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Suggestions for peak bagging overnighters?

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Suggestions for peak bagging overnighters?

Postby gbrown09 » Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:23 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm looking for suggestions for relatively short (preferably overnighters) backpacking trips with the following characteristics:
-Great views for sunrise/sunset (photography is the primary objective) from or near campsite
-Summit campsite or any high up campsite with an epic view
-Lake(s) down below preferable
-Driving from SoCal so the closer the better

Trips I've done in the past that I loved (looking for similar ones):
-Mt Agassiz - cowboy camped just below the summit
Image
-Young Lakes (Yosemite) - awesome campsite above the upper lake
Image

I'm a relatively experienced backpacker and I'm comfortable with cross country travel. Would prefer class 1-2, maybe easy class 3. Comfortable with 8-10 miles a day and a few thousand feet of elevation gain, but not opposed to easier stuff! Thanks in advance for any suggestions!



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Re: Suggestions for peak bagging overnighters?

Postby zacjust32 » Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:49 pm

In SEKI there's plenty of peaks in Mineral King the may fit your profile, and the area is very photogenic. Some of my favorite hikes near Lodgepole are Alta Peak/Pear Lake/Tablelands and Mt. Silliman, both of which I have done as overnighters. They both offer views of the GWD. You can find my trip reports below.
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Re: Suggestions for peak bagging overnighters?

Postby maverick » Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:03 pm

If you don't have Secor's book, then get it and familiarize yourself with the peaks of southern SEKI, categorize them according to your abilities, then use Google Earth to get views from the summits and the ridgelines. Also, check out TR's to the summits, which many have pictures included, here on HST, Summitpost, Supertopo, and Mountain Project, the more intel you have the better your chances of success.
The Western Divide from Mineral King up to Kaweah Ridge and Miter Basin, have plenty of subject matter to keep you busy. ;)
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Re: Suggestions for peak bagging overnighters?

Postby gbrown09 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:05 am

Thanks Zac & Maverick for the suggestions! I checked out those peaks online, I'm just having a hard time figuring out if there are any bivvy spots on or near those summits since I don't want to climb in the dark. Also came across Sawtooth Peak in the same area which looks awesome as well. And I'll definitely get my hands on that book.

Anyone have any other ideas? Any easy peaks in the Eastern Sierra (preferably no farther north than Bishop/Mammoth) with bivvy sites on the summit?
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Re: Suggestions for peak bagging overnighters?

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:42 am

When you get a wilderness permit for the Alta trail, they will tell you it's illegal to camp on Alta Peak. It's also the case for other high places that are very popular such as Half Dome. If legalities are a concern that's one of the questions you should ask, particularly in places that are patrolled by rangers, like the Alta/Lakes Trail region -- there's a ranger living at Pear Lake, after all.
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Re: Suggestions for peak bagging overnighters?

Postby gbrown09 » Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:40 am

AlmostThere wrote:When you get a wilderness permit for the Alta trail, they will tell you it's illegal to camp on Alta Peak. It's also the case for other high places that are very popular such as Half Dome. If legalities are a concern that's one of the questions you should ask, particularly in places that are patrolled by rangers, like the Alta/Lakes Trail region -- there's a ranger living at Pear Lake, after all.


Good point, definitely not trying to break any rules.
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Re: Suggestions for peak bagging overnighters?

Postby peaksandpotatoes » Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:28 pm

I've heard of people sleeping on top of Four Gables and Cloud's Rest. There's a little lake right below Silliman that you should be able to find a place to sleep at. You could probably find a place to sleep in the cirque below Goode. There is a large sandy plateau right below Langley. Leavitt Peak had a flattish spot below the summit with awesome views. Actually I think the summit of Leavitt is also flat. I'm pretty sure there's a bivy spot at Italy Pass below Julius Caesar (right?). But I guess I wouldn't consider that a shortish trip.
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Re: Suggestions for peak bagging overnighters?

