Monthly Archives: February 2012

A lost trip

Tiger Lily along Five Lakes Creek

I thought that I’d wrapped everything up this morning, and then this afternoon I was going through photos of other trips to upload them, and discovered set of photos I’d not labeled or uploaded. They were named TRT, but it was actually a much bigger trip, from Donner Summit to Spooner Summit. Once I found the photos, I also found the section of my journal, where I’d taken fairly detailed notes on the trip.

For the Granite Chief Wilderness portion, I came in on the north side from the PCT, went to Whiskey Creek Camp, walked out to the head of Picayune Valley but didn’t go down, explored Five Lakes, went down Five Lakes Creek to Diamond Crossing, and then out Powderhorn Canyon to Barker Pass. I backtracked to Twin Peaks and went out Stanford Rock Trail to Tahoe.

So THIS was my first trip of 2011 into the Granite Chief. Or maybe there are more yet to discover!

photos on Flickr

back to Wordpress

I have moved all the information from granitechief.org to this blog. The website had a certain elegance of organization and design that are not possible on a hosted blog, but it will be easier for me to maintain. There may be some missing pieces and broken links, and if you notice anything, please let me know. The domain will now redirect to this blog.

These changes are to make it easier for me to maintain the information in a timely manner. I expect to be backpacking most of this coming summer, with only brief visits to town for a shower and resupply, so I need to be able to quickly update the blog without spending time on it.

Trip History

view into Bear Pen from PCT

view into Bear Pen from PCT

My first trip into the Granite Chief was in 2006, but the adventure started several years earlier when I was walking the Tahoe Rim Trail. There is a little overlook just off the trail as the TRT climbs out of North Fork Blackwood Canyon, south of Twin Peaks, where there is a view north down a valley. I was intrigued, and started looking at maps to see where this might be and how I could get there. This canyon is Bear Pen, with the Five Lakes Creek and Whiskey Creek basins beyond. Continue reading

Cairns and ducks

I have some strong feelings about cairns and ducks along trails. Cairns are large piles of rocks, and ducks are small piles of rock (three or so), both meant to mark trails or routes that may be difficult to follow without them. The problem is, they are often put in place by people who are either partially or completely lost. I don’t understand the psychology of building rock piles just at the time when you are becoming unsure that you know where you are, but I have years of experience with rock piles to say that is exactly what happens.

Continue reading