Maverick's 2017 Annual HST Meet-up

A forum to initiate member meet-up. Looking for a hiking/climbing/fishing/skiing/etc. partner, or are you planning a trip where you wouldn't mind having some company? Last minute invites can be just as fun as a well-planned group trip (sometimes even better) so don't be shy! And be sure to post a trip report to the appropriate forum when you get back.
Post Reply
User avatar
Jimr
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
Posts: 1962
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:14 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Redondo Beach

Re: Maverick's 2017 Annual HST Meet-up

Post by Jimr » Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:59 pm

Cool, we,re at Williamson motel hiking out pre- dawn. Hobbes, I left my phone in the truck at Taboose, but what Flamingo said. Smoke is nil at this time. Some weather, over Whitney region, but fading away right now


“Posterity! You will never know, how much it cost the present generation, to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the pains to preserve it.”

-John Adams






User avatar
alpinemike
Topix Expert
Posts: 412
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:00 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Reno, NV
Contact:

Re: Maverick's 2017 Annual HST Meet-up

Post by alpinemike » Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:09 pm

I'm in Mammoth about ready to drive down to the Sawmill Pass Trailhead to drop off a car and then sleep at the Taboose Pass Trailhead. We're hitting the trail at 5am! See you all on Thursday!
Never put off a backpacking trip for tomorrow, if you can do it today...
Alpine Mike-

http://mikhailkorotkinphotography.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar
richlong8
Topix Expert
Posts: 766
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:02 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Maverick's 2017 Annual HST Meet-up

Post by richlong8 » Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:03 pm

Call me the no guts,no glory guy. I drove into the Taboose Pass trailhead late Friday afternoon in my Outback. It is the worst in the half mile before the corral, to the point where I regretted taking the road. But, it got a little better after the corral. I arrived at the 2nd ford, 7900'?, about 10pm. The first ford, I just stayed out of the water, by a slight workaround. To say the second ford is whitewater is an understatement. I decided to sleep, and tackle it when there a little more light, and maybe it slowed down a bit. I tried to ford the creek, but the current is so strong, I could not plant my sticks, and did not feel comfortable, being by myself. The intensity of the water flow was difficult for me to keep balance with a full pack, so I bailed out. A little demoralizing to go all the way back to the car. I thought about Sawtooth, but by the time I would have started, it would have been 90 degrees minimum. So I headed back to Bakersfield to think about my options, and consider a different approach. I have been doing this stuff for over 40 years, and never got hurt, or had a mishap, and I if was a little younger, I would probably have gone for it, but we all have to know our limitations.

User avatar
austex
Topix Expert
Posts: 478
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 11:51 am
Experience: N/A
Location: Austin, Texas

Re: Maverick's 2017 Annual HST Meet-up

Post by austex » Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:01 am

I applaud behavior like this. No drama, SAR or hospital visit. Demoralizing; yes, but it w/b there next time. And, you guaranteed a next time.

User avatar
Hobbes
Topix Fanatic
Posts: 1120
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:09 am
Experience: N/A
Location: The OC

Re: Maverick's 2017 Annual HST Meet-up

Post by Hobbes » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:04 pm

Posted 29 minutes ago
The National Weather Service in Las Vegas has issued a

* Flash Flood Warning for...
Rain and Snowmelt in...
Northwestern Inyo County in south central California...

* Until 530 PM PDT

* At 227 PM PDT, Doppler radar indicated thunderstorms producing
heavy rain across the warned area. Flash flooding is expected to
begin shortly. Rapid snowmelt is also occurring and will add to the
flooding.

* Some locations that will experience flooding include...
Bishop, Big Pine, Millpond Campground, Grandview Campground, Mesa,
Ancient Bristlecone Visitors Center, Wilkerson, Browns Town
Campground, Baker Creek Campground, Glacier View Campground,
Pleasant Valley Campground, Round Valley, Dixon Lane-Meadow Creek,
West Bishop and Dixon Lane-Meadow. Heavy rain is likely to impact
the Westgard in the next couple of hours.

Image

Right now, the temperature in Lone Pine is only 89 degrees. The monsoon flow is expected to continue through tomorrow, then become clear starting Wed. I'm sort of stoked that the rain has cooled down temps. It means I can head out of Sawmill by 6pm and maybe hike around 3 miles to the top of the ridge for the night.

This same type weather pattern happened two years ago at the meet-up. Same situation for me as well - got up Shepherd late (after driving up from SoCal) and hunkered down below the pass (above the Pothole ie Junction pass junction). The next morning it was nice and clear and we had good weather for the rest of the trip.

