Topic

Big SEKI Slalom


Forum Posting

A Membership is required to post in the forums. Login or become a member to post in the member forums!

Home Forums Campfire Trip Planning Big SEKI Slalom

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #3803440
    AG
    BPL Member

    @dlkj83jdk3883ll

    hey folks – planning a two week sierra trip for August and wonder if people have any suggestions/tips/criticisms. i’ve always loved the trip reports on doingmiles.com (and frequently also posted here on BPL), and originally considered doing the Big SEKI Loop. some nagging issues though that didn’t really sync with my plans: i’m not from CA so i don’t have a car out there there (making Road’s End a dealbreaker); i really prefer to have two full weeks with a normal resupply in the middle; and having done the JMT before i wanted to avoid the HST and JMT as much as possible. after toying around i’ve come up with the “Big SEKI Slalom” (caltopo here) .. and plan to go SOBO from Bishop area, resupply once via Onion Valley, and end at Horseshoe Meadows. solo the whole time. let me know if you have any tips for me! (i usually do ~4 weeks in the wilderness every Aug, but this will only be second time in Sierras)

    – will try some short off-trail bits for the first time. first at Lamarck Col and finally at Crabtree pass in the Miter Basin.

    – Lake South America looks pretty bleak and windswept?

    – anyone been to the Horseshoe Lakes (north of Granite Pass)?

    – stoked to explore the Sixty Lakes area for the first time

    – any Miter Basin tips for me?

    #3803450
    Robert Spencer
    BPL Member

    @bspencer

    Locale: Sierras of CA and deserts of Utah

    Well done, AG. You have put together an epic journey through some of the best backpacking in the world. Pretty good for your second Sierra trip!

    Viewed from nearby peaks, Lake South America appears to be pretty barren to me as well. You can always cut that section off and continue your itinerary. Not to worry, you have yourself a highlight reel of staggering beauty. Enjoy!

    #3803485
    Sharon M
    BPL Member

    @arkheel1

    Locale: Central North Carolina

    In 2022, we went in at Horseshoe Meadows and out at Onion Valley, so northbound.  We went through Miter Basin and over Crabtree Pass.  Then we hiked north on the JMT, doing side visits to Wallace and Wales lakes, Milestone Basin and Center Basin.  This was our second Sierra trip.

    We passed right by Lake South America.  It is pretty barren, but nearby Milestone Basin is amazing.  I posted a trip report on High Sierra Topix.  That would be a good place to ask questions about your route.

    I’m happy to share more about our experience with Crabtree Pass, if you have questions.

    Lake South America

    Lake South America

    #3803531
    AG
    BPL Member

    @dlkj83jdk3883ll

    thanks found your trip report on HST.. super helpful

    #3803540
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    southern Sierra trails tend to keep a hiker in high altitude, moon scape country. Most people are gob-smacked by this, and rightly so. However, further north, in Ansel Adams wilderness and Yosemite, trails tend to wander in and out of the 7,000-12,000 foot range. Frankly, I find the scenery there more various and appealing. I like flora and fauna. High altitude moonscapes eventually look lifeless to me. Plus, where to shelter from winds and worse?

    My point is, don’t dismiss a more northern section of the Sierra. Some feel the “lower” altitude is wimpy. No. Parker Pass in Yosemite is 13,00o feet. But my point is, ‘mere’ 9-10,000 foot passes and surrounding terrain tend to have more extensive and rich ecologies than than higher moonscapes. Hence, my preference for the former.

    #3803544
    AG
    BPL Member

    @dlkj83jdk3883ll

    great advice and i couldn’t agree more. i’m doing a different trip further north the week prior to this trip ;) so hopefully will see best of both worlds

    #3803568
    nunatak
    BPL Member

    @roamer

    If one studies AG’s route it def won’t be too moonscapey.  It looks very balanced elevation vise. IMO, like jscott, I find the 10-11500′ range to be the quintessential Sierra terrain whether Yosemite or SEKI.

    #3804600
    Steve Thompson
    BPL Member

    @stevet

    Locale: Southwest
    1. AG, some comments on your route.  First all, good choice, the southern Sierra are spectacular.  And if you haven’t got your permit yet consider going in either direction a double your chances at getting the time period you want.

    If you are depending on Eastern Sierra Transit Authority as a key element of your trailhead shuttle keep in mind they don’t run on weekends.

    “– will try some short off-trail bits for the first time. first at Lamarck Col and finally at Crabtree pass in the Miter Basin.”

    Lamarck Col makes for a challenging entry day.  Suggest a first night at Upper Lamarck Lake, or, if an average+ snow year, the melt tarn just below the pass.   Also, burn a couple extra hours on Darwin Bench, it is absolutely stunning.

    “– Lake South America looks pretty bleak and windswept?”

    I prefer austere as the descriptor.  Should you want to camp at and taste that scenery, stop at Lake 11440 instead.  Same basic feel for less effort and should you decide “no” just follow its outlet a short ways and camp just south of the Upper Kern/Tyndall Cutoff Trail.

    ”– anyone been to the Horseshoe Lakes (north of Granite Pass)?”

    If it is what I am thinking, yes.   A bit out of the way, but pretty and waiting to be fished.

    “– stoked to explore the Sixty Lakes area for the first time”

    From the north, Basin Notch is an easy entry.  This is a very pretty area avoiding the crowds around Rae Lakes.  Follow the SoSHR route and meet the JMT about halfway up to Glen Pass.

    You have the makings of an epic trek, enjoy both the planning and the time in God’s country.

    #3804606
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    “If you are depending on Eastern Sierra Transit Authority as a key element of your trailhead shuttle keep in mind they don’t run on weekends.”

    I’ve hitchhiked a good number of times back to my car from  any number of trail exits on the east side of the Sierra. Your pack will pretty much advertise what’s going on. Many people driving by will understand. However I was always solo, which helps.

    I love love love this section of the Sierra.

    #3804736
    AG
    BPL Member

    @dlkj83jdk3883ll

    outstanding. thanks everyone. scored my permit a week ago  – and very much looking forward to this.

    #3804858
    Amy Lauterbach
    BPL Member

    @drongobird

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    Don’t let anyone discourage you from going through the Upper Kern Basin below the Kings/Kern Divide. Yes, the landscape is austere but is as wild a place as you could ever hope to find. Laced with large and small lakes and surrounded by huge peaks, this is the Southern Sierra at its best. We have been there on probably six different trips and have enjoyed them all. Take the time to loop off trail north through the upper basin toward Lucy’s Foot Pass. The walking is splendid.

    James (and Amy)

    #3805021
    Tom K
    BPL Member

    @tom-kirchneraol-com-2

    Totally agree with James.  The Upper Kern has a beauty all its own, with a surprising amount of water, a rich, complex ecology exquisitely adapted to the “austere” conditions of the higher elevation that just requires a little keener eye to discern, and many off trail nooks and crannies to explore.  Thunder and Milestone Basins are the 2 most obvious choices, and well worth an extra day or 2, but there are others if you look closely at your map.   Having taken the trouble to get there, it would be a shame if you didn’t spend a little time wandering about and discovering why connoisseurs of the Southern Sierra rate it so highly.  Based on the creativity you have displayed in designing your route, I doubt the Upper Kern Basin will disappoint you.

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Forum Posting

A Membership is required to post in the forums. Login or become a member to post in the member forums!

Get the Newsletter

Get our free Handbook and Receive our weekly newsletter to see what's new at Backpacking Light!

Gear Research & Discovery Tools


Loading...