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#53936 - 07/25/18 03:02 PM Triple Divide Peak
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7527
Loc: Fresno, CA
Pre-trip report:
I'm heading for the Marvin Pass trailhead this evening, with Triple Divide Peak in my sights for Saturday, 7/28/18.

If you want to tag along, I'll be "InReach".

Looks like great weather, only a chance of t-storms Thursday night.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Edit: Scroll down for a trip report. Here's a good pano-stitch picture, taken from (near) the top of Triple Divide Peak.
For all the pictures, click to see the full-size.
All the pics are on smugmug.


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#53943 - 07/27/18 01:51 PM Re: Triple Divide Peak [Re: Steve C]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 476
Loc: Saugus, CA
Looking forward to pix! Looks like you just went to get a little water. happy adventuring!
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@jjoshuagregory (Twitter & Instagram) for landscape and mountain photo spamming...

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#53945 - 07/27/18 03:41 PM Re: Triple Divide Peak [Re: Steve C]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 538
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
Just checked your InReach track and map. You seem to be making good time. Triple Divide Peak looks really gnarly.

As Snacking Bear mentioned, looking forward to the pics.

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#53949 - 07/27/18 10:20 PM Re: Triple Divide Peak [Re: Steve C]
RenoFrank Offline


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 426
Loc: Reno, NV
Am I reading your tracking correctly? about 5,000' elevation gain today? 10pm and still on the move?

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#53955 - 07/29/18 10:08 PM Re: Triple Divide Peak [Re: Steve C]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 538
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
Well done!

40+ miles, and lots of climbing & off trail navigation.

You should "feel good":-)

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#53957 - 07/30/18 08:59 AM Re: Triple Divide Peak [Re: John Sims]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7527
Loc: Fresno, CA
heh heh... recovering in my cubicle today. Still rehydrating.

Bob Pickering did what he came to do: Glacier Ridge and Whaleback. Our exploratory hike up Cloud Canyon on Friday turned into a "I think I'll go ahead and try it" on Triple Divide. I'll call that my "Epic Stupid" day. Started up the canyon and got a bad case of summit fever, so I just kept going.

Unfortunately, the "Third Class" is actually "third class my ass"! The ridge that Secor rates at third class is easy at first, but becomes really narrow, with lots of blocks and slabs and drops to work your way around. The going was really slow, and the exposure on some of the moves was really exposed. Due to the late time, I had to call it off about 300 yards from the summit.

Then came the descent... My right knee is so messed up that descending is slower than climbing. Darkness fell as I was half way down the slope to the creek. Fortunately due to the slow progress, I felt fine -- no physical exhaustion issues. Drinking lots of water and snacking along the way, I was ok. Amazing how the body can hold up on a long day. If anyone was checking, I reached our camp at 12:30 AM. My wife was wondering what the heck I was doing. The InReach was a good tool to assure her I was fine. Definitely the "Epic Stupid" hike of my career.

But it allowed me to rest and fish on Saturday while Bob checked off Whaleback. Did you know you can actually fry fish over an Esbit tablet and titanium wing stove, using a 6" titanium plate and potholder. I should have kept more than the two small 6-inchers. That was a kick.

I'll write a better trip report later.

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#53958 - 07/30/18 09:11 AM Re: Triple Divide Peak [Re: RenoFrank]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7527
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: RenoFrank
Am I reading your tracking correctly? about 5,000' elevation gain today? 10pm and still on the move?


Whoa, you're right! If I'd known that was what I was doing, I might not have attempted that. I can still climb ok. Descending just stinks.

Originally Posted By: John Sims
Well done!

40+ miles, and lots of climbing & off trail navigation.

You should "feel good":-)

Roger that! smile

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#53959 - 07/30/18 09:16 AM Re: Triple Divide Peak [Re: Steve C]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 476
Loc: Saugus, CA
Glad you're back safe. Looking forward to the full run-down.
_________________________
@jjoshuagregory (Twitter & Instagram) for landscape and mountain photo spamming...

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#53967 - 07/30/18 04:50 PM Re: Triple Divide Peak [Re: Steve C]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 349
Loc: Reno, Nevada
That was quite a trip! When Steve and I split up at 3:22 on Friday afternoon, there were a few dark clouds, and I had left my good headlamp at camp. (I had my crappy backup with me.) Glacier Ridge turned out to be mostly easy slabs. It went pretty fast except for the last couple of hundred feet. The class 4 summit block “required my full attention,” but the way up was obvious. I made it back to camp before I needed my headlamp. Steve had gone MUCH further to Triple Divide, and had climbed an hour past his “turnaround time.” He didn’t get to bed until well past 1:00 AM, so I didn’t have any luck convincing him to try again Saturday morning. He went fishing while I climbed Whaleback. The Jonah’s Joy route is pretty cool, but the route has tons of class 3 (mostly slabs) that take up time. We moved camp about seven miles after I got back to camp, and then hiked the rest of the way out yesterday. I estimate well over 50 miles and something like 13,500’ of gain. Not bad for a couple of old farts, one with plantar fasciitis and the other with a blown knee!

