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Sequoia National Park


From the top of the massive, granite monolith of Moro Rock I gazed out over the sparkling, snowbound wilderness of the High Sierra. Along the skyline stretched the saw-toothed crest of the Great Western Divide rising above the swathe of bottle-green conifers covering the rugged hillsides. Across the deep, dark canyon of the Kaweah River soared the angular buttresses of Castle Rocks. Far below the contorted zig-zags of the mountain road wound up through the chaperall scrub of the piedmont into Sequoia National Park.

Moro Rock In Sequoia National Park

Moro Rock

Retreating down the incredible staircase hewn into the spine of the great block of stone I ploughed my way back through the deep, soft snowdrifts among the towering, red-trunked sequoias. A fallen giant enabled a better appreciation of the enormous size of these ancient conifers. Nearby, I inspected "General Sherman", a sequoia some 2,500 years old and the world's largest living entity with a diameter of 36 feet and height of 275 feet.

Giant Sequoia in Sequoia National Park

Giant Sequoia

On the previous day I had started my springtime tour of California by driving north from Los Angeles across Tejon Pass and climbing into the mountains to encamp in the pleasant meadows and forests of Buckeye Flats. Notices warned of the dangers from marauding bears. All food had to be stored in the metal lockers provided.

At the ski-shop at the road-head of Wolverton Meadows I hired a pair of snow-shoes - to be my first experience. There were only a few other visitors around in the off-shoulder month of April.

Following a signposted trail through an enchanting winter wilderness of snowbound, woodland glades alive with birdsong and the chattering of squirrels I reached the lookout point of Panther Gap. Far below Moro Rock protruded above the tree-tops.

High Sierra in Sequoia National Park

High Sierra

in

Springtime

Continuing up through forests of tall fir and pine on a steeper snowslope the metal claws on the snow-shoes proved as effective as crampons. Eventually I cleared the timber-line to reach a rocky promontory for a fine vantage point to appreciate the sparkling, springtime beauty of the surrounding High Sierra resplendent in bright sunshine beneath azure skies. Only a short distance higher loomed the serrated summits of the Great Western Divide. In summer the John Muir Trail can be followed across the crest to reach Whitney Portal, the roadhead in Owen's Valley on the opposite side of the Sierra Nevada.

Great Western Divide from Sequoia National Park

Great

Western

Divide

The descent on snow-shoes proved somewhat more tricky than the ascent but they had more than proved their worth in enabling my foray into the winter mountain fastness of the Sequoia National Park.


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Mount Whitney Trail Guide Sierra Nevada Map - Yosemite, Sequoia, Whitney Climbing Mount Whitney

California - Lonely Planet  California - Rough Guide  Yosemite & Sequoia NP - Lonely Planet  Yosemite & Sequoia NP - Rough Guide  SW USA - Lonely Planet  SW USA - Rough Guide

Rough Guide Yosemite Yosemite an American TreasureAnsel Adams - Yosemite & High Sierra Day Hikes in Yosemite Rock Climbing - Yosemite Free ClimbsAnsel Adams - Yosemite Frommers Yosemite & Sequoia Best Easy Day Hikes in Yosemite

Let's Go USA Rough Guide USA Lonely Planet USA Lonely Planet: Driving thru America Rough Guide SW USA Lonely Planet SW States Let's Go SW USA SW USA: Insight Flexi Map Rough Guide - SW USA

Lonely Planet: Hiking in the USALet's Go California Rough Guide California Lonely Planet: California & Nevada Day Hikes in Sequoia and Kings CanyonFalcon Hiking in Sequoia and Kings Canyon50 Best Short Hikes in Yosemite and SequoiaSW USA & Las Vegas - DK Eyewitness GuideSW USA: Driving Guide

Lonely Planet USA Independent Travellers USA 2003 Lets Go 2004 USA Road Trip USA Road Trip - California & the SW USA SW USA & Las Vegas101 Hiking Tips

Backpackers HandbookBackpackers Field Manual Backpacker Magazine Wilderness TrainingWilderness SurvivalBackcountry Skier - Guide to Ski Touring

Solo Hiking EssentialsComplete Climbers Handbook Hiking in the Sierra Nevada - Lonely Planet Yosemite National Park - Lonely Planet Outside Magazine Los Angeles Map San Fancisco Map Las Vegas - Rough Guide







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