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Re: On the Trail Quest with JKW and Chickon

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avatar On the Trail Quest with JKW and Chickon
August 20, 2016 04:24PM
It had been several months since I had thrown the backpack on, so I was overdue to get back to Yosemite. I had been on a trip with with Chickon, KW and Basilbop back in February when we did LYV and Cloud’s Rest, and I subsequently did the North (west) Rim Trail in April with some friends. I was itching to get back to the high country, and Chickon worked his and JKW’s Trail Quest itinerary so that I could join them for 6 days.
Leaving the Bay Area at 4AM on a Monday morning, I crested the Altamont just before 5AM and was happy that I wasn’t in the already growing line of headlights heading westbound. Due to my earlier than usual start, my usual gas and supermarket stops in Oakdale were still closed, but as I was heading up over Sonora Pass to Bridgeport and then Twin Lakes I was not concerned…there were plenty of other places to stop along the way for provisions.
I was to start at the “Annette’s Mono Village” trailhead at Twin Lakes, where Chickon and JKW may, or may not, have already started up the trail. Road construction just short of Bridgeport delayed me by about 20 minutes, but gave me a chance to check in by text with the others, and it was clear that they would still be at the parking lot waiting for me, as a veritable cornucopia of minor events had kept them from starting.

We were on the trail by 9:30, and headed up first through pines, then sage, and then more forest, past Barney Lake. Taking the turnoff towards Crown Lake, we headed up


And soon reached the trail junction where the trail to Burro Pass, where a minor debate erupted between Chickon and JKW over one thing or another. (Maybe about something being orange or yellow?) Anyway, I t was reminiscent of an episode of the Bickersons, and had me wondering if this would be non stop for the next 5 days. Fortunately it was not…


We had a quick foot soak in Snow Lake


and continued up to Rock Island Pass where we found the boundary marker and continued on towards Kerrick Meadows


Where we set up for the night near a small stream, waterfall and soaking pool



The morning was chilly, with a bit of ice in my water bottle, but beautiful


Chickon warmed up in the sun


And we were soon heading up the canyon on trail


Towards Buckeye Pass, where we found another boundary marker and then started heading west cross country to get over to Thompson Canyon





There were nice views back towards Peeler Lake and Kerrick Canyon as we climbed


As well as in front as Hawksbeak Peak and upper Thompson Canyon came into view


Chickon and I went up to bag Center Mountain while JKW stayed behind to rest and guard our stuff.

The view down Thompson Canyon during our climb was spectacular


We topped out on Center


but had no luck finding the boundary marker that was supposed to be there…just the excuse we needed to get back to this area sometime in the future.

Back at JKW’s rest spot we lunched


and then headed down into Thompson Canyon

The usually sure footed Chickon went slightly (sub)Marine while crossing this creek – Booyah!


Views up canyon were gorgeous


We strolled down Thompson Canyon to a point about a mile and a half southwest of Acker Peak, where we took a Chickon/Basilbop secret notch back over to Kerrick Canyon, climbing up through dense Lupine


Making it over the crest and down towards Kerrick, we camped in the side canyon just above Kerrick.

Starting our next days’ journey, we had a nice view down into Kerrick Canyon.


Rejoining the trail, we walked downstream and hit the PCT, following it west. We stopped at Kerrick Creek for a soak and lunch


Leaving the lunch spot, Chickon spotted a possible abandoned trail segment and decided to follow it for some shrub adventure while JKW and I stayed on trail. A few minutes later he radioed that he got a glimpse of something running away from him in the brush…perhaps a mountain lion...perhaps a young deer. We were glad to see him reappear on the trail a few minutes later.
We stayed on the PCT over a short ridge and then dropped down to Stubblefield Creek, where a Payday candy bar was promised as a reward for getting to the bottom of the hill. Sadly, mosquitos were a bit heavy at the creek crossing



And the Payday didn’t materialize, much to my chagrin (until days later when we reached the truck at the trailhead). Leaving the PCT,


we headed up to Tilden Lake, spending the night there


And boating Tilden the next morning


After which we hiked west down to Falls Creek in Jack Main Canyon,

rejoining the PCT and heading upcanyon for a day of relatively easy walking


to Dorothy Lake, where we camped under a waxing moon



The next morning, I walked up to Dorothy Pass to check out that boundary marker there


while Chickon and JKW boated on Dorothy


Then it was up to Bond Pass, where we were to meet Basilbop and M. The arrival of a trailcrew there explained the noise of the chainsaws that we had heard on our hike up to Bond



After the reunion and group lunch, we headed up through wildflowers


and then over abandoned mining roads to Quartzite Peak, where we had a nice view back to Dorothy Lake



then down cross country to Bigelow Lake



past Black Bear Lake and on to Yosemite’s upper Twin Lake, where we camped

The next morning, M and I left early, while the three boaters boated Upper Twin and did a bit of extra trail along the northeast shore. M had dinged her little toe the day beforea nd seemed to be in some level of pain and the previous 5 days of chasing JKW and Chickon had taken their toll on my feet and legs, and with a long day (16 miles) followed by a long drive I was concerned about getting a lead on the three boaters who would likely be hiking faster than the two of us. We cruised for the most part that day, passing Horse Meadows



Through the Emigrant Lakes areas


And up over Big Sam, where we had great views south towards Yosemite


And back to where we could see the three behind us in the distance


The landscape was very different from what we had seen the previous days


And we were happy to get over the last pass and see our final destination…Leavitt Lake.