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#54000 - 08/02/18 11:37 AM Re: Triple Divide Peak [Re: bobpickering]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7527
Loc: Fresno, CA
Bob, someone needs to know: What mapping app do you have on that Android?

...edit... Wow, post #54000! nice round number.


Edited by Steve C (08/02/18 01:21 PM)

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#54030 - 08/04/18 08:52 PM Re: Triple Divide Peak [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7527
Loc: Fresno, CA
This trip happened because Bob needs about 20 more peaks crossed off to complete his "SPS List", 247-peak Sierra Peak Section list of peaks. On this trip, he climbed Glacier Ridge and Whaleback -- they are high points on the west and east side of Cloud Canyon.

At the headwaters of the canyon is Triple Divide Peak. Bob has already climbed it, but I hadn't so I thought maybe I could just try it. The climb was listed by Secor as third class up the ridge from the eastern saddle, Triple Divide Pass.

I didn't take enough pictures on this trip to make a full report, but I'll share what I have.
Day 0, Wed, July 5: Bob and I agreed to meet at the trailhead at 8 pm. He drove from Reno, got really close to missing the permit pick-up at the Seki Grant Grove ranger station, due to construction delays on his 6+ hour trip. But he made it, and got to the trailhead just fine. It's an hour drive from Grant Grove -- head south on the Generals Highway, and make a left turn at Horse Corral road. It goes eastward for many miles into deep national forest land. The Marvin Pass trailhead turns off that road, travels several miles on dirt. There's a private "Sequoia High Sierra Camp" a little beyond the trailhead, so the road is kept in pretty good condition for any car.

When I turned off the paved Horse Corral road, I thought I'd check my InReach gps unit. To my alarm, it was completely discharged mad eek Several days before, I had turned it on to check the battery level, and failed to completely turn it off -- it asks an "are you sure", which I didn't notice. Turns out Bob had the USB charging cable I could have used, but I didn't know that, so I had visions of driving all the way home. I could NOT leave on this trip without my family knowing why I wasn't sending out any track locations. I drove back Horse Corral road, and at the first campground, the second person I asked, had a cable which they handed to me. (mailed it back to him after the trip) Incredible!!! So I drove back up the road to the trailhead, with the unit charging. With enough time, I got the unit up to 100% before we left the next morning. That little emergency only took an extra hour.

We slept inside our cars at the trailhead, got going the next morning.

Day 1, Thursday: Marvin Pass TH to Roaring River junction, 15 miles, 9 hours, 1700' gain, 2700' loss. We hiked south up to Marvin Pass, down to Rowell Meadow, eastward up to the Sequoia N.P. boundary. (8400 - 9100 - 8900 - 9250) From there, descend over many miles to Sugarloaf Creek (9250 - 7100). Then up again to a ridge and down to Roaring River (7100 - 7500 - 7150 - 7400), where there are bear boxes, a ranger cabin, and a trail crew camp. I was extremely tired when we got there -- a nap on my pad helped tremendously. I was pretty well conditioned after the first day.

Day 2, Friday: Part 1: Roaring River to Colby Pass / Cloud Canyon camp: 7 miles, 6 hours, 1700 gain, elev. 9100'.
Part 2: The crazy part... We set up camp, and since it was early, hiked on up Cloud Canyon, where there is no trail. Bob had his sights set on climbing Glacier Ridge that afternoon, and by 3 PM, (elev 9900) we had climbed to the right place where he left the canyon. I felt pretty good, so figured I'd head on up the canyon a ways. After a while I got the idea that I really didn't want to descend only to re-climb the same stuff next day, so just kept climbing. I reached the ridge of Triple Divide about 6:30, hoping to find an easy third class climb to the summit. Unfortunately, it was blocky with lots of exposure on either side. The rounded contours on the topo maps belie the almost knife-sharp ridge. I proceeded up the ridge making slow progress, taking 30 minutes for the first half. Then it became more blocky and more exposed -- at 7 pm, I new there was no way I could make it. I ended the climb, took a panorama of pictures, and headed back down.

Panorama picture from the ridge, Triple Divide on the right, Big Arroyo Canyon on the left. Pants Pass just out of view on the left--I crossed that several years ago.




Here's the panorama picture looking north. Bob's Glacier Ridge point on the left, Whaleback is the low peak in the center.
Our camp was in the canyon beyond Whaleback, where I needed to return to.