User avatar
Dave_Ayers
Topix Regular
Posts: 238
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:06 am
Experience: N/A

Re: Maverick's 2017 Annual HST Meet-up

Post by Dave_Ayers » Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:45 pm

By now those at the meetup know that we didn't make it. I'm bummed about that and I know Maverick and Richard feel similarly. Here's what happened.

Maverick contacted us on Tues with the news that he wouldn't be able to join. So I set out Weds morning and drove to Taboose, meeting RichLong8 at the Aberdeen Station Road turnoff. We drove to the trailhead and I was glad to have rented an SUV for ground clearance, although there was a Nissan Altima parked not far from the trailhead! We set out hiking about 4 p.m. at about 89 degrees F. We skirted upward around the 1st flooded trail section, but we really should have stayed very close to the creek where it can be skirted easily. After about 1,500 feet and about 5:15 the temp was down to 75 and reasonably comfortable, helped by cloud cover above the crest. (This pic was taken the next morning.)
DSC02734r.jpg
We made it to the lower stream crossing at about 7980 feet somewhat after 7 I think. A slow pace for sure. My probing showed bottom at least 2.5 feet deep in very fast raging water through boulders. And we'd have to cross 4 times total for the in/out trip.
DSC02727r.jpg
Instead we commenced to try to skirt the crossings along the north side. We had not seen the old trail thread (http://www.highsierratopix.com/communit ... =27&t=7825), nor did we see any evidence of any trail, otherwise things might have gone better. After climbing about 400 feet we realized we were not going to make it the full 1200 feet to the next crossing before dark, let alone finding a viable camping spot. The talus slope was really mostly rockfall with a good amount of loose stuff. (Thurs. morning picture.)
DSC02729r.jpg
So we turned back. I had suffered slips on a couple rollers on the way up that stretch and climbing back down was worse for me as far as dealing with the unstable rocks. I managed to aggravate my sore knee. (I had taken a fall in SEKI on 7/15 after having surgery in late April.) We made camp on a flat spot by the lower crossing intending to re-evaluate in the morning.

In the morning, the Creek was not visibly any lower. My knee was swelling and hurting and woke me each time I moved in the night. So going up was no longer an option for me. Richard also decided to hike out and head to a more amenable spot for a few days. The hike out was painful for me, but otherwise uneventful.

A hiker passed our camp spot as I was waking on Thursday. Being groggy, I neglected to ask if she was going to the meetup. Hopefully she and the hikers coming out Taboose (JimR, Oleander, Ghost, et al.) have better luck on the north side talus bypass than I did.

For those doing this trailhead in the future, there are quite a few thorny bushes on the lower part of the trail. You'll want pants or to be smart like Richard and wear gators. I didn't and have plenty of scratches as a reward.
You must be registered and logged in to view the files/photos attached to this post.

User avatar
Hobbes
Topix Fanatic
Posts: 1120
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:09 am
Experience: N/A
Location: The OC

Re: Maverick's 2017 Annual HST Meet-up

Post by Hobbes » Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:19 pm

Missed you guys. It was a great meetup. Yeah taboose was thorny. So was sawmill - ouch. I liked standing in the fords to cool/soothe my legs. Photos to follow.

User avatar
Hobbes
Topix Fanatic
Posts: 1120
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:09 am
Experience: N/A
Location: The OC

Re: Maverick's 2017 Annual HST Meet-up

Post by Hobbes » Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:18 pm

I mean, come on, really?

Image

I think perhaps this was my favorite meet-up. Fantastic location (thanx to Mav for the ID), great weather, new friendships, wonderful dynamics. Not one, but two couples (Jeanine+Mike and Lisa+Jim), 4 women, 6 men (aka boys). 1 came up Kearsarge, then x-c all the way over uncharted cols, tagging peaks along the way (guess who*). 4 started up Taboose, 4 Sawmill and 1 beginning way way down @ Volcano falls (via Horseshoe). 9 back down Taboose, one on to further adventures in Ionian and elsewhere.

Already looking forward to next year.

* Hint: she's participating in the Sierra challenge beginning next weekend.
Last edited by Hobbes on Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
SirBC
Topix Regular
Posts: 140
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:30 pm
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker
Location: SF Peninsula

Re: Maverick's 2017 Annual HST Meet-up

Post by SirBC » Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:39 pm

Dang, I’m super bummed I missed out on the meetup. I’ve wanted to come to the last couple but I always had something scheduled during those times. Even this year I had a two week Alaska trip planned that I ended up canceling, partly because I wanted to make this year’s meetup. But, I fought Taboose and Taboose won.

My original plan was to come over Taboose pass, starting on Sunday night to beat the worst of the daytime heat. But with that first river crossing being so high and with no moon I decided to come in early morning so I could tackle the crosscountry bypass during daylight.

