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I haven't been out much this year due to having no available vacation time for long trips. But I have been able to get out for a few dayhikes. Yesterday I went to White Chief Lake, out of Mineral King in Sequoia NP. There is a trail that goes to White Chief bowl, which we used as a jumping off point. Not far in from the trailhead you get to the lower White Chief basin:
White Chief Lake is on a shelf at the base of the short cliff about 3/4 of the way up the slope in the above picture. There is no trail, just a lot of scrambling up the face to get there. The lake itself is, by sierra standards, nothing much to write home about:
The reason I like White Chief Lake is not because of the lake itself, but because of the views from the outlet. There is a small pool in the outlet stream right on the edge of the big face, and it takes on the appearance of a zero pool, with the southern end of the Great Western Divide as a backdrop (Patrick, the peak about a third of the way in from the left in the first picture below is Sawtooth):
White Chief also has a lot of interesting geologic features - Two different granodiorite plutons, with a large remnant roof pendant with marble, schist, slate, and hornfels. There is a lot of marble with a well developed karst, and numerous caves. Here is a stream coming out of one of the caves:
At White Chief Lake, the clouds were building quickly, so we didn't stay there for long. It is far too exposed to be a good place to stay during a thunderstorm. After we got back to the trailhead we stopped for burgers at Silver City, and we could hear thunder coming from the area where we were that day.