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Trek route advise

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Trek route advise

Postby koelnerzeilen » Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:58 pm

Hello to you Sierra experts,
let me first of all make sure you all know, that you are having the pleasure of dealing with one of the most outstanding mountain rangesin this world, at least in my personal experience and I do have seen a few.

The advise I am looking for is on a 10-14 day (longer is possible) Sierraroute for this summer, actually early summer, starting around June 20th. My Sierra experience sofar extends to the JMT (under perfect conditions), Rae Lake Loop (with tons of snow and some interesting river crossings in June 2011) and a week long circle starting through horseshoe meadows, more or less trailless.

Seems to me scanning the internet here from Europe I mainly find the "big" advertised routes, so I was thinking about "Evolution Loop", but am sure there is more...
would like an ingress/egress from the west, but not mandatory
we (two) people are ok with trailless terrain, remoteness and navigation, albeit we dont mind having a trail either
key is unspoilt nature, mountain exposure and getting away from the crowds (and by our European standards even the JMT is very UNcrowded :-)

So, looking forward to your ideas....thanks a lot and if you live in CA, say hello to the Sierra from me,



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Re: Trek route advise

Postby oldranger » Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:08 pm

k……

Pretty good timing for this year. Lots of w. side Loops and lollipops that meet your criteria. THs out of Mineral King, Giant Forest, Lodgepole, Sunset Meadow, Cedar Grove, Wishon, Florence Lake, Edison Lake, Clover Meadow Area, Mono Meadow, and other to the N all qualify as w. side and have great options. I'm sure others will jump in with specific recommendations.

Mike
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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Re: Trek route advise

Postby Tom_H » Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:33 pm

If you are coming all the way from Europe and want to be in remote off-trail conditions, I will recommend you to one of our members, known here as Wandering Daisy. She was a professional guide for the National Outlood Leadership School. She has written a guide book entitled Beyond Trails in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming. This text is the most authoritative source for off trail routes in those mountains. The book is exceptionally well written and detailed. It is 383 pages long and has 71 route maps. If you are highly experienced, looking for an off trail route, and want solitude, I would recommend purchasing this book, then contacting the author via PM on this site for more details.

http://www.mcreynoldscpa.com/BeyondTrails
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Re: Trek route advise

Postby maverick » Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:51 pm

Hi K,

Welcome to HST!
You indicate some of your experience, but knowing a few more specifics would be
helpful in recommending routes appropriate for your skill levels. Here is what we
we ask folks asking for trip advice to answer: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4205.
You answered some info, but some important info is missing and would be helpful, like
your daily mileage, crosscountry/climbing experience levels, "ok with trailess"
unfortunately doesn't let us know whether your experienced with class 1 or class 3 for
example. Thanks
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Trek route advise

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:29 pm

June 20 is too early for the Wind Rivers this year. So far they have 140% snowpack, and March, April, May are their highest snow months. I am not planning on going until after 4th of July this year. I wish we could keep some of that snow here in the Sierra!

The Great Western Divide would be a great addition to your Sierra travels. It is the country south of Bubbs Creek, where you did the Rae Lake Loop. It is NOT on the crest but there is fantastic scenery. With a little bit of off-trail you can connect some nice trails. June 20 is generally too early but this year, unless we get a lot more snow, it would be perfect.

Another different part of the Sierra is northern Yosemite. It is more sub-alpine, but still beautiful. June 20 would be a great time to start the trip from Tuolumne Meadows and go down the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne and come up Rogers Creek and add some sections though Matterhorn Canyon and connect with Roper's High Route at upper Virginia Canyon and follow it back to Tuolumne Meadows. This would give you an amazing variety of ecosystems to see.
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Re: Trek route advise

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:35 pm

One loop for the Great Western Divide is to do the High Sierra Trail to Junction Meadow and then go back via Kern Keweah, over Colby Pass, up Deadman Canyon, and then off-trail through Tablelands back to Lodgepole. A side trip to Keweah Basin would be possible on a longer trip. You could also do a side trip half way up Cloud Canyon. This is a great place to spend a night if the moon is full.

I know several of us have posted 12+ day trips so you may just read some of these old trip reports.
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Re: Trek route advise

Postby koelnerzeilen » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:50 am

Thx to all of you for getting me started, actually the directions on "the winds" are great, because we are in the very comfy situation of going on a Sabbatical, hence we do have about 8 weeks to hike between LA and Seattle, and the sierra trip will only be the start of this adventure....