I drove in from the Bay Area on Saturday and spent my first night in Mammoth, sleeping in my car on one of the forest service roads north of town. I drove to the trailhead on Sunday evening hoping that it wouldn’t be too hot to sleep in my car. Reports of the poor conditions of the road were not exaggerated.
1.jpg
[youtube_vid]<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/09fndjGqOuU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>[/youtube_vid]

I ended up turning around about 400 yards short of the corral and parking on the side of the road.

It cooled off enough that by 10 PM I was able to fall asleep. I awoke around 1 am to lightning going off to the north every couple of minutes before falling asleep again. When I got up at 5 am the weather looked promising. I left my car around 5:20 and reached the trailhead around 5:40.

The sunrise was stunning and put a spring in my step and kept me wondering what other visual delights awaited me down the trail.
2.jpg
There were not any mosquitoes but there were plenty of bees along the trail. Any time I stopped a few of them would descend to check me out. One fellow followed me down the trail a good 30 yards, apparently the sheriff bee, escorting me safely out of town before peeling off and heading home.

The trail disappeared at around 6500 feet where I think it paralleled the swollen creek. There was an easy and obvious bypass where it quickly rejoined the trail.
3.jpg
After reaching the first water crossing I gave a nanoseconds thought to crossing but I really had no desire to “shred the gnar” and instead made a cup of coffee and some oatmeal.

[youtube_vid]<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/S8l7dlbepto" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>[/youtube_vid]

Someone had left one sandal and their watch sitting on a rock. Why just one sandal? Shoes come in pairs and for some reason whenever I see a solitary shoe abandoned on the side of a road, or in this case a trail, I always wonder what happened to its mate. I came up with a few scenarios but realized I had been spending an inordinate amount of time thinking about a shoe and moved on to other things.
4.jpg
While I was enjoying a little breakfast a group of three hikers came up the trail. I asked them where they were heading and when they took a look at the creek crossing one of them said, “Back to the car”. They said that they were originally going to come in over Sawmill but the ranger told them that the trail was sketchy in places and to come in via Taboose instead. I told them I was going to try bypassing the crossing by contouring around it to the north and catching the trail again at the 2nd crossing. They were game and we headed out together.

After maybe 2 minutes they all decided they didn’t want to deal with the slog across the talus so I wished them happy trails and continued on alone.

The coffee and oatmeal gave me a boost and the talus started out being fairly straightforward and easy.
5.jpg
6.jpg
Shortly after starting out storm clouds started to roll in. I didn’t realize that the “old trail” used to be on the north side of the creek. The below picture is looking west at around 8280’. I went up a bit to where the break in the trees/shrubs is and I *think* that is where the start of the old trail is but I didn’t recognize it as such.
7.jpg
7a.jpg
I stayed above the trail shown in the caltopo map linked to in the above post.


It had been raining for a while and the talus was slick in spots and I kept setting off some microslides which was a little disconcerting. It started to thunder and lightning and I stopped for at around 8400’ to catch my breath.
8.jpg
I took off my pack and put on my rain jacket and put the rain cover on my pack. There was a flash of lightning followed almost immediately by an enormous roll of thunder, the kind of thunder that you can feel in your back teeth. It sounded like Thor himself was coming to smite me. At this point I considered my options. I was moving more slowly now over the slick talus. In close to an hour I had only made it around 20 to 25% of the way to the 2nd crossing and figured it was going to take me a good 4 more hours if the weather held. But I was worried about being halfway or so and having the weather opening up on me.

I decided to head back to the first stream crossing and see what the weather was doing at that point. When I got there the single sandal was gone and all was right and ordered in the world again. It had stopped raining but the lightning was going off about twice a minute. Lightning really freaks me out.

I was feeling pretty spent and considered hunkering down until tomorrow. It had taken me longer coming back than it did going up the talus as it was slick and unstable in places. My concern here was that I really needed to be able to hike out from Bench lake on Friday and be back home by Friday evening. If it was raining on Friday I didn't think I could hike out from Bench in one day. I knew the forecast was calling for more of the same until Thursday and at that point decided to bail. In retrospect I wish I hadn’t as it sounds like the weather improved. I think if I wasn’t solo I probably could have easily been talked into hunkering down for a day and trying again in the morning. Oh well.

As I headed back to the car it started to rain again and when I neared the trailhead my pants were soaked from the knees down from the wet brush.
9.jpg
10.jpg


I reached the car and was in low spirits. I decided an IPA was called for and drove to Bishop and had some tasty ales and grub at Mountain Rambler Brewery. That helped put a shine on things.

