Maverick's 2015 Annual HST Meet-Up 7/22-7/24/15 | High Sierra Topix  

Maverick's 2015 Annual HST Meet-Up 7/22-7/24/15

A forum to initiate member meet-up. Looking for a hiking/climbing/fishing/skiing/etc. partner, or are you planning a trip where you wouldn't mind having some company? Last minute invites can be just as fun as a well-planned group trip (sometimes even better) so don't be shy! And be sure to post a trip report to the appropriate forum when you get back.
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Re: Maverick's 2015 Annual HST Meet-Up 7/22-7/24/15

Postby KathyW » Mon Dec 08, 2014 9:44 pm

I see the Shepherd Pass Trail mapped going all the way down to the Kern River on some maps (Route 2 on the Map). I may try going down that way - satellite images show the trail is mostly still there.

http://kathywing.smugmug.com/Other2/Oth ... hxF4bPb/X2

I guess the water level in the Kern might be an issue. If we get a good amount of snow this winter, crossing creeks/rivers might still be an difficult in July. I guess I'll have to wait and see if coming in this way and crossing the Kern is an option as we get closer. I might wait to explore this area when I can do it in August or early September.
Last edited by KathyW on Wed Dec 10, 2014 7:43 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: Maverick's 2015 Annual HST Meet-Up 7/22-7/24/15

Postby Hobbes » Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:47 am

KathyW wrote:I see the Shepherd Pass Trail mapped going all the way down to the Kern River on some maps (Route 2 on the Map). I may try going down that way - satellite images show the trail is mostly still there.


Kathy, funny that you mention this trail - I was considering using it myself on the way out. (It looks like Jim and I are going to hike up the Kern river from Volcano falls in the Golden trout wilderness.)

I asked Tom K about it - he's been up/down Shepherd to get to the Milestone/Kaweah region countless times. Here's his response from yesterday:

The trail up Tyndall Creek past the Tyndall Creek RS is a beauty, and not often done. The rangers consider it their own little private trail, and don't like regular hikers using it. To that end, they have obliterated a couple hundred yards or so of the trail down in the canyon before it intersects the Kern Canyon trail, and the same up near the RS. I came down it back in the mid 2000's, and had trouble picking it up near the RS. I ended up hiking down stream on the south side of Tyndall Creek for about a mile, before giving up and fording Tyndall Creek. And there it was, a few yards up from the north bank of the creek.

From there it was a delightful hike down to where it drops precipitously down to the floor of Kern Canyon. The upper 200 or so feet vertical is really steep and loose, the rest is just rocky footing much of the way. The trail does not follow Tyndall Creek closely once it starts dropping down into the canyon, as it detours north around a buttress and then switchbacks westerly down to the Kern Canyon floor, before heading due west toward the KC trail. As I said, it peters out before reaching the trail.

Coming up from Junction meadow, you will want to hike a maximum of about 1/2 mile north of the Tyndall Creek crossing, then head east off the trail until you get near the canyon wall. At that point, head north again until you pick up the trail. Otherwise, you will almost certainly miss the Tyndall Creek trail. I have been down the canyon en route to Kaweah Basin as late as 2011 and looked for the turnoff, but was unable to find any trace, which is why I have given you the above information.


My reply was that I'll probably just follow the main trail up to Milestone, then cut over to the PCT. It's around 2-3 miles longer, but I definitely do not want to be pecking around trying to find a trail in a steep loose section when I'm trying t make time hiking out.
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Re: Maverick's 2015 Annual HST Meet-Up 7/22-7/24/15

Postby SSSdave » Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:44 am

Nice heads up Hobbes. On my way out of my Wrights Creek base camping on day 5, I'm actually planning on vectoring off the trail just east of the ranger building at 3320 meters then heading west to cross Tyndall Creek and then will wander up the other side of the canyon wall into what I call the ignored Foxtail Meadows Creek hills. Down along the river, anyone map savvy ought not have an issue if they are used to doing this kind of thing. But I do understand why it is otherwise tricky because there are a lot of big shady pines along the river that block views up towards canyon walls. Once just a bit away from the river trees become more scattered on the brush dominated steep canyon walls of the trench.

