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Re: Buckeye-Thompson-Kerrick Canyons Trippy

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avatar Buckeye-Thompson-Kerrick Canyons Trippy
July 04, 2011 06:30PM
Awesomely nice trip over the 4th weekend into Northern Yosemite.

Just gorgeous canyon(s)... and not a soul in sight..

Started at Buckeye Campground ... up Buckeye Canyon to Buckeye Pass - into Thompson Canyon...
Had enough time to hike up Hawksbeak Peak too.
Down Thompson then turned east and x-d into Kerrick Canyon and thru the "Meadows" and back
down Buckeye...

Only people we saw were a group of maybe 10 stuck at the first crossing of Buckeye Creek. (~ 4 miles from TH)
Talking to the wilderness ranger at the TH it turns out they were a guided trip.
(the guides hadn't a clue in case you were wondering) (I'll leave it at that)

Looking down Buckeye Canyon:


Here's me saving another lost bird out there (atop Hawksbeak Peak):


Here's heading into the really cool part of Thompson Canyon:


A few more here:
https://picasaweb.google.com/yosemite.chick.on/BuckeyeThompson

We hit the entire trip at a great time imo. Not a single mosquito. No one really out there. No cows pooping in Buckeye.
Yes, lots of snow... but the snow can be a whole lotta fun if you have your noggin in the right frame o mind.

Enjoy (we did) wink

Chick-on is looking at you!



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Buckeye-Thompson-Kerrick Canyons Trippy
July 04, 2011 06:35PM
I forgot to mention... I think we maybe saw 2 clouds the entire trip... to the east.
Slept outside the entire time. (ok ... wifey slept in her hammock... I was relegated to the bottom bunk).
Didn't even bring a tarp. Just Alpine Bivy...

No bugs so never had to bust out bug spray, headnet, or bug bivy.

Life is good... smiling smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Buckeye-Thompson-Kerrick Canyons Trippy
July 04, 2011 11:16PM
Thanks for the trip report and photos. A couple of questions: at what elevation did the snow start? Looks like the start of your trip was snow free. And how many creek crossing did you have to do? And were any of those difficult? And did you bring or need snowshoes at the higher elevations?
avatar Re: Buckeye-Thompson-Kerrick Canyons Trippy
July 05, 2011 07:00AM
Quote
plawrence
At what elevation did the snow start?
Approx. 9K was full snow. So about 18 of the 40 miles were walking on snow. (with an additional 6 up Hawksbeak)
But it's still relatively easy to find dry ground to camp on since we only need a 3x8' flat spot for Billy to plop his booty.
First 11-ish were snow free but the trail was a pain in the Aspen in many places
(the Wilderness guy said a trail crew is going in there very soon).

So, Yes, the start was snow free. That was the plan. wink It's similar to Robinson Creek as seen in the pix.

Quote
plawrence
And how many creek crossing did you have to do? And were any of those difficult?
If they are difficult you should maybe not do them. Take the time to find a better crossing. Or hit it at the right time to
make your chances better for safety.

You first cross Buckeye Creek 4 miles in. Typical crossing is dug out from horses and whatnot. Would have been well over
the waist going in... coming back out it was probably 4 ft. deep. This is where the group was stymied that we met
coming back down. We crossed JUST upstream of that crossing on way in. Mid-thigh. Not too bad.
I just do the crossing 3 times... and the wife once w/o her pack.
On the way back out I spied a large tree over part of the creek so we used that (there's a picture) for a portion
of the crossing. The creek kinda split in that area which made it fairly simple. (the water was up a foot at least)

Further up you cross one small stream... no biggie... then if going to Buckeye Pass you cross above the
SF/NF Buckeye confluence. North Fork has log over it... S. Fork is dug out again... but easily forded further upstream.
Further to Buckeye Pass you cross the NF twice again... but we used snow bridges on way up... and way
down just stayed on east side entirely.

Everything else up above.. there is so much snow... not an issue (we actually walked right over a couple of ponds in Thompson).

