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Deerhorn Saddle Question

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Deerhorn Saddle Question

Postby BakoGal » Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:58 am

I’ve never explored the area of Vidette Lakes and East Lake/Lake Reflection area, and thought a loop vs. an out-and-back would be preferable.

I searched here for Deerhorn Saddle info, and it appears most go north-to-south over the saddle. My preference is to go south-to-north, so I’m wondering is one way or the other easier, safer, etc. Which direction do you prefer to go and why? If going south-to-north, is it better to go up the west side or the east side of the slope?

I’m comfortable on class 2, which this saddle is rated, but is there anything else I should know about it? I did find a post indicating there is some loose gravel over hard rock near the top of the north side, so I would need to watch for slipping in that area.

If you were going to camp at one of the lakes below Ericsson Crags, which one would you choose?

Thanks for sharing your experience!



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Re: Deerhorn Saddle Question

Postby thegib » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:22 am

I've only gone N to S and remember thinking the north side is very tedious loose crap. Not at all scarey, just slow going. Personally, I'd rather glissade the scree down rather than fight it up. Lake Reflection is well worth camping at. Outstanding views. Some of the puddles higher up towards Deerhorn Saddle are murky. Cheers.
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Re: Deerhorn Saddle Question

Postby maverick » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:07 pm

The northern side is very loose talus with the worst of it being at the
upper part of the route heading up to the pass from the north.
Would recommend going from north to south over the pass. The talus
is larger with boulders mixed in for fun at the bottom half of the pass
and gets smaller and looser as on ascends towards the top of the pass
from the north. Most people would find ascending more comfortable
and safer than descending over such terrain, but this a personal preference
that could be different for your style. The descent on the southern side
is easy talus, and nothing compared to the northern side.
In regards to camping the lowest lake of the three lakes makes for the
best camping, or you can descend further down the outlet creek into
the canyon and find some nice spots.
I believe Bill (sekihiker) has a TR to the area on his website.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Deerhorn Saddle Question

Postby sekihiker » Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:22 pm

I went north to south but if I did it again, I think I would go south to north. For a report of a trip I took last year go to: http://sierrahiker.home.comcast.net/Dee ... index.html
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Re: Deerhorn Saddle Question

Postby StevieRay » Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:34 am

I led a Sierra Club National Outings Group over Deerhorn Saddle in 2007. Our ascent of Vidette Creek is chronicled on my Smugmug site, beginning at this photo:

http://mtnfreak.smugmug.com/Sierra-Club-Trips/Crown-of-the-Upper-Kern-2007/3860144_svZcjp#!i=223510759&k=rMhsrzc

Looking through this series to refresh my memory, north to south is preferable because the south side is loose talus/scree while I recall the northside being more of the stable somewhat large talus and slabs. But if I ever do Harrison Pass again, I would definitely do it south to north because of the looseness of the north side!

Hope this helps!
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Re: Deerhorn Saddle Question

Postby BakoGal » Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:15 pm

Thanks everyone for the feedback. Sekihiker, I read your TR on a rainy day in the winter, which is what made me want to do this. Love those trip reports!
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