DrWho wrote:Does the route: Silliman Creek --> Silliman Lake --> Notch directly south of Mt. Silliman --> Crescent Lake area work for a route to eventually make it to Tablelands?
Last weekend, I went from Lodgepole up the 1.7 mile trail to Tokopah Falls, then climbed up the left side of the falls while it was getting dark, and scrambled up the right side of the falls in the dark to a beautiful little camping spot on a ledge overlooking Marble Fork of Kaweah River, above the falls. There wasn't much water flowing (in Tableland most of the snow patches were gone, August 14). In the morning the walk up the river towards Table Meadows was amazing, really amazing. It was like walking through a coffee table photography book. The river flows over wide swaths granite, either over flat rock or inbetween the cracks, with trees growing in clumps for effect. Amazing, lots of flowers this year, too. So that is a route to Tableland towards the end of summer. While coming back from lake WL 10559T in the lower right corner of Mt. Silliman 7.5" Quadrangle (the one with the weather station), I thought about going a bit up in elevation towards the two lakes at the headwaters of Horse Creek, then down that creek to the Tokopah Falls trail. Instead I curved down the south-facing slope (the one with the large black streaks) back to Marble Fork over lots of bare granite. There were tons of wildflowers. It was very easy and scenic, although looking back from the river I probably would not have tried going up the slope to 10559. Then came the Falls. I descended about 200 feet to the north of Tokopah Falls and upon retrospect it was way too steep. Maybe going back down the falls (towards the end of a 12 hour day) would have been easier, but probably harder than going up in the dark. ... The Silliman Creek --> Silliman Lake you mentioned would be less direct than Horse Creek, however, it avoids that really steep portion of Horse Creek through the thick forest in Tokopah Valley. Three weekends ago I went from Alta Peak to Tableland which was probably risky going solo because the ridge between Alta and Moose Lake is strewn with large rocks. Plus I got altitude sickness my first time in SEKI because I left work in Venice, CA in the morning at sea level and camped below Alta around 11,000 feet. I'd like to know if Horse Creek to Tableland is viable, and exactly how to find it from the Tokopah Falls trail?