January 28, 2017 · Sequoia National Park
Check out the route in detail on AllTrails.
We left early (4:50am) Saturday morning in order to give us enough time to hike to the lake before sun down. Since the roads were clear, the drive to the north entrance of Sequoia was quick and easy. Unfortunately, I found the winter road closure instructions posted on the Internet a little hard to decipher. Due to my misunderstanding, we ended up having to drive quite a bit further south to enter the park.
After about an hour of general car sickness and several miles of extremely curvy roads, we were back on track. Sequoia National Park had a surprising amount of day users for a winters day. We cruised up to the trailhead, and since we had all wheel drive, we were able to pass fleets of cars who were required to put on tire chains. We registered for our backcountry permit near the Giant Forest Museum, then drove for about 15 more minutes to the trail head.
We geared up, and pretty much stayed clipped into our snowshoes until we arrived at our camp site. The trail was packed out for us, which made it easy to find our way. The beginning of the route was nice and flat, but quickly turned into a somewhat cruel b-line straight up and over a high ridge of 9,500 feet.
We didn't quite make it to the lake because we ran out of day-light. As the Scouts were arriving at our camp, I went ahead to the Pear Lake Hut (about 5 minutes past our camp) to see if we would luck out and find that there was room for us. It was totally packed. I chatted for a bit with a guy named Aurelien who was camped outside of the hut, and then headed back to our camp site to set up and start cooking dinner.
After another amazing Jing meal (a risotto), we cleaned up camp and headed to bed to stay warm.
In the morning (around 7am), we got out of our tents, had homemade oatmeal and granola, and packed up. We were back on the trail by 10am. We slowly made our way up the backside of the ridge, while the sun warmed up the mountains. During one of our breaks, Aurelien (the guy who was camped out by the hut) caught up to us. We ended up inducting him into the Dece Scouts, and he hiked the rest of the way out with us. Since there was so much uphill on the way in, our decent was nice and quick.
We got back to the car around 1:30 which gave us plenty of time for our long drive back to San Francisco.
Another dece trip by the Dece Scouts.