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southern Kings Canyon N.P. trail conditions?

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southern Kings Canyon N.P. trail conditions?

Postby Sierra Miguel » Wed May 21, 2014 10:20 am

I'm planning a loop for this weekend: Cedar Grove - Marvin - JO - Silliman - Avalanche Passes. One of us might loop back from Comanche Meadow via Marvin Pass.

Wondering what to expect for trail conditions, since I've never been this way. Muddy? Swampy? Should I bother carrying microspikes? Any difficult creek crossings? There will be three of us.



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Re: southern Kings Canyon N.P. trail conditions?

Postby maverick » Wed May 21, 2014 11:54 am

Does your group have good route finding experience? The trails that may have
been not covered with snow last weekend may be after this latest storm.
Avalanche Pass will have snow either way, JO and Silliman may too now.
Sugarloaf Creek should not be an issue. From SEKI reports before this last storm
reports the snow coverage starting at 10000 ft on the western slopes:
http://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/trailcond.htm
Here is a members TR from 5/17 to Mitchell Peak in which he reports
snow covered trails:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=10994
If your group in not comfortable with cross-country travel, which this trip will
become because of the snow coverage in many areas, you may consider delaying it.
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Re: southern Kings Canyon N.P. trail conditions?

Postby Sierra Miguel » Wed May 21, 2014 12:45 pm

maverick wrote:Does your group have good route finding experience?

I should have no trouble.

Avalanche Pass will have snow either way, JO and Silliman may too now.

Expected. But does anything there warrant spikes? I'd think not, since they look rather flat and/or treeless (i.e., unshaded).

Sugarloaf Creek should not be an issue.

Thanks.

http://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/trailcond.htm

Saw that.

Here is a members TR from 5/17 to Mitchell Peak

Didn't see that. Thanks.
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Re: southern Kings Canyon N.P. trail conditions?

Postby maverick » Wed May 21, 2014 1:54 pm

No spikes, maybe just timing to avoid postholing.
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Re: southern Kings Canyon N.P. trail conditions?

Postby GraceC89 » Wed May 21, 2014 2:01 pm

I can second the fact that Sugarloaf Creek probably won't be an issue. I was there during the first week of June last year, and I didn't even get my shoes wet when crossing.

On that same trip, I crossed JO and Silliman pass. I would call JO more of a gentle bump than an actual pass. If it weren't for the trail junction there, I wouldn't have even realized that I had crossed it. Silliman has some steep switchbacks right as your leave the Ranger / Belville Lake area (and again on the other side as you leave Twin Lakes), but at the top, it's pretty smooth and un-exposed. This might just be the fact that I was in a major GTFO mood an not paying very close attention when I went through the area, but I found that Silliman Pass wasn't at all where I expected it to be. In other words, if there were snow on the trail, I might have had some navigation issues. But hopefully you'll be less impatient and paying more attention than I was :)

Enjoy your trip!

Oh, and the bugs were terrible in the Sugarloaf and Comanche Meadows area but not at all in the Silliman area.
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Re: southern Kings Canyon N.P. trail conditions?

Postby maverick » Wed May 21, 2014 2:09 pm

GraceC89 wrote:
Oh, and the bugs were terrible in the Sugarloaf and Comanche Meadows


Yes those places can be bad in the early season, but nothing compared to what
awaits one at Big Wet Meadow (the mosquito factory). :(
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Re: southern Kings Canyon N.P. trail conditions?

Postby Sierra Miguel » Wed May 21, 2014 2:30 pm

maverick wrote:nothing compared to what awaits you at Big Wet Meadow

We're not heading that way. Probably camp at Roaring River bridge.

Already itching. Damn skeeters. :snipe:
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Re: southern Kings Canyon N.P. trail conditions?

Postby maverick » Wed May 21, 2014 2:42 pm

Sierra Miguel wrote:
We're not heading that way.


Yes I know, sorry meant to write "awaits one" not "you". Looking forward to reading
your TR when you get back.
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