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Sugestions for a Spring Break Highschool football Sierra Hik

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Re: Sugestions for a Spring Break Highschool football Sierra Hik

Postby SSSdave » Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:07 pm

Stay away from the High Sierra until late May. Otherwise much hiking can be done about coastal parks.

http://www.bahiker.com/

Also SF Bay Area is a hotbed of meetups hiking groups. plug in your local area into the location field and "hiking" into the search box.

http://www.meetup.com/find/



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Re: Sugestions for a Spring Break Highschool football Sierra Hik

Postby balzaccom » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:53 am

Remember that hiking on snow is really hard on knees. You slip, you slide, your knee reacts very quickly to all of this. Not a good situation for someone who is a bit concerned about knee stability.

That said, you can probably hike from Hetch-hetchy to Rancheria Falls--that's a reasonable 6.5 mile hike without a huge amount of climbing, and not much snow. And the next day, you could leave your base camp at the falls and hike to LeConte Point, with great views of the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne. The streams are closed to fishing-but you could fish the reservoir at Hetch-hetchy...

And back out on day three. Or Continue on to Till=till Valley for more miles

There is trip report from about this time of year on our website in the destinations section...
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Re: Sugestions for a Spring Break Highschool football Sierra Hik

Postby Tom_H » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:40 am

First: you need to read this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=10388

Secondly, you haven't listed your and his real knowledge and experience level. Unless you are both highly experienced at winter survival and snow camping, if you go there and it snows, in all likelihood, you both will die. I am not trying to be unkind, but that's just the simple truth. I played high school football too. At the beginning of the season, we did 3 a day practices on the edge of the Okeefenokee Swamp in 104F temperature with 99% humidity. In college, I became an instructor in backpacking, mountaineering, snow camping, whitewater. I can assure you of this, hiking through deep snow at that location/altitude/time of year is suicide. It is far more demanding than football. You need to be accomplished backcountry nordic ski-packers/snoeshowshoers/moutaineers to do what you are proposing. Are you skilled at these things? Do you know how to build igloos, snow caves, and quinzee huts? Are you skilled with crampons, ice axe, and snow belay lines? Do you have advanced first aid for winter survival, including frostbite and hypothermia?

Thirdly, (again, this is not meant to be unkind, but you are asking about something that can easily kill you) what you ask about this knee tells me that you are not experienced with backcountry snow. Do you understand what postholing is? You have to stomp down with a little bit of pressure to make the vibram lugs bite into the snow. If there is solid ground beneath the snowpack, it usually supports your weight. If, however, there is a manzanita or small sapling tree beneath the snow, or a boulder beneath and to the side of where you place your foot, a cavity will exist beneath the surface. Heat from within the earth comes up from below and heat from the sun can also penetrate from above. When you step down on the snow above one of these pockets or soft places, you can crash through the snow. You may go 6 inches, or you may go 10 feet. I have plunged 8 feet down with a 70 pound pack before and I can assure you that it is severely jarring to the hips, knees, and ankles. You don't slowly sink, you drop like like someone on the gallows when the trap door opens. This could easily destroy your son's knee. The pants can get drenched in these conditions and the joint will be exposed to that severe temperature as well.

I am sorry to be so blunt with you, but you are talking about killing yourself and your son through an attempt to do something with which you simply do not have the required experience and equipment. If you knew what you were doing, you wouldn't need to ask what you are asking us. If you want to do something like this, you need to sign up for a winter NOLS trip. You would then be with knowledgable instructors who know how to teach you these skills, provide the necessary equipment, and place you with a group large enough to work together in survival situations. Even then, NOLS would not allow your son to go with the knee in its current condition. The different torquing and cambering that will occur on the snow will injure it and postholing could mame him forever. To put it to you squarely, this is something you really should not do!

Post Script: Think about the Coast Range. Most of it is snow free for most of the winter. Even Galen Rowel and his Bay-Area compatriots (all world class mountaineers) used to sneak over when they had just a day or two in the winter. Even though some consider them baby mountains, they still are an excellent alternative in the winter for those who are not seeking the difficulties of backcountry snow mountaineering in the Sierra.
Last edited by Tom_H on Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Sugestions for a Spring Break Highschool football Sierra Hik

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:10 pm

I thought Hetch Hetchy burned in last years fire. I so I do not think a trip to Rancheria Falls would be very scenic. I know nothing about knee surgery and healing times. I will assume you get the OK from the doctor. March is too early for the Sierra, even in this dry year. I would think that off-trail travel or snow (with post hole potential) would be hard on knees - sudden jerks. Walking on a well maintained trail or roads would be better.