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=36.61046,-118.41337&z=15&t=T

On the topo tab, the hidden trail shows on the map as a broken line 1.1 miles north of the Tyndall Creek crossing but as noted has been camoflaged to not be easily seen. Put the map center crosshairs where the old trail crosses 2980 meters at a bend. Switch to the satellite tab and hit the + zoom control 3 times. That will bring the trail into obvious view. Move the view down to the river and notice how the river trail is visible just a bit south of the junction in a narrow open section. A bit south of that stretch is an open view to the east canyon wall from this crosshairs point:

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=36.61458,-118.42084&z=15&t=T

(Note the topo tab which will automatically zoom out 3 times) Switch back to the satellite tab and zoom back in 3x. One ought to be able to see the buttress and the ravine the trail goes through above. Thus at that point one can prepare to wander off the trail just a bit north where the river trail goes into forest.

I'd bet the main trail has been rerouted to be close to the river. I did look at the ravine area on Google Earth and that shows the trail on the topo different from the satellite view. As though the actual trail crosses the over to south of the ravine higher up. The sketchy terrain has likely been eroded during big thunderstorms to the point it is no longer a horse trail thus is probably why they discourage use.
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Re: Maverick's 2015 Annual HST Meet-Up 7/22-7/24/15

Postby Hobbes » Wed Dec 10, 2014 3:35 pm

Nice detailed instructions. After browsing around following your links, my next big issue would be the point where the trail disappears to the north-east above the switchbacks. To make matters worse, that section looks totally sketch-ville from the satellite view.

It almost looks like a repeat of the Shepherd wash-out, with the exception that the Shepherd trail probably gets 10-20 hikers per day who are both forging a new use trail, and are around if something happened. That Tyndall section looks like bad news all around - it could be ok if you had time to explore, but not if you're trying to make time coming or going.

Besides, that's just what I need on my way out, where I need to hike approx 22 (6.1+3.0+3.4+9.5) miles from Junction to the Shepherd TH @ Symmes creek. If I use your 10.5 for Shepherd, I'm at 23, not counting the 3.5 miles - and dropping 2.5k - from the meet-up lake.

So, with around 26-27 (hard) miles, it looks like I will be stopping @ Anvil. Tom K said he'd be pretty impressed if I could hike out in 1 day from Kaweah basin - the guy likes to sandbag the sh!t out of me. LOL
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Re: Maverick's 2015 Annual HST Meet-Up 7/22-7/24/15

Postby Hobbes » Thu Dec 11, 2014 3:55 pm

Dave, you'll be happy to know that I'm wrong and you're right about the length of the Shepherd pass trail distance. Here's what Tom K has to say about it:

I use the 11 mile figure given on Harrison's map, because it approximates my own time and energy derived estimate. The 9.5 figure is a lot closer to what the trail used to be before they went in and re-engineered it to make it easier for stock. Those long, loopy switchbacks on both sides of the Symmes/Shepherd Creek divide really add some distance to the trail. If you pay attention, you can still see traces of the old short, steep, and to the point switchbacks on the Symmes Creek side up near the divide. I loved 'em. So, that adds up to 14.4 miles from the PCT to TH (vs my 12.9).

If it's not too much to ask, can you take a look at my breakdown and add any edits to the major sections I've identified? Since you've gone through the trouble of carefully analyzing the entire trail, I'm guessing you already have mileage estimates for these waypoints. TIA

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub ... utput=html
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Re: Maverick's 2015 Annual HST Meet-Up 7/22-7/24/15

Postby Hobbes » Thu Dec 11, 2014 7:46 pm

Sandbagger:

It's not so much that Tyndall is obscure, once you know that you have to parallel the Kern trail to intersect it, but if your main objective at that point in the trip is to get back to Shepherd TH ASAP, you're probably better off boogying on up the Kern trail to Milestone and returning the standard way.

Going up the Tyndall Creek trail would be considerably harder than coming down it, and you'd still have a long way to go once you hit the PCT. (Kathy W) Maybe better to save it for a trip when you're coming in over Shepherd.

I'd highly recommend doing it at least once, as it's a delightful hike on a seldom used trail. While I'm thinking in this mode, you really ought to bushwhack down Whitney Creek into Kern Canyon someday. That is a real off trail experience to be savored. You get bonus points for style if you do it en route to Kaweah.


Understand this is a guy who was seeded in marathons & ultras in his 40s; he's now 74. I'm still working on him to attend the 2015 meet-up, but it was an iffy proposition from the start. In fact, I felt it was sensitive enough suggesting his 'private' area of the Sierra for the 2015 meetup venue, that I alerted Mav & Oleander that he was on the way up Shepherd when they were descending after the 2014 meet-up, and that perhaps they should say "hi".

