XSL 2015 ~ Cross Country SEKI Loop ~ Day 5

The outlet of Colby Lake.

~ Day 5: Colby Pass to Kaweah Basin ~

Starting early in the cirque below Colby Lake I kept a fast pace almost all the way to Colby Pass. The wildflowers along the outlet creek from Colby Lake were beautiful. I took a break at an amazing camp site right above the shore of the lake (mental note: great camp for next time). The altitude, heat and humidity finally slowed me down at the base of the long boulderfield but I made it to the top by mid morning. The trailwork on the way to the top is impressive, much like the switchbacks on Mt. Whitney.

Creek below Colby Lake. 

Waterfalls below Colby Lake. 

Panorama from campsite along Colby Lake.

The final switchbacks to Colby Pass. 

Colby Lake from Colby Pass. 

Colby Pass, 12,000 feet. 

View from Colby Pass.

I left the trail at about 9,600 feet and headed up cross country route to Picket Lake. I had been down this route before but I missed the right crossing point on the ridge this time. I ended up doing some class III climbing on the way to Picket Lake. From the lake I followed the easy cross country in Picket Basin to the crossing to Kaweah Basin and made it to the HST Meetup before dark.

XC route: Follow the treeline from right to left up from Kern Kaweah Creek to Picket Lake. 

Cross country route up to Picket Lake and Kaweah Basin.

The HST Crew: Myself, Hobbes, Oleander, Gazelle, Richlong8 and Rockyroad.

MN2CAPisco and Andrey arrived later that night after dark just as we were settling in for the night. 

We spent the next morning talking all things High Sierra before heading our separate ways. It was a short visit for the amount of effort necessary to get there but I was grateful to have an opportunity to meet some of the HST Crew. 

Early morning in Kaweah Basin: Richlong8, MS2Capisco, Andrey, Rockyroad, Gazelle, Oleander, Hobbes & Some Dude.

~ Go To Day 6 ~

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