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Re: Bippity Boppity Booping Through the Sequoias

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Bippity Boppity Booping Through the Sequoias
March 15, 2017 08:26PM
Unlike the previous weekend, which ended with a cold, wet storm, this weekend was forecast to be warm and dry. Despite starting with several feet of snow, the temperature was very summer-like from the start--at least, once we were able to start the hike proper.



There was a short section of trail in Redwood Canyon that the Pink One had not yet completed, so we headed cross-country to our campsite from a few years ago so that he could check off this segment.



Small Hart Meadow had patches of bare ground surrounded by thick pillows of snow.



The granite slabs we had camped on a few years ago had been bone dry in January of 2015, but now were covered with snow.



After a brief break, we followed the trail, under intermittent snow, into the sequoias and the Barton Post Camp area.


Boop! Boop!

We passed by several large specimens along the way.


Boop!

Fortunately, only a few mature sequoias had been felled before the loggers lost interest in Redwood Canyon, so there were very few "big stumps", especially compared to the Big Stump or Converse Grove areas.


Boop!
A bit past Barton Creek we reached the junction with the Redwood Creek trail, and thus another TrailQuest segment was completed.


Boop!

We climbed past numerous trees to the Redwood Saddle parking area, where we stopped for lunch.



Once lunch was finished, we headed out along the Sugarbowl Trail, continuing the "boop the tree" game.


Boop!

We passed by far too many sequoias to have been able to "boop" them all.


Boop! Boop! Boop! Boop! Boop! Boop!

We also passed by--or stepped over--many freshly-fallen sequoia branches, most likely from last Sunday's windy gusts. Many of these "branches" were the size of mature non-sequoia trees.



The trail was a steady climb from Redwood Saddle to our intended campsite above the Sugarbowl, but the trees provided enough distraction.


Boop! Boop! Boop!

The largest sequoia trees in the Redwood Mountain grove are far down the "record trunk volume" list, and most are not particularly huge, superficially resembling their distant coastal cousins more than the giants of Giant Forest.


Most of the sane people in the party gave up about here...

At a few breaks in the grove we were treated to views towards the south, with Dennison Ridge, where we had been last weekend, rising prominently above Ash Peaks Ridge and Milk Ranch Peak.



More and more fallen sequoia branches reaffirmed our decision to camp on an open ridge instead of in the grove.


Boop! Boop! Thud! THUD!

We managed to locate a level and clear enough place, and after some leveling work, we pitched our tent.



From our campsite we could see several places we had been recently as part of the low-elevation SEKI TrailQuest: our campsite on Old Colony Mill Road, Yucca Mountain near North Fork, upper Paradise Creek, the "back" of Homers Nose, and Dennison Ridge.



Closer to us we could see Buena Vista Peak and Big Baldy, which glowed red as the sun finally set for the day.





The nighttime temperatures had been comfortable--even drops of water on the ground cloth in the vestibule had not frozen at night. It became quite warm once the sun hit the tent, and except for the fact we were camped on a foot or two of snow, the morning was warmer than many high-elevation summer mornings.

Before heading back to the car, we wanted to check out the final bit of the grove, including the Sugarbowl group itself.


Boop! Boop! Boop! Boop! Boop! Boop!

We were not really in a hurry to leave the big trees behind.


Boop! (echoes) Boop... boop...

We reached the Sugarbowl itself all to soon. This is a small group of trees, not unlike the House or Senate groups of the Giant Forest, that consists of many similarly-aged sequoias and few other species.


The Sugarbowl don't boop

Past Sugarbowl the trail descends into Redwood Creek. Rather than take this longer route back to the car, we retraced our steps back along Redwood Mountain.



Apparently, Redwood Mountain is where a lot of the research into the role of fire in the lifecycle of sequoias took place. There was ample evidence of recent burns that had killed many of the smaller non-sequoia trees, but had merely charred the outer bark of the more resilient sequoias. (Down closer to Redwood Creek is a section where there is a jungle of 15-20' tall sequoia trees that sprouted after a fire.)



For some reason it seems we had to re-"boop" several of the trees on the way back.


Re-Boop! Re-Boop! Re-Boop! Re-Boop!

Once at Redwood Saddle, we decided to walk the closed road back to our car instead of retracing our steps through the Hart Meadow area.



Walking the road allowed us to spend more time with the large trees that it passes than we normally could driving the road.



One tree near a creek had a large, natural walk-through tunnel.



From inside this tunnel one could see how far up the tree the inner trunk had burned.



From this point we left most of the sequoias behind. The sun was downright hot as we climbed the last few hundred feet to the parking lot, where numerous families were having fun sledding in the snow--a very winter-like way to enjoy a very summer-like day.
Re: Bippity Boppity Booping Through the Sequoias
March 15, 2017 08:39PM
Thanks for the report- looks like a nice trip.
Those are some big trees.....
Re: Bippity Boppity Booping Through the Sequoias
March 15, 2017 08:44PM
I must say, I prefer being in the snow this time of year. My allergies at home (Bay Area) are insane-making right now.. the meds are making me a bit wonky to boot!

