Sky Haven East

John Muir Wilderness, CA


Distance13.7 mi
Elevation gain5,700 ft
Route typeOut & back
Duration11 h
CruxClass 2

Peaks bagged

Sky Haven East12,861 ft / Prom. 541 ft


North Fork Trailhead at the Big Pine Creek overnight parking lot.
After about a quarter mile, we turned right onto the lesser-traveled Logging Flat Trail. The trail gains 1,500 feet in 2 miles where it joins with Baker Summit Trail.
View back toward the parking lot.
View of South Fork Big Pine Creek. In the distance, a lenticular cloud forms over Middle Palisade.
Higher up on the trail, view back toward Kid Mountain.
First view of Sky Haven.
Logging Flat, flooded from recent snowmelt. We walked counterclockwise around the perimeter to avoid getting our feet wet.
The Logging Flat Trail merges with the Baker Summit Trail.
Climbing a couple switchbacks.
View back at Mount Alice.
Aadi making his up this vast, boulder-studded slope.
Fantastic views to the southwest.
Start of the snowline around 11,000 feet. We put our crampons on, but the snow was fairly soft.
View back as we climb the steep eastern slope of Sky Haven.
Following Ben's footsteps made my life way easier.
Snow on the ridge.
View south.
On the north side of the ridge, view of a bowl below the summit plateau.
Back on the ridge.
Looking down at a dip along the ridge.
On top of a minor bump, looking back.
Looking back at a short downclimb.
Unavoidable snow ahead. We dropped down and then contoured the slope about 50 feet below the ridgeline.
Halfway across the snowy side-hill.
Looking back at Ben and Aadi.
Back on dry land, we scrambled through the bushes to regain the ridge.
Nearing the top of the bowl.
We encountered a large snow field about a half mile from the summit.
Ben and I took turns leading, as we found ourselves post-holing on nearly every step.
Aadi bringing up the rear.
Ben standing atop a false summit.
Continuing toward the true summit, visible right of center.
Sky Haven East summit. View west.
View north toward Baker Lake.
View east. Ben taking in the views.
Starting our descent.
On the descent, view back toward the summit.
View south toward the Palisades crest and Big Pine Lakes.
Looking back. Aadi is just a speck.
Side-hilling to avoid unnecessary elevation gain along the ridge.
View back.
By this point in the day the snow had become quite slushy, making for an easy descent.
One final look back toward Sky Haven (far right) after rejoining our approach route.

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