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Kern Point Lake

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Kern Point Lake

Postby maverick » Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:20 pm

Has anyone visited this lake north of Kern Point?
Possible route is Roads End - Sphinx Lakes - Big Brewer Lake - South Guard Lake
Lakes of Cunningham Creek- Thunder Ridge - Milestone Creek - Lakes on the Bench above Kern
River down to Kern Point - Gallats Lake - Colby Lake - Avalanche Pass - Roads End
That's if my urge to go to Kaweah Basin again subsides, otherwise its back to KB in July.



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Re: Kern Point Lake

Postby TehipiteTom » Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:54 pm

Haven't been there, but it looks very intriguing.
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Re: Kern Point Lake

Postby copeg » Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:23 pm

Haven't been there either, so I can't hand out any info. But that lake has actually caught my eye a few times while going over the maps. I'm betting is has a similar atmosphere that nearby Red Spur Lakes area has.
The route you outlined sounds like a very interesting one. While I haven't really explored the passes in the area, the crossing the Great Western Divide from Cunningham over to Milestone seems like the biggest hurdle. What would be the route over? Any reason (other than to take in the awesome scenery near Colby) to take the long route back over Colby rather than take Harrison (or one of the other x-country passes) to East Creek back to Road's end?
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Re: Kern Point Lake

Postby maverick » Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:37 pm

Thunder Ridge Pass - MacLeod Pass and then down Milestone Creek.
Thinking of re-visiting Josephine Lake on the Glacier Glacier Ridge and descending
into Deadman Canyon.
Though I may just go over Shepherd Pass if Im tight on time and just do some
photography in Milestone Basin and Kern Point Lake area.
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Re: Kern Point Lake

Postby giantbrookie » Sat Jun 21, 2008 3:55 pm

Old 11482. It was on the hit list on two different trips. I tried to dayhike there from Colby Pass in 2002 but I was suffering from a pretty bad cold and my feet were a bloody mess (ill fitting boots after third resole--bad idea). The only thing that stopped me was my lousy conditioning. In 2003 I planned to do it along with Pickett/Kaweah/Red Spur, but thunderstorms discouraged us from making a run over Kern Pt to get there. The other way there would be the long bench traverse from Milestone basin which looks fun. I did ruin it for myself (and take it off my list), after succumbing to temptation and asking a well informed source about the fishing (sadly average size fish, apparently). My source believes the fish were the result of a coffee can effort after cessation of Seki air dropping, but that is one LONG coffee can express (I presume he thought they transported the fish via that traverse route from Milestone Basin). It is certainly an exotic off trail destination, though.
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
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Re: Kern Point Lake

Postby cgundersen » Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:08 am

Hi Maverick,
Like the other responders here, Kern Point is a lake that's certainly cropped up as a possibility, but I've never made it there either. On the other hand, I crawled up to Josephine a couple years ago (from the Cloud canyon side) and I was impressed with how thick the brush was just to begin the climb (I swear that I was suspended 10 feet above ground climbing through some of the bushes). Then, about 2/3 of the way up, I was startled to see some well aged horse (mule?) dung. Mighty savvy critter to be climbing that hillside! The other surprise is that Josephine still showed a lot of ill effects of what must have been some pretty heavy use in the past. Quite a few big rocks still showed aftermaths of bonfires, plenty of chop marks on trees. I'm not sure where all the folks came from, because it's no trivial climb from either side. The short of it is that it was not nearly as nice as I was hoping for. On the other hand, the rest of the area on the route you sketched out certainly is pretty sweet!
So, the other question is: were you still aiming for Blue Canyon at some point this year....I've sort of been thinking that Haeckel col might provide a fairly direct route to start a foray in that direction, rather than the long trail route from the west. But, I'm not sure Haeckel with a full pack is a great idea. Hmmm.
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Re: Kern Point Lake

Postby maverick » Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:16 am

Hi CG

When did you visit Josephine Lake? It was pristine in the 70's so if there is that much
change I'll have to drop the plan of re-visiting.
Yes, Blue Canyon is my next trip, if all the smoke is gone.
I planned a trip for late June and early July, but I pushed them back because of the fires.
I'd also like to visit Crown Basin so I'll be going in from the west to get to Blue Canyon and
the bench/lakes above Goddard.
Last edited by maverick on Thu Jul 03, 2008 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kern Point Lake

Postby cgundersen » Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:07 pm

Hi Maverick,
I was at Josephine in September two years ago. Without much experience in how long it takes abused areas to recover, I'd guess it'll be at least 10 years till the signs I saw fade out. On the other hand, since it was a hop that I'd long wanted to make, I'm glad I did it. Plus, there were a couple of weasels who thought I was about as strange looking as anything they'd seen, and for how seldom I encounter weasels, that was fun. Still, I'm not sure it'd be worth the effort if you're looking for something pristine.
I hope you get some good photos in the Blue Canyon area, if it's not as untrammeled as the backside of the Kaweahs, then we've got problems!
CG
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Re: Kern Point Lake

