TR: 81 Days in the Sierra w/Rogue Photonic 7/1-9/19/16 | High Sierra Topix  

TR: 81 Days in the Sierra w/Rogue Photonic 7/1-9/19/16

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Re: TR: 81 Days in the Sierra w/Rogue Photonic 7/1-9/19/16

Postby alpinemike » Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:10 pm

Day 54- Nine Lakes Basin to Lion Lake
The morning dawned clear & bright with no clouds in sight. Definitely a good sign. We both were going to climb Lion Rock so we climbed up the Westernmost part of Lion Rock Pass. As we climbed we did notice clouds in many directions, but they weren’t towering cumulus, which continued to indicate a good sign. We crested the pass and saw a good deal of snow to our surprise. This would be very helpful since all the rock there is super loose & shitty. We dropped our packs and made our way up Lion Rock very easily. The chute had 2 large chunks of snow that we were able to bypass fortunately. The summit was reached in no time and we had a terrific view! A little hazy to the North but not the kind of smoke we’ve had. Clouds were definitely building strong but none looked like typical thunderheads. Maybe and hopefully this signified the end of this storm cycle. We descended back down the snow to lunch. Clouds were getting darker but still no thunder. From there we descended off the pass to Lion Lake. Camping here is not great with grass and mixed rocks but it made do. A beautiful area no doubt. Clouds are dark to the North & East but super clear to the West. I finally did my laundry & bathed. Plenty of sun here to charge our phones which is good since we haven't had the opportunity in several days. We both use our phones as books since we download eBooks on them. Right before dinner it rained/sprinkled on us a bit. Anyways tomorrow we head to Lonely Lake via Copper Mine Pass. I can only pray the weather won’t **** us & we’ll have a good final night in Sequoia before we finally finish this section & get some real food! We’ve done 9 peaks so far & the 10th is tomorrow just for this section alone!

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Lion Rock.jpg

Lion Lake.jpg
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Re: TR: 81 Days in the Sierra w/Rogue Photonic 7/1-9/19/16

Postby alpinemike » Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:28 pm

Day 55- Lion Lake to Tablelands
We somehow managed to go over 4 Passes today. This particular day was the day I was most excited for potentially during the entire 81 days I spent with Rogue this summer. I knew that the views from Copper Mine Peak/Pass area could be some of the finest I had ever seen and would ever see. First we went up Lion Lake Pass, which was very easy. We were greeted by a beautiful view of Cloud Canyon & the Great Western Divide. Next, we climbed up the fairly easy Cloud Canyon Headwall to Copper Mine Pass. The rock was beautiful & the sky was clear. Couldn’t have been better. It wasn’t long before we made the 2nd Pass of the day & the views were stupendous in all directions… From Black Kaweah to Goddard. From there it was a short matter to get to peak 12,345. On the way we found not 1 but 3 trekking poles! What the hell...Anyways Rogue stuck them up as lightning rods on the peak. The peak was truly magnificent and we were elated for a lack for serious smoke. Needless to say it was an epic peak and pass especially when we descended into the Deadman Canyon Headwall & got the incredible all-encompassing view of the canyon. This view of the canyon truly made my appreciate all the time I had to spend in the Sierra and view such incredible grandeur. We checked out the mine adit, which was pretty cool. We had a glorious lunch at the top of the headwall. From there were crossed some shitty rock and then cruised along towards Horn Col. Not long and we hit the Elizabeth Pass Trail, which we barely walked on before heading toward Horn Col. Pass #3 of the day was conquered easily and quickly. The view was really cool looking back at the Headwall & Glacier Ridge. From there we descended to Lonely Lake. We were feeling good so we pressed on. Lonely Lake wasn’t nearly as nice as I thought it would be. From Lonely Lake we had to drop down a ways before we could climb up Pterodactyl Pass. Although the pass was super easy we were getting tired and going all the way up we were huffing & puffing like no tomorrow. Pass #4 of the day complete! Neither of us had done 4 in a day & we climbed our 10th peak of the section, which is more than any other section either of us had ever done. The views looking back while climbing the pass were gorgeous. Looking at the Kaweah’s, Valhalla, the canyons...Just epic. Without a doubt the most scenic day of backpacking ever with excellent weather and good energy. Clouds built a bit but nothing major. Now were on the Tablelands, which was an area I had been looking forward to as well. I saw Moose Lake but that was abut it. Definitely much more boring than I hoped for and no major views. We traversed around looking for the lake to camp at and unfortunately neither the first nor second lake offered much. After much toil and struggling up some small bumps we finally reached a lake that we could camp at, but decided to lay out. The small bumps felt like major mountains to us since we had used all of our energy on the 4 passes of the day! Energy was super low & we were both struggling to finally get there but when we did finally we really couldn’t have been happier to be done with the day. Epic day with an excellent dinner and a nice view of the sky while camping out. Unfortunately the lake was super low and there were some copepods… oh well I'd be drinking them since we had no choice.