Going in I knew we had to cross Buckeye... but figured worse case we spend one night and go back out foiled
and then go get a permit for some place in Yosemite.
We actually talked at length to the ranger that told us a few years ago when we met him going up Robinson that
we should check out Buckeye. For various reasons Buckeye just isn't used much. It's not written up in the guidebooks for one...
Cows are another...

Quote
plawrence
And did you bring or need snowshoes at the higher elevations?
Garsh no. Haven't used snowshoes in June at all. If you see someone with them on their pack they are
misinformed. Totally a waste of energy. The snow is so packed it doesn't matter how much there is.
(actually it's better if there is more). When we went to Ostrander the ranger said "there's 5ft. of snow"
to which I replied "5ft., 10ft. it really doesn't matter". If xcountry 5 is better than 2. Less chance of
post-holing next to a buried log.
Another reason shoes are useless is the suncups. They just wouldn't work.

We didn't even bring microspikes. They would have helped in the very early morning when the snow
has frozen back up.... but you just wait a bit and it's soft on top.. perfect conditions.
When it gets like that you can hike up and down some steep stuff w/o much issue.

Glad you asked?
I put up a more detailed map with GPS tracks if you want to zoom in and look around...



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Buckeye-Thompson-Kerrick Canyons Trippy
July 06, 2011 01:00AM
Thanks for the info.

And one more question: What is the name of your newfound brown feather friend?
avatar Re: Buckeye-Thompson-Kerrick Canyons Trippy
July 06, 2011 07:01AM
Had to save dat bird before:

http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,23577

(was contemplating only showing the Hawksbeak Peak picture... with "Saved bird ... again" but
Thompson was just too good not to share)



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Buckeye-Thompson-Kerrick Canyons Trippy
April 08, 2012 07:39AM
Quote
chick-on
You first cross Buckeye Creek 4 miles in. Typical crossing is dug out from horses and whatnot. Would have been well over
the waist going in... coming back out it was probably 4 ft. deep. This is where the group was stymied that we met
coming back down. We crossed JUST upstream of that crossing on way in. Mid-thigh. Not too bad.
I just do the crossing 3 times... and the wife once w/o her pack.
On the way back out I spied a large tree over part of the creek so we used that (there's a picture) for a portion
of the crossing. The creek kinda split in that area which made it fairly simple. (the water was up a foot at least)
...
How did you cross a thigh-deep creek?
How cold it was?
Have you taken your shoes off for this crossing?
Did you use special wading shoes or waders?
avatar Re: Buckeye-Thompson-Kerrick Canyons Trippy
April 11, 2012 07:21AM
Quote
Yury
Quote
chick-on
You first cross Buckeye Creek 4 miles in. Typical crossing is dug out from horses and whatnot. Would have been well over
the waist going in... coming back out it was probably 4 ft. deep. This is where the group was stymied that we met
coming back down. We crossed JUST upstream of that crossing on way in. Mid-thigh. Not too bad.
I just do the crossing 3 times... and the wife once w/o her pack.
On the way back out I spied a large tree over part of the creek so we used that (there's a picture) for a portion
of the crossing. The creek kinda split in that area which made it fairly simple. (the water was up a foot at least)
...
How did you cross a thigh-deep creek?
How cold it was?
Have you taken your shoes off for this crossing?
Did you use special wading shoes or waders?
Was in paradise for a bit... so sorry for delay.

It was wide and slow moving at that location so it was safe. Just asked wifie
and she says it was up to my dingleballs. I do have a picture of the location
itself but it won't look impressive since I didn't get her in it. Anyway,
it was a fairly simple crossing... It was butt cold... but not cold enough where
my feet hurt like heck after crossing... I almost always take off shoes when
crossing and leave socks on. I never have and prob. never will take
an extra pair of whatever for crossing (Ok, I actually took scooba booties
twice now... but that was for planning on wading in snow melt with
ice still in it and easily 40 degree water).

Hope this helps at least a bit. I can post a picture of the location if you like.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Buckeye-Thompson-Kerrick Canyons Trippy
July 05, 2011 09:02AM
Here's a shot of Kerrick Canyon in a different season, just to give you a comparison:

There are more on that site...from our Matterhorn Canyon trip



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
avatar Re: Buckeye-Thompson-Kerrick Canyons Trippy
July 05, 2011 09:55AM
Ok.