Now that he knows that 5, 7, maybe even 10 people are expected to attend, I don't think he's going to make an appearance. Still, there's a wealth of experience to tap - he's even got a HST handle, but I guess there's something going on with his login status.
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Re: Maverick's 2015 Annual HST Meet-Up 7/22-7/24/15

Postby richlong8 » Thu Dec 11, 2014 7:58 pm

If we have a wet year(I am hoping), I wonder how difficult the ford of the Kern will be for those approaching the Colby trail from the east.
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Re: Maverick's 2015 Annual HST Meet-Up 7/22-7/24/15

Postby maverick » Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:19 pm

Rich wrote:
If we have a wet year(I am hoping), I wonder how difficult the ford of the Kern will be
for those approaching the Colby trail from the east.


Even if we have a wet Winter, by the end of July the ford will not be dangerous Rich.
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Re: Maverick's 2015 Annual HST Meet-Up 7/22-7/24/15

Postby calipidder » Sun Dec 14, 2014 5:52 pm

I've not been around too much lately so I'm just finding this thread today. I'm still putting together next summer's plans and already have a week in Ionian basin planned sometime in August. But I'll probably be skipping a trip that I usually do earlier in the year so I *should* have the extra time off to do another week out. I'll take a look at my calendar and try to make this work. I'd really like to get back in this area - likely would be coming in via the west side since I'm coming from the Bay area, I'll take a deeper look at the options mentioned in this thread, maybe meet up with the bay area folks on the way in.
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Re: Maverick's 2015 Annual HST Meet-Up 7/22-7/24/15

Postby maverick » Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:00 pm

Calipidder wrote:
I'd really like to get back in this area - likely would be coming in via the west side
since I'm coming from the Bay area, I'll take a deeper look at the options mentioned
in this thread, maybe meet up with the bay area folks on the way in.


Their are a few of us, myself included, going from the Bay Area, let us know your plans
once they have solidified.
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Re: Maverick's 2015 Annual HST Meet-Up 7/22-7/24/15

Postby SSSdave » Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:17 pm

Image

Looking at the trail southwest down Tyndall Creek canyon from Shepherd Pass notice some obvious USGS trail alignment mistakes. See map pic. (Note this is a small part of an enhanced map I've made of the whole Upper Kern Basin.)

East of Tyndall Creek at 3400+ meters after passing over a small stream draining a marsh the map trail shows going around on the west side of a forested area which later reaches a junction swith the PCT at 3360 meters. Google Earth clearly shows there has never been a trail as shown but rather the trail goes per my red arrow into the forest. Just right, east, of that arrow is where I had drawn a yellow line for my cross country route to the Tawny Lakes. Had done so because did not want top drop 150 feet or so to the PCT only to climb back up for no reason. Cannot see the trail at all on GE in the forested area. Suspect the actual trail does not lose altitude so ends up at the south end of the Tawny Lakes bench anyway? Maybe one of you can recall that section?

Am splitting the 6.4k effort over Shepherd into 2 each slow and easy 3.2k days so on the second day am likely to make camp late pm near Tawny lake 4 which would be about an 8 mile day. Possible reasonable shot at dusk from those little lakes over the GWD which would be up only about 8 degrees. Next morning day 3 dawn hiking by sunrise would be in the Wrights Cr basin early where will base camp a couple days.

Image

On day 8 will be on way out after 3 days base camping about the Upper Kern Basin. South of lake 3470 instead of taking trail that joins PCT along Tyndall Creek southward obvious better route is where my 14 mile marker shows, to vector along my yellow line due east cross country for a half mile that regains the trail at about 3430 meters on way towards Shepherd Pass. GE doesn't show any use paths along that route but in such flat terrain using the trail would be non-sense. GE pic shows view due west from the X mark so route finding as easy as it ever gets.
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Re: Maverick's 2015 Annual HST Meet-Up 7/22-7/24/15

Postby Hobbes » Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:31 am

That whole Tyndall plateau area is pure line of sight x-c. Once you come over Shepherd, you can basically walk in a straight line to wherever you want to go. It's not until you drop down to around 10.5k (ie the PCT/Shepherd/LSA junction) that both trees & terrain begin to play a part in route decisions.

I noted above that I think the area is starkly beautiful. It sits in the rain shadow of the Great western divide, so it's almost like a high desert. Here's a view (taken from the PCT below Forester early last June on my Onion-Portal fast pack) of the plateau looking past the 'marshes' identified on your map towards Rockwell:

Image
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