First SEKI trip

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Spencerc
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First SEKI trip

Post by Spencerc » Thu May 02, 2019 12:06 pm

Hi all, new east coaster here who will be making his way west for his first Sierra backpacking trip this summer. Most of my backpacking experience is in the whites in NH so true mountain passes and high elevation will be new for me.

Looking for some feedback on my current plan that my permits are for.

I’ll first be doing the northern half of the “big SEKI loop” going from roads end up copper creek to the JMT down to Rae lakes then out bubs creek back to the parking lot.

From there I’m going to drive down to mineral king, hike timber gap to little/ big five lakes then out over sawtooth pass.

What are people’s thoughts on this itinerary? I basically have from aug 9- mid day aug 18th before having to get back to SF for a red eye flight back to Boston. I also considered using the whole time to do the whole big SEKI loop coming back over Colby pass but lack of bail outs should I be behind schedule, carrying 10? Days worth of food and thinking my current itinerary lets me see more dissuaded me from that.








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maverick
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Re: First SEKI trip

Post by maverick » Thu May 02, 2019 1:08 pm

Hi Spencerc,

Welcome to HST! :)
Please read: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4205
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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, a HST member: http://reconn.org

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Re: First SEKI trip

Post by TurboHike » Thu May 02, 2019 1:20 pm

Spencerc,

It seems a bit aggressive, at least to me. The northern half of the big SEKI loop, from Road's End to the Bubbs creek trail, is about 72 miles. Then add about 10 miles to get back to Road's End via Bubbs creek trail, and you're looking at nearly 82 miles. Personally, at my age, I would treat that like an 8 or 9 day trip (I could do it in fewer days, but it would not be nearly as much fun!). If I had extra time near the end of the trip, I would explore Sixty Lakes Basin (near Rae Lakes) or Center Basin (not too far from Vidette Meadow). You could also hike up to East Lake on you way back to Road's End.

Mineral King is nice, but the SEKI Loop is outstanding, better in my humble opinion. I would do SEKI loop with side trips to fill the time.

Keep in mind there are huge elevation gains/losses over the trip you have planned. Your first day from Road's End is all uphill. Do not underestimate the need to acclimate. Stay hydrated.

It sounds like an awesome trip no matter what you decide!

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maverick
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Re: First SEKI trip

Post by maverick » Thu May 02, 2019 2:06 pm

Supplying the info requested in the link above will allow us to better gauge you experience and abilities. Also, you did not list a starting date, that could have a major impact on your trip due to the above average snow pack this year.

One thing you may consider is to do this trip in reverse, the Copper Creek Trail is probably one of the steepest and driest trails on the western side of the Sierra, with 10 days of food, and no acclimation time factored in, your trip could end sooner then expected (the drop down to Simpson with 8 days of food will be knee jarring too). Even with any additional info, your SEKI Loop Trip will require your 9 days, and even "if" you could finish it in 7 or 8 by rushing thru sections, my questions would be, why? There are plenty of side trips to keep you busy, for weeks, along the way.
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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, a HST member: http://reconn.org

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Spencerc
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Re: First SEKI trip

Post by Spencerc » Thu May 02, 2019 2:13 pm

Sorry maverick...
at level of backpacking experience do you have?

Level 3- Numerous backpacking trips, some x-country

What terrain are you comfortable/uncomfortable with?

- Class 2 terrain/pass/x-country
- Diver crossing can deal with especially with this years snow pack don’t think they’ll be avoidable to get to a lot?

What is your main interest?
- Lakes
- Big Mountain scenery

How many days/nights is your trip, not including travel to trailhead?
9.5 (will also be camping at elevation night before)

How many miles did you want to do a day, any layovers?
12-15 no layovers
Have you hiked at elevation before? Any prior issues with Altitude Sickness?
Once, no issues and will be getting diamox

Do you have a route logistics preference: loop, out and back, point to point (which may require 2 vehicles or hitchhiking)?

Loop or easy hitch

Have you hiked in the Sierra Nevada before, if yes, where? Please list a few of your more difficult hikes, so we can then recommend routes based on your experience level.

No, but used to elevation gains in the whites

Will you be hiking with a dog?

No

Turbo, I’m definitely aware of that first day being a ass kicker for sure. I guess my thinking was 72 miles in 6 days doesn’t sound too bad then drive to the mineral king part and do that section. Definitely trust local knowledge more though. I’m young and in decent shape as well. My start date is 8/9 so hoping to be in the clear snow pack wise and chose that date off snow pack. I had originally wanted to do the loop the opposite way but wasn’t able to get a bubs creek permit.

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Re: First SEKI trip

Post by rlown » Thu May 02, 2019 2:17 pm

Diamox is a band-aid IMO. One night at altitude will do you well before the hike.
If you don't have the time to do so, I would suggest you shorten your trip.
12-15 miles (for me) is a stretch, especially if the first day is all up.

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Spencerc
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Re: First SEKI trip

Post by Spencerc » Thu May 02, 2019 2:18 pm

Rlown I’ll be spending the night before at sentential campground to help acclimatize

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rlown
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Re: First SEKI trip

Post by rlown » Thu May 02, 2019 2:20 pm

Ok. I look forward to the TR!

I'll add this edit. If you've done the Whites, you could post a some TR's on those trips as well in the Beyond the Sierra topic area. We're hungry for TR's :)
Last edited by rlown on Thu May 02, 2019 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: First SEKI trip

Post by c9h13no3 » Thu May 02, 2019 2:38 pm

I second doing just the Big SEKI loop and taking your time. Plying miles of trail, without really going up into the alpine much, doesn't seem like my kind of trip. Walking right by Bench Lake seems especially criminal.

Rather than "picking a trail", try to pick destinations. Lake basins, mountains with great views, glaciers, redwood groves, waterfalls. That's what you're really there to see, not just a strip of dirt that you walk along. If you pick destinations along the SEKI loop trail, you'll easily occupy the extra days and have a better trip for it.
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maverick
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Re: First SEKI trip

Post by maverick » Thu May 02, 2019 3:02 pm

Areas of interest along the route, some are accessed by a class 2 pass, but well worth the side trip, others are on your route, or an easy side excursion or day trip, on a shorter mileage day. "D" difficult, will require more effort, crosscountry involved or steep trail, "L" less difficult, "E" on trail or near the trail.
Left off areas out of Granite Basin, since you will be recovering from your climb up Copper Creek. :)

Granite Lake: E
Simpson Meadow: E
Devils Washbowl: E
Deer Meadow: E
Cataract Creek, crosscountry (spur trail) to beautiful Amphitheater Lake Basin, well worth a night: D (4 mile RT from JMT)
Palisade Lakes: E
Upper Basin: E
Bench Lake: L (3.75 RT, camp on the eastern peninsula of Bench Lake)
Small Lakes south of Pinchot Pass: E
Arrowhead Lake: E
Rae Lake: E
Dragon Lake: E
Sixty Lakes Basin: D (4-4.5 RT from JMT)
Kearsarge Lakes: L (4.5 miles RT)
Vidette Meadow: O
East Lake: L (4.6 RT from Bubbs)
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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, a HST member: http://reconn.org

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