Lion Lake Pass.jpg

Copper Mine Peak.jpg

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Deadman Canyon.jpg

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Deadman Canyon3.jpg

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Tablelands.jpg
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Re: TR: 81 Days in the Sierra w/Rogue Photonic 7/1-9/19/16

Postby alpinemike » Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:30 pm

Day 56- Tablelands to Wolverton
Today was finally the day. The day I’d get to my car and we’d get food and finally be done with hard sections. We had planned 3 14 day sections and more less did of them as scheduled with another 10 day section in between. We were very ready to not carry more than about a week's worth of food on our backs. We made good time through the Tablelands and down to the meadows & out to Pear Lake. Not much of a view anywhere, but plenty of granite. We were very happy we didn’t have to climb up Pterodactyl that day and that we were that much further. Pear Lake was truly gorgeous and the trail around the lake was pretty with nice views looking back at the Tablelands & Lodgepole. Hard to believe that Lodgepole was directly below us. We climbed the Watchtower & enjoyed a nice lunch & view up Tokopah Valley. It wasn’t long that were tromping on asphalt to my truck that was fortunately still there. Man on man... It was pretty crazy to see my baby there. And what do you know… A note on the door saying I’ll get a citation if I don’t make contact. That was pretty hilarious no doubt. The bus driver said they had left the note just the day before of all days. Anyways my Taco started up just fine and drove normally. Dirty as all hell, but hey what do you expect after 56 days. We drove to Lodgepole and checked in at the Ranger Station. I actually got to speak to Leanna of all people. I spoke with her back in June about leaving my truck. She said everything was okay and that I could call the Law Enforcement Ranger Shore back and let him know the situation. Since he wasn’t around… I would have to get ahold of him at some point. From there we get some snacks and performed our showering and laundry errands. From there we hit up the Wuksachi Lodge and all the glorious Wi-Fi Internet there. Around dinner we got our burgers & chili-cheese fries which were quite incredible. From there we headed back to the lodge and chilled some more. By 10:45 we headed out & decided to sleep illegally in the bed of my truck on the side of the road. We drove down the road a bit & found a place by 11:20 P.M. where we both slept together. It wasn't too cramped and I didn't mind at all. Better than paying some exorbitant campground fee to sleep for the night.

Pear Lake.jpg


So there you have it... The last long section of the summer. Only one long section to go... Pioneer Basin! This one really tired us out and we were ready for a few days of rest and food at VVR. To date this is still my favorite section of backpacking and had some of the grandest scenery I've ever witnessed anywhere let alone just the Sierra.
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Re: TR: 81 Days in the Sierra w/Rogue Photonic 7/1-9/19/16

Postby Cross Country » Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:42 pm

You could have easily gone up to Kid Lakes. I did it two times, the second time I was injured and crippled and did it with a large pack. I was with "saint" Diane. you would have had good fishing at one of the Kids (middle of the three). This is assuming of course that no government assassin hasn't killed them.
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Re: TR: 81 Days in the Sierra w/Rogue Photonic 7/1-9/19/16

Postby alpinemike » Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:46 pm

I've actually been to the Kid Lakes. And Rogue twice! Absolutely stunning area. You can read my report from 2015. It was the last area I went through that summer.
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Re: TR: 81 Days in the Sierra w/Rogue Photonic 7/1-9/19/16

Postby Cross Country » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:56 am

And I meant to say the lower of the three lakes. It had good fishing for at least 31 years through 2003.
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Re: TR: 81 Days in the Sierra w/Rogue Photonic 7/1-9/19/16

Postby Cross Country » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:10 pm

I've been to the Tablelands twice, once by myself and once with my son Mike when he was 8 or 9. It's exactly the kind of place I like beacause it has beautiful trees, grass, flowers, animals and a really nice creek (the river) and still has some nice elevation. Each to their own but the places without much life just look pretty dead to me and I like signs of life.
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