Part 2: Aug. 2008 TR: Kaweah Basin, Colby Pass, etc. | High Sierra Topix  

Part 2: Aug. 2008 TR: Kaweah Basin, Colby Pass, etc.

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Part 2: Aug. 2008 TR: Kaweah Basin, Colby Pass, etc.

Postby Mike M. » Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:57 pm

. . . the journey continues.

On the 25th, we watched the sun rise over Picket Guard Lake.

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Here's a photo of the deluxe campsite at Picket Guard Lake

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We packed up and headed over the ridge separating Picket Guard Creek from Kaweah Basin.

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Then headed down to the lakes in the lower Kaweah Basin.

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It is a very short hike. We found an OK place to camp and kicked back. Andrew and Van had a swim while I took pictures and read my book.

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Van took off to explore the upper basin. Here are a few photos from his exploration (they have a yellowish cast to them because of a filter he was using):

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It was an awesome day -- virtually cloud free and not another person in sight. Despite a lack of clouds, we had some nice alpenglow that evening.

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We woke early to another splendid light show.

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Our packs were getting lighter on this, our 8th day of the hike. We backtracked to Picket Guard Creek and passed by Picket Guard Lake once again.

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We ran into a couple of old guys (even older than me!) from Ridgecrest who were headed down the Picket Guard drainage, the first people we had seen in days. We continued working our way down the shoulder of Picket Guard Peak.

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As we approached the Kern-Kaweah, making our way through a field of big granite slabs, I wrenched my knee. By the time we reached the creek, my knee was feeling really uncomfortable. We decided to cut the day's hike short and look for the first nice place to camp. We found a great secluded spot a little ways below Gallats Lake and spent the afternoon soaking in the creek. I even washed my hair. Here's a photo of our kitchen area at the camp site:

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Cutting the day's hike short jeopardized our schedule, as we had hoped to hike over Colby Pass on the 26th. We decided to play it by ear and see how I felt in the morning.

Unfortunately, I woke the next morning with an extremely sore back -- a pinched nerve, I think. I could barely stand at first, it was that painful. But it loosened up as the day progressed. The knee was sore, but stressed rather then hurt. I put on a knee brace and gingerly headed up the trail.

We took a break at Gallats "Lake" -- it's really a meadow and a gorgeous one at that.

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Look at the fish!

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Then we headed up to Colby Pass. Here we are taking a water break, with the pass in the background.

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Here are Van and Andrew at the pass:

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The view down to Colby lake:

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An the view back to the Kaweahs:

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The trail down from Colby Pass is in much better shape than we were led to believe. It was a little rough in places, but always easy to follow. In a short time, we were down to the edge of the lake basin.

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Colby Lake is stunningly beautiful:

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Brother Van is painfully thrifty. He bought his old Kelty Super Tioga off of Craig's list for a song. He can't bear to bring himself to pay for a decent pair of boots, shopping instead for comfort at prestigious stores of the south such as WalMart. In 2006 his disposable pair of boots wore out in a week. This year, they lasted three days before the WalMart duct tape was needed. Every day on the trail, the boots got more and more comfortable as Van's fat toes and then the entire side of each of his feet worked free of the cheap Chinese stitches.

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Nevertheless, I was the one limping around with a sore knee and a bum back. Go figure!

Part 3 to follow . . .
Last edited by Mike M. on Sun Aug 02, 2009 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: Part 2: Aug. 2008 TR: Kaweah Basin, Colby Pass, etc.

Postby copeg » Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:23 am

Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to part III :thumbsup:
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Re: Part 2: Aug. 2008 TR: Kaweah Basin, Colby Pass, etc.

Postby TehipiteTom » Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:22 am

Fabulous pics. Thanks for posting!
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Re: Part 2: Aug. 2008 TR: Kaweah Basin, Colby Pass, etc.

Postby maverick » Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:20 am

Keeping coming Mike!
Last time I saw Gallats it was a golden yellow with the NPS grazing horses in it, the
view stopped me in my tracks I dropped my pack and sat there about 15-20 min's soaking
in that magnificent view ( the horses gave a special touch).
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Re: Part 2: Aug. 2008 TR: Kaweah Basin, Colby Pass, etc.

Postby TehipiteTom » Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:42 am

The pictures of Gallats 'Lake' remind me of the 'lake' in upper Goddard Creek Canyon--basically a widening of the stream meandering through a gorgeous meadow. Still one of my favorite places ever.
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Re: Part 2: Aug. 2008 TR: Kaweah Basin, Colby Pass, etc.

Postby quentinc » Tue Jul 07, 2009 8:29 pm

Mike, this looks like a great trip. What date did you post Part 1?
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Re: Part 2: Aug. 2008 TR: Kaweah Basin, Colby Pass, etc.

Postby Mike M. » Tue Jul 07, 2009 8:32 pm

Q: I posted Part 1 last week.

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Re: Part 2: Aug. 2008 TR: Kaweah Basin, Colby Pass, etc.

Postby quentinc » Tue Jul 07, 2009 8:37 pm

Sorry to be a nitwit, but I don't see it anywhere in the past few weeks, or by searching under your name. Was it called "Part I..."?
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Re: Part 2: Aug. 2008 TR: Kaweah Basin, Colby Pass, etc.

Postby Mike M. » Tue Jul 07, 2009 8:52 pm

Q: I think it has a title like "Long Delayed Trip Report: Aug 2008 Miter Basin, etc"

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Re: Part 2: Aug. 2008 TR: Kaweah Basin, Colby Pass, etc.

Postby quentinc » Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:36 pm

Thanks Mike, got it.
Now I'm wondering if I could cram that trip into 8 days if I started and ended at either the Shepard's Pass or Onion Valley trailhead!
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Re: Part 2: Aug. 2008 TR: Kaweah Basin, Colby Pass, etc.

Postby Cloudy » Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:34 pm

Beautiful photos! I've been over part of this trip but I've never gotten to Picket Guard Lake. It's now on my list.

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Re: Part 2: Aug. 2008 TR: Kaweah Basin, Colby Pass, etc.

Postby cgundersen » Wed Jul 08, 2009 1:18 pm

Quentin,
In my mind's eye that would be a real haul to do in 7/8 nights. Definitely, it could be done, but you would not have a lot of time to enjoy the scenery, as you'd be jamming to get from A to B. Still, the blur as you passed by would be great! If it were me, I'd cut out the Miter basin part of it and replace it with more time in Kaweah basin or Red Spur basin (I've not been to the latter, but have heard plenty favorable). And, heading in at Shepherd and taking Harrison to access Reflection would cut some trail time...
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