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Low-elevation in Seki or KC?

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Low-elevation in Seki or KC?

Postby alpinegroove » Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:14 pm

I have been preparing for my traditional early November trip to the Hetch Hetchy area, but the weather for the upcoming weekend might be unstable.
I usually stay at about 7000ft, relatively low for the Sierras.

It is supposed to be dryer farther south in the Seki area this upcoming weekend.
What are the snow conditions in the high country?
Can anyone recommend low-elevation backpacking trips in this area? Anywhere under 8000 should be fine. Either a loop or in and out, 5-10 miles a day.

Has anyone here been to the Pear Lake area any time recently? Is there snow there already?
Being allowed to have a fire is important, so please take that into consideration when advising.
I hope to hear some ideas. Thanks



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Re: Low-elevation in Seki or KC?

Postby maverick » Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:59 pm

Hi Alpinegroove

I would call to find out what the current conditions are in SEKI.
I looked at the web-cam at Hume Lake and Mineral King and its snow free
but neither are really high up.
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Re: Low-elevation in Seki or KC?

Postby alpinegroove » Mon Nov 03, 2008 2:26 pm

I will certainly call. I am mainly trying to get some advice regarding possible routes.
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Re: Low-elevation in Seki or KC?

Postby maverick » Mon Nov 03, 2008 3:07 pm

Seville Lake (8408 ft) would be a possibility out of the Horse Corral area
(Sunset Meadow) at 14 miles round trip.
Pear is at 9510 ft which is a lot higher than what your asking for.
Most of the Mineral King lakes are also above 10000 ft except for Mosquito
and Mineral Lakes both still above 9600.
Panther Meadow out of Wolverton is at 8400 ft.
Paradise Valley is at 6600-6800 ft(Lower or Upper) out of Roads End in
Kings Canyon which would probably fit perfectly into you requested
elevation levels.
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Re: Low-elevation in Seki or KC?

Postby rightstar76 » Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:13 am

I wouldn't go. Snow levels are dropping. You could wake up with a couple feet of snow on your tent and have no way of getting out. SAR doesn't need another outing. Even if you're rescued, your car will have to spend the winter at the trailhead and will be ruined by spring.

Why don't you go on a long day hike and car camp at Lodgepole?
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Re: Low-elevation in Seki or KC?

Postby alpinegroove » Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:56 am

Do your cautionary words refer to Paradise Valley at 6600-6800 as well or are you talking about the higher elevations?

Hetch Hetchy is back in the picture with a year-round open road and parking at 4000ft with camping elevation of 6600. Forecast at the moment is for a slight chance of precipitation.

I don't think I'll be heading to Seki though, of course, caution must be taken whenever venturing into the wilderness, especially this time of year.

Thank you for the information. Any additional suggestions would be appreciated.
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Re: Low-elevation in Seki or KC?

Postby maverick » Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:22 pm

According to the NOAA's Hanford Weather Station, it will rain Sat and Sun.
Highs in the 60's Sat and 50's Sun and low's in the 20's.
Vernon Lake, Kibbie Lake, or Rancheria Falls would make nice trips as long
as you're prepared for deal with wet and cool weather.
Keep and eye on the the weather forecast and base your decision on it.
Upper Paradise is supposed to be sunny on Sat and slight chance of snow showers
Sun afternoon and clear Sunday night.
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Re: Low-elevation in Seki or KC?

Postby alpinegroove » Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:33 pm

Yes, I have been following the NWS reports. Currently slight chance of showers is in the forecast.
The forecast discussions indicate a disagreement between the forecasting models. The main question is how far south a pacific northwest storm will drop rain. Some models predict that the storm with not come all the way down to central California whether other models anticipate some light rain in our area. We'll have to wait and see.
Regardless, being prepared for different conditions is still crucial.
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Re: Low-elevation in Seki or KC?

Postby quentinc » Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:46 pm

Another November possibility is the Domelands area -- south of SEKI and much lower. Water sources might be in short supply though.
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Re: Low-elevation in Seki or KC?

Postby trav867 » Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:10 pm

I'd definitely recommend Domeland for late season trips- I've done short trips there the past two years in November and have had perfect weather with adequate water both times.
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Re: Low-elevation in Seki or KC?

Postby alpinegroove » Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:14 pm

With 20% chance of precipitation on Saturday only, I am heading to the Hetch Hetchy area after all.
I am very curious about Domelands. Can you say a bit more about it?
Favorite spots, routes, etc.?

Thanks
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Re: Low-elevation in Seki or KC?

Postby quentinc » Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:57 pm

Alpine, this blurb on SummitPost says it better than I possibly could. http://www.summitpost.org/area/range/170934/domeland-wilderness.html

It's a bit circuitous driving to the more interesting trailheads. The trip I've taken (twice, with small variations) was Great Meadow to Manter Meadow to Rockhouse Basin. I've also climbed some of the domes. It's not the High Sierra, but with the rock formations and pinyon pine type forest it is well worth a visit. One problem is that many water sources dry up by fall. On the trip I took in October, I had to hike quite a ways from our camp to ferry water back for the two innocent victims I dragged along on my hike!
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