How about this?

July 3rd, 2009. Upper Kerrick Meadow. Looking West from nowhere near the trail...





Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Buckeye-Thompson-Kerrick Canyons Trippy
July 06, 2011 06:48AM
I have never visited this area--looks like I have been missing some beautiful country... Thanks (again) for sharing! (I honestly don't know where you and the other prolific posters here get the time to both do the hikes, drive back home, and post pictures/write-ups by Monday morning....)
avatar Re: Buckeye-Thompson-Kerrick Canyons Trippy
July 06, 2011 07:10AM
You're welcome (and thanks for saying so).

I just let the pictures do the talking with few words...

I always offload the photos almost as soon as I get home. In this instance had the entire 4th...
It doesn't take too much time to throw a few up on Picasa.

I personally have a serious problem with maps and all the pictures I take...
continually looking at them... scheming where to go next...



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Buckeye-Thompson-Kerrick Canyons Trippy
April 03, 2012 09:40PM
Ho! I think you got it right. We descended, from Tower's shoulder, into the willowy end of Stubblefield, went down canyon far enough to go 'round the corner up into Thompson, and then make it over Benson and ujp into Kerrick. Kerrick is still in my mind as very sublime.
3,4 years back a group of us hiked in from Buckeye TH, over B. Pass, then off trail into a gorgeous valley below Hawksbeak (climbed it the next day while a friend fished the lake below). We broke camp, headed up the valley, took a brief side trip to look over into Thompson, then returned to finish hiking over the saddle to the very top of, I think, Kerrick; camped near an old Obsidian knacking (?) area, lottsa chips, and the most were on the upside of a boulder family, protected from the wind and the sun. Quite the feeling to realize some indians spent time up there at the same time of year we passed by, but they could have been there several hundred years earlier! And the evidence is still there. Gives some perspective, eh?
Yes. Northern is very interesting place.
Thanks!
Warren
avatar Re: Buckeye-Thompson-Kerrick Canyons Trippy
April 04, 2012 06:52AM
The route you describe, "round the corner up into Thompson, and then make it over Benson and up into Kerrick"
doesn't entirely compute in my brain. My guess would be you went down Stubblefield and then caught the
trail to Kerrick, over Seavey, dropped into Benson, then over to Matterhorn Canyon, which is very sublime.
The other trip you mention, my understanding is that canyon is called Rainbow. It's the canyon behind the
two bird picture above.
Regardless, some great stuff. When I went up Tower I scree-d straight down to Mary. Saved a lot o time.
Dang I was tired by the time I got back to Tilden (that was day 2 from HH though so go figure).
There's a picture from Tower I put here along with some of the general vicinity:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,46181

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Buckeye-Thompson-Kerrick Canyons Trippy
April 12, 2012 10:56PM
Ho! Absolutely correct, Chick-on. Fifty years is too long ago! Seavy Pass is the one, I remember; partly because, as we passed thru there, a grouse exploded out of the bush immediately to my left and very nearly cured my constipation for the next several days. Why the heck I said Benson---oh, well. Yeah-then we made it up Kerrick; the meadow images look very familiar. Such a pleasant place.
We camped, finally, at Snow lake where we found another of the darndest things I have seen: A very large tent, maybe 10-12 feet square, surrounded on two sides by six packs of beer; two guys who seemed to be there to teach some poor 14 year old Cheechako the way of the mountains (and who was seriously altitude sick), all giving of a sense (maybe scents) of not really having any idea about what any of the surrounding were and why. Next morning, they were packing out. Poor guys, and I hope the 14 year old had a better shot the next time, and I hope he had a next time. He was with two oafs, I am thinking. What a shame to be in such a fine place, with such a miserable mindset.
Thanks for stimulating some really dusty memories!
avatar Re: Buckeye-Thompson-Kerrick Canyons Trippy
April 13, 2012 07:41AM
Ah... the ways of the mountains. Maybe they were influenced by American Television. Head to the Mountains... Coors

Was looking for a nice photo of Snow Lake for you... and flipped thru this one of Kerrick:


Ahh... I'm ready for some green meadows...



Chick-on is looking at you!
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