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Domeland Wilderness

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Domeland Wilderness

Postby will_jrob » Fri May 22, 2009 11:17 pm

Image
Warning, this is a wordy TR, you may wish to skip to photos:
http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/5723 ... t=outdoors

I took a guide book described backpack trip to Domesland Wilderness 5/19/2009-5/21/2009. Left Round Meadow on a mild partly cloudy afternoon, after a long drive from Bay Area via the full and scenic Kern River - north fork. There were large sections of burned forest/brush on the mountains along the canyon. The Sherman Pass road was not yet open ( opened while I was hiking), but the road to Round Meadow was open and snowless. Started hiking in mid-afternoon, got into the Wilderness and passed Manter meadow, a pretty pasture, then spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening hiking up to the picturesque domed divide north of meadow. The area had been burned not to too long ago, so much of the going was under the sun, and not many of the downed snags had been cleared, so there was some detouring. Crossed the divide, and stopped at the first trickle I encountered, then had to clammber up to a knoll top to find level ground. After taking the pack off, I had the usual first day at altitude symptoms, so no appetite and no dinner and little sleep.
Next morning, I was feeling tired and I debated whether to continue, decided to push on. Got hiking after a late start, descended a short distance to where the canyon opened up, and the trail became indistinct among downed trees and manzanita. Since the general direction was down the stream I could follow the trail, often enough finding a stretch of recognizable tred. Where the stream becomes closed-in there fortunately was an old fence line that had a gap for the trail, which started contouring rather than descend the steep streamcourse. The trail traverses across a few small streams, to eventually reach Trout Creek. Most of this hiking is done on a fairly recognizable track, but is largely in open manzanita/chapparal. I was feeling pretty bushed by the time I reached Trout Creek, shortly after noon. The creek was flowing high enough to require a refreshing wade-across ford. The signed trail from the creek
headed away from the stream toward Sherman Pass, and I followed it for while, until I felt the need recheck my topo, that I'd printed off a computer CD. The topo showed the correct trail following the creek upstream so I headed back to the creek and upstream, hiking through low brush then scrambling over a couple of rocky knobs that squeezed the stream, until I reached the lower portion Woodpecker Meadow. Didn't find a convincing trail, so I hauled out the Forest Service map and this showed the trail to generally parallel the stream but at a distance to the north. Angled to the north and crossed the trail, which still was overgrown in spots. The trail soon dipped down to the creek near some used camping spots. I was beat so I so dropped the pack, laid the sleeping bag over a nice reclining rock and had a short nap. Still had not much of an appetite, so had a minimal dinner, then an early evening. Had finished 11 out of 20 miles, with the next day starting with 2700 ft of climbing.
Thursday morning awoke to my alarm, had a usual breakfast, and felt much more energetic. Packed up and on the trail in a good time. Trail went over a low ridge and came down to another short knee-high ford of Trout Creek, not as refreshing at 8 in the morning. Just beyond the ford, the trail leaves the Wilderness area, and 1: stays in forest that is nearly continuous and unburned, 2: is much more recognizeable, in part from former use by off-road cyclists ( the gas-powered type).After two small creek crossings the trail climbs and climbs to cross a ridgeline and pass meadowy areas which still had patches of snow at the head of Little trout Creek, then climbs again to the pass. From the ridgline crossing and on the climb to the pass the view to the north extended to the snow steaked Sierra Crest at Mt Whitney, the Kern/Kaeah divide, the Kaweahs, and some of the peaks of GWD near Mineral King. After crossing some nicely spaced snow patches, reached the pass just before noon. I had considered the side-trip to the summit of Sirretta Peak, but didn't have the energy, or the time, although the peak appeared reasonably close and with an attractively class 3 summit block. Descending from the pass the trail is again in the open with fairly steep sandy switchbacks, eventually traversing across the mountainside to cross a couple of small shaded streamlets.Past the trail junction to Durwood meadow, the trail starts to level out approaching Round Meadow; Salmon Creek has organized itself into a stream, and a couple of small meadows were very green and had nice wildflower displays. I was on the road by 2, more or less on schedule, and back home after a warm drive through the Central Valley ( with thunderheads over Seki/Yose) by 2300.
The area was scenic, if not high sierra overwhelming. The domes were certainly not the type that remind of Yosemite, being less rounded exfoliating, more craggy, spirey. The large area of burned forest also were not enthralling, and the understory that was growing up in its place did not produce the bounty of wildflowers that might be hoped.
Wildflowers in general were less profuse than I had hoped, although phlox was nearly ubiquitous. Several unidentified flowers were encountered, so still have some work with the guidebooks to do. On trail guidebooks, I certainly could have used a more recent edition, as the condition of the trails has changed. Still, the views of the domes, and the vistas of the Kern plateau were good, and the Trout Creek portion was certainly attractive. I encountered no one until I returned to the trailhead where a group had set up camp. In fact during the hike I saw only one set of footprints( reassuring at times), heading in the opposite direction of my loop, until the OHV section which had been cut by cycle treads. Bear signs were two, and seemed old and were widely separated. Saw no mammals larger than squirrels, reptiles larger than lizards, no fish visible in the high water, heard plenty of birds. Amazingly there were almost no mosquitoes despite spending a night beside Trout Creek, gnats were a minor nuisance for few minutes. Also absent were sign of cattle use, perhaps because the trail bypassed the meadows proper, and perhaps due to the post-burn conditions with a lot of downed trees that inhibit bovine access to the areas.



http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/5723 ... t=outdoors



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will_jrob
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Re: Domeland Wilderness

Postby gary c. » Mon May 25, 2009 11:38 pm

Thanks' for the TR and pictures. I loved the pic of the two lizards.
Gary C.
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
-- Lionel Terray
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Re: Domeland Wilderness

Postby maverick » Tue May 26, 2009 9:28 am

Hi will_jrob
Thank you for the TR/pic's.
May I recommend your read the article below so you understand the importance
of refueling your body with carbs and protein after being involved in an endurance
exercise all day, which is very taxing on your muscles.
I understand it is hard to eat the first night out but you have to feed your muscles
otherwise you will feel the effects the next day(bonking).
If eating is difficult than take some powdered sports drink for the first 2 nights till
your system acclimates, just don't eat nothing.
http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/nutr ... 081403.htm
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Re: Domeland Wilderness

Postby tim » Tue May 26, 2009 9:50 am

For us Brits bonking is something completely different, and not what you'd be doing after a hard day's walking
http://www.effingpot.com/slang.shtml
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Re: Domeland Wilderness

Postby maverick » Tue May 26, 2009 4:04 pm

Why not Tim? You might get a better nights sleep.
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