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SEKI Trip Planning

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SEKI Trip Planning

Postby zacjust32 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:11 pm

With all the talk about the Meetup and registering for permits, it's about time for me to make a decision as to where I want to go this year. Last year was my first major backpacking trip doing the Rae Lakes Loop, with some additions, in 6 days, and I'm trying to decide this year's trip. I'm set on doing something in SEKI, and I'm pretty open to suggestions. I would say I'm a beginning backpacker, Level 3 dayhiker, Level 2 backpacker, in good shape. I have numerous day trips x-country and am fine with 14-18 miles and 3000+ ft of elevation gain with a pack. I'm not a big fisherman, but do enjoy lakes, although I must say my favorite views are of large, glacier carved valleys and meadows. Big mountain scenery with lots of granite is also my preference.

I was thinking about doing the HST and summitting Whitney at the end. This would give me a good overview of the area, especially a lot of the good parts. Along the way I was hoping to summit Mt. Kaweah, as I've had my eye on it for a while.

My second idea involves the area contained by Sugarloaf Valley to the North, the GWD to the East, Middle Fork Kaweah to the South, and the 198 to the West. There's a lot that I want to see there but I can't decide what exactly is the best. After following Rogue's posts I found the canyons north of the Tablelands fascinating and deserving of exploration. I am also highly interested in Deadman and Cloud Canyons. Bagging Peaks on the GWD is also open for discussion, although I have no formal climbing experience and would prefer class 3 max. My initial plan was Marvin Pass --> Roaring River --> Deadman Cayon --> Ferguson/Box Canyons --> Tablelands --> Crescent Lake --> Ranger Lake --> Marvin Pass. This is obviously open to input if there's something I must see and something I can skip.

I'm open to any other suggestions in the SEKI area, although I would like to keep it south of Road's End this time.

Thanks in advance for all the input,

Zac
Hiker, adventurer, fabricator, tinkerer, theologian, and occasional student. http://www.zacjust.blogspot.com



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Re: SEKI Trip Planning

Postby maverick » Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:46 pm

Mineral King area for sure, granite, lakes, and peaks. :nod:
Here are a few past TR's, if you have any specific's after reading these and doing some more digging, please ask away.
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9924&p=77361&hilit=mineral+king+loop#p77361
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=13315&p=99948&hilit=mineral+king+loop#p99948
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=11745&p=88503&hilit=mineral+king+loop#p88503
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: SEKI Trip Planning

Postby lambertiana » Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:24 pm

Lots of possibilities, and you can't go wrong with any of them. Mineral King is a great place to start from, here is a report from a loop I did a few years ago:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9818&p=73786#p73786

And I am considering repeating this trip again this summer, if you are fine with class 2, as you seem to indicate, you could join us:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9372&p=69781#p69781

Another trip that I am saving for a dry year is a repeat of this one:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5403&p=33729#p33729

But instead of heading to the JMT after descending from Cartridge Pass, I want to go down Muro Blanco. Hence the need to save this for a dry year.
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Re: SEKI Trip Planning

Postby zacjust32 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:15 pm

Wow @lambertiana, loving the TRs! Your search for the 3rd largest Sequoia also fascinated me. You very well may have persuaded me to go a little further south in my planning. I have climbed Sawtooth but that was my only experience in MK, and I loved it. Now I'm gonna have to sift through all these other reports and decide what my priorities are.

Thanks and keep 'em coming.
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Re: SEKI Trip Planning

Postby oldranger » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:32 pm

Z32

My last trip into Roaring river area was with my son about 15 years ago. By trail to Roaring River, up Cloud Canyon to Cement Table Meadow, over Glacier Ridge via Josephine Lake, up Deadman to Big Bird Lake, over the ridge to the upper end of Ferguson Creek, then over the ridge to W. Fork Ferguson Lakes. We had planed on dropping over to the lakes at the Upper end of Box Canyon (no fish) then over the next ridge to Crescent lake, Ranger lakes, Lost Lake, Seville Lake before finally hooking up with the trail again. The off trail route selection can be demanding but if done carefully even an old fart like me could still do it. Unfortunately we hit the week of constant rain and we bailed down the w. fork of Ferguson to the old cowboy trail past Ellis meadow, then down to lower Box Canyon and Sugarloaf Valley. All the off trail places are seldom visited and quite scenic. We didn't see another person from the time we left Roaring River ranger Station until we reached the trail in Sugarloaf Valley--about 6 days!

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Re: SEKI Trip Planning

Postby creekfeet » Sat Feb 06, 2016 8:39 pm

You've given yourself some good options, so it depends what you're looking for. The HST is an amazing trail, but it's not the best place to be if you're looking for solitude. The Whitney Zone itself is a zoo, and it's not all that scenic compared to lots of other areas. The only real point in climbing Whitney is to be able to say you've done it. If you go that way, I'd take the HST to junction meadow, and then venture off towards the Kern Kaweah River. You're route through Roaring River country sounds great. You won't see a soul for the cross country stretches, and even on the trails you'll mostly have them to yourself. The lakes out there are amazing. I'm partial to the one at the head of Box Canyon, and has some jumping rocks about 25 feet up, which is the highest I've found in the Sierra.
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Re: SEKI Trip Planning

Postby zacjust32 » Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:48 pm

creekfeet wrote:The lakes out there are amazing. I'm partial to the one at the head of Box Canyon, and has some jumping rocks about 25 feet up, which is the highest I've found in the Sierra.


Those lakes are definitely on my list! I first saw them here in one of Rogue's albums. I love the looks of those canyons all in a row, so much to see...
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Re: SEKI Trip Planning

Postby oldranger » Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:06 pm

Creekfeet

Back in 2009 I encountered some yosemite trail crew members who extolled the virtues of jumping off these cliffs which I'm sure exceed 100 feet!
cliff jumping.jpg
Cliff diving paradise or fishing paradise!

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