Tag Archives: 2012

missing 2012 trips

sunset from Granite Chief peak

sunset from Granite Chief peak

I never seem to get all my trips posted. Not only did I not post my 10-day trip into the Mokelumne Wilderness, the highlight of the summer, I did not get around to posting on next two trips into the Granite Chief Wilderness.

Trail Maintenance and Powderhorn

The first missing trip was seven days in July. I went in at Granite Chief trailhead, and in fact spent several days completing brushing trail work on that trail. Once that was done, I headed south and camped on the top of Granite Chief peak, a spectacular place to sleep. When the air of the central valley is reasonably clear, it is easy to see details of the coast ranges, and at night, the lights of the valley cities and towns.

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First trip

jetstream clouds at sunset

I did my first trip through the wilderness June 24-27. How much difference a year makes! Last year, a month later, I was crossing regular patches of snow on the trail, and sometimes walking on snow for long distances, but this year I only crossed a couple of patches. Last year the creeks were so high that they were difficult or impossible to cross, this year all were easily crossed.

I went in at Granite Chief Trail, and did an afternoon’s work brushing the trail, and then much of the next day. I’ve completed the portion to about half way up where the trail crosses a creek near a mules ears meadow. Probably another day’s work yet to do to finish it off to the top. Huckleberry oak, white thorn, and pine mat manzanita have died back in a number of places along the trail. Is it from too much snow last year, or too little this year, or some other reason? I camped out on a granite ledge that hangs over Squaw Creek canyon, but slept very little with the wind howling all night.

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