George Creek today | High Sierra Topix  

George Creek today

Discussion related to Sierra Nevada current and forecast conditions, as well as general precautions and safety information. Trail conditions, fire/smoke reports, mosquito reports, weather and snow conditions, stream crossing information, and more.
User avatar

George Creek today

Postby jenreyn » Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:40 pm

Went for a hike up George Creek today. Turned around about half a mile from the turn off for Carl Heller. Use trail is in good condition and saw signs of bear higher up. Pretty country up there. Here's a pic of near our turnaround point for conditions as of 4/4/15
Attachments
11008578_10206350540071478_8565581998008758654_o.jpg



User avatar
jenreyn
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:37 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: George Creek today

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun Apr 05, 2015 7:35 pm

I have only been up George Creek in May in high snow years. I cannot believe how dry it is now. How was the flow in George Creek? Were crossings any problem? Have you ever been over Vacation Pass? I am considering doing that this summer. Any information is appreciated.

Thanks for the photo of current conditions.
User avatar
Wandering Daisy
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 2610
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:19 pm
Location: Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento area)
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: George Creek today

Postby jenreyn » Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:28 am

Hey Wandering Daisy,

It is quite dry right now on the Eastside, the driest I've ever seen in the 20 years I've been here full time. George Creek is fine( a small stream at this time) and the crossings are nothing to even worry about. I had never been up there, just to the TH once and recalled the live oaks which are unique in the Eastern Sierra. I have only heard the tales of "classic bushwhack" and snow jungle from others in regards to George Creek. I went up the other day with a girlfriend to check it out as I want to go climb Carl Heller sometime. However, I'd like to approach it from Vacation Pass from the west and climb back to camp if I was to do that. The use trail is actually not that bad along the creek. Its there.....in the beginning you just need to stay on the north side of the creek for 100yds and then the use trail reveals itself. It looked like no one had been up there recently except for the tracks heading up and right on the sand hill. We could make out the trail from noting the padded out areas and some cairns along the way. I also could see old trail and rock work in places before the old trail vanished under decomposed granite. If you have a somewhat light set up which I know you do you shouldn't have any problems negotiating the use trail nor making good time up the canyon. When we got to the upper area where the canopy disappeared we were on the South side of the creek entirely and there is a good use trail 100yds above the creek in the sage/white thorn. I thought it was funny after reading the different trip reports of the heinous approach, how some folks head up the sand hill from the car to avoid the creek section. I think that the creek section provides a nice cool environment, and its beautiful before you get out in the open up higher. We got within the half mile before you turn towards Vacation Pass/Carl Heller drainage. I was doing some research on Vacation Pass earlier this year and it looks fine from the East, just a bit steeper on the Westside but is negotiable from the Wallace lake basin. Also, Foothill Rd has been repaired from the flash floods we had a couple years ago. We took the way from Manzanar to get to the TH in case Foothill was still not repaired, on the way out tried for Foothill Rd and it goes through now.
User avatar
jenreyn
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:37 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: George Creek today

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Apr 08, 2015 9:25 am

Another question. Have you ever been to Williamson Bowl via Lake Helen of Troy, from George Creek? I have been in that upper basin of George Creek to climb the south face of Williamson, but not over the pass to Lake Helen of Troy. Hard to tell about the pass, since when I was there it was totally snow covered and the Lake Helen of Troy side looks to be the steeper. Is it a reasonable route to backpack?

I have been looking at going in George Creek to the Keweah Basin meet-up. It is about 24 miles - perhaps one of the shortest routes, but not easy. Rather than returning via Vacation Pass, I was thinking of going to Shepherd Pass and then down to Williamson Bowl to get back to George Creek, to avoid walking the road from Shepherd Pass TH to George Creek TH. I have been up and down George Creek several times so have that part figured out. From your trip report, it looks like the "use-trail" is better worn now than when I was last there several years ago.
User avatar
Wandering Daisy
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 2610
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:19 pm
Location: Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento area)
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: George Creek today

Postby jenreyn » Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:29 pm

Wandering Daisy,

From what I've been told, the Lake Helen of Troy is not an easy lake to walk around....but anything is backpackable. Looking at google earth and the maps, it seems that if you gain the saddle between Barnard and Trojan Peak, its a sandy slog back down into George Creek drainage. In other words, if you were going to head back down George Creek, instead of dropping down the first drainage after hiking up from Helen of Troy , it would be on your left, following down the bowl more to the right, below Barnard instead, looks better. As stated above, I hear there is a lot of talus hopping around Helen of Troy. Another idea would be to leave a bike stashed at Shepherds if you were to come back down that way so you could bike to your car at George Creek.

I'm somewhat interested in going to the meet up even though I am not really a regular here. Just to see that area as I haven't been in the Kaweahs.

