Mount Harrington, Kennedy Mountain
By: George Toby, Ron Young
The weather was beautiful but a bit warm hiking up to basecamp. I had a permit reservation issued in March, but the Park Service refused to put the permit in the night box. They insisted that I pick it up the morning of the hike so they could give an endless lecture on Park rules and the do's and dent's of hiking, camping, and bears in Kings Canyon Park, We were camped at Cedar Grove near the main Ranger Station, but permits are issued six miles up the road at the Roads End mini Ranger Station. It opens at 7:00 am. They were super slow. It is impossible to get an early start, We managed to get off from the Lewis Creek roadhead at 8:40. Participants in addition to the leaders were Paula and Bruce Peterson, Roy Magnuson, Bob Meader, and Jeff Koepke. Bruce and Bob are practicing dentists. It was great to have two dentists on the same trip. They added another dimension to our happy hour and campfire discussions.
FRI. The hike up to Frypan Mdw was beautiful but uneventful, except we noticed two sets of bear tracks on the trail going our way. First a small bear, then close to camp a mature bear. 3400' gain and 6 mi to a beautiful campsite at Frypan Mdw 7900', but no bear boxes. There was a small running stream about 2 feet wide. It will probably be dry by mid September. We were hanging our food on a large tree in the meadow, with branches spaced just right, when I almost stepped into two piles of bear scat at the base of the tree. The bears were around. We did not see any and they did not get our food,
SAT: We set out for Harrington. At the North end of Frypan Mdw there is a non maintained trail, faint at times, that goes to Grizzly Lakes. We followed it to near its end then climbed Westerly up to the North face of Harrington. This is a very good looking, impressive peak. The steep class 3 rock looks very intimidating but it goes well. Lots of hand holds. No rope. All made the summit of 11,005' in good style. We were back at camp about 3:30, Too late to go for Kennedy, So we enjoyed a leisurely afternoon, early dinner, and campfire.
SUN. The Petersons decided to bug out for home early, so the five of us hit the good trail to Kennedy Pass, then a short class 1 jaunt up to Kennedy 11,033'. Not much of a climb but outstanding views. Worthy of being on the SPS list, We hiked back to camp, picked up packs and out to the cars by 3:30. Over 7,000' of downhill. There were some sore knees and feet. About 10,200' gain & loss and 27 mi for the trip. A nice satisfying, fun trip. My thanks to Ron Young for assisting and Roy Magnuson for leading the rock assault on Harrington.
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