TR Seki 6-18-20 to 6-29-20

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
robertseeburger
Topix Regular
Posts: 237
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:53 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: San Mateo Ca

TR Seki 6-18-20 to 6-29-20

Post by robertseeburger » Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:36 pm

Well, every year I think about trip planning all winter. Typically the trip that rises to the top is the trip that didnt get done the year before.
This year is no different. I had planned to do a SEKI trip last June, but didnt do it because of the big snow year. So, with this year being a small snow year, the same trip rose to the top. But there was one problem. The trip called for ascending one of the four ball busters from Inyo. And.. due to COVID, I had not been able to work out with the same frequency and intensity...and of course another year older as well. Oh well, I am a masochist I guess.

Every year, I use the 4/1 date to get the snow levels, and then book a couple of permits as placeholders. My batting average is actually pretty good at using the ones I book..about 80%, and if I need to cancel I do it well in advance. But having a couple reservations actually reinforces the probability of going. This year, looking at the snow levels, I determined that the target area was a 45% of normal snow year. It just so happened that I went over the same pass on 6/18/2014, which was a 40% snow year. So I knew pretty well what the conditions would be..and I booked a permit for..6/18/2020.
The objective is to catch some of the lakes for fishing just at ice out. I have done pretty good at this over the last 6-7 years..with one massive fail ( 2017..everything still frozen).

So..how to do a ballbuster..when you are worried about your conditioning.. well I remembered Cgundersen's advice to me from last year when I did a different ballbuster..stay in a hotel and start early in the AM. I didnt want to stay in a hotel, so did the next best thing..just plopped at the trailhead, and my pal Gary and I headed up the trail on 6/18. Clear skies all systems go.

We even made it to our target campsite after going from 6000 feet to 10300 feet. But something went wrong. Gary's shoes looked like this at the end of day 1.
DSC01773.jpeg
Uh oh. Time for a pow wow. We only had 11 days to go on the trip. We considered a little epoxy. We had a little duct tape. We considered abandoning the whole trip. We considered Gary turning around and picking me up 11 days from now. We finally decided on the following. Gary would leave his pack at the camp. He would hike down the next day, drive to Bishop, buy a new pair of boots, drive back to the trailhead and hike back to his pack. I would head on solo to a lake basin, and wait for him. We had a layover day planned on day 3. And then resume the trip.

I have talked before I think about being mentally defeated on a hike, when you cant do the things you want to do. I really admire Gary's determination to do this. And the net is...the plan worked. We exchanged communications on our Delorme's so we knew where each other were at several points in time, and I was pleased when Gary said he had made it back to his camp and pack and I knew things would be back on track.

Back to the trip.

We had to go over a famous snowfield on the east side of the pass.
DSC01780.jpeg
It was pretty easy going up . Four points of contact, with poles, soft snow. Coming down 10 days later was a different matter. Fierce winds on 6/28 made it more difficult. I have seen a couple other people mention the winds of 6/28. This was quite scary coming back down on 6/28.

I went over this pass to get into the next basin to the south solo. A classic view of one of the best divides in the Sierra.
DSC01790.jpeg
A view to the south including our tallest mountain on the horizon.
DSC01796.jpeg
I spent the layover day in this basin while Gary caught up. A lot of different lakes to visit..I focused on getting to a more seldom area , the east fork.
DSC01804.jpeg
Another view further up this basin.
DSC01822.jpeg
I like this view, looking back across the second lake up the east fork.
DSC01825.jpeg
Another view, looking up to a fourteener. I had planned to climb this peak, but didnt get to it. This is the fourth time I have planned to climb it but not got it done. (sigh). Oh well.
DSC01832.jpeg
I noticed an outcrop separating the main branch from the southeast branch. I decided to climb up to it..just to get the view. Nice view. Someone really wanted to build the cairn found here!
DSC01836.jpeg
This lake is the more famous one in the basin..the largest at the top of the basin.
DSC01842.jpeg
Gary and I finally hooked back up. No problema... and then we set off for the basin to south. His new boots worked fine, and he made it over the pass without incident. I dont envy him having to climb those 4000 feet twice in 2 days..yikes..

We went for the big lake to the south..but first we decided to hit one more small branch. I called it the south south east branch of the creek.
We hit two very very seldom visited lakes..just to see what was there.

The first lake.
DSC01859.jpeg
And the second lake... no evidence of humanity here.
DSC01862.jpeg

Part 2 coming shortly.
You must be registered and logged in to view the files/photos attached to this post.








User avatar
robertseeburger
Topix Regular
Posts: 237
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:53 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: San Mateo Ca

Re: TR Seki 6-18-20 to 6-29-20

Post by robertseeburger » Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:48 pm

Here goes part 2.

Another view of the lower lake at the end of part 1.
DSC01867.jpeg
And both of these lakes had fish!
A small sample.
DSC01864.jpeg
We finally made it to a basin to the south, with a big lake. No bugs before.. but there were bugs here..
All sorts of bugs.. this is just an example of what it looked like from around the shoreline. what a variety.
DSC01893.jpeg
And here is another view of Gary. Fortunately most were not mosquitoes.
DSC01909.jpeg
Casting for big ones.
DSC01901.jpeg
Another view.. of me fishing the lake
0-4.jpeg
I called this the first trout pond..
0 (1).jpeg
We then went to another lake basin further south.
DSC01925.jpeg
This is a ledge where we fished..
DSC01929.jpeg
A nice lake.. nice flowers.
DSC01940.jpeg
And I have always liked the inlet waterfall.
DSC01938.jpeg
And lastly from this lake.. this is where we were when the earthquake hit. We both felt it. Very strong quake.
A view of landslides immediately behind us.





