Sirretta Peak, Sherman Peak
By: Jerry Keating, Nancy Keating
Flash floods had washed out Highway 14 at Red Rock Canyon, and more thunderstorm activity threatened other eastern approaches to the Southern Sierra, so plans to traverse the Kern Plateau by car were scrapped in favor of both entry and exit from Kernville.
Sirretta Pk. (9977'), the listed peak of the day was climbed in two hours from Mosquito Meadow on a mostly cross-country route still moist from showers on Thursday, while Sherman Pk. (9909') was done that afternoon via an enjoyable trail from Sherman Pass. The route used on Sirretta is a refined version (see below) of one published in the November-December 1994 issue of The Sierra Echo.
Once on the SPS list, Sherman commands a spectacular panorama of the High Sierra and also a bird's eye view of the Kern River 6,000 feet below. The summit is marred by several transmission towers and a storage shack, but the hike is through a beautiful forest.
Besides the leaders, participants were SPS’ers Howard and Beverly Eyerly, and Jerry Keating.
Sirretta Pk Route -Turn off the Sherman Pass road less than a mile west of the pass, and drive south 2.9 miles on the paved Mosquito Meadow road to its cul-de-sac (8920'), a fire safe area where camping is allowed for persons with campfire permits. Continue south on trail through the forest for about 0.8 mile to a saddle (9390') from which the summit of Sirretta Peak can be seen in the distance. Backtrack 100 feet and turn east and proceed up the open slope, passing to the east of point 9860 before reaching a broad saddle beyond (9600’). From the broad saddle, seek open areas high on the long ridge leading to Sirretta Peak, passing to the immediate west of Point 9978 before walking along the broad summit plateau to its far south outcrop, which is the designated summit. A three-foot cairn stands atop the designated summit. On the return, it's possible to save some time by descending directly from the previously mentioned broad saddle through the forest. but care should be taken to keep left (south) of the draw at all times. The round-trip distance is about 7 miles. The gain is approximately 1,200'.
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