An Intro and a question or two

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An Intro and a question or two

Post by Slack packer » Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:58 pm

Hello one and all.

I’m writing this as both an introduction and to ask a question on a particular trail. I’ve been lurking here for several years under a different user name (which I am willing to abandon but don’t know how) for the information that is shared and to go on a virtual hike when I’m at work thousand of miles from the Sierras.

I’m not sure exactly when I became aware of this forum, but I had read every word of sekihikers trip reports multiple times over, (thanks Bill) when I couldn’t get away. I was thirsty for more so I found Alan Dixon, Andrew Skurka, Piero Scaruffi and Wired’s web pages that led me to others. Maybe it was dreaming of climbing Milestone Mountain. I lurked at summitpost . Anyway here I am. Thank you all for the time and love you spread here.

My first trip in the Sierras was supposed to be an early-ish season loop from Tuolumne Meadows to Little Yosemite Valley via the JMT and back up over Vogelsang to TM. After several days, some blisters and a walk over Clouds Rest, bears got all our food at the camps about two miles above LYV. This was before canisters. We chased them away more times than I can remember. At least one time too few apparently. We hiked to LYV, setup camp and then to the valley floor and back with stuff sacks of new food. The only thing not almost completely consumed was one Earl Grey teabag. My grey plastic REI mug got some neat claw or teeth impressions.

The the pickings at the store down in the valley were surprisingly sparse but we got enough. It was so much improved the last time I was there. And the hike up the mist trail without a pack was very enjoyable.

We climbed Half Dome the next day. We then decided to go up the sunrise creek section of the JMT which we’d missed by going over Clouds Rest. I was mildly disappointed to miss the Bunnell Cascade raging. We camped in a campground near the still closed Sunrise High Sierra Camp. Another night was spent at upper Cathedral Lake and then we were out.

Then it was the clockwise Rae Lakes Loop; we saw next to no one until Charlotte Lake. Roads end to Mineral King via Forester, the upper Kern River and over Franklin Pass just after memorial day was epic for the snowy passes and the solitude. I think we were the third group over Forester that season; the others being the first thru hikers..We decided Rattlesnake Creek should be called Mosquito Creek instead. A bunch of other cool trips were undertaken.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve been becoming a Slackpacker. I don’t want to drag my bag more than 10 miles; probably less if way off trail I want some fishing time. I want a day hiking day. I want a zero day option. We only get one trip some years so we go out for 10 or 12 days. My current most frequent hiking buddy has pushed for late season so we’ve been going late August for the last few excursions. Our most important rule is: If someone(s) is not having a good time we adjust the plan until we are; no recriminations or sour grapes.

This years trip looms. The plan is an out and back from Marvin Pass to Colby Lake or Gallats
Lake, Picket Creek, Kaweah Basin if feeling it. A sliver of the circle of solitude. I might get my chance to climb Milestone.

Here is my question. On some maps, including the brochure they hand you at Seki for example (not for hiking they say), there is a trail over Kanawyer Gap to Comanche Meadow. On other maps the trail terminates at the gap after passing the Mitchell Peak trail which I totally want to hike up for the view of the Divide. Anyone been on this route? Would it be suitable for mostly trail, but some off trail experience, kind of guys? I think I’d get heat if it was miles of talus.

I’ve heard that the trail from Rowell Meadow to Comanche is a dirty roller coaster of a pack trail. I’ve seen at least one recommendation to use the Belle Canyon trail instead as it’s nicer if slightly longer. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.



ps. Thanks to Greg for helping me with activation isssues. As i said, I’d be willing to abandon my first account. Administrators let’s talk.

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Re: An Intro and a question or two

Post by maverick » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:27 pm

Hi Slackpacker,

Welcome to HST!
The "search feature" at the top of the page is your friend, use it to access the treasure trove of information HST contains. :nod: ... nawyer+gap
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, an HST member:

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Re: An Intro and a question or two

Post by wildhiker » Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:58 pm

I did a trip in that area last year starting from Rowell Meadow, over to Comanche Meadow, on to Roaring River ranger station and then up Deadman Canyon - return the same way except for a detour to Seville Lake.

I thought the trail from Rowell Mdw directly to Comanche Meadow was just fine and even had a few filtered views of the high peaks. By the way, the best campsite between Rowell Meadow and Roaring River, in my opinion, is at Sugarloaf Meadow on the west side of the Sugarloaf. You will encounter a sign on the main trail as you approach Sugarloaf from the west that says "bear box". Follow it to a large camping area at the base of this beautiful meadow. You can also easily walk up on the shoulder of Sugarloaf to get some views.

The ranger (Cindy) at Roaring River told me that there is a good trail from Marvin Pass through the Williams Meadow area that is used a lot by packers - I presume this is the one over Kanawyer Gap. It is even signed at the Comanche Meadow junction.


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Re: An Intro and a question or two

Post by AlmostThere » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:51 am

My experience in Belle Canyon, Rowell, etc came after a fire that turned Belle into an exposed sun-baked and dusty experience. If I ever go out that way again, I intend to take lightweight gaiters to keep filth out of my socks, and hike in the morning and evening, having a siesta in the shade during the hottest part of the day. I prefer to enjoy hiking to a death march slog in the hot sun.

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Re: An Intro and a question or two

Post by creekfeet » Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:26 pm

There is most definitely a trail from Kanawyer Gap to Comanche Meadow, and it's in good condition. None of the trails leading out to the Roaring River station are very aesthetically pleasing, and they're all dusty, heavily-forested packer routes. However, they do offer very easy access to pretty remote areas, and are just about the only trails I can think of in the Sierra where you spend the first day of a trip primarily heading downhill. If you do head all the way up to Kaweah Basin, it might make more sense to do a loop than an out and back. You have to cross endless talus to get out of the basin and over Pyra Queen Col, but it's not a technically challenging pass. From there you could drop down to Nine Lakes Basin, hit the HST, and ultimately loop back via Deadman Canyon. Just a thought.

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Re: An Intro and a question or two

Post by sekihiker » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:07 pm

Slack packer wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:58 pm
I’m not sure exactly when I became aware of this forum, but I had read every word of sekihikers trip reports multiple times over, (thanks Bill) when I couldn’t get away.
You're welcome. It is my pleasure to share them.

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