Bench Canyon-Lyell Fork-Hutching Creek May 20-25 | High Sierra Topix  

Bench Canyon-Lyell Fork-Hutching Creek May 20-25

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar

Bench Canyon-Lyell Fork-Hutching Creek May 20-25

Postby maverick » Wed Jun 06, 2007 4:13 pm

One more pre-season trip before SEKI. Plans are to drive to Granite
Creek Traihead on the west side of the Minarets out of Bass lake and
hike to Bench Canyon then over Blue Lake Pass to the lakes of Lyell Fork
(bag Florence)down Hutching Creek and then up Foerster Creek over to
Rockbound Lake and descend Long Creek to the trail back to GCT.
If you interested let me know. I havent been back to this area since the
early 80's so Im really looking forward to revisiting this area again.



User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8049
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Postby Snow Nymph » Wed Jun 06, 2007 7:54 pm

Going back in time? ;)
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


http://snownymph.smugmug.com/
User avatar
Snow Nymph
Founding Member
 
Posts: 2041
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 6:43 pm
Location: Santa Barbara & Mammoth Lakes, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Bench Canyon-Lyell Fork-Hutching Creek May 20-25

Postby giantbrookie » Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:04 pm

maverick wrote:One more pre-season trip before SEKI.

Funny you would call that a "pre season" trip. I too have fond memories of that area. My wife and a friend of ours also went out of Granite Creek to Rockbound/Blue (in 1994). We did one layover to hike to the Harriet Lakes, then another (the highlight) was a dayhike bagging Foester, descending to the Lyell Fork, exploring the Lyell Fork headwaters, then over the top of Electra, thence back to camp via Bench Valley. That ranks as one of my favorite single day hikes of all time. I think we spent another day going to the San Joaquin headwaters below Ritter, then went out. This was sort of a "preseason" trip too, as Judy and I used as a tune up for our "Ring Around the Goddard" trip a week later.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
User avatar
giantbrookie
Founding Member & Forums Moderator
Founding Member & Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 2439
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:22 am
Location: Fresno
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby maverick » Thu Jun 07, 2007 11:33 am

Hi Snow Nymph
Anytime in the Sierra was, is or will be the best of times!

Hi GB
Im really looking at doing Lyell again though I do not really want to
carry an ice axe and crampons.
Which peak did you mention in one of your trips as being your favorite?
I remember it being an unnamed peak.
If I have time I may shoot over to Iron Lake for the first night and
then back to Bench Canyon for the second. Depends on whether Im
leaving Wed or Thur as of now its Wed.
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8049
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Postby giantbrookie » Thu Jun 07, 2007 1:41 pm

maverick wrote: Hi GB
Im really looking at doing Lyell again though I do not really want to
carry an ice axe and crampons.
Which peak did you mention in one of your trips as being your favorite?
I remember it being an unnamed peak.
If I have time I may shoot over to Iron Lake for the first night and
then back to Bench Canyon for the second. Depends on whether Im
leaving Wed or Thur as of now its Wed.


This approach (from Granite Creek) would put you on the "wrong" side for an easy shot at Lyell. On the other hand, you could do Lyell from the south and you wouldn't need an ice axe (but you'd have to deal with class 4 rock). I don't have any favorite unnamed peaks, but I have several favorite unnamed lakes, as you'd guess. My favorite peak based on its wonderful alpine appearance is Mt. Ritter. My favorite climb (I botched the west face ascent route horribly on Ritter and turned a class 2 route into loose class 4--not one of my favorite experiences), based on its rather interesting route (above my current threshold now, however) was probably Mt. LeConte. The Foerster Peak-Lyell Fork Merced-Electra Peak-Bench Valley dayhike from Blue Lakes ranks as one of my favorite hikes for several reasons. First, the decision to traverse over the top of Electra was a totally spontaneous decision, given that we had originally simply intended to simply explore the headwaters of the Lyell Fork and return by the same route. While in the Lyell Fork we looked at Electra and at the topo map and thought "hmmm, that would be a much more interesting way of returning to camp". Second, the view from Foerster may be the finest I've ever seen from a Sierran summit. This seems counterintuitive given that Foerster is really a second-rank summit and not very high to boot. The key is that it is set far west of the crest and has some unique sightlines. I once asked this as a trivia question for my peak bagging friends. "From the summit of which SPS peak can you see the Lyell, the Ritter Range, the Clark Range, parts of northern Yosemite, Mt. Diablo (no kidding), Red Slate Mtn., the Abbot Group, Humphreys, Mt. Goddard, the Palisades, University Peak, Mt.Williamson, Mt. Whitney, Mt. Ericsson, Mt. Brewer and, believe it or not, the Kaweahs?!!" By the way, Foerster is strictly class 2, as is the col to its east that gets you into the Lyell Fork from Blue Lake. Electra approached from the Lyell Fork is supposed to be class 2, but I didn't find a true class 2 route. Our route was low 3rd class, made a bit hairier for me because I was climbing one-handed after breaking two fingers of my left hand at Harriet Lake the day before (fell down fishing, believe it or not). It is easy class 2 or class 1 down the other side of Electra toward Bench Canyon.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
User avatar
giantbrookie
Founding Member & Forums Moderator
Founding Member & Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 2439
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:22 am
Location: Fresno
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby maverick » Thu Jun 07, 2007 2:24 pm

My bad. Thought you mentioned a no name peak, but it was
Foerster.
I remember you writing about having a fall at Observation Lakes
area.
Was this the worst accident you've had while being out? Climbing
with 2 broken fingers must not have been to much fun.
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8049
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Postby giantbrookie » Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:49 pm

maverick wrote:My bad. Thought you mentioned a no name peak, but it was Foerster.
I remember you writing about having a fall at Observation Lakes
area. Was this the worst accident you've had while being out? Climbing
with 2 broken fingers must not have been to much fun.


The breaks were only hairline (otherwise I would have called off the rest of the trip and hiked out), but the big worry was whether my ring finger (broke no. 4 and no.5 on my left hand) would swell so much my wedding ring would cut off the circulation--I didn't want to end up losing the tip of that finger.

I'd say the worst injury was probably sustaining a hairline break in my ankle coming down from a very long jump while trying to get around Upper Horton Lake (hypnotized by 20" goldens). Of course that very long jump was a desperate and successful attempt to dodge a giant boulder that I was sure was going to kill me, so the broken ankle was a small price to pay. The ankle was a bit tricky to walk out of the place on, and the first moves (40 degree snowfield, digging steps with my hands and climbing one footed, followed by a 20 foot class 3 pitch) were difficult in that condition. The giant talus block crawling (hopping if I had two operational feet) that followed wasn't that bad--sort of crab walked it. Then it was sort of pogo sticking it down to camp and the next day appropriating my dad's walking stick to backpack out from camp.

I had a painful knee hyperextension returning to Davis Lakes after climbing Mt. Rodgers, but that one walked almost normally afterwards--it's the after effects that were bad--the knee has never been the same since.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
User avatar
giantbrookie
Founding Member & Forums Moderator
Founding Member & Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 2439
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:22 am
Location: Fresno
Experience: N/A


Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 13 guests