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Elizabeth Pass Loop Trip Report

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Elizabeth Pass Loop Trip Report

Postby sekihiker » Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:06 pm

I spent the last five days of August on a loop - Wolverton, Tableland, Pterodactyl Pass, Lonely Lake, Horn Col, Elizabeth Pass, Bearpaw Meadow, Mehrten Meadow, Panther Pass, Long Meadow, Wolverton
Link for the trip report - http://sierrahiker.home.comcast.net/~si ... index.html



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Re: Elizabeth Pass Loop Trip Report

Postby SweetSierra » Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:41 am

Good reading and thanks for another trip report on your many travels. Did the ranger put up those huge cairns on most of the Elizabeth Pass trail? Interesting. The photo of Lonely Lake from Horn Col is beautiful. I've never been there. Did you take what's known as the hump trail (I think) to Bearpaw Meadow? I enjoyed that trail. I also like the shot of the dike that points the way to Pterodactyl Pass. The Tablelands look about as dry as when I was there in August 2012.
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Re: Elizabeth Pass Loop Trip Report

Postby sekihiker » Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:19 am

The huge cairns were put up by trail crew at the request of then Bearpaw Meadow Ranger "Bearpaw Bob" Meadows. Bearpaw Bob told me that hikers coming south from the pass were constantly complaining to him about not being able to find the trail. I must say, without the cairns, the descent would be much more time consuming. Yes, I took the "hump" or Over the Hill Trail to Bearpaw even though I love the cliff trail between Bearpaw and Lone Pine Creek.

I was surprised to find more than 50 species flowers still blooming in spite of the dryness. It seemed like every high moist area hosted lots of alpine gentian.
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Re: Elizabeth Pass Loop Trip Report

Postby SweetSierra » Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:47 pm

Thanks...it was the "Over the Hill" trail I was trying to think of. In a trip to Lake Basin in August, I was surprised at all the flowers too, at high elevation, and in the lower elevation meadows. Beautiful and unexpected, given how dry it's been.
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Re: Elizabeth Pass Loop Trip Report

Postby maverick » Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:40 pm

Thank you for the usually well written, with plenty of great photo's, trip report Bill.
A great example of why folks should have a back-up safety plan (a hard copy,
for example the HST Reconn Form) to their electronic device when in the backcountry.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Elizabeth Pass Loop Trip Report

Postby sekihiker » Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:09 pm

Thanks, Maverick. My wife has a copy of the Reconn form I make for every trip. She might be requiring me to get a satellite phone or something similar one of these days. The irony was that the SPOT message sent in the open didn't go through. The message sent in the forest made it through just fine.
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Re: Elizabeth Pass Loop Trip Report

Postby sparky » Sat Sep 20, 2014 12:02 am

what a great loop that is. I love the ridgeline in the pterodactyl pass area

My first time there I took a round about route due to an error in navigation and ended up decending, then traversing buck creek drainage, then up to pterodactyl. While it was a ton of extra work, the views and the scramble was outstanding, and challenging
There is a million ways to be human, all are worthwhile.

True happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.
-Chuang Tzu.
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Re: Elizabeth Pass Loop Trip Report

Postby sekihiker » Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:24 am

sparky wrote:While it was a ton of extra work, the views and the scramble was outstanding, and challenging

I agree. There are so many great views, both near and far, that you don't mind the work. But when you want to get somewhere without being exhausted, it's not as much fun at the end of the day.

You gave me an idea. I may spend an entire trip exploring the Tableland just by itself. Thanks.
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Re: Elizabeth Pass Loop Trip Report

Postby seanr » Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:12 am

sekihiker wrote:Thanks, Maverick. My wife has a copy of the Reconn form I make for every trip. She might be requiring me to get a satellite phone or something similar one of these days. The irony was that the SPOT message sent in the open didn't go through. The message sent in the forest made it through just fine.


I've been using a first generation SPOT for 5-6 years. The main time I have message issues is if I look down, see that a message appears to have sent, and then turn it off rather than letting it keep working. You may want to verify the accuracy of my details if this may have been your issue, but I recall reading that it sends 3 signals over a period of time after I press the OK button. Sometimes it is necessary to wait for all 3 before the actual message gets through. Therefore, I often press OK, put it away still on, facing up, and atop my other items, and I keep hiking. The other issue I've experienced is lower/slower seeming message success when using standard alkaline batteries rather than the suggested lithium variety. The suggested batteries last a long time, but aren't as convenient to buy and have on hand.

Nice report; I will likely visit SEKI from the west a lot in coming years and enjoy seeing places to be sure to check out.
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Re: Elizabeth Pass Loop Trip Report

Postby sekihiker » Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:49 am

seanr wrote: I will likely visit SEKI from the west a lot in coming years and enjoy seeing places to be sure to check out.

Having lived in Fresno since 1986, almost all of my trips have started from the west. More than 50 reports for trips starting on the west can be found at www.sierrahiker.com
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Re: Elizabeth Pass Loop Trip Report

Postby LMBSGV » Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:13 am

Bill, as always, a great read and wonderful photos. Your route choices always provide inspiration for possible future trips.
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Re: Elizabeth Pass Loop Trip Report

Postby sekihiker » Sun Sep 21, 2014 12:05 pm

LMBSGV wrote:Bill, as always, a great read and wonderful photos. Your route choices always provide inspiration for possible future trips.

Thanks. It's comments like yours that keep me posting reports.
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