Bench Valley 1989 Trip Report

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sekihiker
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Bench Valley 1989 Trip Report

Post by sekihiker » Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:44 pm

After the underwhelming reception of my Courtright-North Lake report submitted earlier this month, I doubt it's worth the effort to post a report for another old trip here on HST.
So, here is a link to it on my website.
Bench Valley 1989: http://www.sierrahiker.com/BenchValley1989/index.html








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balzaccom
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Re: Bench Valley 1989 Trip Report

Post by balzaccom » Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:49 pm

Don't assume that a lack of posts indicate a lack of interest. I enjoyed your North Lake TR--especially those cute shorts!

Nice to see this area---we were here about ten years ago, in early July, and had massive skeeters as well. Seems to come with the territory that time of year. But you cover a lot more miles than we do---then again, you were a lot younger then, too!
Balzaccom

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robertseeburger
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Re: Bench Valley 1989 Trip Report

Post by robertseeburger » Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:18 pm

No question.. great to see these reports..

Somehow this area in general ( anything in the sierras west of the muir trail/kings canyon) does not get enough attention.
It is a really special area.. only been in this area twice myself. But I plan on rectifying this soon.

You can get to so many places here and not see any people.

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kylekuzma
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Re: Bench Valley 1989 Trip Report

Post by kylekuzma » Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:19 pm

Thanks for this. I've been eyeing a similar trip so good to see some more photos. Thinking about taking an extra day and going over hell for sure to explore goddard canyon as a day hike

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tlsharb
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Re: Bench Valley 1989 Trip Report

Post by tlsharb » Sat Jan 16, 2021 5:33 pm

Bill, your reports got me back into the Sierra after a 30 year absence (live in NH now). This is one of my favorite areas. First went there in 1969 when I was 15. Thanks for posting.

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sekihiker
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Re: Bench Valley 1989 Trip Report

Post by sekihiker » Sat Jan 16, 2021 8:01 pm

tlsharb wrote:
Sat Jan 16, 2021 5:33 pm
Bill, your reports got me back into the Sierra after a 30 year absence (live in NH now). This is one of my favorite areas. First went there in 1969 when I was 15. Thanks for posting.
Thanks for the positive words. My motivation to write trip reports is to help others enjoy these precious mountains.

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dougieb
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Re: Bench Valley 1989 Trip Report

Post by dougieb » Fri Feb 05, 2021 10:52 pm

I was in Bench Valley last year for the first time and it is a special place. We headed straight from disappointment lake to little/big shot, without losing elevation. We were dive bombed by peregrine falcons at the top of the first pass in your photos. They sounded briefly like a jet flying overhead. Look forward to going back to the area some time.

I always enjoy your reports and this one is no exception. Thanks for sharing these special times and inspiration with all of us.

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SweetSierra
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Re: Bench Valley 1989 Trip Report

Post by SweetSierra » Sat Feb 06, 2021 4:52 am

I enjoyed your last trip report very much and this one as well. I've read them all. My first backpacking trips were in the western Sierra (I grew up in Fresno and left in my mid-20s, though I returned later to the western Sierra for backpacks). I especially liked your photo of Big Shot looking toward Two Passes (or Lucifer's Saddle as it was named by Sierra Club leader Jim Watters). I have a distinct memory of approaching the saddle from Big Shot Lake and the route over. Your photo is exactly as I remember the pass: up the middle, and hang a right on a ramp and a quick left to the second pass (at least the way we went). I' hiked this route in around 2005 or 2006 in the other direction and eventually over Blackcap Pass into Blackcap Basin. Beautiful area. One of my favorite trips.

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sekihiker
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Re: Bench Valley 1989 Trip Report

Post by sekihiker » Sat Feb 06, 2021 7:00 am

Thanks for the kind words, dougieb.
dougieb wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 10:52 pm
We were dive bombed by peregrine falcons at the top of the first pass in your photos.
For me, it's memories like these that bring trips into sharp focus.

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sekihiker
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Re: Bench Valley 1989 Trip Report

Post by sekihiker » Sat Feb 06, 2021 7:02 am

Thanks for the comments, SweetSierra.
SweetSierra wrote:
Sat Feb 06, 2021 4:52 am
I especially liked your photo of Big Shot looking toward Two Passes (or Lucifer's Saddle as it was named by Sierra Club leader Jim Watters).
I met Jim Watters at Hamilton Lake in 1997. He was leading a trip to Mineral King. He was a leader with gravitas and confidence. I was surprised at the route he was taking considering the condition and age of some of the members of his group. Because of his leadership, I'm sure they all made it just fine.

Now that I know that Jim named the Two Passes, "Lucifers", I will probably start referring to them by that name, even though it's more to write and say.

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