I’m glad that those who made it had a good time. I’m penciling in HST 2018 into my calendar and will be sure and make it to the next meetup!
You must be registered and logged in to view the files/photos attached to this post.
Last edited by SirBC on Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
-------------
Dave | flickr

User avatar
Hobbes
Topix Fanatic
Posts: 1120
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:09 am
Experience: N/A
Location: The OC

Re: Maverick's 2017 Annual HST Meet-up

Post by Hobbes » Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:33 pm

Sorry to hear you turned back; I think the decision making process is/was easier coming down rather than up. Simply, one is possessed of reverse 'peak fever': we were out of food, out of time and determined to get back to our cars & homes.

It's also important/imperative to have a comparable hiking partner to provide both moral support, and also just have another cognizant human placed in the same exact circumstances in which to express/share opinions and measure mutual (or lack of) sentiment. IOW, reaching consensus before embarking on what could be a dangerous undertaking.

The reason I decided to hike out a day early (Friday) is because Flamingo was exiting. I was originally going to hike out later and bivy at the upper crossing Friday evening. That way, I could hit the lower crossing before 6am on Sat when the water level would be at its lowest point. But, with a really experienced hiker leading the way (Victor has done both the PCT & CDT, and was one of the peak baggers at the meet-up), it was a no-brainer decision. Besides, he had come up Taboose (solo), so he already had first hand experience with the crossings.

Jeff (Ashery), another HST member at the meet-up - who also came up Taboose (solo) - decided to join the party as well, so the 3 of us set off relatively late around 9am. This, of course, would put us directly on a trajectory for peak flow around 3pm.

I've gotta tell you, as we were coming down the trail with the advantage of a visual of the so-called north-side 'bypass', both Flamingo and myself agreed there was no fVcking way we were going that route. It had death written all over it: brushy nightmare down by the creek, and high, steep, loose talus higher up just looking to deliver a broken leg - or worse - to a hiker.

So with an agreed pact, we charged on down the trail, determined to cross the creek come hell or high water - literally. When we got there, the water was flowing higher than the respective photos show above. Victor had mentioned that when he crossed, people were able to hold onto the branch like a hand-rail if they were so disposed. When we got to the bank, the branch was under water.

Victor went first, no problem. I went second, no problem. Now, when I say this, I mean from the perspective of two experienced hikers in good, fit condition, both of whom are around 6'+-. Also, it means experience probing ahead with trekking poles, anchoring, and then shuffling slowly making sure your feet were set & secure before taking another step. Water was thigh level flowing very fast - it could easily knock you over.

Jeff was last. He didn't have a lot of experience with crossings, but had come up days before and made it (did I mention solo!). As he readied his poles and unclipped his pack, Victor sat on our side of the bank and put out an arm, to which I grabbed hold and waded out a few feet into the torrent and extended a pole with my other hand. In this fashion, it provided both moral support for Jeff to have a target to aim for, as well as a possible lifeline if he slipped - he could always fall/lurch forward and grab hold for dear life. After he got 1/2 way across, I tossed the pole in the bushes and just extended my other arm (while still held firm by Victor on my other). Once he got a few feet from us, we both scrambled out of the way so he could get up on the bank. I gave him a high 5 and we all breathed a sigh of relief that we were home free.

We hung out for awhile and had some water & snacks, then re-applied sunscreen & loaded up a few liters for the subsequent desert death march back to the cars. Both Flamingo and myself had soaked our bandanas and boonie hats as a sort of poor man's air conditioner, which of course were bone dry within ten minutes. And we were still 3k above the TH. (Lower crossing is at 8.4k, TH 5.45.)

Suffice it to say we made it back to our cars in good shape and spirits. It was only 102 degrees, so yeah, not a big deal :derp: I showed Victor the route up under Sawmill point that climbs 2.5k right out of the box from the desert. It actually looked a little bit crazy from the Taboose TH. I'll write up a TR from my Sawmill-Pinchot-Taboose hike later - I have lots of great photos of this beautiful traverse.

Here's a teaser: sat under the only tree for miles waiting out the heat. After dropping off my car @ the Taboose campground (4.5 miles from the TH), I got a ride just 5 more miles to the Sawmill TH. I sat/napped in the sweltering heat ("only" around 96 degrees due to the monsoon cloud cover) under this tree for 2 hours, until I couldn't take it anymore and started hiking at 5:15pm. I had sap all over my ground sheet and clothes, as well as ants crawling all over me. Great.

Image

Note - quick stats: Taboose TH is 5,450 topping out @ 11,420 for a total gain of 5,970 over 8.4 miles (710'/mile). Sawmill TH is at 4,595, topping out @ 11,350, for a total gain of 6,755 over 9.2 miles (734'/mile).
Last edited by Hobbes on Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest