TR: Maverick's 2015 Annual HST Meet-Up 7/22-7/24/15

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oleander
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Re: TR: Maverick's 2015 Annual HST Meet-Up 7/22-7/24/15

Post by oleander » Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:14 pm

Nice, Roger. Outstanding photography! I like that you captured Lake 11,445 in Nine Lakes Basin. The middle-elevation benches of Nine Lakes Basin were a real highlight for me, scenery-wise, on this trip, and yet people seem to mention this location only in passing.

I'll get to my own report, one of these weeks. :whistle:

- Elizabeth








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Gazelle
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Re: TR: Maverick's 2015 Annual HST Meet-Up 7/22-7/24/15

Post by Gazelle » Sat Jan 16, 2016 12:05 pm

Day 1 Saturday Mineral king ranger Station 8am took ½ hour to get permit then up to trailhead to wrap my car to protect it from the marmots.
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Started hiking 9am way to late in my opinion but there was NO way to get my permit the day before as my drive was 6 ½ hours and I got off work at noon left house at 2:30 slept at trailhead in car. Parking lot was almost full, worked my way up the trail to the old trail to glacier pass right where one would cross the creek, go left instead, 1st part was easy to follow, then I second guessed myself when I saw a trail still going up the creek so I traversed to it and ended up on the main sawtooth pass trail, by the time I made it to Glacier Pass
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the clouds had moved in and decided it was unwise to try and get Sawtooth and Needham peaks so went down to Spring lake
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on a nice use trail and set up my tent as Hands and knees pass was next and I didn’t want to be anywhere near a ridge with a storm coming . Good call within a ½ hour the rain began followed by amazing lightning/ thunder /hail all around me and VERY close!

Day 2 Spring Lake to what I call Lippencott lake. I took awhile to get going due to the rain, worked my way up Hands and Knees pass
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maybe a little class 3 at the top but easy route finding, the other side was very easy, traversed over
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to the ridge between big and little five lakes then down to Little 5 lakes
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found the Black rock trail after some navigational errors then veered off trail towards the other little 5 lakes where I saw a bald eagle right above me! I was going to go to Eisen peak from here but already the ridges were looking like rain so went back to the trail and followed it to the big arroyo patrol cabin where a group of younger folks were holed up due to the rain. From there I went North on the HST till I could work up to the slabs to Lippencott Lake north east of Lippencott peak. Before I got to the lake it started raining again. After I got there I walked all over to find a flat non rocky camp spot, if there is one at this lake I could not find it. I made a platform out of flat rocks to set up my tent it worked very well and kept the bottom of my tent dry as the copious amounts of water came down from the sky.
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Day 3 lippencott Lake, peak to heart lake Nine lakes Basin. Woke up and it was still raining was not sure I was going to be able to hike this day as the granite slabs I needed to go down would probably be to wet, then it got somewhat nicer around 8 so decided to go for Lippencott peak not to bad from the north side, go up to the saddle class 2 ramps then traverse and up to the peak got into some class 3 but could have probably avoided it. Beautiful from up there with all the clouds around me but wanted to get down and past the granite slabs before the rain started again.
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Re: TR: Maverick's 2015 Annual HST Meet-Up 7/22-7/24/15

Post by Gazelle » Sat Jan 16, 2016 12:19 pm

Loaded up the pack and down the slabs back to the HST.
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Stopped to look at Eagle Scout peak but once again clouds were building so decide to just go for nine lakes basin (heart lake) to camp and see if I could go back to Eagle Scout in the morning. Got to Heart lake as the rain started set up the tent (I love my new skyscraper X it worked fantastic in the rain could cook in one of the vestibules and still have room for all my gear I know plug for the tent but I LOVE it!) Ended up with fantastic sunset/ cloud pictures that evening.
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Re: TR: Maverick's 2015 Annual HST Meet-Up 7/22-7/24/15

Post by Gazelle » Sat Jan 16, 2016 12:36 pm

Day 4
Heart lake to Eagle Scout, and Stewart peak to lake ??? Morning broke with no rain so decided to backtrack down the HST to go up Eagle Scout Peak absolutely worth it fantastic peak.
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After that believed I would have time for Stewart also so worked my way up to that as well,
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once again clouds were moving in so I hurried down to Heart Lake packed up and made my way as far as I could before the rain started, Lake ???? Once again very hard time finding a decent spot for my tent but it worked. That night it rained/ hailed etc all night
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Day 5 Pyra queen col to island lake. I wanted to do Lawson and kaweah queen peaks but the weather was not looking good so decided it better just make it over the pass! Worked my way around lake 11682 Stayed too high for awhile before going to the lake shore. Made my way up the right to left chute to continue to the pass, it was very wet and slick so I tried to make my way the best I could. I saw and heard many rock falls from the snow melting which did not help. Made it up to the (almost top) where you have 2 choices kind of straight smaller steeper chute or to the right a little easier looks better chute, I chose the harder straight 1 first and believe I made the right choice! It was nasty wet/slick but was rewarded with the spectacular view in front of me. Took some pictures and hurried on because the clouds were on my tail and had read about the massive amounts of talus below me.
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I did not find this too bad I did go way left but could have dropped down sooner but it looked like you might cliff out, so better safe than sorry.
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Made my way down the beautiful kaweah Basin, all the while looking at kaweah pass
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which was to happen 2 days hence (not a good sight). Made my way to Island Lake
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and had to decide which shore to go around, I chose the left shore, had to cross a significant stream, river but it worked out. Made it to the outlet hoping to see SOMEONE but alas no, so once again set up my tent as it looked like rain was coming, it did NOT thank you! Clouds were everywhere around me but only got drizzle for a few minutes. So I explored down stream, could not get across the outlet (water too high without getting wet) but wow beautiful!!!! Then I started getting nervous that no one would show to this meet up due to the rain, I was a day later than I wanted and didn’t get near the peaks I wanted but man the place is beautiful so it was worth it anyway, and I had the next day to explore so hopefully someone would show up!
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Re: TR: Maverick's 2015 Annual HST Meet-Up 7/22-7/24/15

