Kaweah Basin and Beyond September 2017

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Wandering Daisy
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Re: Kaweah Basin and Beyond September 2017

Post by Wandering Daisy » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:54 pm

I enjoyed the photos particularly. You did not state the exact dates, but I suspect the storm was the same one that hit me when I was up at Big Brewer Lake. I got totally soaked walking out in the wet snow and that night was exceptionally cold. I also climbed Lawson years ago and it does have great views. I have been up and down Pyra Queen Pass- it IS a tough one! I am glad all went well and you got out safely.








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Re: Kaweah Basin and Beyond September 2017

Post by wsp_scott » Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:49 pm

Picket Guard Lake looks beautiful, thanks for the report
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Re: Kaweah Basin and Beyond September 2017

Post by alpinemike » Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:49 pm

You did not state the exact dates, but I suspect the storm was the same one that hit me when I was up at Big Brewer Lake. I got totally soaked walking out in the wet snow and that night was exceptionally cold.
Yep it sure was! I remember reading your report when we got out. 15F at Colby Lake so it was easily colder in lower more depressed areas. I can only imagine how cold it got in some of the meadows of the Roaring River Country.

The snow really made this adventure come alive. We were definitely prepared for it and I knew the area very well (for the most part) but milder and drier conditions would have certainly made it more pleasant.
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Re: Kaweah Basin and Beyond September 2017

Post by Lumbergh21 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:19 pm

Lovely photos, great report. So many places, so little time. Maybe some day.

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Re: Kaweah Basin and Beyond September 2017

Post by CAMERONM » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:30 am

I think that I took off for the Basin about two days before you, and just before I left I saw an ominous weather report that led me to immediately shorten my trip by two days. It is interesting that the entire time I was out, when I ran into HST hikers virtually no one had any indication of impending bad weather, and many people started several days after I did. I put in a long last day to get off the trail, and the snow hit that night. I tend to be conservative when dealing with late season first-snowstorm warnings. But as a local told me once, it is the SECOND snowstorm that you need to be most concerned about.

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Re: Kaweah Basin and Beyond September 2017

Post by limpingcrab » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:18 pm

Screen Shot 2019-01-11 at 9.12.07 PM.jpg
Screen Shot 2019-01-11 at 9.11.53 PM.jpg
Love it!!! Not to taint your mental image of Kaweah Basin, but I spent an entire day naked out there while I took these pictures. :unibrow: Thanks for taking the time to dig your great pictures up and share, it brought back some great memories and I agree that the lake on Picket Creek has to be one of the coolest spots in the range. I mean, it sucks, not worth visiting, nobody should check it out! :paranoid:

Really enjoyed your trip report, thanks again
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Re: Kaweah Basin and Beyond September 2017

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:38 am

I camped at the exact same site you did on the lake on Picket Guard Creek! I was running behind schedule to get to the 2015 Meet-up, decided to camp at the lake because I saw fish rising, in spite of the likelihood I would miss everyone at Island Lake, the meet-up location. I did catch fish for dinner! Next morning I got to Island Lake, everyone was gone, and I set up camp and day-hiked the upper Keweah Basin. On the way out I went to the upper Picket Guard drainage, and then walked down the drainage along the lakes to the same lower lake.

I did a late fall trip in 2006, Sept 17-26 and although it was plenty cold and well below freezing every night, no storms. In retrospect I really stuck my neck out, doing a solo "light and fast" with only a bivy sack! After being out in the 2017 storm, I will take a tent on all trips late season. Learned my lesson. I cannot remember if I wrote up that 2006 trip for HST forum; I joined the forum in 2008. It was a foolishly 75-mile difficult trip for late season; Roads End, Roaring Fork, Colby Lake, Picket Guard Lake, Keweah Basin, Nine Lakes Basin via Pyra Queen, Cloud Canyon, Upper Cunningham Creek, East Lake and out Bubbs Creek. Nevertheless, one of the best loops I have done.

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Re: Kaweah Basin and Beyond September 2017

Post by creekfeet » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:58 am

Phenomenal report! I basically planned to do the exact same trip this past summer, but after too many days in the rain I decided to re-route to Kern Hot Springs once I hit the Colby Pass Trail. Interestingly from your photos and description it seems like there was significantly more snow on Pyra Queen Col in late September of 2017 than there was in early July last year when I went up it. Like you I never want to do that pass again. I don't think I took a single step where something or other didn't start moving. I also skipped out on Red Spur, but after seeing your photos I'm kind of regretting that. Despite the fact that it's incredibly difficult to get to, would you say it's worth visiting?

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Re: Kaweah Basin and Beyond September 2017

Post by maverick » Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:33 pm

I also skipped out on Red Spur, but after seeing your photos I'm kind of regretting that. Despite the fact that it's incredibly difficult to get to, would you say it's worth visiting?
Very worth while, Kaweah Basin and Picket Lake get most of the attention in this area, deservedly so, most folks have only 1 or 2 full days at best to spend in KB because of its remoteness, and do not have the time left to spend time or even visit RSB.
The views from two of the lakes southern end toward the north, Kern Point area, is spectacular, and views towards the Whitney Region are unimpeded, and at sunset are just gorgeous. One of the lakes has wonderful camping on its eastern side, the lake is like a huge pool, and was quite warm for its size.
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Re: Kaweah Basin and Beyond September 2017

Post by zwoij » Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:44 pm

Mike, the lake below Black Kaweah, was that the last lake before Pyra-Queen Col (Lake 11682 according to the High Sierra map)? I just posted about whether there a spot to camp there. Apparently you found a place. Or was it at the lake to the northwest?

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