Backpacking SEKI in June

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creekfeet
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Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Post by creekfeet » Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:59 pm

Your second proposed route is waaay more ambitious. Copper Creek is pretty unpleasant. It climbs a vertical mile, there's basically zero shade the whole way up, it's on a south facing slope that gets baked with sunlight, and there's not a lot of places to refill water. There's no place really worth camping short of Granite Basin, but for what it's worth, Granite Basin is stunning. It looks like a golf course with a helluva lot of water traps. Getting to Volcanic Lakes from Granite Lake is pretty straight-forward. I've never done the pass over to East Kennedy Lake, but going solely from the eye-test, it looked mellow. The Lewis Creek Trail might be my least favorite in the park honestly. As of 2013 it was super-overgrown on the south side of the pass, and at times difficult to follow. Also, for a trail that drops 5,000 feet, there's an inexplicable amount of uphill sections. I doubt any work's been done on it in recent years, and supposedly a fire a few years back took a heavy toll on that area.

If you wanted to stick with your original route and throw some cross-country in, you could start from Lodgepole, but head to Silliman Lake instead of Twin. There's a well-defined social trail along Silliman Creek until it cuts east towards the lake, and which point you just stick to the slabs alongside the creek. The lake itself is one of the best there is. From there you can head over the crest and drop down to Crescent Lake, which is another beauty. You could also just take a day trip to Crescent from Ranger Lake. Really scenic country out there.








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dustybottoms21
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Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Post by dustybottoms21 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:54 pm

^^that x-country looks daunting on the map!!!

So starting at Rowell Meadow sounds like it might be the way to go in accessing Twin Lakes. Most of you are leaning towards late June or early July. Is this because of Skillman's Pass?

What if we were to start at Rowell Meadow and head straight to Seville or Sheep Camp Lakes the first night. From there we either bounce around the lakes in the area and do some cross country hiking but avoiding Skillmans Pass.

If we stay away from Skillman's Pass and do more base camp type camping in the area with fishing and day hikes mixed in, would we have better luck with the conditions/weather in early June?

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dustybottoms21
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Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Post by dustybottoms21 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:28 pm

Bumping the following question from earlier:

Starting at Rowell Meadow: If we stay away from Skillman's Pass and do more base camp type camping in the area with fishing and day hikes mixed in, would we have better luck with the conditions/weather in early June?

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AlmostThere
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Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Post by AlmostThere » Sun Jan 27, 2019 4:29 pm

If the season continues as it is, early June will be about when the melt starts. I would expect elevations above 8-9k to be solid snow (Silliman Pass is 10k or so) and lower elevations will be mosquito factories. The creeks will be g-n-a-r-l-y in spring to cross, and the biggest threat to your trip other than nasty post-hole-y snow.

Early July may be ok. But mosquito-ridden. Late July and August would be about perfect. For making your trip absolutely mosquito proof, September is perfect.

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Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Post by dustybottoms21 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:45 pm

Ugh bummer. Makes we want to cry hearing this. I'll keep an eye out on the conditions but we REALLY wanted to try and get this done by mid-June at the absolute latest. If we have to push it out much further than that we likely need to cancel altogether.

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creekfeet
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Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Post by creekfeet » Sun Jan 27, 2019 6:29 pm

You'll most likely be okay going in June, especially if you start from Rowell. Going from Rowell, you don't really cross any major creeks. Starting from Lodgepole, there's a couple of creek crossings that can be tricky, especially if there's snow. I went up that way in late June of 2017, which was a huge snow year, although the snow at below 10,000 feet melted remarkably quick. I didn't have any issues, but someone drowned trying to cross Silliman creek a few days before I headed out. Other years I've gone over Silliman in late June, and there was hardly any snow left.

As of now it's looking like this is going to be a slightly less than average snow year, but of course that can change. If Silliman Pass has too much snow, doing the day hike/fishing thing is not a bad option. Depending on your comfort level, Sheep Camp Lakes, Ball Dome, and Crescent Lakes all make for pretty mellow x-country hikes. I'd be more concerned about the mosquitoes than anything.

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AlmostThere
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Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Post by AlmostThere » Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:32 pm

We went to Seville Lake in late May in a lower snow year, 2016. We were nearly the only ones there because we were willing to walk on solid snow, dozens of people turned around because the ridge held a lot of snow. The trailhead (Rowell) was clear. There was a lot of snow left around the lake, which was about 8500 feet.

You aren't going to get a real clear picture on how it will be until March, I'm afraid.

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Post by rightstar76 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 4:43 am

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Last edited by rightstar76 on Mon May 04, 2020 2:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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sekihiker
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Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Post by sekihiker » Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:11 am

Here's a link to a trip report with some photos in the area of your first proposed trip: http://www.sierrahiker.com/LostLakeLoop/index.html

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Post by rightstar76 » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:27 am

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Last edited by rightstar76 on Mon May 04, 2020 2:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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