Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
5 Days, 4 Nights 4 Guys in Seki
Display Avatars Sort By:
Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
5 Days, 4 Nights 4 Guys in Seki on 09/08/2011 18:04:09 MDT Print View

Well it started out with Jack Elliot wanting to do a trip into SEKI as he wanted to see Forester Pass. An email and a call later I am on the hunt to set up a Sept. trip that would include going over Forester and seeing some other sights. After some long and hard planning which included going over Milly, Lucys Footpath or Harrison Pass we settled on going into Center Basin via Kearsarge Pass, then over Junction Pass, Shepherds Pass, and then over Forester and back of Kearsarge. Yup we can do it said I....The word gets out that we would like some company and Bob Gross and Rick Horne jump at the chance! Well here is how the story goes. With all the planning and getting permits we thought we could do this. BUT the issue became apparent on the first day that 3 middle aged guys that are in ok shape sometimes need a little more oomph to get it done. The running joke of the trip was don't believe Kenny he lies....as Rick so often jokingly said..or to steal from Jack. So instead of tackling all of those magnificent passes we settled on Kearsarge and Forester....well two of the four settled on that one. You see we did not end up in Center Basin but at the trail junction to have an off day and let those that wanted to go up Forester the chance to do so. I just want to add that I enjoyed everyones comany and I had a ball!!! Thank you guys for allowing me to share such great company! Also thanks to Rick for driving. As much as it broke my heart and I am sure Bob's, we were not up to the challenge of what I had layed out. You see, I love The Sierras and I want to see it all, and sometimes my eyes get bigger than my stomach so to speak. Jack and Bob both climbed up to Forester Pass while Rick and I hung out at Bubb Creek and enjoyed a fantastic off day. Here is the pictures!

Onion Valley

Pre hike dinner at Onion Valley. L-R Jack Elliot, Bob Gross, Ken Helwig

Onion Valley

7:30 start time, shaking the cobwebs out and getting ready to climb Kearsarge Pass. Note Jack is already smelling his underarms...

Onion Valley

On the way up Kearsarge Pass

Onion Valley

Getting closer to the pass....Kearsarge is 11,700 feet and is described as one of the more easier passes to go over to get into Kings Canyon. Right........

Onion Valley

Me atop Kearsarge PassOnion Valley

Jack playing musclman on the pass

Onion Valley

Jack coming down Kearsarge Pass on the Eastern Side heading towards Kearsarge Lakes

Onion Valley

Bullfrog Lake

Onion Valley

Looking towards the headwaters of Bubbs Creek and Forester Pass

Onion Valley

Camp for the first night. Bob had a Hyperlight Gear tarp, Rick with his MLD tarp, I had my Gossamergear SpinnTwinn, and Jack with his Z Packs Hexamid...Upper Viddette Meadows

Onion Valley

Bubbs Creek....something tells me Cary Bertoncini would have loved fishing this!


Onion Valley

Bear scratches in a tree

Onion Valley

Onion Valley

Looking up towards Forester Pass

Onion Valley

Onion Valley

Onion Valley

Love on the trail

Onion Valley

Onion Valley

This balloon was found near Forester Pass. It was some kind of commercial balloon for advertising. Dunno where it came from though. Some people near our camp was cutting it up to carry it out

Onion Valley

Onion Valley

I found this while hiking up the headwaters of Bubbs Creek. I yelled out THANK YOU TRAIL ANGELS!!!!!!!!!!

Onion Valley

lightweight water treatment on Bubbs Creek

Onion Valley

Found three GG poles on the JMT....One was broken, the other was snapped and the third was damaged. We took them home with us.....strange. Why not CARRY out your garbage!

Onion Valley

Rick Horne on the trail!

Onion Valley

Heading into Kearsarge Lakes Basin

Onion Valley

Things I came away with on this trip. Firstly, I can and will go lighter for a trip of this duration. I started this hike with 23 lbs and I know that I can go lighter. I am already taking things out of my pack. I should and will carry less food as I came home with way more than I thought I would. All in all, this was a fantastic trip.

Edited by kennyhel77 on 09/08/2011 20:26:14 MDT.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
5 days, 4 nights 4 guys in Seki on 09/08/2011 19:10:38 MDT Print View

Great pictures Ken. Sounds like you had a excellent time with your crew! I am finally a working stiff and jealous of your trip.

--J.W.--

David W.
(Davidpcvsamoa) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
Re: 5 Days, 4 Nights 4 Guys in Seki on 09/08/2011 19:12:56 MDT Print View

Ken,

Glad you had a great time and came back safe. I wish I could have joined you guys for this one. Thanks for sharing the pictures and report. I now think of Cary too when I see a good fishing spot. I look forward to more pictures and commentary!!

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: 5 Days, 4 Nights 4 Guys in Seki on 09/08/2011 19:17:16 MDT Print View

Thanks Jay, it was fun. The last week of my vacation for the year!
Dave, yeah too bad you could not make it. It was fun! I hear ya on Cary and fishing spots!

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: 5 Days, 4 Nights 4 Guys in Seki on 09/08/2011 20:15:55 MDT Print View

I'm glad you guys had a good time, Ken. Even the shortened version took you through some beautiful country. It made me a little nostalgic to see the Bubbs Creek drainage again. Haven't been there in many years and it's as beautiful as ever. Thanks for sharing your pics.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Re: Re: 5 Days, 4 Nights 4 Guys in Seki on 09/08/2011 20:22:06 MDT Print View

Your welcome Tom, I was really sad that we were a bit ambitious. Though I will be back next year with a tour of the Great Western Divide or a tour of The Kaweahs. I really wanted to check out the lake you suggested! Thank you for your suggestions as it did not go unwarranted.

On a side note, I saw more ULA packs than I have ever seen. I love it!! Being one of the first ULA customers it made me proud to see so many out there!

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Nice on 09/08/2011 20:26:32 MDT Print View

Looks like a great time in a beautiful spot. Thanks.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 5 Days, 4 Nights 4 Guys in Seki on 09/08/2011 20:53:42 MDT Print View

"I will be back next year with a tour of the Great Western Divide or a tour of The Kaweahs. I really wanted to check out the lake you suggested!"

Hey Ken, that's what "next times" are for. Shave that pack down, train up a little, and I'm betting you'll get there next time around. And appreciate it all the more.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: 5 Days, 4 Nights 4 Guys in Seki on 09/08/2011 21:03:42 MDT Print View

I would have called it four days and three nights. Whatever.

Next year, start from Road's End and go over Avalanche Pass. That'll get your heart going. Then do Elizabeth Pass, Kaweah Gap, Kern Hot Spring, Colby Pass, and then Avalanche Pass again on the way out.

--B.G.--

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"5 Days, 4 Nights 4 Guys in Seki" on 09/08/2011 21:51:20 MDT Print View

You guys live in beautiful country, looks like a postcard setting at every turn. Thanks for sharing this Ken.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: 5 Days, 4 Nights 4 Guys in Seki on 09/08/2011 22:42:24 MDT Print View

Still seeking a recipe for skewered squirrel.

ground squirrel

How about a recipe for onion-fried butterfly?

wild onion with butterfly

--B.G.--

Edited by --B.G.-- on 09/08/2011 23:04:45 MDT.

Rick Horne
(Rick778) - M

Locale: NorCal - South Bay - Campbell
More Pictures on 09/09/2011 11:19:34 MDT Print View

I made it!

I made it!

We are going where

We are going where?

Trying to get a fire going

Jack working on our only campfire. (Only night sleeping below 10,000 feet)

Tarp setup

Slept under the stars most nights. Setup and slept under the tarp the first night. Set it up the second night thinking it might rain, but slept under the stars.

Rick Horne
(Rick778) - M

Locale: NorCal - South Bay - Campbell
Re: More Pictures on 09/09/2011 11:42:27 MDT Print View

Kitchen

This was the kitchen setup I used. The others used small canister stoves.

Bedroom

Most nights I slept under the stars using my Nunatak quilt and Ti Goat bivy.

Steripen

Three of us used Steripens. Bob used a gravity filter.

Sunrise

Sunrise on day two.

Looking towards Forester Pass

Looking towards Forester Pass.

Getting dinner ready

Ken and Jack preparing dinner.

Jacking dreaming

Jack dreaming of whats to come.

One of Kearsage Lakes

Looking down canyon with one of the Kearsarge Lakes in the foreground.

Bob exploring

The last full day on the trail Bob, Ken and I explored back into the Kearsarge Lakes Basin.

Upper Kearsage Lake

Ken wouldn't stop until we reached the highest of the Kearsarge Lakes and with Bob as our leader I wasn't sure we would ever head back to camp!

Kearsage Lakes

A view of the Kearsarge Lakes area. We spent our last night here. Probably my favorite part of the trip exploring this area.

Edited by Rick778 on 09/09/2011 20:13:25 MDT.

Rick Horne
(Rick778) - M

Locale: NorCal - South Bay - Campbell
Re: Re: More Pictures on 09/09/2011 11:47:16 MDT Print View

Moon rise

Moon rise over the Kearsarge Lakes.

Marmot

The only Marmot I saw the whole trip.

Edited by Rick778 on 09/09/2011 20:14:42 MDT.

Backpack Jack
(jumpbackjack) - F - M

Locale: Armpit of California
MORE PICS on 09/09/2011 23:40:32 MDT Print View

I guess it's my turn. I'm still trying to recover.I started with the heaviest pack weight, which came in at 25 1/2 lbs, but when we got back it only weighed 17 1/2 lbs and that was including half of my food I didn't eat. I'm with Ken, next time less food, I never seem to eat when I hike, and I always bring back at least half the food I take.

Onion Valley camp site 1st night r-l Bob, Rick, Ken

onion valley

Heart Lake on the way up to Kearsage Pass

heart lake

I beat you to the top!, nanner, nanner, nanner, but wait Bob beat me, what a machine that Bob!

Rick/Ken

Bull Frog Lake.

bull frog

There's a nice buck in this pic, can you find it?

buck

We're headed waaaaayyy back there somewhere.

canyon

On the way up to Forrester Pass I saw this water fall. I called it " Wish Bone Falls" I don't know if it really has a name, just looked like a wish bone to me.

wishbone

This trail looked like you would just walk off into space, those guys that build trails take their job serious.

trail

I think I'm Hallucinating, is that whipp topping?, it's so hot, where's the top? oh it's just snow, how much further, am I there yet?

snow

I made it. WHEWWWW!!! WHHOOOWW!! 13,200 FT with the sign to prove it.

me

Back to camp in time to catch the sun set and some Alpen glow.

sunset

alpen glow

More pic's coming.

Edited by jumpbackjack on 09/10/2011 09:38:23 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: MORE PICS on 09/09/2011 23:55:21 MDT Print View

"...but wait Bob beat me, what a machine that Bob!"

It's not how old you are that counts. It's how old you think you are!"

Just think how much weight I saved by not carrying any trekking poles to slow me down.

--B.G.--

Aaron Benson
(AaronMB) - F

Locale: Central Valley California
Re: Re: MORE PICS on 09/10/2011 08:38:45 MDT Print View

Looks like a great time, gentlemen. Thanks very much for sharing.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Re: MORE PICS on 09/10/2011 16:05:50 MDT Print View

Great photos guys!

Backpack Jack
(jumpbackjack) - F - M

Locale: Armpit of California
RE:More pics on 09/20/2011 22:01:25 MDT Print View

I thought I would add some more pics.

Kat, I took this one just for you. Looks good enough to eat.

mushroom

Come on guy's were almost there, I can smell the cheese burgers from here!

Rick

Pine needles

pine

Kearsage Pinnacales at sunrise.

Pinnacals

Saw these deer as we were headed back over Kearsage to the trail head.

deer

blue skys

Now that'a what I call "Room with a view"

camp

alpen glow

moon

Edited by jumpbackjack on 09/20/2011 22:16:23 MDT.