DSC01942.jpeg
More on part 3 coming...
You must be registered and logged in to view the files/photos attached to this post.

User avatar
dougieb
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 95
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 9:10 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: TR Seki 6-18-20 to 6-29-20

Post by dougieb » Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:54 pm

This is a great report so far! I can't wait to read more. That earthquake photo is terrifying!

User avatar
robertseeburger
Topix Regular
Posts: 237
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:53 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: San Mateo Ca

Re: TR Seki 6-18-20 to 6-29-20

Post by robertseeburger » Wed Jul 08, 2020 6:02 pm

Part 3

I previously showed trout pond 1. This is golden trout pond 2. All sizes..
0-10.jpeg
We went cross country from the last lake to another lake closer to the tall mountain.

I view from the cross country trip. Across the river, to a colored spur. I remember Maverick saying the lakes in this spur are the most isolated lakes in the Sierra. I would like to go there some day. Maybe next year.
DSC01961.jpeg
Gary's turn looking for the big ones.
DSC01946.jpeg
Occasionally we caught some too. After some warm days, it got cold and we had some weather.
DSC01976.jpeg
For some reason, I like this shot..my favorite photo of the trip.
DSC01991.jpeg
A waterfall at the upper end of the lake
DSC01997.jpeg
I had a private joke with an HST member.. saying in effect that I found that sometimes fishing lakes is more dangerous than climbing..
0-9.jpeg
We left this area and headed back north to a lake to the west of the main boulevard.
IMG_0627panorama.jpg
And we had time for one more day hike to get to another classic lake, with a classic view..
DSC02006.jpeg
Lots of eggs in the outlet.
IMG_0643.jpg
OK.. some fish pictures..

Gary's biggest.




IMG_0643.jpg
DSC01878.jpeg
And a fish with a view..
DSC01880.jpeg
One more part to come..
You must be registered and logged in to view the files/photos attached to this post.

User avatar
robertseeburger
Topix Regular
Posts: 237
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:53 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: San Mateo Ca

Re: TR Seki 6-18-20 to 6-29-20

Post by robertseeburger » Wed Jul 08, 2020 6:18 pm

Part 4 and summary.

More fish pictures. A 14 incher.
DSC01885.jpeg
And got a picture of this one airborne...

DSC01891.jpeg
A fish dinner.. poached on two stoves..
DSC01895.jpeg
An interesting look at fish guts.. I mentioned that one lake had a huge amount of bug life. And the fish could have been like whales eating krill.
But they didnt want any of that. This is what they wanted.
DSC01894.jpeg
My biggest.
DSC01948.jpeg
And perhaps the best fish of the trip..fattest.. although not the longest.
DSC01949.jpeg

Another fat one..



DSC01978.jpeg
Fishing the inlet of a big lake.
0-1.jpeg
And we actually went to one more lake above 12000 feet..one that I had been to several times before. I have always maintained that this lake has the purest looking goldens of any lake I know. Here is one.
DSC02004.jpeg
And we did get to one lake with some nice brook trout.
0-7.jpeg
And another one eating a different dinner.. love that red meat..
DSC01955.jpeg
That is it... We had a great trip. Weather mostly good. In the middle , didnt see a sole for several days. We did hit the main boulevard, but saw far less people than normal. In fact, I was in a similar area in 2016. I camped at one of the main camp sites below the big mountain, and it was like a city.
The PCT hikers told me that there were 4000 people doing the PCT ahead of them and called it the "wave". On this trip, we spoke to a PCT hiker and
he said there were 600 people ahead of him, going north. Quite a difference.

We met several people doing the High Sierra Trail from Crescent Meadow. Must have been easier getting permits. Also, we met one group who got lost going over Pants Pass. I told them they should join HST, and read sekihiker's posts.

Take care.
You must be registered and logged in to view the files/photos attached to this post.

User avatar
windknot
Topix Fanatic
Posts: 1613
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 10:07 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Contact:

Re: TR Seki 6-18-20 to 6-29-20

Post by windknot » Wed Jul 08, 2020 7:11 pm

Wow. I'm in awe of Gary for doing that climb twice in a row after the boots failure. I'll confess that that kind of thing would have probably mentally defeated me. Great report and photos -- especially of the landslides from the earthquake and the trout "ponds." Watching spawning fish is neat no matter where, but seeing goldens is even cooler.

User avatar
davidsheridan
Topix Regular
Posts: 191
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:56 pm
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

Re: TR Seki 6-18-20 to 6-29-20

Post by davidsheridan » Wed Jul 08, 2020 7:21 pm

Great trip! Great pictures! Cant believe how many trout were in that 2nd trout pond! Also surprised at how little snow was there in June!

I am worried like you about being put of shape for upcoming trips! Glad to see you made it

User avatar
thegib
Topix Regular
Posts: 129
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:37 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Berkeley

Re: TR Seki 6-18-20 to 6-29-20

Post by thegib » Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:41 pm

Nice. Great area.

User avatar
wildhiker
Topix Expert
Posts: 680
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:44 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Contact:

Re: TR Seki 6-18-20 to 6-29-20

Post by wildhiker » Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:08 pm

Thanks for the report. I don't fish, but I appreciate the beauty of those golden trout you showed in your photos.
-Phil

User avatar
sekihiker
Founding Member
Posts: 643
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 2:47 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Fresno
Contact:

Re: TR Seki 6-18-20 to 6-29-20

Post by sekihiker » Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:47 am

What a great fishing experience.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Enigmagic, Google Adsense [Bot], Npike and 11 guests