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TR: 10 Day Solo Hike In Kings Canyon & John Muir Wilderness

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TR: 10 Day Solo Hike In Kings Canyon & John Muir Wilderness

Postby MetalBackpacker » Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:00 pm

For my annual summer week long alpine hike, I decided to visit the Sierras. My route began at Florence Lake and formed a 95 mile loop over 10 days in late August.

Breakdown of the route hiked:

Day 1 - Florence Lake to Evolution Valley/Goddard Canyon Junction
Day 2 - Evolution Valley/Goddard Canyon Junction to McGee Lake
Day 3 - McGee Lake to Lake 11,196 - Skipped Ionian Basin due to weather
Day 4 - Lake 11,196 to Darwin Bench
Day 5 - Darwin Bench to Muriel Lake, going over Alpine Col
Day 6 - Muriel Lake to Elba Lake, going over Carol Col (aka Puppet Pass)
Day 7 - Elba Lake to Granite Park, going over Royce Pass
Day 8 - Granite Park to Vee Lake going over Italy Pass & Dancing Bear Pass
Day 9 - Vee Lake to Marie Lake
Day 10 - Marie Lake to Florence Lake, going over Seldon Pass

45 min video of my Sierra hike:


Photos and (very LONG) trip report here: http://metalbackpacker.com/10-day-sierra-hike-kings-canyon-john-muir-wilderness/



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Re: 10 Day Solo Hike In Kings Canyon & John Muir Wilderness

Postby sekihiker » Sat Oct 22, 2016 7:05 am

Thanks for posting. You chose a good route through spectacular country. I appreciated the thoroughness of your report and the great photos.
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Re: 10 Day Solo Hike In Kings Canyon & John Muir Wilderness

Postby cefire » Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:49 pm

Very cool, thanks for posting this TR!!
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Re: 10 Day Solo Hike In Kings Canyon & John Muir Wilderness

Postby Cross Country » Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:58 pm

On two 11 day trips with "saint" Diane we went to most of your trip. It was interesting to me that I visually recognized almost nothing of your really cool video although I remember each day of two trips. I never forget anyplace of any of my trips.
MANY of my trips included a lot of cross country. On my solo trips I almost never spent more than 3 days cross country. I can barely imagine a trip like yours and I backpacked more than 500 days.
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Re: 10 Day Solo Hike In Kings Canyon & John Muir Wilderness

Postby fishmonger » Mon Oct 24, 2016 5:10 am

really liked the video segment that showed the McGee route to Wanda Lake. I've had this on the to-do list for a while and probably will go there next time I am up there in the summer. I recognized a lot places in the first half of the video, but after Humphrey's Basin, it was all new to me until you got to Marie Lake. Resupply
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Re: 10 Day Solo Hike In Kings Canyon & John Muir Wilderness

Postby Flamingo » Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:11 pm

Thanks for sharing a great trip report!
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Re: 10 Day Solo Hike In Kings Canyon & John Muir Wilderness

Postby SSSdave » Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:29 pm

The other day I actually read your full website trip article but watched only a couple minutes of the video as that is about 45 minutes long. Have been to all the destinations you visited but not always via the same routes. At least vaguely recognized locales of most of the images.

As someone that also does this kind of thing, both of us are aware of how long and how much effort it takes to create web pages like yours. Some of my own web page trip articles with images are rather long. A decade or three from now you will greatly appreciate having taken time to do so as it will help recall much that would otherwise be lost. An issue is having to load single pages with lots of images may take a long time and depending on browser settings can disrupt just reading text sections. Your article has maybe a couple hundred jpg's all on the same one page. A strategy is to break up an article into multiple pages say on date boundaries that will then individually load quicker.

You covered a lot of miles and that always tends to cut down on the time one can experience what they are passing through and may miss a fair amount of worthwhile elements. There are places you went through that I've base camped at spending several fascinating days exploring. And now that you have ventured through numbers of these High Sierra places, no doubt some of those places you may in the future return to and spend more time at while others not.

Was rather puzzled why you seemed to have trouble catching trout in some of the places you visited where I know from experience they are abundant. The lures you mentioned as long as they were not gaudy should have had better luck. Next time bring a few small Kastmasters and a few #16 Adams dry flies with a clear float. You mentioned all the fish cooking gear you might have brought that you own and use in Michigan. Did you cook and eat the 3 fish you did catch?

What camera were you using? Did you use a tripod?

The read of your pain in the Goethe Cirque had me smiling. Was the most tedious and dangerous talus slog I ever went through too. Long ago before you were born as a young man, I passed on the east side of the lake and purposely took a route through what I'd heard were the most gigantic blocks that I though would be a fun challenge and worth some bragging about. But regretted that haha as it was rather humbling teaching me a lesson.

There is a good thread on HST about finding the correct route down Carol Col. This last week I did some summer 2017 trip planning for a 9-day group trip over Piute Pass into Humphreys Basin that I last visited in the 80s. Given there will be some fishermen along, We will spend 3 of the days base camping on the French Canyon Bench.

