Circling Seven Gables Peak, John Muir Wilderness.

Kullaberg63

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Mar 6, 2014
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This was a few days ago, mid August 2017. The route on Caltopo is this, direction is counter clockwise:

Click here to view on CalTopo.

Highlights were climbing Feather, exploring West Pinnacle Creek and crossing Gemini Col.

We were a group of 5: my wife and son, one of his buddies, and our dog.

Snow levels right now are impressive in the Sierra. Many key passages involved crampons/micro spikes and axes. Mosquitoes could be managed at most camps - worst being the last directly in Pine Creek Pass.

We saw few mammals, but several red tails, possibly an osprey and definitely a bald eagle flying across Old Squaw lake. A golden eagle came close as we were sitting on Julius Caesar.

I will look thru our photos and find more, but these are some good ones to start out with, in no particular order:


The creek below Seven Gables lakes took up a lot of space with all the run off. Here we are wading a big flooded area. Gemini is directly above the blue shirt guy, with the amazing Seven Gables complex on the right.


Near the top of Feather's south ridge, an exposed class 3 scramble on good rock. One or two passages required a steady hand and calm nerves. Mt. Tom, a familiar sight to anyone in Bishop, is the distant hulk on the center skyline.


Pemmican Lake in the remote Pinnacles area. The two strings of lakes surrounding the Pinnacles are quite difficult to access, had absolutely no sign of people and was long on the list of desolate basins I wanted to visit. They did not disappoint. Especially the west drainage is magic.


The lake below the south side of Gemini Col, at the top of East Pinnacle Creek.


Preparing to descend mandatory steep snow down to Seven Gables lakes. A little scary.


A glorious camp on the edge of Piute Canyon, on the traverse between East and West Pinnacle Creeks. Mt Humphreys, the lone sentinel and almost 14'er, is peeking up on the left skyline.

Another pic from the route on Feather. This is a brief foray onto the always daunting north aspect.
 
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slc_dan

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Gorgeous!! Does all that granite make you want to pick up the sharp end again? Sure get's me going.
 

Kullaberg63

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Gorgeous!! Does all that granite make you want to pick up the sharp end again? Sure get's me going.

I don't know... pack was heavy enough as it was. I like the scrambles, where the most you need is a short bail out line.

But you never know, and it's easy to get in trouble when soloing. Sometimes Sierra class 4 is pretty stout, like on Humphreys normal route where we had a few stoppers/long runners and a 50m rope. Wasn't overkill.
 

Artemus

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Jun 25, 2012
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OK, now Feather is calling my name because of you, Jan, and Skotti too!

We couldn't get Luna to wear sunglasses. How did you manage goggles?

What was the permit hassle like for your loop?

Really, thanks for the TR...
 
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Kullaberg63

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Mar 6, 2014
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Thanks, Art!

Sierra granite is first class.

I reserved online a couple of months in advance. Picked it up the day before entry and car camped for free near the start. Pretty smooth. The Italy Pass quota is small but it's not a popular TH, so securing a slot was easy. It's 5000' up over the first 8 miles; probably why these are the last permits to go. Also the JMT/PCT is a long, hard slog from there.

Skotti is pretty adaptable. It took two hikes before he forgot all about them.
 

SKLund

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Aug 19, 2016
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Thanks, Art!

Sierra granite is first class.

I reserved online a couple of months in advance. Picked it up the day before entry and car camped for free near the start. Pretty smooth. The Italy Pass quota is small but it's not a popular TH, so securing a slot was easy. It's 5000' up over the first 8 miles; probably why these are the last permits to go. Also the JMT/PCT is a long, hard slog from there.

Skotti is pretty adaptable. It took two hikes before he forgot all about them.

There's a quota now? Man I really out of date.:moses:
 

WasatchWill

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Jul 23, 2013
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Fantastic! You guys really know your stuff! Love that pic of the dog in shades and the aqua blue water.
 

Artemus

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Jun 25, 2012
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Thanks, Art!

Sierra granite is first class.

I reserved online a couple of months in advance. Picked it up the day before entry and car camped for free near the start. Pretty smooth. The Italy Pass quota is small but it's not a popular TH, so securing a slot was easy. It's 5000' up over the first 8 miles; probably why these are the last permits to go. Also the JMT/PCT is a long, hard slog from there.

Skotti is pretty adaptable. It took two hikes before he forgot all about them.

Yes the Sierra rock is the best and that coupled with the bluebird weather makes the Range of Light one of my favorite climbing and adventure destinations.

You got that right about the east side trailhead difficulties. When we crossed the Sierra High Route on skis we had a first day ascent of 6k' with our skis and boots and 8 days of stuff on our backs from the Shepherd Creek trailhead over Shepherd Pass. Broootaaaahl!
 

ridings82

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Feb 2, 2017
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Great post. I'm not familiar with that area (heard of it, but never been). Is it common to need an ice axe and crampons in mid-August?
 

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