Descending was extremely tough. My right knee is toast, all the descending work is done using the good left leg and hiking poles. It turns out descending almost as slow as ascending. Heading up from Cloud Canyon, I didn't realize how extremely steep the slope was. Heading back down took forever. Checking my InReach log, Descent was slightly faster -- until I got into the canyon. Complete darkness (reached the stream at 9:30 PM) made navigation tough, and I was being extra careful. What took 2 hours on the way up took 3 on the way back. As crazy as it was, I felt fine all the way. I drank lots of water from the streams, and kept snacking -- granola bars, nuts, jerky, candy. Total descent time: 5 1/2 hours, 7 PM to 12:30 AM, 3300' loss. Call this one my "Epic Stupid" hike. But I still enjoyed it -- go figure.

Day 3, Saturday: Bob got up, had his breakfast, and headed back up the canyon to climb Whaleback. I slept in, loafed around, dipped in the stream, generally felt great. I caught 6 or 8 small trout, finally kept and fried two -- it was a nice snack. I fried them using my Titanium Wing stove with a titanium plate as a frying pan. Worked out just fine, only you need to keep the plate moving, as titanium doesn't disperse the heat well. The two small fish used about half the Esbit tablet. One of these days, I'm going to get a picture of that setup.

Bob returned, and we started back down the trail about 4:30. We hiked until 7:30 (3 hours, 4 miles, 1000' loss, 9100 - 8100). We met a large group of TSH Challenge hikers, and the group offered us dinner -- they had way too much. We should have eaten, and hiked on -- would have saved us having to cook that night. Bob was pretty tired by the end, I spotted a good camp site near the trail with several flat pad spots, so we called it a day.

Day 4, Sunday: This was a fairly uneventful day. We hiked 7 AM to 5:30, 17.5 miles, 2700' gain 2400' loss, with only a few short breaks. We met several groups going in -- a school teacher from Fresno who had been taking groups of kids across the Sierra to Mt Whitney for a number of years. The kids seemed loaded down with heavy equipment. I met a girl scout group with 4 adult women hiking in as well. One of the many stock gates along the trail was freshly knocked down. Signs at each gate request that it be closed. We then noticed bear tracks on the trail. I'm pretty sure the bear knocked the gate down, trying to get through.

For a diversion, I took an alternate trail at Comanche Meadow that heads north to Kanawyer Gap. It travelsd through a forest fire area (burned 2003). There were logs cut for the trail about every 20 feet. The new growth was pretty, and the area was more wide-open forest than the route through Rowell Meadow. The distance and elevation gain/loss is really close to the same, either way. In my opinion, the Kanawyer route is prettier. Unfortunately, most maps don't show the trail. Only the Harrison map does.

...pictures coming...


Edited by Steve C (08/05/18 09:51 PM)

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#54034 - 08/05/18 10:00 PM Re: Triple Divide Peak [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7527
Loc: Fresno, CA
I didn't take many pictures, never take as many as I should. These are worth sharing... (click to enlarge)

Leopard Lily



Six-foot tall corn lilies in bloom -- west of Kanawyer Gap



Bird nest inches from the trail. I would have missed it, except the bird flew out when I stepped beside it.




Big Wet Meadow, Whaleback. The trail skirts the meadow around to the left.



I should say, my pack started out at 22 lbs with enough food for 5 days. I carried a bivy, no tent, as no rain was forecast. Never opened the bivy. No water filter, just dipped at nearly every stream. No intestinal issues during or after the trip.


Here's Shorty's Cabin. It was fun to find and see. Bob had the gps coordinates -- wouldn't have found it without, as it is mis-located, in two different places, on different maps. our location: 36.647075,-118.534755
It is well-hidden, only about 100' east of the trail, but there is a high ~10' granite outcrop along the trail, so you have to actually walk eastward to see it. It's ~1/3 mile south of the Roaring River crossing.





Roaring River crossing. We waded on Friday, I hopped rocks on Saturday. My 1/2 pound "mens garden shoes" make excellent camp shoes and double as water crossing shoes.


Here's Bob, at another water crossing. We only used the crocs (garden shoes, true Crocs are heavier) at two crossings.




Hiking up Cloud Canyon. Lots of pretty stream side spots.




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#54041 - 08/06/18 01:28 PM Re: Triple Divide Peak [Re: Steve C]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 476
Loc: Saugus, CA
What a fantastic trip!

Glad you got out safe, at least your "Epic Stupid" kept you high for sunset. You got some epic photos!

Thanks for sharing!
_________________________
@jjoshuagregory (Twitter & Instagram) for landscape and mountain photo spamming...

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