You were impressed with Granite Park. This summer of 2016 I did a 9-day trip into GP, then over Royce Pass, and then to L-Lake. I camped right at the top of Royce Pass in the big talus you had to pass by. Then your GP camp spot was right across the stream from where I camped at a couple days. That pond you captured a very nice image of Treasure Peak of is the same one on my report. Yours looks nicer with more rocks showing than when I worked it earlier in summer.

http://www.davidsenesac.com/2016_Trip_C ... 16-13.html

Lake side camp spots around Vee Lake are indeed rather exposed thus mediocre. But if one hunts about in the surrounding zone there are some superb little secrets. Amused all those brook trout still congregate where the little stream flows into Marie Lake. Quite a sight. I caught golden, rainbows, and brook all over 12 inches there one day.
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Re: 10 Day Solo Hike In Kings Canyon & John Muir Wilderness

Postby Cross Country » Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:55 pm

Did you visit this lake?
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Re: 10 Day Solo Hike In Kings Canyon & John Muir Wilderness

Postby toejam » Sat Dec 10, 2016 7:13 am

Thanks for the report. I also cut way back on my original plans through that area, but gave myself more time to enjoy it.

When I took the ferry across Florence Lake there was a delightful middle-aged woman who told great stories driving the boat. Too bad about the guy they had working this year. The old truck you saw is used to haul resupply buckets from the boat dock to MTR.
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Re: 10 Day Solo Hike In Kings Canyon & John Muir Wilderness

Postby MetalBackpacker » Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:17 am

Cross Country wrote:On two 11 day trips with "saint" Diane we went to most of your trip. It was interesting to me that I visually recognized almost nothing of your really cool video although I remember each day of two trips. I never forget anyplace of any of my trips.
MANY of my trips included a lot of cross country. On my solo trips I almost never spent more than 3 days cross country. I can barely imagine a trip like yours and I backpacked more than 500 days.


I'm the same way, I seldom forget places I've visited. I love that about hiking though, how you can visit the same place as others and see it in a different way or just see something completely different altogether.

fishmonger wrote:really liked the video segment that showed the McGee route to Wanda Lake. I've had this on the to-do list for a while and probably will go there next time I am up there in the summer. I recognized a lot places in the first half of the video, but after Humphrey's Basin, it was all new to me until you got to Marie Lake. Resupply


I was expecting the McGee Lakes area to be more well traveled than it was. Of course, the solitude was great!

SSSdave wrote:The other day I actually read your full website trip article but watched only a couple minutes of the video as that is about 45 minutes long. Have been to all the destinations you visited but not always via the same routes. At least vaguely recognized locales of most of the images.

As someone that also does this kind of thing, both of us are aware of how long and how much effort it takes to create web pages like yours. Some of my own web page trip articles with images are rather long. A decade or three from now you will greatly appreciate having taken time to do so as it will help recall much that would otherwise be lost. An issue is having to load single pages with lots of images may take a long time and depending on browser settings can disrupt just reading text sections. Your article has maybe a couple hundred jpg's all on the same one page. A strategy is to break up an article into multiple pages say on date boundaries that will then individually load quicker.

You covered a lot of miles and that always tends to cut down on the time one can experience what they are passing through and may miss a fair amount of worthwhile elements. There are places you went through that I've base camped at spending several fascinating days exploring. And now that you have ventured through numbers of these High Sierra places, no doubt some of those places you may in the future return to and spend more time at while others not.

Was rather puzzled why you seemed to have trouble catching trout in some of the places you visited where I know from experience they are abundant. The lures you mentioned as long as they were not gaudy should have had better luck. Next time bring a few small Kastmasters and a few #16 Adams dry flies with a clear float. You mentioned all the fish cooking gear you might have brought that you own and use in Michigan. Did you cook and eat the 3 fish you did catch?

What camera were you using? Did you use a tripod?

The read of your pain in the Goethe Cirque had me smiling. Was the most tedious and dangerous talus slog I ever went through too. Long ago before you were born as a young man, I passed on the east side of the lake and purposely took a route through what I'd heard were the most gigantic blocks that I though would be a fun challenge and worth some bragging about. But regretted that haha as it was rather humbling teaching me a lesson.

There is a good thread on HST about finding the correct route down Carol Col. This last week I did some summer 2017 trip planning for a 9-day group trip over Piute Pass into Humphreys Basin that I last visited in the 80s. Given there will be some fishermen along, We will spend 3 of the days base camping on the French Canyon Bench.

You were impressed with Granite Park. This summer of 2016 I did a 9-day trip into GP, then over Royce Pass, and then to L-Lake. I camped right at the top of Royce Pass in the big talus you had to pass by. Then your GP camp spot was right across the stream from where I camped at a couple days. That pond you captured a very nice image of Treasure Peak of is the same one on my report. Yours looks nicer with more rocks showing than when I worked it earlier in summer.

http://www.davidsenesac.com/2016_Trip_C ... 16-13.html

Lake side camp spots around Vee Lake are indeed rather exposed thus mediocre. But if one hunts about in the surrounding zone there are some superb little secrets. Amused all those brook trout still congregate where the little stream flows into Marie Lake. Quite a sight. I caught golden, rainbows, and brook all over 12 inches there one day.


