Corral Mountain 9-11 August 2020

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sekihiker
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Corral Mountain 9-11 August 2020

Post by sekihiker » Sat Aug 15, 2020 9:48 am

Here is a report for a recent hike to Corral Mountain in the John Muir Wilderness.

Corral Mountain 9-11 August 2020

Recovering from a hip replacement done on June 5, my wife told me it was time to get off my lazy butt and hit the trail or I wouldn't get in any hiking at all this year. My daughter, Jane, got wind of the trip and talked her way into going along.
The purpose of the hike was to try to find Lewisia leeana on Corral Mountain near Courtright Reservoir. Our destination was Long Meadow, just a few miles from the Maxson Trailhead. I had never stayed there, but I had seen many parties camping there when passing through the meadow while going to and from the Red Mountain Basin. Our pace was slow. I had not been walking enough since surgery to develop strength and endurance. We reached first water in Long Meadow and I was whipped. I told Jane to find us a camp spot and within less than five minutes she had found one with a fire ring, a great rock kitchen table, and several nice flat spots to choose from for our tents.
After a leisurely breakfast, we packed our knapsacks with emergency gear, water, and lunch and headed toward the base of Corral Mountain. The cross country route up the mountain was slowed by numerous deadfalls, dead branches, and thickets of stunted trees. Finally, as the grade of the slope increased and the forest thinned, we saw our first Lewisia leeana.

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It and all subsequent plants were pitiful in this pitifully dry year. Some had dried stems but others looked like they had never bloomed. Nonetheless, some of the quill-shaped leaves of L leeana had been cropped off. Animals have been desperate, too.

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It inspired me to taste one myself. They shouldn't be called bitteroot. They are bitterplant. Of course, Jane made me taste the root, too. I'll never have to do those taste tests again. We walked toward the summit until the views opened up and Jane could see the surrounding country.

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We made a few more botany observations for iNaturalist and decided it probably wasn't worth the effort to get to the summit.
On the way down the mountain, it started to rain and continued the rest of the afternoon. We reached camp and Jane started a fire in the rain. She found dry kindling and larger sticks and had a good fire going by the time the rain stopped. That night, Jane slept warmer in just about all our extra layers. While filling our water bottles for the trip back, we discovered a large patch of alpine gentian.

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The hike out seemed to take forever. We got to the trialhead and agreed that it had been a good trip.

For a slightly longer report, go to: http://www.sierrahiker.com/Hiking2020/index.html








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Re: Corral Mountain 9-11 August 2020

Post by giantbrookie » Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:15 am

Great to see you get out there so soon after hip replacement surgery. Sounds like a fun trip, too. Hope you get in some good hikes this fall.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Corral Mountain 9-11 August 2020

Post by grampy » Sat Aug 15, 2020 11:24 am

Thanks for the report, Bill ! Nice that your daughter got to go with you.
I’m curious whether the Alpine Gentian is a common variety in that region; I’ve only seen the blue ones (Fringed Gentian ??).

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Re: Corral Mountain 9-11 August 2020

Post by sekihiker » Sat Aug 15, 2020 3:45 pm

grampy wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 11:24 am
I’m curious whether the Alpine Gentian is a common variety in that region; I’ve only seen the blue ones (Fringed Gentian ??).
Both alpine gentian and Sierra fringed gentian are found in Long Meadow which is at the northern base of Corral Mountain.
An even showier gentian is found farther south. See: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/243170

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Re: Corral Mountain 9-11 August 2020

Post by ironmike » Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:30 pm

I’ve been told that fires are forbidden this year on SEKI and in all “front country” wilderness areas. Did you hear a different story?

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Re: Corral Mountain 9-11 August 2020

Post by sekihiker » Sat Aug 15, 2020 5:57 pm

ironmike wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:30 pm
I’ve been told that fires are forbidden this year on SEKI and in all “front country” wilderness areas. Did you hear a different story?
Yep. Only forbidden above 10,000' on our permit.

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Re: Corral Mountain 9-11 August 2020

Post by rlown » Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:02 pm


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Re: Corral Mountain 9-11 August 2020

Post by sekihiker » Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:33 pm

We were not in SeKi.
The front of our wilderness permit had elevational fire closure above 10,000 ft and listed a number of areas in Sierra National forest where fires were not permitted. The area where we stayed was not among those on the list.

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Re: Corral Mountain 9-11 August 2020

Post by ironmike » Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:52 pm

I think your permit was in error. There are special fire restrictions across all parks, Forest and wilderness areas in and around the Sierra this year due to a Stage 2 alert. The Forest Order is accessible from the Sierra National Forest website (amongst others). Not calling you out per se, but want others to know this is a NO FIRE year unless you’re in a designated campground or recreation area that is on a “list”.

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Re: Corral Mountain 9-11 August 2020

Post by Rockyroad » Sat Aug 15, 2020 7:41 pm

Thanks for the report/update. Glad to see you out!

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