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Yucca-Tehipite-Mt Harrington Loop?

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Yucca-Tehipite-Mt Harrington Loop?

Postby david s » Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:44 pm

Started to tag this onto the other thread, now starting a new one:

Myself and two others are looking at an off trail trek into Tehipite in about ten days. Our plan is to head up the MF kings from Yucca into Tehipite, then attempt to find the old trail shown on this map: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fourputt/2 ... 577891678/
Our theory is, if there was once a trail, that means there is at least a passable grade. If we cant find the trail, we can always retreat back down to Yucca. According to google earth, it looks like the most difficult part will be negotiating Silver Spur. Once that is accomplished, the stream grade looks manageable.

Curious if anyone has any beta on this. I've found a few accounts of the trek up the MF Kings, so that seems doable, this year more than ever with the drought. But no beta on the old Silver Spur to Mt Harrington(other than a 1957 reference). Makes it all the more intriguing.

Thanks in advance for any input you may have
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Re: Yucca-Tehipite-Mt Harrington Loop?

Postby david s » Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:49 pm

The trail appears to parallel Silver Creek, then jogs north across the spur as it drops to the valley. There is also this quote from the Climbers Guide to the High Sierra 1954: The Tehipite Valley may be reached from Cedar Grove by crossing the Monarch Divide at Happy Gap and following down the east bank of Silver Creek. This is a dangerous route, unfit for pack animals, and is further complicated by the fact that it is often impossible to cross the Middle Fork of the Kings in the valley. In the spring, at high water, this river may present an impassable barrier at many points, as the only bridge is a suspension bridge at Simpson Meadow

We are level 3-4, having hiked the Sierra for almost 20 years. We've done a lot of class 3 passes, several class 4. We're all decent route finders, one member in particular is highly skilled in route finding.

And if we follow through with this attempt, we will definitely provide a trip report.
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Re: Yucca-Tehipite-Mt Harrington Loop?

Postby fourputt » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:12 am

Can't say you'd be able to find much of a Silver Creek "trail." Looked steep with thick manzanita, poison oak, and other nasty brush from Little Tehipite Valley. Another big concern would be Silver Creek being dry this year.

It's a spectacular, though rugged, route. Recommend having soap handy because when not wading from one side of the river to the other you're hiking thru lots of PO.
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Re: Yucca-Tehipite-Mt Harrington Loop?

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:19 am

The bridge in Simpson washed out years ago and has never been replaced. You have to ford the river.

R.J. Secor has this to say: "Cross-country routes from the Monarch Divide to the middle fork of the Kings River: All of the canyons that lead north from the Monarch Divide turn into hanging valleys before dropping precipitously into the Middle Fork. The only reasonable route is the Granite Pass trail. The Gorge of Despair has been descended, but the party utilized wet suits and rock-climbing gear. A trail leads up and over Happy Gap, then abruptly ends. The rest of the route to the Middle Fork consists of brush and cliffs."

You can get to this via google books.

"Passable grade" shouldn't be assumed - there are lots of trails that hang on a vertical slope in the Sierra, and become impassable easily.
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Re: Yucca-Tehipite-Mt Harrington Loop?

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:41 am

Also, if you are referring to Yucca Point, that is confusing. That is below the confluence of south and middle forks, not on monarch divide...
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Re: Yucca-Tehipite-Mt Harrington Loop?

Postby david s » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:20 am

Agreed that "passable grade" might not be the best thing to rely on. Looking at the topo, it seems the most difficult part to negotiate would be silver spur. It seems that once you are up that, the silver creek drainage has a notably gentler slope than the other canyons, especially looking at google earth.
The chapparal bushwack could be rough, though. Thanks for the beta on that, fourputt.

If all hope for this Silver Creek route is gone, we may re-evaluate. 2200-4100 elevation for the entire trip could be rough with temperatures in the 90's still. I suppose there is always the Wishon trail..
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