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TR: Sphinx Crest Loop 7/16 - 7/20 2012

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Re: TR: Sphinx Crest Loop 7/16 - 7/20 2012

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:22 pm

LOL, yeah, I would rather have a book than extra nuts. And, yeah, that whole hike from Big Brewer to Lake 9735 and thence to the trail is way easier than that tedious trail-slog up to Avalanche Pass.
If I had had an extra day, I would have loved to have stayed a night at Lake 9735. The camping looked perfect at that serene little lake when I was there.
Interesting that people complain about bush up Sphinx Creek. Both times I was there all the bush was avoidable and the cross-country pretty easy. Could things have changed that much these past years?
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Lake 9735 x1.jpg
Looking up over Lake 9735 at Mt. Brewer. Another good reason to do this hike.
Doyle W. Donehoo
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Re: TR: Sphinx Crest Loop 7/16 - 7/20 2012

Postby fourputt » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:04 pm

Thanks again for the report and pictures.

Pouring over maps years ago Lake 9735 looked like a cool spot even before I read Brewer.
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Re: TR: Sphinx Crest Loop 7/16 - 7/20 2012

Postby TehipiteTom » Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:15 am

Thanks, Lou!

Interesting that people complain about bush up Sphinx Creek. Both times I was there all the bush was avoidable and the cross-country pretty easy. Could things have changed that much these past years?

What I found was that there was brush, but it was nearly all avoidable, it could get pretty bad if you didn't manage to avoid it. That first riser, from a distance, looks like all ugly talus on one side and all willow/aspen on the other. There's a route that avoids both, but if you miss up you could wind up with a lot of thrashing.
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Re: TR: Sphinx Crest Loop 7/16 - 7/20 2012

Postby Shawn » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:01 pm

TT:

Thanks for the "rest of the story", I really enjoyed your TR. In fact, it has reinvigorated me to think about doing the same loop you did in the interest of getting to that unnamed lake. Truly good stuff. I also went and read through much of your blog - I too have been a fan of Brewer as he was my first read of the history applicable to the Sierra.

Speaking of motivation, I went back and looked at most of Doyle's trip reports. His reports were like waiting for the next edition of a magazine. I just couldn't wait to see the next edition as I was a late bloomer with regard to hiking (40+ years before I set foot on a trail in the Sierra with my first trip to East Lake). Everything was eye candy.

My first venture up Sphinx was in 2000 and my most recent was in 2006 (seems like yesterday). It occurred to me in 06 that there was considerably more overgrowth as compared to 00. regardless, we managed to miss most of the thrashing below the first headwall. I only have a few photos from below the first headwall, but in this one you can see our proximity to the creek as we ascended on hikers right of the creek. In this case, we were almost unscathed by the shrubs.

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Re: TR: Sphinx Crest Loop 7/16 - 7/20 2012

Postby TehipiteTom » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:10 am

Thanks, Shawn!

Yeah, I think that's pretty much where I went up. That looks like it's near the top of the first headwall--is that right?

And yeah, I too have really enjoyed Doyle's reports over the years, and I mined his Sphinx reports for beta for my own trip. Really good stuff.
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Re: TR: Sphinx Crest Loop 7/16 - 7/20 2012

Postby Shawn » Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:53 pm

Hey Tom -

That's right, the pic is looking at the first headwall.

We went up to 10514 the first day from the TH. Thought it was great until I woke up feeling like cr*p the next day which scuttled our plans.
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Re: TR: Sphinx Crest Loop 7/16 - 7/20 2012

Postby TehipiteTom » Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:56 pm

Ugh...that's brutal. 5500' of gain + a couple of miles of non-trivial cross-country is a surefire recipe for pain. :eek:
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Re: TR: Sphinx Crest Loop 7/16 - 7/20 2012

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:14 pm

Shawn wrote:We went up to 10514 the first day from the TH.


Yikes! That is just cruel and unusual punishment!!
I just got back from a 3 day trip to 10 Lakes Basin with my noob friend, and I was pretty grumpy about that climb (2200+ feet, 6 Miles to the basin).

Thanks for the nice comments about my ST TR's! I should do more now that I have backed up a bunch more trips.
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Re: TR: Sphinx Crest Loop 7/16 - 7/20 2012

Postby TehipiteTom » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:45 pm

DoyleWDonehoo wrote:
Shawn wrote:We went up to 10514 the first day from the TH.


Yikes! That is just cruel and unusual punishment!!
I just got back from a 3 day trip to 10 Lakes Basin with my noob friend, and I was pretty grumpy about that climb (2200+ feet, 6 Miles to the basin).

Thanks for the nice comments about my ST TR's! I should do more now that I have backed up a bunch more trips.

Looking forward to your trip reports!
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Re: TR: Sphinx Crest Loop 7/16 - 7/20 2012

Postby oldranger » Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:10 pm

TT

You wrote
in truth, I had already made my decision back at Lake 9735. Once I left the lake I was out of the really interesting country, and without even noticing it was shifting to an end-of-trip frame of mind. Now, at Moraine Creek, there was nothing but trail between me and civilization, and nothing very exciting along the way.


Sorry to disagree. I wish you had told me your plans earlier this summer and I could have helped you find a fun trail from just nw of Little Brewer Lake to Moraine Creek, two Shorty Lovelace cabins, and several interesting (and bizzare) tree carvings.

Mike
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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Re: TR: Sphinx Crest Loop 7/16 - 7/20 2012

Postby TehipiteTom » Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:46 am

oldranger wrote:Sorry to disagree. I wish you had told me your plans earlier this summer and I could have helped you find a fun trail from just nw of Little Brewer Lake to Moraine Creek, two Shorty Lovelace cabins, and several interesting (and bizzare) tree carvings.

Mike

Fair point. I did do a brief search for the carvings, but either I was looking in the wrong place or I wasn't patient enough. The Sphinx cabin was quite a ways off the trail (IIRC, you told me it was a mile or two up the side creek) and I was too wiped on my way in, and too hurried on my way out, to go looking for it.

But as I said, I had already shifted to end-of-trip mode at that point, which colored how interested in anything other than getting out.
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Re: TR: Sphinx Crest Loop 7/16 - 7/20 2012

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:43 pm

Thank you for posting this trip report, TT. I am using it as intel for a two day trip up to the lakes basin.

I just got back from doing a 5,500+ cumulative gain, 26+ mile round trip into the Tablelands area, with a good six miles of fun-packed cross country - we went from Pear Lake up the (depressingly dry) Kaweah to the crest of the ridge and around to Moose Lake, followed by knee-mangling downhill and traverse to Alta Meadow. I have high hopes that since I am not sore (not even my knees!), nor banged up, nor really all that exhausted, that I will make it up for some more alpenglow!
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