With Jeff, Helo on summit.
Very long day because the trail was so difficult to follow. Some snow and lots of water covering the trail. Got off the trail several times, but thankfully found our way back down in the dark.
Great late season hike from the meadows via the Pacific Crest trail, would've been a lot easier without the 6-12" of snow most of the route from the previous week's storm. Came down the west ridge but cut south too early and followed the drainage east of Hessian Meadow (still not difficult as the area here lacked snow). Really liked the views down the east face and into Owens Valley.
Great clear day! We went up the creek and then bushwacked to reach the trail near the pct jct on the way up, then came back on the trail to the trailhead. I must say the first 1.5 miles of trail that we came back on were in very poor condition and required route finding to get us back to the car.
The final summit approach was a bit of a challenge but very doable. The road to the trailhead should only be attempted with a 4x4 vehicle but can easily be driven by anyone with a little offroad experience. All said great day! great hike!
Alice and I bush wacked from the cow trail, following her "track' on her GPS to the PCH. Nasty route through manzanita, but saw bear tracks in the sand, bounding deer, and a bright green frog. Nice pay-off for blood loss in the 'thrash-fest' that was supposed to be the "shortcut" :)
Great summit day, Returned via trail. Ahhhhh....
Dayhike from Sage Flat with a great group.
Departed Sage Flats at 4:30 am. Returned 7:00 pm. 14:30 RT. Excellent weather conditions. Clear skies with temperatures ranging from 45F to 65F. Followed route on Bob Burd's map on the ascent. We descended down the easier north slope then did a 180 degree arc traversing the west slope in the forest below the summit block connecting with the trail at the 10,600' knob. Connecting here avoids unnecessary altitude gain on the return trip. 8 hours up. 6.5 hours down. We made the mistake of taking the Cow Highway as a "short cut" on the way down. Don't take this route up or down. The "highway" looked like it had been flash flooded. It was littered with toaster-sized boulders for much of the way making the going slow and painful. Besides that it is an ecological disaster. The creek bed it occupies is completely destroyed. It's hillside is in a state of severe hyper-erosion. You must carry all your water (I consumed 5.5 liters). Although we crossed several running streams (storms had dropped a little rain and snow in the preceding weeks), cattle grazing has resulted in obvious water pollution. All told we had an excellent outing. Through the clear, deep dark, moonless starry night we could see the glow of Las Vegas in the morning. Visibility from the summit was excellent. We were lucky.
What a fiasco this was. Twisted my ankle at 9000', buckled down and summitted. Came off at night in a raging lightening storm to 2 flat tires on the ole Commanche. Changed the spare and drove out on the flat/rim to the what is now the Olancha Mobil and put some fix a flat in a drove to the house (I was living behind Hiawee at the time).
Long day with plenty of bushwhacking through hellish manzanita. Punishment for something, I just don't know what...
I went on a hike on Saturday, May 9th, 2009 to Olancha Peak. I car camped at the trailhead at Sage Flat so that we could make an Alpine start. I arose at 3:50AM, and got myself ready to go. We set out at about 4:45AM and I entered the Sequoia National Park in the dark with my headlamp on.
We hiked up the cow trail for a long time gaining lots of elevation as we went. We veered off the trail, and located a shallow draw through the thick manzanita that was everywhere. It was about 3.5 miles from the trailhead to Olancha pass with an elevation gain of 4000 feet.
After reaching the pass we set off at a rapid pace North. We crossed through Bear Trap Meadow, and located the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). We followed the PCT through Brush Meadow to a point just West of Olancha Peak. Some of the landmarks we could see were Monache Meadows, Monache Mountain, Brown Mountain, Jackass Peak, White Mountain, Granite Knob, Crag Rock, Deer Peak, and much more. The distance was 3.5 miles with an elevation gain of about 500 feet.
At this point we turned East off the PCT, and set off to climb the rest of the way to Olancha. It is about a mile from the PCT to the summit, but the elevation gain is over 2000 feet. We left the PCT at an elevation of 10,000 feet, and the summit is at 12120 feet so at this altitude acclimation is a factor. This last section is a giant boulder scramble all the way to the top.
The view from the summit is amazing, and we had great visibility with a 360 degree view. Some of the landmarks visible from the peak are Mount Whitney, Mount Russell, Mount Langley, the Domeland wilderness, the Golden Trout Wilderness, Jordan Peak, The Needles, Slate Mountain, Owens Valley, the Cosos, the Black Rock region, Kennedy Meadows, and more.
We ate some food on the summit, and took pictures. We headed back down at 2:00. We made really good time on the way back in spite of getting really stuck in some dense manzanita. The total distance was 17 miles round trip with an elevation gain of over 6500 feet. The hike took us 14 hours, and it was nice to hang out with good company all day.
Beautiful hike, just stay away from the cow trail!
Climbed as a 2.5 day long weekend outing from Sage Flats. Really nice outing. We enjoyed Summit Meadows as a campsite. Very nice view. Well worth the time!
Good dayhike from Monache Meadows. The drive to the trailhead was exciting.
brough a crap load of booze.
Nice, leisurely 11 hour hike from Sage Flat with Coco, Monique, and Adam. Perfect weather for a mid November hike.
Very little snow allowed me to dayhike this from Sage Flat.
Started at Monache Mdws. Climbed to PCT then up to the summit. Great views.
Did this as a two-night backpack. First night near Summit Meadow was quiet. Summited on Saturday, weather was perfect. Saturday night was loud with cattle -- sounded like Satan was having an argument with the ghost of Orson Welles. Got caught in a cattle drive on the way down Sunday morning.
Water is getting tough to find in this area. There was a tiny bit in the creek next to the PCT 1/3 mile NW of Summit Meadow but we were chased away by cattle, who then tromped through the mud and fouled the area. There is water further up Cow Canyon but who knows for how long. Drink carefully.
Was a full day as we got caught in a messy cattle drive traffic jam coming up Olancha pass on our way back down. I don't quite think Crystal Geyser's water is quite as clean and pure as they dipict it to be.