Post by Gazelle » Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:02 pm

Day 6 Picket Guard peak
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Today I was planning on Picket Guard peak and anything else that may come along. Went over picket creek pass then contoured around and under
picket guard Peak then up, all class 2 nice rock.
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Got to what I thought was the summit but NO alittle further west, then a nice summit block which gave me pause, then decided to go for it, great summit register for a remote peak. Decided to go off the North side down a gully, not a good choice so worked over a small ridge/arête to the class 3 north route again decent rock.
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Headed for a nice looking lake towards the Kern/kaweah till I could find a way down the cliffs, then contoured back towards Picket Guard Lake, don’t think I was on the traverse most people use but it worked and popped out at the lake. Went to the East side as I wanted to take a look down to the river, looked across the lake to see someone lying on the rocks!
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Went over to find out it was Hobbes (Yea at least someone showed up) We talked and then walked together to island lake to find oleander swimming and being told others are there also (double YEA). Everyone hung out and talked of how they got there and how they were leaving, great fun!
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Re: TR: Maverick's 2015 Annual HST Meet-Up 7/22-7/24/15

Post by Gazelle » Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:21 pm

Day 7 Island Lake to Spring Lake
Had a big day planned wanted to do mt Kaweah and gray/2nd Kaweah today. I was the first to leave, made my way to the dreaded kaweah pass, started out absolutely beautiful till I got to the HORRID scree/boulder field of the pass. I had come in pretty high so I needed to traverse and work up to the pass,
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I will tell you this is one SCARY pass everything moves and I am talking not just what is under your feet but a whole section! Needless to say I went slowly placing each foot with care, did not stop to take pictures, drink water, nothing I was puckered! Was glad to be alone as if someone else was there they would have to be a great distance away to be safe. Anyway I am not one to get excited when I get to the top of something peak/pass but I let out a big yell of relief when I reached the top of this pass! Do you get the picture this is one nasty scary pass!
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Took my last pictures of the Kaweah Basin and worked my way around the tarn all still nasty but at least not as steep, worked around Mt Kaweah to the east ridge class 3 and decided not to do it. Made my way to the Chagoopa plateau passed some Indian grinding rocks,
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then down some steep cliff area then around to where I found the HST.
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Followed it to the ranger cabin, then back up to Little Five Lakes, over Hands and Knees pass and down to Spring Lake, a big day! Set up camp in the same spot as my 1st day.

Day 8 Spring Lake to Sawtooth Peak to mineral King TH
Always nice when you get to backtrack where you have been before, followed the use trail (still lost it once) to Glacier pass dropped my pack and made my way to Sawtooth Peak way too many cairns just go where you think is right. Beautiful view from the peak, was going to go to Needham also but decided getting done early and driving the 6 ½ hours home made more sense.
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Went back to the pack and down the old trail which I did find most of the way to the main trail to the parking lot by 2 then the long drive home.

A great trip even with the rain/hail/lightning, met great people and saw some fantastic country want to come back for the peaks I missed and some I just want.

I know not the best writing but at least I finally wrote it!

Thanks Kristine
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Re: TR: Maverick's 2015 Annual HST Meet-Up 7/22-7/24/15

Post by Gazelle » Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:30 pm

I finally wrote this TR cause it is raining today on Donner Summit!
The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before. Albert Einstein

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Re: TR: Maverick's 2015 Annual HST Meet-Up 7/22-7/24/15

Post by Rockyroad » Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:08 pm

Kristine, thanks for writing this up. I really enjoyed your narrative and photos. I've never seen Precipice from that perspective.

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Re: TR: Maverick's 2015 Annual HST Meet-Up 7/22-7/24/15

Post by MN2CAPisco » Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:24 am

Great report Kristine! Glad you had time to write it up, and considering the past several winters I'll selfishly applaud that the reason is rain! Given your prowess in off trail travel and description of it, I'm doubly happy to not have chosen Kaweah Pass to be my entry point into the basin. :eek:

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Re: TR: Maverick's 2015 Annual HST Meet-Up 7/22-7/24/15

Post by maverick » Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:25 pm

I finally wrote this TR cause it is raining today on Donner Summit!
Lucky us! Thank you for the great write up and great pictures, of a truly wonderful location. :nod:
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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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