Postby gbrown09 » Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:33 am

peaksandpotatoes wrote:I've heard of people sleeping on top of Four Gables and Cloud's Rest. There's a little lake right below Silliman that you should be able to find a place to sleep at. You could probably find a place to sleep in the cirque below Goode. There is a large sandy plateau right below Langley. Leavitt Peak had a flattish spot below the summit with awesome views. Actually I think the summit of Leavitt is also flat. I'm pretty sure there's a bivy spot at Italy Pass below Julius Caesar (right?). But I guess I wouldn't consider that a shortish trip.


Great info, thanks!!!
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Re: Suggestions for peak bagging overnighters?

Postby giantbrookie » Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:39 pm

I would second the advice about studying Secor and maps. I was doing this long before the 1st edition of Secor, so I grew up with Voge's climber's guide, but the game plan still remains: study the books and maps. The majority of the peaks I climbed back in the day were on overnighters or dayhikes, so many are suitable.

Here are some suggestions. All of the below have flattish areas on or not far below the summit.
A. East side (Mammoth and S).
1. Mt Morgan (the higher one) out of Little Lakes Valley; class 1 to 2 and amazing views
2. Mt Lamarck above Lamarck Col out of North Lake; class 1 to 2
3. Mt Goode out of South lake. Class 1 to 2. Not as nice a peak as Agassiz, and not as good views either (Agassiz has some of the best views in the entire Sierra, in my opinion), but still not bad.
4. Cloudripper out of S. Lake/Parchers Camp. Nice peak and nice view. There is a smidge of class 3 just below the summit, otherwise it's class 1.
5. Mt Gould above Kearsarge Pass. The summit tower is class 3, but it's an easy class 1 walk up to that point.
6. Lone Pine Peak from the Meysan Lake side.
7. Mt Langley and Cirque Peak out of Cottonwood. Both are easy class 1 to 2 and have big flat summit areas.

B. West flank southern part.
1. Spanish Mtn. Class 1, perched on the north rim of the deepest part of Kings Canyon with lots of flat sandy areas on the top.
2. I'm in total agreement with the recommendations of Sawtooth Peak in Mineral King.
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Re: Suggestions for peak bagging overnighters?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:16 pm

You do not need large flat spots. On most mountains in the class 1-3 range, there are plenty of small spots to sleep in near summits, if not exactly on top. The bigger issue is hauling water. I would tank up before starting, as well as a nice big cooked meal and then just do trail food on the mountain. You can survive on less water than you think. Sometimes you luck out and there is snow to melt or little pools of rain water on flat rocks.

I have had a few unplanned nights up on mountains, LOL. These were on technical climbs that we did not make it up on time. Never carried more than two liters of water. Did not even have a sleeping bag.

There is a "Grade" used in rating climbs. Grade I is a climb of less than 3-4 hours. Grade II - all day climbs, Grade III very long days, Grade IV may require overnight bivy, Grade V definite overnight (unless you are Peter Croft). So if you look in Secor's book, it may say "I, 5.2" that means a relatively short climb of 5.2 difficulty. Not sure he applies the "grade" to class 3 or easier climbs. You will be looking for grade I climbs if you are actually hauling up camping gear. Also look at the web site climber.org which have the SPS climbing reports. They do a lot of "peak bagging" of class 2-3 mountains.

I would say look at maps (or Google Earth) and pick the area (lakes below etc) that you want to see and then look up the peaks in Secor's book. Keep to class 1-3 routes and then just go up and do not worry that much about a "campsite".

Obviously, do not do this if there is any threat of lightning.
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Re: Suggestions for peak bagging overnighters?

Postby gbrown09 » Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:04 am

Thank you giantbrookie and Wandering Daisy! Super helpful information, my to do list this summer just got longer! Now if that snow would just start melting haha
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Re: Suggestions for peak bagging overnighters?

Postby paul » Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:41 am

Matterhorn peak has a bivy spot pretty much right at the top. Four Gables has been mentioned - totally doable, plenty of flattish stuff right at the top, and great views. Long-ish day to get there, but probably not bad.
If you start from Courtwright Res. there are numerous points along the ridge at the north side of Red Rock basin, running from Thompson Pass at the west to Zingheim Heights at the east that have tremendous views, and I'm sure you could find bivy spots almost anywhere along the ridge.
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