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Tehipite Valley in late August--Stream crossing info

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Tehipite Valley in late August--Stream crossing info

Postby BlueMan » Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:07 pm

Hello all, I'm new here. I decided to get an because this seems like a fantastic community full of info =)

I'm considering doing a trip into Tehipite starting on August 25th for about five days. I'm an experienced backpacker (500 miles worth), a rock climber, and a sometimes canyoneer. Do I have any hope of crossing Crown Creek at this time? (with the unusually high runoff from our crazy snow year) And if my odds of doing that are decent what about crossing the Middle Fork of the Kings? I'd be perfectly happy to just get down into Tehipite Valley without being able to cross the Kings . . .

Any info/opinions would be helpful and appreciated. I'd especially love trip/waterflow data from comparable snow years at about the same time of year.

Thanks!

Blue



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Re: Tehipite Valley in late August--Stream crossing info

Postby TehipiteTom » Fri Jul 08, 2011 6:19 am

BlueMan wrote:Hello all, I'm new here. I decided to get an because this seems like a fantastic community full of info =)

You are clearly a man of great discernment and taste. ;)
I'm considering doing a trip into Tehipite starting on August 25th for about five days. I'm an experienced backpacker (500 miles worth), a rock climber, and a sometimes canyoneer. Do I have any hope of crossing Crown Creek at this time? (with the unusually high runoff from our crazy snow year) And if my odds of doing that are decent what about crossing the Middle Fork of the Kings? I'd be perfectly happy to just get down into Tehipite Valley without being able to cross the Kings . . .

Any info/opinions would be helpful and appreciated. I'd especially love trip/waterflow data from comparable snow years at about the same time of year.

Thanks!

Blue

I would say your odds of crossing Crown Creek are very good. For what it's worth, I crossed around July 4 of a slightly sub-normal year, and IIRC it was thigh-high but not fast. Looking at the watershed, there's nothing over 11,000' and it's mostly south-facing, so I would expect flows to be at a manageable level by then. The Middle Fork, on the other hand, draws from lots of high-elevation basins, so it could be difficult-to-impossible well into late season.
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Re: Tehipite Valley in late August--Stream crossing info

Postby maverick » Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:36 am

Hi BlueMan

Welcome to HST!
As TT wrote, you have good taste!
Have visited TV twice, once in July, and once in August.
The crossings in August were fine, but in July neither Crown Creek and especially
MFK were not easy, and with the big snow fall this year August both could be
dicey, and as TT mentioned the Middle Fork may be dangerous even into the late
season with all the snow in the basins above it.
There are just to many variances that can influence the heights of the run-off
and we can only guess so far in advance.
You will probably have to make the call when you get there, unless someone visits
TV before your trip in August, and writes up a TR.
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Re: Tehipite Valley in late August--Stream crossing info

Postby TehipiteTom » Fri Jul 08, 2011 12:57 pm

maverick wrote:Hi BlueMan

Welcome to HST!
As TT wrote, you have good taste!
Have visited TV twice, once in July, and once in August.
The crossings in August were fine, but in July neither Crown Creek and especially
MFK were not easy, and with the big snow fall this year August both could be
dicey, and as TT mentioned the Middle Fork may be dangerous even into the late
season with all the snow in the basins above it.
There are just to many variances that can influence the heights of the run-off
and we can only guess so far in advance.
You will probably have to make the call when you get there, unless someone visits
TV before your trip in August, and writes up a TR.

The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that Crown Creek will be reasonably crossable in late August, even in a year like this. There just isn't anything above that's going to hold a lot of snow that late in the season, and without a lot of snowmelt the flow is manageable.

Blue Canyon Creek is different--it's got a pretty extensive high basin at its head, and I'd expect it to be hard to cross well into late season. But if I had to guess about Crown, I'd say it'll be doable then.
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Re: Tehipite Valley in late August--Stream crossing info

Postby BlueMan » Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:43 pm

Thanks for the welcome guys! =)

Well, I expected something like this. No one being quite sure and differing opinions. I gotta figure if it's worth gambling going out there for nothing (aka not getting into the valley). My thought and hope was similar to Tehipite Tom's. When I've done Tenaya canyon for the past two years it's always been in late July. Every time I've watched water flow tables with concern and have noticed a remarkable drop in water flow in July. I'm hoping the same will be true of Crown creek and the other creeks baring entrance into Tehipite. I don't know . . . maybe I'm nuts. Are the flows on these creeks monitored? Any idea at what CFS the crossings become doable? I tried to find flow data and failed.
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Re: Tehipite Valley in late August--Stream crossing info

Postby lambertiana » Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:11 pm

I have only been there once, mid-August in a dry year (2007). Crown Creek was easy, and Blue Canyon Creek was even easier. This year will definitely be higher, but I don't think there will be any problem with Crown Creek at the end of August.

