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4 day SEKI, too much?

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4 day SEKI, too much?

Postby mursey » Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:30 am

I was planning a SEKI loop last year from Road's End - > Bubbs Creek -> Lake Reflection -> Brewer Lake -> Sphynx Creek -> back (see attached). Included was a Brewer summit day.

How would this route look for 4 days without the Summit? We are pretty set on SEKI, as I'm the only one in the group who has been there. All experienced backpackers with moderate off-trail experience. Mid August.
Proposed route.jpg



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Re: 4 day SEKI, too much?

Postby maverick » Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:41 am

How would this route look for 4 days without the Summit?


Is that 4 days or nights, your map indicates 4 campsites?
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Re: 4 day SEKI, too much?

Postby mursey » Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:05 am

Sorry, that's my old route. I was thinking of cutting out the last purple day ("8/29") completely.

It'll be 4 nights, 4 days, including car camping around the park before the first day.
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Re: 4 day SEKI, too much?

Postby maverick » Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:27 am

So you are contemplating Junction Meadow, Lake Reflection, and Big Brewer Lake as your overnight stays, and then hike out from Big Brewer to Roads End? That would be to long of a day, if you were going from Sphinx Lakes and Sphinx Pass was not included, then it would be doable, could be punishing for folks with tender knees, but certainly doable.
Would recommend keeping your 4th night, and stay at one of the lower Sphinx Lakes.
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Re: 4 day SEKI, too much?

Postby Ska-T » Fri Jun 17, 2016 12:40 am

I did your exact route a few years ago in the counterclockwise direction, including summiting Mr Brewer. We took 5 days (actually 4.5 days) to do the trip without turning it in to a death march. If you want to do the trip in 4 days I suggest you cut out Brewer, or cut down the size of the loop by ascending Brewer via Ouzel Creek, as Bill Finch did (see http://www.sierrahiker.com/MtBrewer/index.htm). Of course Bill did it in 3 days. :nod:
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Re: 4 day SEKI, too much?

Postby canyonfish » Fri Jun 17, 2016 10:01 pm

I also did this route in reverse in July 2014, but with a layover day 4 hike over the Kern-Kings Divide. Day 1 was fairly tame, hiked into the "twin" Sphinx lakes and camped. Second day was the toughest day, as off trail at high altitude usually is. The southern pass after Cinder Col (can't read it on the map and can't recall the name off hand) was a bit tough. Had to maneuver between snow field and rocks on the east side. We actually lowered packs in one section. If the snow field was smaller (as it should be in August) it may have been easier. It also would be easier doing it east to west as you propose. We were all pretty beat and camped at the lake above Reflection on night 2. Day 3 we walked a short ways to Reflection and set up camp early, swam and lounged around. Perfect summer time alpine lake. Day 4 we broke camp, hiked to the outlet of Reflection, dropped packs and headed toward Millie's Footpass. We fished a bit on the Kern side of the divide, then looped back via Lucy's Footpass to the outlet of Reflection, loaded packs (amidst one of the worst mosquito swarms I've ever experienced) and headed down to East where we camped night 4. It was dark by the time we made camp. Day 5 out from East was quick, nice swim at Muir Rock followed by burgers and IPA's. Spectacular trip.

Bottom line, if you are fit I think it could be done in 4 days. They would be 4 long days though.
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Re: 4 day SEKI, too much?

Postby mursey » Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:35 am

Thank you for the feedback. It sounds like I've been a bit too ambitious for my whole group. I am pretty set on Road's End, for permit reasons... haha.

I was thinking of trying Vidette Canyon instead. I made a little caltopo and attached a screenshot below. This route look more reasonable for days 1-2, with one big push at the end which, being downhill, I think they could handle.

How realistic is day 3, though? Caltopo says 6 miles more or less, but some trip reports I have perused have people camping closer to Deerhorn after finishing Vidette Canyon. My group's fitness level is excellent for the most part.

Camp 1 would fall on a weeknight, which would be less crowded. I'd appreciate any advice on tweaks to the route, or specific campsites or sites to see. Thanks again.

New route.PNG
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Re: 4 day SEKI, too much?

Postby maverick » Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:52 pm

Your new route, distance wise, is doable, but Deerhorn Saddle is a solid class 2, so your rating of your group as "moderate off-trail experience" will be a judgement call left up to you whether you should proceeding as the groups leader.
viewtopic.php?f=31&t=7729&p=55735&hilit=Deerhorn#p55735
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Re: 4 day SEKI, too much?

Postby mursey » Mon Jun 20, 2016 2:36 pm

CLASS/DIFFICULTY: Miserable


Haha! Same group that did Mt. Conness without difficulty last year. Might just do Rae Lakes Loop.

Thanks, Maverick.
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Re: 4 day SEKI, too much?

Postby maverick » Mon Jun 20, 2016 2:56 pm

Whichever trip you do decide to do, please write up a TR. :)
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