Anyway, this trip was fabulous! But I will say before we started, the guys were fussing about how heavy their packs were... So I got out the luggage scale. Suffice to say mine was the heaviest. By 4 pounds over the pink one! And Basilbop overestimated his pack by 4 pounds and was still lighter than mine by a tad. Jeez. I gave him a bit of my stuff to carry. Sheesh.

Also.. they thought it would be easier for me to walk the road and get onto the snow "further up the road". I was concerned about the snow-plow wall I could see.. but they said don't worry, start walking.. Suffice to say I didn't like it when cars passed. And I didn't like the smell of the asphalt in the hot sun. And I sure as heck didn't like having to climb up the snow bank wall with my pack on. Chick-on had kicked a few steps into the wall, but they were sized for him - and if you notice, he'd dropped his pack before doing this. When I tried to get up, one step broke out from under me, and I ended up with my sticks lying flat in the snow and basically pulling a mantel maneuver to crawl up onto the snowbank. Yah. I'd say that was the toughest part of the trip for me.

The rest of it was gorgeous, relatively easy and a TON of fun! I still fell a few times. Once was really annoying... the two guys got up a snow bank no problem. My turn, snow breaks through and I go down. Unfortunately, my right shoulder got tweaked during this incident (remember I dislocated it a couple of years ago) and it was a bit tweaky the remainder of the trip.. minor issue. but annoying. Another time, I got tangled up in downed branches. I did my best, but I didn't clear properly and basically sat down. no harm no foul. but I had to take my pack off to get back up again. Sheesh.

And dang, the downfall ... full trees, branches, twigs, needles, you name it. It was impressive.

<rant>And may I say... I really really really dislike when people insist on postholing and screwing up the snow instead of buying or renting snowshoes. Folks, if you are going to try to walk in the snow for some distance, please get snowshoes. We've seen some postholing where I've wondered if/how they managed to avoid tearing/breaking/spraining something! It's nuts! And the holes they make in the snow make it treacherous to snowshoe on, though you might not think it would. The snow gives and breaks in weird ways. Sigh. We used to cross-country ski and I'd be annoyed with both the snowshoers and the showshoe-less folks who'd walk in the middle of the ski tracks. Sigh. (When there obviously was plenty of room to make separate lines of tracks.)</rant>

Hm. Did I just complain a lot? When it's that lovely, I guess the little things stand out some.. It was fabulous and I'd do it all again in a heartbeat!
Re: Bippity Boppity Booping Through the Sequoias
March 16, 2017 03:17PM
Quote
JustKeepWalking
I must say, I prefer being in the snow this time of year. My allergies at home (Bay Area) are insane-making right now.. the meds are making me a bit wonky to boot!

Anyway, this trip was fabulous! But I will say before we started, the guys were fussing about how heavy their packs were... So I got out the luggage scale. Suffice to say mine was the heaviest. By 4 pounds over the pink one! And Basilbop overestimated his pack by 4 pounds and was still lighter than mine by a tad. Jeez. I gave him a bit of my stuff to carry. Sheesh.

Also.. they thought it would be easier for me to walk the road and get onto the snow "further up the road". I was concerned about the snow-plow wall I could see.. but they said don't worry, start walking.. Suffice to say I didn't like it when cars passed. And I didn't like the smell of the asphalt in the hot sun. And I sure as heck didn't like having to climb up the snow bank wall with my pack on. Chick-on had kicked a few steps into the wall, but they were sized for him - and if you notice, he'd dropped his pack before doing this. When I tried to get up, one step broke out from under me, and I ended up with my sticks lying flat in the snow and basically pulling a mantel maneuver to crawl up onto the snowbank. Yah. I'd say that was the toughest part of the trip for me.

The rest of it was gorgeous, relatively easy and a TON of fun! I still fell a few times. Once was really annoying... the two guys got up a snow bank no problem. My turn, snow breaks through and I go down. Unfortunately, my right shoulder got tweaked during this incident (remember I dislocated it a couple of years ago) and it was a bit tweaky the remainder of the trip.. minor issue. but annoying. Another time, I got tangled up in downed branches. I did my best, but I didn't clear properly and basically sat down. no harm no foul. but I had to take my pack off to get back up again. Sheesh.

And dang, the downfall ... full trees, branches, twigs, needles, you name it. It was impressive.

<rant>And may I say... I really really really dislike when people insist on postholing and screwing up the snow instead of buying or renting snowshoes. Folks, if you are going to try to walk in the snow for some distance, please get snowshoes. We've seen some postholing where I've wondered if/how they managed to avoid tearing/breaking/spraining something! It's nuts! And the holes they make in the snow make it treacherous to snowshoe on, though you might not think it would. The snow gives and breaks in weird ways. Sigh. We used to cross-country ski and I'd be annoyed with both the snowshoers and the showshoe-less folks who'd walk in the middle of the ski tracks. Sigh. (When there obviously was plenty of room to make separate lines of tracks.)</rant>

Hm. Did I just complain a lot? When it's that lovely, I guess the little things stand out some.. It was fabulous and I'd do it all again in a heartbeat!

