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Kerrick / Matterhorn Canyon Loop (Cross Country Routes)

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Re: Kerrick / Matterhorn Canyon Loop (Cross Country Routes)

Postby John Dittli » Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:54 pm

If your main interests are as you state "camping, photography, fishing", you picked a great line. For your first xc trip, it should be challenging. Not in-so-much that it is technical, but convoluted, forested terrain.

You will find that in places, the line you have drawn on your map will not be followable and that you will be altering your planned travel route somewhat regularly. For instance right off the bat, traversing from Rock Island Pass to RI Lake you will find is not just a nice walk thru alpslopes and granite slabs, but rather a timbered slope with lots of small rock bands that impede progress.

You will find the same thing bellow and above Doe Lake should you go that way. This is not to deter you in any way, just saying that northern Yosemite XC can be much different than the southern Sierra.

Camp Creek is not technical at all, it just has less convoluted terrain then Doe Lake which while pretty, limited. You just need to go up toward the head of it before turning due south over the Tallulah pass.

Also, regarding the climbers route in Little Slide; it's much easier finding going up than down. And definitely don't expect to follow that ridge above Maltby Lake. The first time I went up that route I ended up the most cliffed out I've ever been and had to backtrack down the canyon a half mile before I could get off the thing! Stay in the drainage to the east!

Without getting into too much detail as that may spoil the adventure eh? Here's a few pics. If you have any specific questions feel free to ask!
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Slide Canyon from route to Doe
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Bath Mtn ramp
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Upper Camp Creek from Doghead (Tallulah behind upper left)
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Piute Creek as seen from Blacksmith Col, Burro Pass far left, the Slide far right
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lower Slide Canyon
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Slide Canyon from ridge due north of Doe Lake
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Re: Kerrick / Matterhorn Canyon Loop (Cross Country Routes)

Postby John Dittli » Sun Feb 24, 2013 2:08 pm

BTW, the Big Meadows route that WD mentioned is also really nice, but don't miss lower Slide...
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Matterhorn canyon L, Big Meadow R
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Re: Kerrick / Matterhorn Canyon Loop (Cross Country Routes)

Postby mshields » Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:30 pm

John Dittli wrote:If your main interests are as you state "camping, photography, fishing", you picked a great line. For your first xc trip, it should be challenging. Not in-so-much that it is technical, but convoluted, forested terrain.
Without getting into too much detail as that may spoil the adventure eh? Here's a few pics. If you have any specific questions feel free to ask!

John,

Thanks for the encouragement and words of wisdom; I look forward to the challenge! All things considered, one of the best things going for me is that I plan on spending a week on the loop, which will allot me some additional time on the learning curve. Also, given your advice on LSC + input from others, I think I will take the clockwise route (up LSC and up Bath Ramp) to help improve my odds.

BTW - Fantastic Pics!!!!! They just pumped me up even more!!!
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Re: Kerrick / Matterhorn Canyon Loop (Cross Country Routes)

Postby BigMan » Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:36 pm

mshields wrote:
KathyW wrote:I did that loop ten years ago and just loved it - it was just beautiful. I especially liked Slide Canyon

John Dittli wrote:Hope this helps. I could probably post photos if you are interested.

John and Kathy,

Thanks for the replies; it was a pleasant surprise to see a couple additional posts to the thread!

A couple quick comments/questions:

1) I am definitely interested in seeing some pictures John; thanks for the offer.

2) You mentioned that you preferred Tallulah Via Camp Creek rather than Doe, how technical is this route compared to the Doe approach?

3) I have posted the loop I am planning below; if anyone has any particular recommendations and/or favorite campsites, input would be greatly appreciated. I also plan on integrating some daytime hikes from some of the campsites; recommendations in this area would also be nice.

Thanks for the feedback


How was your trip mshields? :confused:
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Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:36 am

Timing matters. I did a similar loop "pre-mosquito", which can vary depending on the snowpack. Although I had to deal with snow, I really enjoyed this time of year. Everything was fresh, the air was clear, there were few other backpackers, and the creeks were still easy to cross (pre-peak runoff). I did hit mosquitoes in lower Slide Creek so I should have gone a bit earlier.

Northern Yosemite has a notoriously serious mosquito hatch. Unfortunately peak mosquito coincides with peak wildflowers. Every time I have been disappointed in northern Yosemite has been very late season, when water sources are often dried up and smoke is in the air, and everything is dried out. However fall is a good time to avoid mosquitos. Peak runoff can also be difficult. Read some of the PCT journals of 2011! If you go up Little Slide Canyon, crossing the creek can be very difficult at peak runoff.

Another interesting way to loop is to go in Little Slide Creek; day-trip down Slide Creek (Lower Slide Creek near Bath Mountain is quite impressive); over Burro Pass and down Matterhorn Canyon (a day-hike down Matterhorn Creek to where it drops off is also quite interesting); up Virginia Canyon, then follow the High Sierra Route via Soldier Lake, Stanton Pass, upper Spiller Creek, and Horse Creek back to Twin Lakes. This may have more difficult off-trail than you want to do. There is a lot of detailed information on the High Route that you may want to look at. This route is better done later in the season- August, if it is a normal to high snow year.
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Re: Kerrick / Matterhorn Canyon Loop (Cross Country Routes)

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:40 am

Wow, just noticed that this is a very old post! Guess I should pay more attention to the post dates. Sorry. Well, maybe someone will want to do this route. By the way did the original person who posted this do the trip?
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