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TR: SEKI Loop 9/14-22

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Re: TR: SEKI Loop 9/14-22

Postby mort » Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:08 pm

I loved your report and pictures.
On the trail at 7AM my first surprise was the washed out bridge, requiring wading.

If memory serves there are 2 bridges across the South Fork Kings, one right at the trail head, and the other at Bubbs creek. And 2 trails, on either side of the river between. Are both bridges gone?
-mort



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Re: TR: SEKI Loop 9/14-22

Postby Hobbes » Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:26 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:You need to just bite the bullet and do some trips from Mineral King, Lodgepole or Roads End. They are really worth the annoyance.


Well, never say never. I've only been to the GWD once - from the east (Shepherd). My wife swears she will never drive to Road's End again. Mammoth, Tuolumne (her favorite), sure.

I admire your tenacity - as I get older, I get lazier. I've done the Bay area - SoCal drive a thousand times. Almost 40 years ago (!), I could blow up the 5. It was 2 lanes, just like today, but with 1/2 the traffic volume. (Calif population has doubled in 4 decades.)

The great secret is the Owens valley will never ever be developed. The entire entire region from Ridgecrest, all the way to Bridgeport, is protected watershed for the LA aqueduct. (For those interested, look up the history of Inyo FS - they locked property into place around Mammoth a decade before the LA aqueduct was built in 1913.)

We even looked into buying a cottage in Independence. The Owens valley might be the only place on earth that is actually losing population. That is, every time a piece of property (owned by the LA DWP) is vacated, they let it sit fallow, and eventually tear it down.

For those in the know, it's an incredible insight. We benefit from the increased development taking place down here at the beach, but knowing there is literally only ONE place in the world that is not being developed is something few really know about. Sh!t, every time I drive up Line street (Bishop up to S, Sabrina & N lakes), I check out the beautiful ranch homes strung along the road. It's a secret that doesn't matter if it's outed - ain't a single thing being built or will ever be built.
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Re: TR: SEKI Loop 9/14-22

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:33 pm

The main bridge across the SF is fine. Shortly Bubbs Creek braids into several branches and there are I recall 3-4 crossings with bridges. The first is the biggest and that bridge is out. There is a 4-5 foot washout at the bridge location. You go upstream a short distance and cross above the washe out. Just ankle deep - no big deal now, except the time it takes to take off shoes and put them back on.
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Re: TR: SEKI Loop 9/14-22

Postby Harlen » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:42 pm

Really fine Trip Report, and photos- Thanks for putting it together WD. I still mean to get the maps out and follow your route along- we love that area too. Cheers, the Harlens.

RandN.Sphinx.JPG
Here are our two boys at Sphinx Lakes.
By the way, we came at it from East Lake via Brewer Col- yet another route in.
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Re: TR: SEKI Loop 9/14-22

Postby sekihiker » Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:01 pm

Harlen wrote:By the way, we came at it from East Lake via Brewer Col- yet another route in.

I went to Sphinx Lakes that way, too - with a twist. I went up Brewer's south side then descended the north side [full pack] to Sphinx Col. Oh, to have those legs again. See: http://www.sierrahiker.com/MtBrewer/index.htm
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Re: TR: SEKI Loop 9/14-22

Postby Hobbes » Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:00 am

Well, damn, I just got a TR for the exact same area from Dave, the Czech hiker Andy & I met last year as described here:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=14472

He came back out at the beginning of this month, and we drove up together for a quick hike up Pine creek. I dropped him off @ Onion valley on the way back to SoCal, and he continued to explore the Sierra for the next few weeks.

One of the loops he did was Rae lakes, but he continued over Avalanche from Road's end and then to Colby and the HST. He was up the exact same time as WD, but he says he didn't see anyone. Even though he had very light UL gear, he said while it was cold & windy, it wasn't that bad. I'm guessing it's because he's from central Europe near the Bavarian Alps, so what he thinks is cold is different than natives.

What he did say is he came across a lake with huge, 18" fish, in large numbers around both the inlet & outlet. He showed me on the map, so now I'm thinking I have a good reason to go. And just after I said no way ... LOL
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Re: TR: SEKI Loop 9/14-22

Postby cgundersen » Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:39 pm

Hi Daisy, Loved the report, but it's definitely serving as a wake up call for whether another trip is in the offing this autumn. I too am not keen to add another 4-5 pounds of weight to ward off the cold. And, while I was reluctant to chime in earlier when you were debating routes up to Josephine, I scrambled up there about a decade ago and was surprised by the relatively heavy impact humans have had up there. Lots of fire-charred rock and over-used campsites. And, from what I could tell, there's no easy way up there from Deadman or Cloud, so I was just perplexed at all the signs of human activity (not to mention horse droppings on hillsides that seemed tenuous to me!). I was waiting to hear whether those signs of overuse had abated. Anyway, the light show you got at Brewer sounds magnificent and should be an inducement to others to make it up there. Cameron
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Re: TR: SEKI Loop 9/14-22

Postby oldranger » Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:08 pm

Daisy you made the right decision not going over Sphinx Pass, the talus on the north side would be treacherous. For me it would have been a flip of a coin given your food supply whether to head out or down to Roaring River. Either choice would work.
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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Re: TR: SEKI Loop 9/14-22

Postby Shhsgirl » Sun Oct 01, 2017 12:08 pm

Daisy, I ended up in the same weather, on the same days. Thanks for your usual great TR. I hope to get mine posted soon.
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Re: TR: SEKI Loop 9/14-22

Postby wildhiker » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:23 pm

Thanks for another great trip report and photos! You always provide lots of useful information to entice us to explore more. I did a backpack loop of Roads End -> East Lake -> Lake Reflection -> Longley Pass -> Big Brewer Lake (side climb of Brewer) -> Sphinx Creek & back to RE back in 1975. Haven't been back since. Your report reminds me how beautiful it is up there, but as I get older, I get less excited about those giant climbs out of Roads End. I'm really impressed that you did over 5,000 feet of uphill on your first day with your heavy pack! I really doubt I could do that. Thanks for all your contributions to HST.
-Phil
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