I think your approach would be beautiful and direct as well, aligning with the trail to Wallace Creek to Junction Meadow. Just some effort in the beginning going over Vacation Pass.
User avatar
jenreyn
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:37 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: George Creek today

Postby Jimr » Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:35 pm

You don't need to be a regular. You are welcome to meet-up with us.
What?!
User avatar
Jimr
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1145
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:14 pm
Location: Redondo Beach
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: George Creek today

Postby maverick » Wed Apr 08, 2015 6:15 pm

Jenreyn wrote:

I'm somewhat interested in going to the meet up even though I am not really a regular here. Just to see that
area as I haven't been in the Kaweahs.


As Jim wrote, all HST members are welcome to the Meet-up! :)
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
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8050
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: George Creek today

Postby Hobbes » Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:07 am

Vacation pass looked like a wall from Wallace last year. I guess technically it's a pass but maybe used as a low point to climb peaks from the George TH. Coming down looks like the gnar; 'll see if I have any photos.
User avatar
Hobbes
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 680
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:09 am
Location: The OC
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: George Creek today

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:51 am

I looked at some old photos of Wallace Lake and Google Earth. Yes, the west side of Vacation Pass looks hard. Secor's description in his guide is not very helpful, except stating it is class 2-3. Probably not a good route with a pack. Maybe OK going out with light pack. I recall reading something in the past about the east side, although steep, not too bad. Probably was on a climber.org trip report and probably with respect to a day-trip climb, not backpacking. You could possibly climb up to Barnard from George Creek and drop down to Wallace Lake, but this defeats the purpose of a direct-shot to the west side. I may still consider Vacation Pass if I get some positive feedback, but it does not seem likely.

I had planned a trip to George Creek this year and was just hoping I could combine it with the meet-up. The east ridge of Carl Heller is still on my wish list of climbs I would like to do. Looks like two separate trips is a better plan.
User avatar
Wandering Daisy
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 2610
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:19 pm
Location: Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento area)
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: George Creek today

Postby Hobbes » Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:52 am

Ok, finally got back into town and had a chance to look through my photo archives. Here's a picture of Vacation pass taken from the southwest side of Wallace lake at last year's meet-up in late July:

Image

I had to double-triple check with both Gmap & Google Earth to confirm the location of the "pass" - it's the lowest point north of the peak in the center of the photo. The flat shoulder to the far left is not the pass - if you look on Earth, it's a straight wall up from the E side to that point.

As for getting down from the "pass", the photo looks like you can contour to the south to go around the mastiff towards Tulainyo, but Earth makes it look like a very gnarly cliff. In fact, Earth shows the only real way down is straight down. How that is achieved I don't know. Vacation pass might be one of the those places where Secor got some second-thirdhand sandbagged info and included it in his book.

If you did want to go over the E ridge to Wallace, and then down to the Kern, Russell-Carillon seems to be relatively more common. Of course, you'd have to play the walk-in game to grab a permit for the Moutaineer's route from Portal. It's around a $90 shuttle ride from Portal to Onion/Shepherd, so you'd have your entry-exit situation settled. Alternatively, Jim & I are planning on exiting Shepherd Sat (after the Thurs-Fri meet-up), so if we saw you, we could drop you in LP - the ride back up to Portal has to be the quickest hitch in the Sierra.

PS One trip you might enjoy, and would be the easiest from a logistics standpoint, would be to go up Shepherd, cross over Rockwell, go down WLB, and then down Wallace creek to the Kern, meet-up, head up the Kern to Milestone/Kern basin(s), traverse across Tyndall, and then back down Shepherd. Jim & I are going to head out Friday am (after the Thurs meet-up) to the Kern basin, spend the night @ '3 Bay lake', and then book it the entire way back to our cars on Saturday.
User avatar
Hobbes
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 680
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:09 am
Location: The OC
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: George Creek today

Postby tomba » Sun Apr 12, 2015 4:26 pm

The recommended Vacation Pass route actually seems to be the "flat shoulder".
Click on this map link and click on the yellow pin. Also look at HST map and Secor's description. E side seems OK.
See the photo below (click to enlarge):
DSC07209-DSC07213-vacation-pass-small.jpeg
-- Found trash? Please pack it out. Thank you.
User avatar
tomba
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 240
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:50 pm
Location: Bay Area
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: George Creek today

Postby tomba » Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:22 pm

See a sort of 3D view of Vacation Pass at http://sierraroutes.bitbucket.org/vacation-pass/
Look at the peeks mid-right. Speed up the animation (click "Faster" 5 times) for a stronger 3D effect. Change the alignment of images to keep a different area nearly static. For example, click "Left" 15 times to focus on closer areas.
It doesn't look that good because I wasn't planning on making a 3D view.
-- Found trash? Please pack it out. Thank you.
User avatar
tomba
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 240
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:50 pm
Location: Bay Area
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Next

Return to Conditions Reports and Information



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests