TR SEKI 3-25-2018: A Short but Memorable Trip


Jan 31, 2017
Hello all!

Hope all has been going well. It's been awhile so I decided to catch up on some trip reports!

As it was a relatively dry winter, my partner and I didn't really go out much this past season. With cabin fever creeping in, we decided we had to get out and away from the city:head-desk: .

Thankfully there was some snow in the forecast for the last few days of March so we decided to go for Sequoia since Dewey/Yose didn't look too solid. Having done Pear Lake (and areas around it) a few times already, we opted to go for Panther Gap and possibly Alta peak if conditions allowed.

Leaving Los Angeles late at night, we arrived at an AirBnB in Visalia around 11:30pm and got a few hours of shut eye before heading up to the park the next morning. When we had arrived at the gate around 6:30am, it was pouring quite heavily which was a good sign for snow up higher. Even better news was that the road between the parks was open and as such, one of our favorite Sequoia grove was now accessible! Though we had wanted to do an overnighter, being able to hike one of our favorite trails in the snow was too much to give up so we turned it into a short day trip.

Driving up the 198, it was pretty neat watching how the rain turned into snow as we got higher and higher. About half-way up, we ran into a pack of deers wondering around the road. They must have been used to humans (or cars) as they stubbornly refused to move off the road lol.

Getting on the trail at around 8ish, we found it somewhat difficult to follow as it was under about 1.5 to 3 feet of consolidated snow plus a few stream crossings here and there. It was about after the first mile where everything got easier as the route is pretty straightforward from there. Thankfully, we ended up not needing our snowshoes though!

Another half-mile in we were able to catch a glimpse of our destination which was still partially covered fog/clouds

Some neat sap/water stalactites

Thankfully there was more snow as we got closer to the grove. This made the last few "stream" crossings relatively easy

There's the grove!

After some exploring, it started to snow so we decided to set up base camp at our favorite lunch spot.

Getting some snow to melt for water

Lunch! (Thai curry w/ chicken, rice, and mixed veggies) First time trying out this recipe and boy did it turn out good! Or...we could have been biased as we were starving lol

Now it should be said that I had planned on proposing to my partner Ashley over at Panther Gap (original overnighter trip plan!). But as our relationship had technically started a few years prior at this same spot, the chance to propose to Ashley at one of her most favorite outdoor locations was too much to give up! Sadly with only two of us, no photos were taken of the actual proposal but...she said yes! :)

Afterwards we decided to explore a little more than decided to head back to the car. Here are a few more photos

All in all, a short but definitely memorable trip!
Yay!!!!!!!!!!! Romance and backpacking! So special...:dance: Congratulations!

Beautiful photos! Very glad I ended up not going hiking around that time in that area, definitely more snow than I would have known how to handle yet.
Congrats on the engagement! What a cool story!

The moment I knew I wanted to marry my now wife was in a slot canyon in Zion. I wasn't prepared to propose right then, but that was the key. Cool to have the backcountry as part of your story. Good luck to you guys!
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