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2013 Expedition

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Re: 2013 Expedition

Postby RoguePhotonic » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:09 pm

Got into Lodgepole last night. I guess this time while I have time I should post some more details while I have the chance.

So when I left VVR I got a ride from some Sierra Club group dropping their cars off at Florence. As a result I did not start hiking until 5pm and made it to Boulder Creek by dark. From here I did almost everything just as planned other than after climbing Mt. Shinn and doing lots of class 4 & 5 I was too lazy to do Ward. I was too lazy to do Reinstien also. But the rest was as planned. When I got to Leconte canyon I had my first bad experience with a backcountry Ranger. (Miles?) He made a point of saying my permit was not valid because it said Yosemite on it and also wanted to enforce the fact that a hike like mine ia illegal because I am spending more than the legal daya in the park. He wanted me to go to Bishop and get a new permit which would have been a major hassel and cost too much so I had no plans of doing so at first I had every intention to come back and see him again even with no permit but the more I thought about it the more I thought it was better for both of us if we did not meet again which I will note in a bit. If he ended up giving me a ticket for something then I would not respond to it until I was out of the Sierra which by then it would probablt default to a warrant for my arrest and who knows what sort of fines would then double up. And if he said I had to leave the Sierra I would not go without a fight so like I said better for us both.



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Re: 2013 Expedition

Postby RoguePhotonic » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:25 pm

Going back in over Bishop Pass I did what I planned until I was at the lakes below Giraud Peak. I decided it was crazy to try and climb it and then the same day drop to Palisade Creek so I skipped the peak. I did everything else as planned until I added a day at that super remote lake West of Lake 10,565 which I now call Island Bird Lake. I wanted to climb the highest peak by it but the weather only allowed me to climb the highest peak on Windy Cliff which was the one that the register had not been signed in 33 years. At Marion Lake I also climbed Red Point. I skipped going to the lake by Windy Point so no fishing report! The next day was a long one. I dropped down Cartridge Creek and luckily the fire was a few hundred yards clear of my exit of the creek which took 8 hours. I began up the middle fork and stopped to eat dinner. I then kept hiking into the night to get past the ranger station under the cloak of darkness. I went up the first pitch of switch backs to the camping there and got to camp at 11.30pm. Then out for my next resupply.
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Re: 2013 Expedition

Postby RoguePhotonic » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:37 pm

Going in again I crossed Thunder and Potluck then climbed Mt. Sill which was though. I took the wrong route and ended up on a class 5 face. I was trying a really hard move when my only foot hold broke and my body slammed hard agaimst the rock gashing me from waist to the center of my chest. That route was now impossible so I found another class 5 face and had a hand hold break violently on me gashing my hand up so when I made it to the top I left a smudge of blood in the register. From here I went to the lake SE of Taboose Pass where the weather turned on me and I had to change some plans. I climbed Mt. Goodale and relocated to the lakes near Stripped Mt. I did Stripped which was also a bit tough. I took a class 5 chute that had a couple friction climb moves because I had no foot holds so it was one foot forward flat on the wall and the other behind and up I went. Intense but fun. Then it was over Arrow Pass and did the peak and of to Cedar Grove for resupply.
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Re: 2013 Expedition

Postby RoguePhotonic » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:57 pm

Heading up Bubbs Creek I heard a woman yelling help! Help! A bear! I thought is she serious? Does she think I am a bear? But she kept yelling for help until I see her sticking her head out of her tent with a bear 30 feet away playing with her bear barrel. So I calmly walk over toward the bear clapping my hands and off it goes with no problem. It was all quite funny. At least she was quite beautiful. ;) then I went to the Vidette Lakes and over deer pass and harrison which were both horrible! Talk about two major stamina passes in one day. I did Mt. Tyndall and dropped down Whitney Creek. The Kern Hotspring was crowded to the point that the first nigjt it was 12am before I could get in and the second night I could not use it at all. I went over Crystall Pass and did Mineral Peak and stayed at the upper Crystal Lake where I got about 2 inches of snow. I stayed quite warm though. Because of the lingering snow I decided a summit of Sawtooth and doing Bilko Pass was too risky. So I took the timber gap to redwood meadow which sort of sucked because they had the water turned off and I had already set up before I knew it. I looked all over and even tried tracing pipes to the source before I gave up. I just couldnt cook dinner since I only had a half liter. I had planned to hike to Merhten Creek and then out but I got word that no shuttles are running so I kept hiking over te panther gap and out to lodgepole last night. Since thw shuttles arent running I douvt I will walk to the lodge again for internet so hopefully my next post will say success!