(@ wandering daisy: will send you a PN on how to best get your book bought)

Sorry for not being complete on the skill/wants description, here is my rundown (btw. very prudent to ask these questions):

Experience Level is a 3-4
Terrains is a 3, river crossings ok, snow crossing ok, some Glacier ok, but dont want to carry a full rope
(Some routes done to give youa picture: Olympic coastal trail, week denali, drakensberg SA, Snowman trek Bhutan, JMT, ...)

Interests: All of it makes a great mountain tour, but in priority order I would say
1. Big Mountain scenery
2. Lakes
3. Forests
(and if there is a bonus HOT SPRING, we are over the moon)

Root preference: Dont like out and back, loop is ideal, lollipo is fine and since we have some time, hitchhiking is in the European genes.

Timing 10-15 days, but there is no boss waiting,
No dog,
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Re: Trek route advise

Postby markskor » Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:08 am

Any fishing involved?
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: Trek route advise

Postby koelnerzeilen » Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:50 am

Funny you should ask, I thought about marking it, but then didnt have the guts to claim to be a fisherman: So, if a fish is dumb enough to (or someone could teach me the trick) to get caught by me, I know how to make a good addition to dinner out of it :-)
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Re: Trek route advise

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:24 am

Your time period will likely be peak mosquito season. Do you have mosquitoes in Europe where you hike? Our mosquitoes are not quite as bad as those in the Canadian Rockies or Alaska so I do not consider it something to stop me from hiking. Just be prepared. Mosquito head nets are very useful. On the positive - mosquito hatches mean good fishing! I am not a great fisherman, yet I catch fish - not the biggest but enough for dinner. The major thing you need is time to fish when the fish are biting. If you want to do long mileage days, fishing may not be worth the cost of the license and weight of the equipment. If you have at least an hour, preferably two to fish and plan camping at lakes with fish, I think most people can be successful enough to justify the gear and cost. Mainly, fish if you enjoy fishing!

Another thing to consider this year are forest fires, same as last year. Cannot plan for those, but it is good to have alternate plans already in place in case your planned trip is in an area downwind of the fire. Thick smoke is not pleasant at all. It is not that hard to get a walk-in permit if you need to change your plans. You may have to wait a day. Generally, unused permits are available on a first-come basis after 11AM in the morning. There are permit offices in Lee Vining, Mammoth Lakes, Bishop, Lone Pine, Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite Valley, Hwy 120 entry station, Hetch Hetchy entry station, and more. Anyway - the Forest Service and National Park websites have lots of permit information - exact locations and times the stations are open.

Hitching and public transportation is easier on the east side of the Sierra (and to Yosemite) than the west. A problem with a loop out of Mineral King is how to get there using public transportation. There are busses (from Visallia) for starting from trailheads near Lodgepole (Kings Canyon). The best trailhead public transportation is out of Mammoth Lakes. I find that a good hitching strategy is to find a ride at the permit stations. I have sat outside the station with a small sign saying where I need to go and have always had a ride within half an hour. Permit stations also have some of the nicest public bathrooms!
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Re: Trek route advise

Postby tim » Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:57 am

You mentioned the Evolution area, but from the west. This is our loop in that area from last summer: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9921 (which also has the hot spring you requested, though the river crossing may be tricky in June). Getting to Florence Lake is very tricky without a car though. You've probably noted that we are in a drought and there is little snow up high. That may give some more options compared to a normal year, but June is still pretty early season.

We did 6 days (more like 4 days plus two half days), but there's plenty of side trips you could add: Darwin Bench instead of Evolution Lake on night 3, camp night 4 at Wanda and do a side trip to Muir Pass, then after Davis Lake head up to Martha Lake and explore around there. Depending on ability/interest in off trail routes (and snow conditions that early in the season) there are multiple options from Martha Lake to head over to the south and west (eg search for Finger Col and Confusion Pass) or east (Ionian Basin) or just take the Hell-for-Sure trail to Red Mountain Basin. That whole area will be deserted in June as it's quiet even in the height of summer.
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Re: Trek route advise

Postby overheadx2 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:25 am

If you wanted to go out of Florence, vermilion valley resort offers shuttle service. Several years ago we flew to mammoth and got a ride to parchers lodge at south lake and hiked over bishop pass to muir pass, evo valley and blarney hot springs to Florence lake and flew home from Fresno. A word of warning, even though we confirmed our pick up time and even sent an additional email they were very late picking us up because the driver didn't know he had a pickup and had stopped for lunch on the shuttle up and we were minutes from missing our flight. Plan on 3 hours to fresno, and an additional 3 - 4 hours for error.
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