Backpacking SEKI in June

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c9h13no3
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Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Post by c9h13no3 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:27 pm

Dashielle wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:57 pm
I've got a 2 week trip out of the Mineral King trailhead starting on June 29th... anyone have any info or advice? We're heading up through bearpaw and over Elizabeth, then from Roaring River up Colby pass and down to the Kern, by the hot springs and back up to Morraine lake, Big Five and out over Sawtooth on the 13th of July. Everyone's got microspikes but I'm just wondering if any of you have any concern about this route at this time of year? Where are the problem spots you'd be thinking of?
Problem spots: Anything above snow line which is like, your whole route. And forget about crossing the Kern river...

People on this forum tend to give advice that skews conservative. But that trip sounds like hell.


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dustybottoms21
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Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Post by dustybottoms21 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:26 am

Looks like the SEKI nps site is finally starting to add some updates to their “current conditions” page. Still nothing new on Jennie Lakes, Ranger, Seville. Hopefully soon.


https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/trailcond.htm

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Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Post by maiathebee » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:22 am

Douglas wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:43 pm
Great thread! -- I have a Rae Lakes permit for June 24th and keeping a close eye (here, reddit, instagram, etc) on river crossing conditions while planning some potential Plan B and C options like others.
You should definitely reconsider this. From Seki NP:
Woods Creek, Bubbs Creek, and Glen Pass (Rae Lakes Loop)
5/23 -The bridge over South Fork Kings River above Paradise Valley is washed out. Expect impassable or extremely hazardous conditions. The designated camp sites in Lower Paradise Valley, along the South Fork of the Kings River, are temporarily closed to all camping.This closure will remain in effect until camping sites can be inspected and known hazard trees removed. Snowline is between 7000-8000 ft elevation. Many creeks are running high. Please use caution as water is swift and cold from snow runoff.

6/12 - Bubbs Creek crossing at Bailey Bridge: There is a 10ft wide/4 ft deep section of swiftwater just South of the 2 Bubbs Creek Bridges (on the Cedar side of the crossing, ~2 mi from Roads End) that are not passable. The crossing is not safe not advised. Charlotte Creek: Water is fairly high but crossing is passable by a good log bridge or a ~6ft section of wading.
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Douglas
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Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Post by Douglas » Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:30 am

Wow, still so much snow that not even the camp sites are open yet. I am definitely reconsidering and doing some research on the hike that AlmostThere suggested (thx, by the way!). I saw some photos on instagram of hikers going over Glen Pass and Kearsarge Lakes earlier this week that look like some pretty steep and snowy cuts up the pass in both places - extremely beautiful in the snow nonetheless.

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Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Post by rightstar76 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:46 pm

dustybottoms21 wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:26 am
Looks like the SEKI nps site is finally starting to add some updates to their “current conditions” page. Still nothing new on Jennie Lakes, Ranger, Seville. Hopefully soon.


https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/trailcond.htm
Well Dustybottoms21, it looks like the bizarre weather this year has put a dent into most early season backpacking trips. Big Meadows Road is currently closed and there is lots of snow:
viewtopic.php?f=34&t=19398&p=146977#p146921

There is a silver lining here: You were wise to get permits for Hetch Hetchy. Kpeter's trip to Lake Vernon looks to be the best choice:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=19504
While the weather may be hot, there's plenty of cold water to cool off in. Like other posters, I don't recommend a loop. Even if you make it over Falls Creek down to Rancheria Falls, you might find yourself unable to get back to the trailhead:
An area of particular concern is Wapama Falls along the trail to Rancheria Falls in the Hetch Hetchy area, which is hazardous at high flows and has had fatalities in the past.
https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildcond.htm

Although your original plan fell through, I think this one will work out just fine. Enjoy!

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Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Post by SSSdave » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:00 pm

Even better if one likes an easy effort is Kibbie Lake.

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Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Post by dustybottoms21 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:37 pm

That lake looks spectacular but I think we’re going to stick with Hetch Hetchy and work our way up to Lake Vernon with a day or two exploring the area, fishing, and straddling Falls Creek for a little while.

Just got done testing my new Hennessy Hammock. I’m gonna sleep like a dream up there...assuming we can find enough trees! Lots of granite with very few trees in a lot of pics I’ve seen of the area.

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Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Post by Douglas » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:52 am

Per AlmostThere's recommendation and weighing a few other options, we've decided to go for a 4-5 day in/out on the JMT from Florence Lake to Evolution Valley and making Muir Pass (Muir hut) our turn around goal. It looks like the proper balance of challenge through the current conditions while experiencing a great stretch of wilderness with manageable river crossings, and without risking the icy pass ascents/descents of the higher elevation routes. Starting on Monday 06/24 and taking our time. I'll report back after. Any tips from hikers who have passed through this area recently are greatly appreciated! First step is getting a walk-up permit next Monday morning.

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Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Post by AlmostThere » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:58 am

Douglas wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:52 am
Per AlmostThere's recommendation and weighing a few other options, we've decided to go for a 4-5 day in/out on the JMT from Florence Lake to Evolution Valley and making Muir Pass (Muir hut) our turn around goal. It looks like the proper balance of challenge through the current conditions while experiencing a great stretch of wilderness with manageable river crossings, and without risking the icy pass ascents/descents of the higher elevation routes. Starting on Monday 06/24 and taking our time. I'll report back after. Any tips from hikers who have passed through this area recently are greatly appreciated! First step is getting a walk-up permit next Monday morning.
If you see trees in the trail bring me back pics and UTM coords - we're taking a crew out in a few weeks and would appreciate the intel.

Have a great time. That's one of my favorite areas.

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Douglas
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Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Post by Douglas » Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:13 pm

Will do. Looking forward to it!

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