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2014 Sierra Hike

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Re: 2014 Sierra Hike

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sun Nov 30, 2014 2:00 pm




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Re: 2014 Sierra Hike

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sat Jan 10, 2015 7:46 pm

That took long enough!

Week 9
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Re: 2014 Sierra Hike

Postby ERIC » Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:05 pm

The wait was well worth it. Thanks for the post.
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Re: 2014 Sierra Hike

Postby RoguePhotonic » Tue Jan 13, 2015 6:29 pm

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Re: 2014 Sierra Hike

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:53 pm

Thanks for posting! I love the photo of Crescent Lake. I definitely have to go there!
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Re: 2014 Sierra Hike

Postby oldranger » Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:24 pm

Rogue,

Thanks for reacquainting me with my old stomping grounds. I have covered all your route except up Farquar, your route up the ridge and onto Mt. Silliman (I chickened out going up the chute you descended.

A couple of comments. There is an old stock trail that goes up the n. side of Cunningham creek, though a few hundred feet above Cement Table Meadow it is obliterated by avalanche debris. Just above that it was beginning to be encroached by willows (1990) but it was the easiest way past the steeper sections above that. I never tried to follow it above 10,000 because the going was easier. Where did you find the canteen? Somewhere around the 9800 ft. level there was an old stock camp with some debris left and at least one horseshoe pounded into a tree. I don't know if the camp is a product of the old time grazing or a base for fishing South Guard lake which, before cessation of planting, was a popular fishing destination. Thanks for correctly identifying Long Meadow on Ferguson Creek despite it being misidentified on the map you used. I love the rock formations between Upper W. Ferguson Lake and Box Canyon. They never seem to get much attention. Crescent Lake, even without fish is one of my favorites. My best memory being camped on a ledge above the outlet during a total eclipse of the moon. The pass you called "Horse Creek Pass" was named "James" Pass on a copy of an old map that was at Roaring River Ranger Station when I was the ranger. I have no idea who James was or the source of the name. However on the north side of the pass there are still remains of a constructed trail switchbacking its way up to the Tablelands. In 83, a big snow year, I skied part of the way to my then station at Rowell Meadow in late june. Actually I carried my skis to Pear Lake, spent the night at Pear then skied up to James Pass and then down to Crescent. When I arrived at James Pass a cloud moved in encompassing me in fog.I was just about to pull out my compass to make sure I was going to go down to Crescent rather than Horse Creek when the fog cleared and the way was obvious, the only time I ever considered using a compass to navigate in the Sierra. The next day in forested terrain was a nasty postholing hell until I got within a mile of Rowell Meadow.

Thanks again!

Mike
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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Re: 2014 Sierra Hike

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:45 pm

Yeah with Silliman I just completely took the wrong route up the East slope. Secor's description wasn't very clear and from different vantage points I thought the peak on that rough ridge was it. Most of the way up it was pretty easy although I had to backtrack from a saddle on it's South end because the ridge was impassable so I got back onto the East slope and found another way up and over where I followed on the West side a bit. In here it turned into class 3 and I made an attempt at one route that was class 5 but decided it was too difficult. I managed to find a class 3 route the rest of the way until I could see the actual peak. Once I had dropped off it to the next low saddle I found that chute with lots of evidence of use. I found it fairly easy but it did demand caution as it was steep and loose in places.

I followed the North side of Cunningham until below that 9800F area which is where I made camp. I searched all over for any camps there on both sides of the creek but could only find a single small fire pit that was very narrow and level clearly made to put a pot on with a broken small log seat. Not long beyond there it seemed like better terrain on the South side and I had found no signs of any trails. The canteen was found at about 9440 feet on the South side. There was a more level open area there that could be used as a camp. The whole drop was very steep and very brushy with plenty of manzanita. I slipped and fell and got a small puncture wound in the side of my hand. Although relatively minor it was probably the most significant injury I had on this trip. The whole descent is what killed my mood for climbing the imposing wall that led to Josephine Lake. I actually crossed the river at Cement Table meadow and stared up at the climb ahead and just made the decision not to do it.

I agree those rock formations were very cool. That whole area was a string of easy and very enjoyable days. I got to Long Meadow at lunch then had my layover day which was nice since there was a waist deep section of river across the meadow in the reeds that I took a swim in. I made camp where an old rusted flask and a rusted and bent cooking pot was. Some trees had nails and like I have seen all over the Sierra in remote cross country areas there were chunks hacked out of some trees for seemingly no reason at all. It made me think of a boy scout that had been given an axe to place with and decided to just hack at a tree for awhile to see if he could cut it down.

Crossing to Box canyon also had me to camp by lunch. Then I found the awesome rocks to jump off on the South side of the lake. They go from 2 feet up to about 16 feet. The water was so nice I remember jumping in once and floating up on my back and saying "this is just magical...".

Then round tripped it down Box Canyon in a few hours finding balloons, hacked on trees one old camp and a few random trees with carvings on them I could not make sense of. The next day I made my way to Crescent Lake by lunch and debated on climbing Silliman that day but instead spent awhile jumping off the 10 foot high rocks there. I stayed at the camp site on the NW shore and it had one of the most pathetic fire pits I had ever seen. It was huge in terms of circumference but was made out of tiny little rocks about 4 inches high and of course complete with tons of foil. There was a single tree on the West shore that just said 1954 on it.

That's interesting about James Pass. Maybe it's better to rename my photos to that? I kind of don't like naming passes especially since I have done so with so many. I just feel it's prudent for easier identification.

I did find that trail as I came down to Crescent. I thought it was very odd. Cindy showed me her USGS map with every old trail on it and all the notes from Rangers of the past. Maybe your map actually. I wanted a photo copy of it since it was so cool showing so much. You would never know how much history is in that area by looking at normal maps. She was the one that showed me the notations for the Basque tree carvings. I could not find the other one that is supposed to be slightly further down from the man playing the guitar.
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Re: 2014 Sierra Hike

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:40 pm

I have been up the south side of Cunningham Creek. I found what I thought was an old trail off-and-on but very useful. It gave me a slightly more level path to put my feet. There is about 500 feet of hideously steep dirt. I found an old bottle - it was broken, but looked like a booze flask, about half way up the steep section. I crossed to the north side at about 9800 elevation where it was very thick brush and timber in a flat wide valley. Then I crossed to the south side again at 10600.
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Re: 2014 Sierra Hike

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:52 pm

Yeah it was very steep in sections. I wouldn't want to be going up it. I also thought I found a trail for short sections but I could not tell if it was just game trails or not.
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Re: 2014 Sierra Hike

Postby SSSdave » Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:21 pm

Went through your 2014 post pics. Like the Week 3 Big Moccasin Lake mirror reflection and left a comment. Nice stitch work. Had looked at that topo perspective ages ago and was wondering what it actually looked like. Have long had a spreadsheet for a 9-day trip into Humphreys Basin which I haven't visited in maybe a couple decades and is down a ways in my queue.

Will now likely edit the previous itinerary to spend time there instead of the French Creek areas that work better from a trip up Pine Creek plus Royce and Granite Park areas. Day 2 night would be near Golden Trout Lakes and work that in pm and day 3 am. Day 3 noon in the luxuriant flowery Hutchinson Meadows till 4pm then continue on up to Big Moccasin late. Day 4 work that till about 10am at most then back down and up to Tomahawk where will have a mid trip layover day 5.

David
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Re: 2014 Sierra Hike

Postby RoguePhotonic » Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:13 pm

That was a very nice area with very easy cross country going in and out.
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Re: 2014 Sierra Hike

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:16 pm

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