IF we get some rains, you can do a 4-5 day trip at Henry Coe State Park. Without rain you will have trouble finding water. Although there are lots of ups and downs at Henry Coe, you can plan a trip to stay on roads and keep miles short.

The northern part of the Lost Coast is 25 miles on beach sand. If you walk the tidal zone at low tide, it is really easy walking. It makes a nice 3-day trip. You need 2 cars or have to pay for shuttle service.

BUT, if it were me, I would not take a chance on re-injuring a knee on a non-Sierra trip when you really want to go to the Sierra and simply by waiting until school's out, you can do the trip you want plus the knee will be in better shape.
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Sugestions for a Spring Break Highschool football Sierra Hik

Postby Ross939 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:46 pm

Thanks for the responses, guys. Tom, based on your post, I'm certain I have nowhere near the expertise and experience in the high Sierra as yourself, but thanks for your advice nonetheless. Thanks for sharing the link, very relevant info. Certainly had no plans to hike in the snow, and plans for High Sierras would have assumed continued drought conditions left decent conditions for hiking at the dates mentioned. As stated in my OP, any hike would be contingent upon his Dr.'s approval. So far, we are doing five-seven mile hikes now, no backpack and hiking sticks in the hills of Sonoma County.
Thanks Mav, Balzaccom, Daisy, for your info. I'll definitely play it by ear with his knee, and weather conditions, one possibility would be to load both our gear in a single pack for a 2-3 day costal trek, which I will carry, so he will not have the load on his knees. We will also look into Henry Coe, as I've had this recommended by others as well. As I said, this is all assuming his continued progress with his current condition.
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Re: Sugestions for a Spring Break Highschool football Sierra Hik

Postby Tom_H » Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:03 pm

Ross, I wish you the absolute best wherever you go. I hope you have a terrific time with your son. I can't think of a better way for a father and son to spend time together. Again, I apologize for being so brutally honest, but during this past year there were discussions here on HST regarding 8 or so people who died in the Sierra due to not being prepared in some way. I would much rather accost you with words like this than to read in May that your bodies had been found in the high country. Again, have a great time with your son.
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Re: Sugestions for a Spring Break Highschool football Sierra Hik

Postby Mike M. » Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:42 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:
I thought Hetch Hetchy burned in last years fire.

I believe Hetch Hetchy escaped the big fire, just barely. That area is always a good early season choice and would offer a nice loop trip, free of significant snowpack this year, for this group -- provided the son's knee is up to it. I would think the doctor would have some say in this.

Mike
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Re: Sugestions for a Spring Break Highschool football Sierra Hik

Postby rlown » Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:12 pm

as has been said many times.. rest the knee and test it. Plan your trip after that is done.
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Sugestions for a Spring Break Highschool football Sierra Hik

Postby Ross939 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:14 pm

Tom_H wrote:Ross, I wish you the absolute best wherever you go. I hope you have a terrific time with your son. I can't think of a better way for a father and son to spend time together. Again, I apologize for being so brutally honest, but during this past year there were discussions here on HST regarding 8 or so people who died in the Sierra due to not being prepared in some way. I would much rather accost you with words like this than to read in May that your bodies had been found in the high country. Again, have a great time with your son.

Thanks, Tom, no need for apologies. I noticed the spike of sierra fatalities last summer when my son and brother were hiking the jmt. That's why I posted here because I know this board is filled with seasoned experts who have much more experience than myself. Appreciate your response.
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Re: Sugestions for a Spring Break Highschool football Sierra Hik

Postby Ross939 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:36 pm

And also, thanks, all, for the concern with the kid's knee. Believe me, it's been like trying to corral a wild horse with this kid, lately. He thinks he's invincible. I caught him out in the backyard doing some wind-sprint-style football drills the other day, and got all over his butt for it. Doc told him NO running, even though he swears he can do it. I've seen too many kids his age lately re injure their ACL after their initial surgery... but it seems they know it all at this age. Understandably, he's felt a bit couped up lately, that is why I thought getting out on the trail might do him a bit of good.
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Re: Sugestions for a Spring Break Highschool football Sierra Hik

Postby Tom_H » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:12 pm

Ross939 wrote:this kid....thinks he's invincible.... but it seems they know it all at this age.


Ah, the joys of raising a teenager. #-o Arrgh, if I get started on that one.... :soapbox:
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Re: Sugestions for a Spring Break Highschool football Sierra Hik

Postby balzaccom » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:52 pm

WD: The South sid eof HH burned. The north side did not. The trail is on the North side...and should be OK...

Admittedly, it isn't going to be the way it was...but it's still nice back there. The Falls should be falling!
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