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Panther Gap, Sequoia in December

Discussion about winter adventure sports in the Sierra Nevada mountains including but not limited to; winter backpacking and camping, mountaineering, downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, etc.
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Panther Gap, Sequoia in December

Postby hjldennis » Thu Dec 03, 2015 8:58 pm

Hello,

Just wondering if anyone can tell me how the snow and hiking conditiin would be to Panther Gap in a couple of weeks, mid to late Dec. Snowshoes necessary? I remember the last section up to Panther Gap was pretty steep. We're thinking about one or two overnighters.

We are also looking into other areas where we can have campfire that's about 2-3 miles in. Backpacking with 2 kids and last year had a great time out of Badger area.

Thank you!
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Re: Panther Gap, Sequoia in December

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:34 pm

Snowshoes - we've had snowshoe trips out there already.

You cannot build campfires in winter in Yosemite. Sequoia NP may not have that restriction, but everything will be damp and the down and dead wood you will need to access (it is never legal to cut standing trees in the parks) will be buried under the snow. There's usually a minimum distance from the trailhead before you can legally camp - can't think of a place in the national parks where 2-3 miles in is even legal. The first legal place to camp on the way to Panther Gap is Panther Gap.

National forest areas/wildernesses it's more probable that trailhead distance limitations are nonexistent.
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Re: Panther Gap, Sequoia in December

Postby maverick » Fri Dec 04, 2015 3:09 pm

Sequoia NP may not have that restriction, but everything will be damp and the down and dead wood you will need to access (it is never legal to cut standing trees in the parks) will be buried under the snow.



SEKI NPS:

CAMPFIRE RESTRICTIONS

Note that during times of high fire danger, addtional campfire restrictions may be implemented. Campfire restrictions also apply to the use of wood-burning camp stoves (e.g. Biolite or "Zip stoves").

In Kings Canyon National Park campfires are not allowed above 10,000 feet. In addition, fires are prohibited in Granite Basin and Redwood Canyon.

In Sequoia National Park west of the Great Western Divide campfires are not allowed above 9,000 feet. East of the Great Western Divide fires are not allowed above 10,000 feet. In addition fires are prohibited at Pinto Lake, Summit Lake Basin, Hamilton Lakes Basin, the Dillonwood area, and the Mineral King Valley above the ranger station.

Where campfires are allowed, use existing fire rings. Do not build new ones or add rocks to existing fire rings.

Use only dead or down wood found on the ground. Don not chop live vegetation or remove dead branches from standing trees.

Fires must be attended at all times.

Do not burn trash.(this includes plastic and foil).

Put out fires with water 1/2 hour before leaving your campsite and stir the ashes.
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
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Re: Panther Gap, Sequoia in December

Postby hjldennis » Sat Dec 05, 2015 12:39 pm

Yes, campfire would be difficult, but it's more of a project for kids (with my help), rather than a necessity..

Any idea of current snow depth in the area?

Thanks
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Re: Panther Gap, Sequoia in December

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Dec 06, 2015 7:31 pm

Panther Gap is a pretty strenuous snowshoe for adults, let alone kids...

It will be snowing again on Thursday, Friday, Sunday and Monday - may add another foot or so to the couple of feet already there. The route is mostly forested and shaded, and the elevation gain is 1200 over four miles.
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Re: Panther Gap, Sequoia in December

Postby iHartMK » Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:17 am

Just do it!
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Re: Panther Gap, Sequoia in December

Postby hjldennis » Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:32 am

AlmostThere wrote:Panther Gap is a pretty strenuous snowshoe for adults, let alone kids...

It will be snowing again on Thursday, Friday, Sunday and Monday - may add another foot or so to the couple of feet already there. The route is mostly forested and shaded, and the elevation gain is 1200 over four miles.


Yes, we've hiked Alta Peak and lakes trail a few times, and vaguely remember the section to be steep. It might be really tough for everyone. I was hoping that the late snow and warm weather would've kept the accumulation low, possibly go without snowshoes.

I actually talked to a ranger yesterday, and he said there is only patches at this time up to Panther Gap. He did say that they are expecting more snow this weekend. Not sure if he had correct info?

I think we can do it (kids handled Whitney pretty well last summer), but I want to make it a fun trip, not too strenuous. The snow and temperature will make things plenty challenging... so if there is 2 ft of snow on a steep climb, I think we'll pass.

Which leads to another question... any suggestions for 2-3 miles where we can try campfire and have a nice view? Not too far from LA. Thanks
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Re: Panther Gap, Sequoia in December

Postby balance » Fri Dec 11, 2015 9:40 pm

San Gorgonio.
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Re: Panther Gap, Sequoia in December

Postby hjldennis » Sun Dec 13, 2015 11:09 am

So close to home! Yes I will check into that. Thanks
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Re: Panther Gap, Sequoia in December

Postby DMQ » Sun Dec 13, 2015 1:53 pm

Not the best views if you're looking for grand vistas, but the Ladybug trail up the South Fork Kaweah in SNP is a nice winter camping option with no snow, and camping spaced out if you feel like hiking more or less distance.
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Re: Panther Gap, Sequoia in December

Postby hjldennis » Sun Dec 13, 2015 3:26 pm

DMQ wrote:Not the best views if you're looking for grand vistas, but the Ladybug trail up the South Fork Kaweah in SNP is a nice winter camping option with no snow, and camping spaced out if you feel like hiking more or less distance.

Thank you for your suggestion, but we want to be on snow, just trying to avoid steep climb over fresh snow on snowshoes.

Thank you for moving this thread to the right place. Actually now I see that the thread before this talks about similar topic. If campfire option is out, we might try little lakes valley. I am guessing it would be colder up there though.. but then, it add another twist into things - ams. My daughter was vomitting on the first day there during the summer...
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Re: Panther Gap, Sequoia in December

Postby Hillbasher » Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:10 pm

Just got back from an overnight(Sat. Dec.12) snowshoe trip out of Lodgepole up towards Mt Silliman. There was enough snow on the ground that everything was covered, but deepest was 12 to 18 inches I would say. Only thing is it was snowing quite hard when we got back to the car, so depths may have changed a bit. Young kids up to Panther Gap might be pushing it under current conditions. YMMV.
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