By: David Campbell
Gemini is usually climbed, often in combination with Seven Gables by coming in from the west, via the Florence Lake ferry. Camp is usually set up near Sallie Keyes Lakes and the climb is made by crossing Selden Pass and then heading east over intervening ridges and basins. In September, 1991, John Otter, Jack Archibald and I climbed Gemini (12,900 ft.) by an approach I've not seen mentioned in the SPS Echo. As it turned out to be a little unique and interesting I thought I would like to share this information. The route was first suggested by John, though I talked him into starting from a higher location than his original choice, the warm springs along the San Joaquin River.
We camped at 9720 ft., where the John Muir Trail crosses Senger Creek. There are numerous good camp sites there, some not so obvious, but only a short walk east of the trail. The route follows the right side of Senger Creek, through pines, then meadow, then up through more trees to a second meadow. Continuing along the creek it rises again to pass right of three good size lakes at 10,400 ft. Following the inlet stream coming in from the northeast one encounters a thousand foot slope -on the way to the Turret Lakes. Careful route selection can provide one of several class 2 ways up it. Past upper Turret Lake climb to the ridge at 11,800 ft. This long, high ridge continues directly to the base of Gemini, another 1.5 miles away, with very little elevation loss. There is one drop of about 120 ft. near the beginning, but it can be descended class 2. The final 1000 ft. climb to Gemini is on the normal route. We climbed both summits; the northern one is higher.
From the campsite at Senger Creek to Gemini this route follows almost a constant compass course to the northeast. The distance is 4.5 miles one way. The net gain is 3200 ft. and the total round trip gain only about 3800 ft. We took 4 1/2 hrs. on the ascent. The long high ridge leading toward the summit seemed somewhat like an elevated highway.
|SPS Archives Index | Sierra Peaks Section|