Postby giantbrookie » Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:45 pm

cgundersen wrote:Hi Maverick,
Like the other responders here, Kern Point is a lake that's certainly cropped up as a possibility, but I've never made it there either. On the other hand, I crawled up to Josephine a couple years ago (from the Cloud canyon side) and I was impressed with how thick the brush was just to begin the climb (I swear that I was suspended 10 feet above ground climbing through some of the bushes). Then, about 2/3 of the way up, I was startled to see some well aged horse (mule?) dung. Mighty savvy critter to be climbing that hillside! The other surprise is that Josephine still showed a lot of ill effects of what must have been some pretty heavy use in the past. Quite a few big rocks still showed aftermaths of bonfires, plenty of chop marks on trees. I'm not sure where all the folks came from, because it's no trivial climb from either side. The short of it is that it was not nearly as nice as I was hoping for. On the other hand, the rest of the area on the route you sketched out certainly is pretty sweet!
So, the other question is: were you still aiming for Blue Canyon at some point this year....I've sort of been thinking that Haeckel col might provide a fairly direct route to start a foray in that direction, rather than the long trail route from the west. But, I'm not sure Haeckel with a full pack is a great idea. Hmmm.
cg

Hi CG. I'm not Maverick, but I can answer a few questions. With regard to Haeckel Col. it is my opinion that you can reach Sapphire faster via Lamarck Col than Haeckel owing to the fact that the off trail parts of Haeckel Col. are pretty formidable. On the east side there is a very steep class 3 pitch just before you crest out. I did it in '77 and had this external frame pack with an extender bar that kept banging into the overhangs above the ledges I was climbing. It felt as if I had to lean way backwards to finish that climb (although I'm sure that was merely an impression). Expecting clean sailing on the west side, I was dismayed to find the top a knife edge. I still remember leaning awkwardly and asking my dad to move over (thinking he had plenty of room) so I could clamber out on top of the ridge. When I asked him to move he said "I can't". That was mighty deflating. One had to do another class 3 pitch to get onto the talus below, then yet another one at a drop off in the chute that descended to the unnamed lake above Sapphire. The off trail approach just to get to the class 3 is pretty long, too. It is very tempting to think of direct routes between Sabrina and Evolution (Echo Col. and variants, such as going over the top of Wallace-class 2- or the most direct-appearing: Haeckel Col), but if I had a twin and we set out from Sabrina and North Lake at the same time, I would put good money (good IPA even, to up the ante) on the North Lake twin making Sapphire Lake first.

Regarding Josephine, I think Josephine is one of those remote backcountry places that has acquired a reputation over the years (I recall meeting someone in 1979 while at Big Bird and the fellow apparently visited Josephine regularly), so that it gets far more visitors than its remoteness would suggest. I crossed Glacier Ridge and camped at Josephine in '02. It is indeed a beautiful place. Our party was able to avoid brush for the most part on both sides. We took a more southerly descent route to Cloud Canyon than the route described in Arnot's book. It was a pretty clean route with the exception of one class 3 step in a dry watercourse that would have been really sketchy in a wetter situation. My guess is that Kern Pt. Lake approaches (Milestone side or over the top route) will not have the brush one has to dodge going to Josephine. The difference is that all starting points to Kern Pt. Lake are even further in the backcountry and the lake is not mentioned in any publications I know of (so I expect that very few ever make it there).

Returning to the "express route" to Blue Canyon, I think you can get there faster from the west even though the scenery and hike isn't nearly as dynamic. If all goes well I am going to try to get to Blue Canyon in one day from Rancheria (en route to Tunemah and Tehipite). I will need to be in better shape than I'm in now and I'll need to be as accurate in my cross country stuff as I was last year in the same area (going to Blackcap).
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
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Re: Kern Point Lake

Postby maverick » Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:42 pm

Hi CG

I agree with GB that Haeckel or even Wallace Col should be avoided and Lamarck
should be used as an alternative.
With that said if your set on going over the crest in this area the Haeckel-Wallace
saddle is only a class 2 and not as loose as Wallace Col.
This crossing is not in any of the guide books.
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Re: Kern Point Lake

Postby cgundersen » Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:00 am

Hi Maverick & GB,
Thanks for the heads up on Haeckel; it definitely sounds like something to do when the mountain legs have kicked in and the packs are light, namely at the end of a trip, not the start. Anyway, we head out tomorrow for the start of 10/11 nights out (however long the grub lasts) and from the looks of the webcams this morning, the Sierras are the clearest they've been in weeks (well, at least since CA caught fire). With our luck, the smoke will blow back tomorrow, but it cannot be any worse than the crap we're getting in LA. Plus, Calvin's post (that I just looked at this morning) gives me some hope that there'll still be some snow/ice up high to cool things off.......like the thimbles of 151rum we drag along (yeh, were not as sophisticated as the scotch/bourbon drinkers, but as far as bang for the buck, the 151 is great).
ciao,
CG
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Re: Kern Point Lake

Postby giantbrookie » Sat Jul 05, 2008 10:20 am

Have a good trip. I don't carry the "refreshments" anymore on backpacking trips, but when I did it was always 151--That was the only "ultralight" concession I ever made. Cheers, GB
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
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