Dave, you're absolutely right about looking back on these trips and wanting more details. In fact, that's why I created my site. I just wanted a way to document my hikes with the most info possible. And you are right that the page does take forever to load. I've been meaning to do exactly what you've suggested, and split up the reports into multiple pages. Someday I will buckle down and do that!

It's always a struggle for me when it comes time to plan these hikes. I tend to lean more towards covering a lot of ground vs lounging around in one area, only because I figure the more I move, the more I'll see. On a return trip to the same area, the places I'd really like to return to and spend more time would be Bear Basin and Granite Park. The places I wanted to see on his hike but couldn't fit into my route include Ionian Basin, Hungry Packer Lake and the rest of Sabrina Basin, and the Enchanted Gorge.

I'm a little surprised at the fishing myself. Others I spoke to along the trail didn't seem to be doing particularly well either. I was using the same lures that normally catch me fish, mepps #2 and rooster tails. I tried both flashy lures, black/gold (always works well for me), and some silver/gold colors. The fishing just seemed much slower than some of my other alpine fishing experiences, which are still pretty limited. Someday I hope to get into fly fishing a bit more. I do some fly fishing in the fall when the Salmon run here in Michigan, but usually end up just going back to the spinning reel.

It's nice to meet someone who can fully appreciate the Alpine Col traverse. Like you, I disregarded much of the advice to stay away from it and just did it anyway. But then I think, if the only time you regret doing something is when you're actually doing it, then it must be worth doing. Some of my most memorable hiking moments have been some of the toughest, yet they always stick with me.

I did hear about good fishing along that bench that French Lake sits on. I heard Puppet Lake has some good fishing, but instead of camping there I took the advice of a passing hiker to camp/fish at Elba Lake. I wish I would have tried my luck at Puppet. I also wish I had more time to just fish the lakes instead of fishing one of them at night when I was done hiking for the day. Oh well, another trip.

I was using a Sony Nex-7 camera. Almost all shots were by hand in auto mode. I do have a tripod that I made myself (4.7oz), but only used in in shots of myself or when I had more time to mess with it (after setting up camp usually). I used a GoPro Hero4 Black for the video.

Nice pictures on your site. It's cool to see the same subjects photographed by someone else, and see them in a different light. Granite Park sure is photogenic.

Cross Country wrote:Did you visit this lake?


Hmm, not sure if I did. What's the name of it?

toejam wrote:Thanks for the report. I also cut way back on my original plans through that area, but gave myself more time to enjoy it.

When I took the ferry across Florence Lake there was a delightful middle-aged woman who told great stories driving the boat. Too bad about the guy they had working this year. The old truck you saw is used to haul resupply buckets from the boat dock to MTR.


There were some sections that were a bit more challenging than I anticipated for sure. Do you have a link to a trip report/photos of your hike? If I remember right, you had a similar route planned. Did you do your hike after or before mine?
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Re: TR: 10 Day Solo Hike In Kings Canyon & John Muir Wildern

Postby Cross Country » Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:58 am

I always wanted to do my trips with someone. I sometimes went alone, not by choice. My trips were almost always cross country. When I went alone I encountered LOTS of solitude and never liked it. I can be alone pretty easily more than the vast majority of people but solitude always seemed really neurotic to like it.
I went those places alone because I had the time and didn't know anybody who could go at that time (I planned my trips around softball) so I went because I love the backcountry experience, but not the solitude. The backcountry is gorgeous and an exploring and an adventure experience. I love those things.
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Re: TR: 10 Day Solo Hike In Kings Canyon & John Muir Wildern

Postby MetalBackpacker » Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:10 am

Cross Country wrote:I always wanted to do my trips with someone. I sometimes went alone, not by choice. My trips were almost always cross country. When I went alone I encountered LOTS of solitude and never liked it. I can be alone pretty easily more than the vast majority of people but solitude always seemed really neurotic to like it.
I went those places alone because I had the time and didn't know anybody who could go at that time (I planned my trips around softball) so I went because I love the backcountry experience, but not the solitude. The backcountry is gorgeous and an exploring and an adventure experience. I love those things.


I know exactly what you mean! Where I live, there is nowhere to hike and thus none of my buddies are into it. They see where I've gone and want to do it themselves, but aren't willing to spend their vacation time hiking or just flat out aren't willing to put in the effort. So I end up going alone much of the time too. I would like to have some company on these hikes, but I don't mind being by myself either. The thing I don't like about hiking alone sometimes is that I don't have anyone to share my experience with afterwards that can appreciate it. On the other hand, when I do stuff like this on my own, it sure does have a way of building confidence... if I can do this, I can do anything if I just commit to doing it!
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