I absolutely agree on the rant...Had people walk all over our fresh made snowshow trail in Bryce a few weeks ago. Made it very difficult to backtrack on the ledge parts of the trail sad smiley
Re: Bippity Boppity Booping Through the Sequoias
March 16, 2017 03:18PM
Great photos! Thanks for the share. Glad to see there's still some snow up there. By the way, I have to ask about the gaiters...the white ones, are they trash bags?? or something like cuben fiber or whatever they call it??

-Kevin
Re: Bippity Boppity Booping Through the Sequoias
March 16, 2017 08:32PM
Quote
KevinD
Great photos! Thanks for the share. Glad to see there's still some snow up there. By the way, I have to ask about the gaiters...the white ones, are they trash bags?? or something like cuben fiber or whatever they call it??

-Kevin

Good old Tyvek. Housewrap weight. We got a 9' wide roll for ground cloths and other use. The lighter tyvek doesn't come in that wide of a roll and isn't as resilient.

Chick-on made them himself! They are pretty neat!
Re: Bippity Boppity Booping Through the Sequoias
March 16, 2017 09:29PM
Quote
JustKeepWalking
Quote
KevinD
Great photos! Thanks for the share. Glad to see there's still some snow up there. By the way, I have to ask about the gaiters...the white ones, are they trash bags?? or something like cuben fiber or whatever they call it??

-Kevin

Good old Tyvek. Housewrap weight. We got a 9' wide roll for ground cloths and other use. The lighter tyvek doesn't come in that wide of a roll and isn't as resilient.

Chick-on made them himself! They are pretty neat!

I'm interested now... ..might have to go to home depot to find me some of that Tyvek wrap!
avatar Re: Bippity Boppity Booping Through the Sequoias
March 17, 2017 06:45PM
Z Old Tyvek Gaitors seems to be working pretty good.
That's version won dot oh! above.. I used Tenacious tape
to seal the uppy down seam.. I didn't have no tyvek tape...
that may or may not work well... dunno...
The little S hook to hold Z gaitor on works nicely...
thinking of making the boot strap fixed instead of
shock cord with a tightener ... will see... so far so good tho...
cheep and ez to make...

might have to improov / reincarnate the less than stellar
garbage bag gaiters ... also thinking of making tyvek mittens
or tyvek hand toobs

gaitor pre-tenacious


I wuz gonna dye / colour them yellow... on account chick-ons
got yellow legs and all.. but I ran outta tyme

z infamouse garbage bag gaiters:
(2010 vershun)


Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Bippity Boppity Booping Through the Sequoias
March 17, 2017 08:59PM
Quote
JustKeepWalking
<rant>And may I say... I really really really dislike when people insist on postholing and screwing up the snow instead of buying or renting snowshoes. Folks, if you are going to try to walk in the snow for some distance, please get snowshoes. We've seen some postholing where I've wondered if/how they managed to avoid tearing/breaking/spraining something! It's nuts! And the holes they make in the snow make it treacherous to snowshoe on, though you might not think it would. The snow gives and breaks in weird ways. Sigh. We used to cross-country ski and I'd be annoyed with both the snowshoers and the showshoe-less folks who'd walk in the middle of the ski tracks. Sigh. (When there obviously was plenty of room to make separate lines of tracks.)</rant>

Hm. Did I just complain a lot? When it's that lovely, I guess the little things stand out some.. It was fabulous and I'd do it all again in a heartbeat!

I think sometimes people will underestimate the amount of snow they'll encounter on the hike (especially if there isn't a lot of snow at the start of the hike) and will decide to leave their snowshoes in their vehicle (only to regret it when the snow gets too deep). I doubt anyone enjoys postholing for any extended distance.



Leave No Trace
avatar Re: Bippity Boppity Booping Through the Sequoias
March 16, 2017 07:33AM
Nice pictures, thanks.

Quote

Most of the sane people in the party gave up about here...

Were there others in your party?
avatar Re: Bippity Boppity Booping Through the Sequoias
March 16, 2017 10:07AM
Great trip reports, I love the Sequoias! Perhaps you may wish to consider changing your name to 'basilboop' (and if your wife's first name was Betty, she could be 'Betty Boop'!) tongue sticking out smiley
Re: Bippity Boppity Booping Through the Sequoias
March 17, 2017 09:39AM
Love the trip report. I'm looking forward to the higher elevation trip reports as the weather warms.
Re: Bippity Boppity Booping Through the Sequoias
March 17, 2017 09:51PM
Quote
lschaaf
Love the trip report. I'm looking forward to the higher elevation trip reports as the weather warms.

I'm looking forward to getting back up there...

But.. we really want to get the lower elevation trails done as soon as we can, given weather, because... poison oak!!! Ugh...

That said, we are planning on hitting 9k' early April.. but logistics... lots of variables.

Wish us luck!
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