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Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Regional discussion and conditions reports for the Golden State. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the California Climbing Partners forum.
 

Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby mrchad9 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:55 pm

Burchey wrote:Jealous of all the bear action, I've yet to see one in all my travels.

Sometimes I go 1-2 years without seeing one, sometimes I see a dozen. This year so far I have those five, plus one in Horton Valley and two while driving. But I've never anything like that before... and two of them were extremely close. The first one really shocked me, as I knew I was following a bear path but assumed it had been moving the other direction and I had already passed it, because of the direction the grass was laying. Face to face... it was nice to see he was more frightened than I was. In season I wouldn't have even been able to get any rounds off.

Best place to see bears I think is anywhere off 180 or 198 on the west side of SEKI between 5000 and 9000 feet. Still... you aren't apt to see too many if you are halfway up some multi-pitch route!
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Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby mrchad9 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:24 pm

3Deserts wrote:
mrchad9 wrote: In season I wouldn't have even been able to get any rounds off.


I don't get this. What difference would it make if you are in a National Park in which open carry of firearms is prohibited, under State of California law, as of Jan. 1 2013?

http://www.nps.gov/seki/parkmgmt/lawsandpolicies.htm

Moreover, as far as I can tell, hunting is completely prohibited in the park, so what difference does "in season" make?

Finally, you'd hike with a handgun powerful enough to stop a black bear?

Well... firstly... I don't own a handgun that isn't powerful enough to stop a black bear. What is the point of carrying around some sissy gun?

Also... sarcasm!
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Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby Burchey » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:19 am

mk8 wrote:I have a gun that would blow there fucking heads off.


Yeah, but it never works when you want it to

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Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby Daria » Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:14 pm

Chad, very cool!!! With the Kings River adventure...

Reminds me when I was out there a while back many years ago doing Harrington backpacking trip overlooking Tehipite Dome (fantastic place) and I remember talking to my partner about what a wild adventure it would be to be bushwhacking down the Kings River. Wild wilderness out there and breath-takingly beautiful. Lots of bears in the west sierra, I ran into one on my way to North Guard a few summers ago-both startling each other.
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Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby bechtt » Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:42 pm

Chad, great trip but we need more pictures and possibly a TR. I eyed that ridge from the Sierra High Route several years ago and thought it would be a decent route. Did you go to Cartridge Pass or just dropped down the southeast face of Marion?

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Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby ScottHanson » Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:53 am

Couple of questions Chad:
Were you wearing a trail-runner type of shoe in the river?
Did you ever slip and go down in the water for a few seconds?
Did you carry a backpack during this adventure?

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Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby mrchad9 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:21 am

Thanks for the interest all. Yeah maybe I'll have to think about post some TR or abbreviated version of such soon, heading out till next week at the moment though. I'll at least get some more pics up next week.

I just dropped straight down Marion. I had erroneously wondered if there might be cliffs on the way down and that be the challenge. It wasn't! So I did the bottom six miles. Upstream of that it looks pretty mellow, at least if you take to going within the river. The brush up there isn't any easier.

I hadn't really planned this out, as in I knew I was going there but didn't read a lick about it in advance. So didn't know I'd end up wading the thing. But it was an easy decision once there. I just had regular full on leather hiking boots. They work just fine though. Lots of the river is talus, so maybe they even helped.

I never slipped, and was surprised how good the traction was. Not too slippery. Though obviously careful in the faster flowing areas. Had two hiking poles too. Only time I got wet above my waist (there were a couple deep pools) was when I jumped in.

Yeah I had a backpack. By chance a tiny dry bag for my down sweater though it wasn't needed. Also my full backpack weighed just 9.6 pounds (I always weigh it) so not like I had 30 pounds or something. I plan to write an article soon on how to go in comfort with <10 pound packs.

Ok... off to the hills!
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Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby Deb » Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:34 am

Skeeters, spiders and marmots - OH MY! Great time on Mt Humphreys this weekend!
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Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby fedak » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:05 am

Beautiful summer conditions my ass :)
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Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby tbaranski » Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:25 pm

How high do they typically get and for how long? Wondering about my late-August prognosis.
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Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby Deb » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:46 pm

They're at 12K' now but by Aug, the flurry will most likely be over. Thank goodness for 15mph winds this weekend!
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Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby fedak » Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:16 pm

On this dry of a year I'd be surprised to see any skeeters left anywhere in late August.
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Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby mrchad9 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:05 pm

Returned Sunday evening after 4 days zigzagging over peaks on the Great Western Divide starting at Road’s End in Kings Canyon. On the way to Sphinx Lakes I heard what sounded like a bear running up a tree… sure enough it was a small cub, but no good pics of it.

A few thunderstorms off in the distance, but it had little impact as it was about all I could do to haul my 4 days of food up to the first camp at the base of Mount Brewer.

North Guard in the rain from camp

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And camp at sunset

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More sunset

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Then next morning off to North Guard and the spectacular summit block. I had brought climbing shoes for this and Thunder Mountain, but rather than sit and think about things I just ran on up. Turned out to be more trivial than it looks.

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Then up Mount Brewer. Returning to camp my gear was in disarray. Apparently a marmot or something had its way with it, luckily all it did was chew up my hiking poles.

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Packed up camp, up and over South Guard, then off to Thunder Mountain for the fourth peak of the day. En route a nice view of Table Mountain.

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The route to Thunder’s summit was much spicier than I anticipated. Turns out I went not the best way. Exposed class 4 (in red, showing looking back at the south summit). I returned a much more secure route shown in green, probably the way everyone else already knows to go.

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The next morning up Table Mountain (day 3) via the west ridge, then down the southeast face. Luckily a group I met up there (only folks I saw the entire trip) mentioned the chockstone I had otherwise forgotten. I was standing on top of it nearly a minute trying to find a way down before I realized I could crawl under it.

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Then off to Midway and Milestone. View of Milestone from the gap in the east ridge of Midway. It was storming to the north but obviously sunny for me.

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The chute up Milestone’s east side.

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View from Milestone to Midway, Table, and beyond. Brewer and Nouth Guard visible to the left of Midway here. Really enjoyed the scrambling at the top of Milestone, and the views.

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By the end of the day I was exhausted. Turns out I have three tough days in me, not four. On day four I managed to drag my butt up Genevra on the way out. I had considered Jordon, I wanted to try a harder summit block, but there was no chance of me bothering with the extra mileage. Below Reflection Lake here is what passed for a trail… just a cairn amongst some flowers. At least it was downhill!

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Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby sharperblue » Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:17 pm

Deb wrote:Skeeters, spiders and marmots - OH MY! Great time on Mt Humphreys this weekend!


was thinking of Humphreys for 13July - how were snow conditions, and what route did you run up?
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Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby mrchad9 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:22 pm

Snow is inconsequential no matter where you go.
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