The three arrived at the trailhead about a half an hour after M and I did, and we all packed ourselves into Basilbop’s 4WD truck for the harrowing drive down the rougher than expected jeep road to Highway 108.
It was a great trip, as always, blessed by perfect weather, few mosquitos, and good company. I headed home to rest and recover while Chickon and JKW headed off for their next adventure…going from White Wolf back to Bridgeport’s Twin Lakes to knock off more of JKW’s trails.

More of the end of the trip can be read in Basilbop's post here.

And a bit of Chickon's shenanigans can be read here.

All of the trip photos here.
Re: On the Trail Quest with JKW and Chickon
August 20, 2016 09:18PM
Really nice report and photos! Thanks. Kerrick Canyon has always been one of my favorite spots--I love hiking through that huge open meadow.

And you didn't seem to hit any smoky skies. That's excellent! Our last three trips have been pretty smoggy, thanks to those fires further West.



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
Re: On the Trail Quest with JKW and Chickon
August 22, 2016 02:04AM
Shocked at the amount of wild flowers still out there! Great photos! Thanks for sharing
Re: On the Trail Quest with JKW and Chickon
August 22, 2016 08:48PM
Incredible trip, great photos and details. I thoroughly enjoyed mapping them with each and every turn on a topo map. As Kevin I am also amazed by the amount of wild flowers you guys witnessed on the trip. Bookmarked the post for the next year to-do list. Many thanks for sharing!
avatar Re: On the Trail Quest with JKW and Chickon
September 09, 2016 07:34AM
It was an absolute pleasure hiking with you on this adventure.

I think it ended up being over 80 miles... pretty sure that comes to less than 12 miles per day.
EZ PZ

tongue sticking out smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: On the Trail Quest with JKW and Chickon
September 12, 2016 08:03AM
Gonna just piggyback on this...

All told...

We hiked 31/34 days... 3 days to do laundry and resupply... 6 trips...
back to back
375 miles
66,000 ft of elevation gain

So... 12 miles per day with 2000 ft. ... ez pz
tongue sticking out smiley
Just as I said
tongue sticking out smiley

Anywho... MANY MANY THANKS!

A few of mine...









Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: On the Trail Quest with JKW and Chickon
September 12, 2016 09:09AM
30+ days on the trail is admirable. The only people I know who can do that are retired, or have seasonal jobs. Congrats on being able to do that.
avatar Re: On the Trail Quest with JKW and Chickon
September 12, 2016 10:09AM
Quote
The Other Tom
30+ days on the trail is admirable. The only people I know who can do that are retired, or have seasonal jobs. Congrats on being able to do that.

Lots of tech workers save up vaca dayz
and then take a month off...

I did more or less the same...
tongue sticking out smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: On the Trail Quest with JKW and Chickon
September 12, 2016 02:21PM
Quote
chick-on
Quote
The Other Tom
30+ days on the trail is admirable. The only people I know who can do that are retired, or have seasonal jobs. Congrats on being able to do that.

Lots of tech workers save up vaca dayz
and then take a month off...

I did more or less the same...
tongue sticking out smiley
Two weeks max at one time where I worked, regardless of how much I saved up. Bummer....
avatar Re: On the Trail Quest with JKW and Chickon
September 12, 2016 09:24AM
Quote
chick-on
All told...

We hiked 31/34 days... 3 days to do laundry and resupply... 6 trips...
back to back
375 miles
66,000 ft of elevation gain

So... 12 miles per day with 2000 ft.

Wowza, that is impressive! eye popping smiley
Next week, I'm gonna hike from Lower Pines over to the pizza deck at Curry...Half Dome Whatchamacallit Village, what distance do you think that is?
avatar Re: On the Trail Quest with JKW and Chickon
September 12, 2016 10:09AM
Quote
PineCone
Quote
chick-on
All told...

We hiked 31/34 days... 3 days to do laundry and resupply... 6 trips...
back to back
375 miles
66,000 ft of elevation gain

So... 12 miles per day with 2000 ft.

Wowza, that is impressive! eye popping smiley
Next week, I'm gonna hike from Lower Pines over to the pizza deck at Curry...Half Dome Whatchamacallit Village, what distance do you think that is?

Sounds like about 1/2 Pizza



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: On the Trail Quest with JKW and Chickon
September 12, 2016 11:18AM
Quote
chick-on
3 days to do laundry and resupply

laundry : Laundromat at Housekeeping Camp??
resupply: Twinkies (and various other foodstuffs) at the Village grocery store??
avatar Re: On the Trail Quest with JKW and Chickon
September 12, 2016 02:08PM
Quote
PineCone
Quote
chick-on
3 days to do laundry and resupply

laundry : Laundromat at Housekeeping Camp??
resupply: Twinkies (and various other foodstuffs) at the Village grocery store??

laundry : jump in lake w/ feathers on...
resupply : leave box o Twinkies in ski rack... (bears can't ski)



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: On the Trail Quest with JKW and Chickon
September 12, 2016 02:53PM
Quote
chick-on
resupply : leave box o Twinkies in ski rack... (bears can't ski)



avatar Re: On the Trail Quest with JKW and Chickon
September 14, 2016 06:36AM
Yeah... figured that was coming... just figured it was gonna be from plawrence...
tongue sticking out smiley
Guess he out hiking in da woodz
thumbs up



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: On the Trail Quest with JKW and Chickon
September 14, 2016 06:39AM
OK... those other pix were from other trips...

One from Bearpoofs...





Chick-on is looking at you!
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