I see cold weather the next few days but hopefully it will get better. I have a hiking partner for the Kaweah Basin trek so that should be fun.
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Re: 2013 Expedition

Postby rightstar76 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:19 am

The man, the myth, the legend - the RoguePhotonic! You have the stamina of a bighorn, running up and down the mountains. Don't know how you do it. Looking forward to seeing the photos of your expedition.
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Re: 2013 Expedition

Postby schmalz » Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:44 am

So Rogue should be getting back to Sequioa today. Imagine walking back from the backcountry into lodgepole and having it be a ghost town. Crazy!
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Re: 2013 Expedition

Postby RoguePhotonic » Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:40 pm

Yes that was very crazy. Although I can now declare SUCCESS!!

I have returned to Bakersfield today after 130 days in the mountains. I decided to call it quits based on a number of factors. One was just how much colder the water and the general living was becoming. Not a big deal but it gets tiring. Then my rain shell was so torn up it no longer worked at all. If I did get a major storm and had to hike in it I would have no way to stay dry so not very safe. The next was simple money. I figured I would get home with very little money left if I continued with everything as planned so it was a way to save allot. Lastly I took a rock to the head which left a very nasty gash in my ear to add to my other injury of a sprained finger. All those factors made me decide to ride home with my hiking partner Derek since he had to go through Bakersfield anyway.

So in the end like I said 130 days. Climbed 34 peaks. Total days without seeing another person was 56. Longest stretch without seeing anyone was 11 days. Longest stretch of cross country without seeing a trail was 10 days. Had 36 days of rain. 2 days of snow. Found 18 balloons and what ever other statistics are of interest.

So the last section Derek and I went in planning on 14 days. It snowed on us the first night and was even snowing the morning we left. We climbed Lawson and Kaweah Queen, went to the Red Spur Lakes, went into the Picket Guard Drainage and did Picket Guard Peak. We crossed Kaweah Pass where I got injured. I was at the very top when the rock I stepped on went down hill with all the rest of the hill below me. A large rock above me slid into me and I could not get out of it's way so I fell into it. Luckily it stopped going down hill other wise it probably would have killed me. Instead I came out with a badly sprained left index finger which still is not good but getting better. Then we climbed Mt. Kaweah and went to the lake below Red Kaweah. We entered what I thought was the right chute but were blocked by massive chock stones. We both tried climbing the walls on the side in many places on completely horrible rock when I finally decided to retreat. Derek tried one more way and got much higher up while I waited below. He decided there was nothing better up above and began to retreat when a large rock came loose. He shouted ROCK ROCK ROCK!!! as the boulder fell and impacted and broke into many pieces. I looked up just in time to see a large piece not coming for me at all when out of no where with me not even seeing it WHACK!!! I got hit hard in the side of the head or more accurately in the left ear. I threw my hands over my head as the rest of the rock smashed around me but I did not get hit more. Blood began pouring down my face since I got a good one inch or more gash in my ear. Although it could have been worse. If it had hit my head I might have been killed. We retreated to camp where I tried to fix it the best I could. After lunch Derek decided to try another way but I was in no shape to join in and he made it to the top. That just made him feel worse as he said "I kicked a rock on your head and then went to the top without you". So after that with a bum finger and a messed up ear I decided against a summit attempt of Black Kaweah. I gave Derek the option of going without me but he declined and we decided to hike out a day early.

And yes it was crazy getting out with a note on his car saying the park is closed and that the gate is locked for us getting out and that a Ranger will be by every few hours tomorrow. We walked around the museum area being a ghost town until a few fire fighters came jogging up and one had a key to let us out. The plan was to stay at Lodgepole tonight and go home tomorrow but we just had to go home. As a result I couldn't get my last package from the post office.

So I once again return home after a journey of a life time. Now I just have to readjust to this strange way of life.
Last edited by RoguePhotonic on Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: 2013 Expedition

Postby RoguePhotonic » Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:56 pm

Sorry for anyone that reads these posts before I edit them. I am finding it a bit hard to write at the moment. 130 days in the wilderness does strange things to the brain lol.
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Re: 2013 Expedition

Postby RoguePhotonic » Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:38 pm

A couple more details I can now add. I weighed in at 180 pounds which means I lost 45 pounds on this hike even though I started 20 pounds lighter than any other year I have done these hikes. I have not been this skinny since I was about 17. My belts are even too small to hold my pants up!

Also a closer look at my ear shows that the rock pierced all the way through. All I need is a Red Kaweah ear ring since it pierced my ear! Ouch!!!
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Re: 2013 Expedition

Postby Shawn » Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:36 pm

Amazing Rogue, simply freaking amazing. Sure glad to see you got out alive with the adventure of a lifetime. Hope to see a few photo's after you get rested up a bit.
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Re: 2013 Expedition

Postby kpeter » Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:28 am

Congratulations Rogue on a fabulous season! And thank goodness you came home (generally) safe!
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Re: 2013 Expedition

Postby SweetSierra » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:16 am

Thanks for letting us know about your last big stretch. Amazing! I'm glad your encounters with rock weren't serious. I look forward to seeing your photos.
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