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Considering a sequoia/ Alta peak trip

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Considering a sequoia/ Alta peak trip

Postby giovanni » Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:40 am

I have never really been to sequoia, but would like to do a 2-3 day weekend trip there this summer. I was thinking I'd do the 13 mile hike to Alta peak. However, after a little browsing online I noticed a few people mentioned they made a loop by hiking down to pear lake from Alta peak. I haven't found very detailed reports about this and I'm curious how difficult the descent would be (in terms of route finding as well as steepness/terrain)? And if you've done this loop or know the area, where would you recommend camping for the night?



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Re: Considering a sequoia/ Alta peak trip

Postby adam » Sat May 01, 2010 12:30 pm

Here are photos of Alta peak from Pear lake. I'm not sure if the actual summit is visable in the photos, but it should give an idea of what to expect. this was early july 2009; presumably there'd be more snow this year.

http://picasaweb.google.com/arsmith2/Em ... 1309159746

http://picasaweb.google.com/arsmith2/Em ... 9256351810

This was part of a loop AROUND (not over) alta peak, which I really enjoyed. photos and map are here:
http://picasaweb.google.com/arsmith2/Em ... eadowLoop#
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Re: Considering a sequoia/ Alta peak trip

Postby Shawn » Sat May 01, 2010 2:06 pm

The Alta loop is really a great hike; you will have a blast. I did it with a friend back in 2003. In general terms, we proceeded along the ridge for about 100 yards beyond Alta Peak, dropped down an obvious chute, walked down torwards Pear Lake, traversed to hikers right relatively high above the lake., then dropped down to the lake and exited at the obvious trail down and out. I don't recall our start and stop times but we did it in a day with plenty of daylight left (and I weigh a lot less now than I did then). If you're going to camp, I'd suggest stopping at Pear Lake for the day.

Anyway, I know there are plenty of routes down to the lake, but if you take the one we did, be sure to stay high above the lake and do not drop down too early or you will suffer my fate. Anxious to get to the lake, I proceeded down much before my friend and to my dsimay, there was a large cliff overhanging into the lake. My only choices were to walk all the way around the lake (ugh), climb all the way back up and re-join my friend (ugh) or go for a nice swim around the cliff out-cropping fully clothed with my backpack for 50 yards or so (ahh). It was rather refreshing but ill advised. :D

Just came down from Alta, standing on the ridge looking back
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Standing in the same place looking down at Pear - if you look close you can see the massive light colored ganite that goes all the way into the lake - you want to stay above this as you circle "high and dry"
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Looking over at the chute
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Descending the chute
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Yours truly before getting to the lake - it was a hot day
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Re: Considering a sequoia/ Alta peak trip

Postby giovanni » Sun May 02, 2010 4:07 pm

Thanks for the pictures and information about both of your trips- Very helpful. this would be my first attempt at a cross country descent, but I get the impression I should be able to handle it, provided most of the snow has melted by mid july when we are there.
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Re: Considering a sequoia/ Alta peak trip

Postby AlmostThere » Sun May 02, 2010 5:48 pm

If you want to make it a 2-3 day loop, it would be relatively simple to make it an Alta-Moose Lake-Pear Lake loop. There are no official trails to Moose but you can hike to the peak, hike back to the junction and head for Alta Meadow (base of the peak) to camp, and go up to Moose via the creek (drainage from Moose) then drop into Pear for the second night.
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