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Upper Gorge of Despair

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Upper Gorge of Despair

Postby cgundersen » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:57 am

I was just going to enquire whether anyone had visited Gorge of Despair and I saw this TR. Great photos of the valley segment! Has anyone visited the upper part of "The Gorge"?
cg



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Re: tehipite to tunemah to ionian - trip report

Postby vandman » Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:33 pm

These guys have been to the top of the gorge...http://www.summitpost.org/gorge-of-despair/152446
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Re: tehipite to tunemah to ionian - trip report

Postby TehipiteTom » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:21 pm

Here's the upper end of the Gorge of Despair from Harrington Pass:
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Looks like you could descend a ways without any technical climbing; looks pretty spectacular if you do.
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Re: tehipite to tunemah to ionian - trip report

Postby hal » Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:56 pm

Sigh .... my last solo backpacking trip was to the Gorge of Despair, after a scramble over Harrington Pass, many years ago. It was one of my most memorable trips, and it was not technical descending in the gorge. I had the place to myself for a couple of days, and bagged one of western peaks, but I can't remember the name. It had a register on top, though. Also, I saw some piles of small quartz pebbles that looked like they were man-made, so I've always wondered if folks were checking out the place for gold. I think I followed the route as outlined by Secor.

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Re: tehipite to tunemah to ionian - trip report

Postby TehipiteTom » Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:26 am

hal wrote:Sigh .... my last solo backpacking trip was to the Gorge of Despair, after a scramble over Harrington Pass, many years ago. It was one of my most memorable trips, and it was not technical descending in the gorge. I had the place to myself for a couple of days, and bagged one of western peaks, but I can't remember the name. It had a register on top, though. Also, I saw some piles of small quartz pebbles that looked like they were man-made, so I've always wondered if folks were checking out the place for gold. I think I followed the route as outlined by Secor.

Brian R

Sounds like a great trip. Any photos?
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Re: tehipite to tunemah to ionian - trip report

Postby hal » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:58 am

I made the trek about 15 years ago, before digital cameras were the norm. I have transparencies, but no scanner. But photography was always a first and foremost activity in the morning and evenings, when shadows created depth. Back in the day when I lugged a Nikon F, Sekonic Spotmeter, 28mm, and 105mm lenses along for the ride. There was nothing ultralight about my solo trips.

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Re: tehipite to tunemah to ionian - trip report

Postby cgundersen » Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:09 pm

Tehipite/Vandman,
Thanks guys; that looks like a great late season option. And, given the dearth of reports on that region, I'd guess it's peaceful even when other places are crawling. Well, another trip for the wisk list!
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Re: Upper Gorge of Despair

Postby maverick » Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:43 pm

Hi CG,

Split this topic so not to piggyback of the OP thread.
That whole place is pretty and relatively easy crosscountry. Swamp and Slide Lakes
are just gorgeous. The upper Slide Lake is surprisingly emerald green which was a
treat. Followed Slide Creek down to the its junction with Kennedy Creek where things
started to get pretty steep. Would love to revisit the area and see the lowest and western
most lakes of the Swamp Lake region.
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Re: Upper Gorge of Despair

Postby cgundersen » Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:11 pm

Hi Mav,
Imagine my surprise when I saw this thread, but it all makes sense. It'll be a year or two before this area rises to the top of the heap, but I'm certainly looking forward to a part of the Sierra I've seldom visited. Great photo from the Harrington ridge!
Thanks,
cg
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Re: Upper Gorge of Despair

Postby maverick » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:25 am

Make sure you include the Volcanic Lakes area too.
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Re: Upper Gorge of Despair

Postby TehipiteTom » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:52 pm

cgundersen wrote:Hi Mav,
Imagine my surprise when I saw this thread, but it all makes sense. It'll be a year or two before this area rises to the top of the heap, but I'm certainly looking forward to a part of the Sierra I've seldom visited. Great photo from the Harrington ridge!
Thanks,
cg

When I was up there (in 2001) we didn't see a soul from Day 1 (sometime before Frypan Meadow) to Day 8 (coming down from Kennedy Pass, a little above Frypan Meadow). You will almost certainly have the area to yourself.
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Re: Upper Gorge of Despair

Postby cgundersen » Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:07 pm

Mav/TT,
Yep, Volcanic Lakes is as far west as I've been on that ridgeline, so I have some exploring to do in that area! And, yes, I visited Volcanics in October and saw no one and my last time in that general area (6 years ago) it was one other person in 10 days (going in and out Copper Creek), so it is definitely low impact.
Thanks!
cg
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