Angora Mountain, Coyote Peak
By: Igor & Suzanne Thomas-Mamedalin
Initially 24 participants signed up for this spring sojourn into the Sierra south of Sequoia National Park When the time came to leave one's footprints in the dust only 36 bootprints and 8 paw prints could be counted. The majority of participants heeded the general notice in the Sierra Echo and mailed in their $3 to cover the cost of reserving a wilderness permit; alas, the leader had to grudgingly return the booty since Sequoia National Forest, the district controlling access to this area, has not instituted the pre-paid reservation system, yet.
The initial plan for the first day was to hump over 14 miles with our backpacks all the way to Coyote Lakes situated at the foot of Coyote Peak and overlooking magnificent scenery. From theJerkey Meadow parking area we headed over a low saddle and down to the bridge across the Little Kern River. Although this was early spring, the day heated up quickly and the dry trail contributed to everyone's appreciation of the water in the river. Crossing the river by a fine suspension bridge we headed uphill to join and follow the Deep Creek drainage. Progress slowed and the breaks in the shade extended, When we reached the small meadows west of Angora Mtn., over 3 miles and 2,000' short of our planned destination, the consensus dictated to stop and camp at the meadows and to finish off the peaks the next day as day hikes. Just short of the meadows the sound of 'Deep Creek' was silenced and we had to scour the meadows for a water source. Near the bottom of the lower meadow we found a water source capable of filling one water bottle in twenty minutes. The process could be accelerated if one squeezed the mud through a handkerchief, but everyone thought they had ample time to wait.
Camping on the outcrop west of the lower meadow, the group shared a generous garbage bag salad and desert around the campfire. Next morning Joe and Tina Stephens signed out in order to bag the two peaks quickly, hike out. and drive around to join another group the next day for an assault on Kern Peak. The rest of the group followed the 'Deep' Creek drainage to a saddle and then east along a trail to the ridge connecting Angora and Coyote. The walk along the ridge, as we headed toward Coyote Pk, offered splendid views of the Kern River drainage expanses. From Coyote Pk. part of the group dropped down to Coyote Lake for a swim and then rejoined the rest of the group to continue back along the ridge toward Angora Mtn. Angora was climbed in due course by all that needed it. From the saddle north of Angora we cut across the forested slopes to save a couple of miles. Everybody returned back to camp before the sun set and had the remains of the garbage bag salad and miscellaneous other shared goodies.
On the third day we started off early toward the cars to avoid the heat. Trying to save a few miles of trail we cut across the forest toward the Little Kern for a swim and then along the river to the suspension bridge. Except for the merits of the refreshing swim, the short cut proved to be more arduous than if we had simply plodded along the dusty trail for an extra couple of miles. From the bridge to saddle and back down to the cars in the afternoon heat proved to be quite exhausting. Even the dogs were pooped. Despite the heat, it was good trip and we thank all of the participants for helping make it so. The other participants were: Ron Bartell, Anne Breen, Georgina Burns, Donn Cook, Gary Ericson, ). Holshuh, Sue Leverton, John & Wendy McCully, Tanya Mamedalin, Christine Mitchell, Bill Stevens, Hoda Shalaby, and Chris Stokes. And, of course, Chessie and Comet!
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