That year, even the Middle Fork would not have been a problem at Tehipite, although I didn't cross it until I got to Simpson Meadow, where I found an easy knee-deep crossing.
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Re: Tehipite Valley in late August--Stream crossing info

Postby TehipiteTom » Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:10 am

BlueMan wrote:Thanks for the welcome guys! =)

Well, I expected something like this. No one being quite sure and differing opinions. I gotta figure if it's worth gambling going out there for nothing (aka not getting into the valley).

Well, not exactly nothing. There is a good chunk of the valley west of Crown Creek, so even in the very unlikely event that Crown is uncrossable you'll still be in Tehipite Valley. You'd miss the petroglyphs, and you wouldn't be able to explore upstream, but you would still have a spectacular trip. And if Crown Creek is that high, Silver Spray Falls will be amazing.

But I really don't think it'll come to that. I just don't see how any appreciable amount of snow hangs on in a mostly south-facing basin with the very highest slopes around 11,000'.
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Re: Tehipite Valley in late August--Stream crossing info

Postby maverick » Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:39 am

100% agree with TT, even if you cannot get past Crown Creek, again this is a big if, it
is still well worth visiting TV!
When visiting in the 90's (August) it was a very big snow year with a cooler summer
that must have made for just the right conditions to still cause Crown, and MFK to be at
higher levels than it normally is by August, so as you see there have to be optimal
conditions for this to occur.
Most likely you will be able to cross these water ways, just wanted to give you a
heads up on the possibility that things could be out of the norm, though this year the
heavier snow levels occurred from the central to northern sierra areas, so just go, and
have fun.
Last edited by maverick on Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tehipite Valley in late August--Stream crossing info

Postby BlueMan » Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:56 am

So, I sliped up when I said late August. I meant late July. I and some friends went out two weeks ago, made it to the valley and crossed crown no problem. Easy peasy. The snow in that area must have melted fast. It doesn't sound like this was entirely normal--but for us the crossing was entirely managable.
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Re: Tehipite Valley in late August--Stream crossing info

Postby TehipiteTom » Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:13 pm

BlueMan wrote:So, I sliped up when I said late August. I meant late July. I and some friends went out two weeks ago, made it to the valley and crossed crown no problem. Easy peasy. The snow in that area must have melted fast. It doesn't sound like this was entirely normal--but for us the crossing was entirely managable.

So what did you think? And, got any pix?
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Re: Tehipite Valley in late August--Stream crossing info

Postby BlueMan » Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:37 pm

I thought a lot of things. And yes, I took photos. Wanna see them? The bugs were out of this world bad. On par with Alaska, maybe. Ants, gnats, flies, mozis, wasps . . . every freaking annoying insect you can imagine. The mozis were particularly bad. I was bit hundreds of times, no kidding. The hike in sucked. It was ugly, hot, and buggy. All the trees down made for slow going. We got a late afternoon start or we would have been in the valley the first day. If the trees were cleared you could make it pretty quick, I'd imagine.

Once we got to the valley overlook it all seemed worthwhile. Damn. That's one fine looking valley. The descent into the valley itself I didn't think was all that bad compared to the rest of the trail. But, it has it's problems to be certain. We only saw two snakes and bear tracks. One other party was there with us. They were quite nice. The river is beautiful. I'd love to kayak it someday (gonna have to master the whitewater thing first). I really enjoyed the views. Particularly of the gorge of despair--I saw a peak up there that I really want to climb and saw the potential for what looked to be some amazing canyoneering routes. I'd love to go try them. We found that the heat of the valley was quite energy sapping during the day and spend most of our time lounging around camp and fishing. I'd like to come back sometime when it isn't quite so hot.

When we left we made it back to the car in one painful day. The mozis were insane. The worst of the entire trip. Nothing fazed those little blood suckers. I'm coming back. I need to summit the dome, I've been thinking about trying to climb the obelisk. And perhaps, if my dreams come try I'll learn how to aid climb and try one of the seldom done aid routes on the face.
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Re: Tehipite Valley in late August--Stream crossing info

Postby Jimr » Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:20 pm

And yes, I took photos. Wanna see them?


What do you think?
What?!
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