up to Bubbs Creek really means you're going to miss out one probably my favorite canyon in the Sierra. I've done many areas in the Northern Sierra and a few in the South and the beauty at Ranger Meadow is just staggering. If your wife loves meadows she will find it up to par. And the other highlight is the views descending Elizabeth Pass. Just unbelievable. You won't regret that. A word of caution... The trail on the south side of Elizabeth is a trail but it is easy to lose. There are many cairns there but to me it was a bit confusing and I lost the trail. Losing the trail there is not a big deal because you know you just need to head downhill until you reach the junction. Just be careful and pay attention.

Also on the topic of thunderstorms and lightning. I had my fair share of that weather last year in these parts. Nothing was so threatening that I had to turn back. Sometimes I had to wait it out an hour or so and then I continued along. Be cautious and remember your pace to know when you can reach a certain safe or safer spot.

Here's a few photos of Deadman Canyon and the views from Elizabeth:
DSC_4161.jpg

DSC_4170.jpg

DSC_4219.jpg
Last edited by alpinemike on Sat Apr 05, 2014 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SEKI hike advice needed.

Postby Ikan Mas » Sat Apr 05, 2014 11:53 am

I stand corrected on the bear canister requirements.

Do stop and smell the roses on this trip. The short hike up to Big Bird Lake is worth it and the brookies are fair sized for so high.
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