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When to start the High Sierra Route this summer?

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When would you start the trip?

Last week in June
9
60%
First week in July
2
13%
Second week in July
1
7%
Third week in July
0
No votes
Fourth week in July
2
13%
Fifth week in July
1
7%
 
Total votes : 15

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When to start the High Sierra Route this summer?

Postby BrendanM » Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:30 pm

Hi all,

I am getting married this coming June 21st and need your advice!

For our honeymoon, my fiance and I are planning to hike a custom route that roughly follows the High Sierra Route from start to finish, with deviations onto the JMT to socialize and make up mileage, as necessary. We are trying to figure out when to start the trip and seek the wisdom of you all about when is a safe date to start (as far as snowpack is concerned).

Our very strong preference is to hit trail the week after the wedding from the Copper Creek Trail in Kings Canyon. We can push our start date to as late as the last week in July, but every day of delay will be disappointing, of course. Given the kind of snow year we are having, what kind of snow conditions might we find on the High Sierra Route if we start right away, say, June 26th? If it were you, would you push out your start date and, if so, to when (again, recognizing that it would be disappointing to have to do so)?

Thanks everyone! I'm excited to read your advice.

Brendan



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Re: When to start the High Sierra Route this summer?

Postby maverick » Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:42 pm

Hi Brendan,

Welcome to HST, and congratulations! Would ask that you give us some info about
yourselves so we can give out advise based on your to be brides, and your experience
level. viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4205
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Re: When to start the High Sierra Route this summer?

Postby BrendanM » Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:57 pm

Oh yes, sorry for the lack of background. My fiance and I are in our early thirties. We are quite fit and very experienced in the outdoors. She was an Outward Bound instructor and grew up in an outdoors family. I grew up in an outdoors family too and have spent a great deal of time in the Sierra since moving from Montana to California four years ago. We are both experienced rock climbers, capable of day-long multi-pitch class 5 climbs, but we've got only limited experience with ice axe and crampons. Last winter we spent four days ski touring in the high sierra by ourselves. I've got AIARE level 1 avalanche awareness training.

I'm pretty confident we can handle the technical side of traversing snow slopes. I'm just not sure that we'd like to do so over the course of so many miles, and particularly if we have to carry additional gear to do so.

Brendan
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Re: When to start the High Sierra Route this summer?

Postby maverick » Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:15 pm

How many day would you like to dedicate to this 195 mile trip (honeymoon)? Some
have 3 week or longer, others a little over a week ( http://andrewskurka.com/adventures/sierra-high-route/ ).
You said your experienced with travel in the Sierra, so keep in mind that you will be going
at the height of mosquito season, DEET will make a good wedding present. :)
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Re: When to start the High Sierra Route this summer?

Postby BrendanM » Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:25 pm

We've got +/- 3 weeks to do this.
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Re: When to start the High Sierra Route this summer?

Postby rlown » Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:35 pm

This winter isn't over yet. It's hard to predict so far for any kind of start date. Congrats though.

Not even a nice 2 night stay at the Ahwahnee? :)
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Re: When to start the High Sierra Route this summer?

Postby BrendanM » Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:45 pm

Hah, you're the second person to recommend a few nights at the Ahwahnee!

The reason I'm pressing the issue now is because wilderness permits just became available for Kings Canyon and I'm nervous about waiting too long before securing access, lest there be no available permits for the time period we ultimately choose. Let me know if you think this is an unnecessary concern though.

Brendan
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Re: When to start the High Sierra Route this summer?

Postby rlown » Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:53 pm

well. if you're concerned about permits, plan early, get the permit, and if it dumps, replan for after 4 July. Just 2 of you.. permits aren't your problem really.. it's resupply.

Seriously.. do the hotel.. you'll both remember it forever.
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Re: When to start the High Sierra Route this summer?

Postby maverick » Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:01 pm

Rlown wrote:
Seriously.. do the hotel.. you'll both remember it forever.


As you can see Rlown does.
Getting walk-in permits the morning of for Copper Creek will not be a
problem, especially if you get there early and/or start on a week day.
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Re: When to start the High Sierra Route this summer?

Postby markskor » Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:06 pm

Pretty sure there are/will always be two "honeymoon" permits (next day) available for the High Route - probably all year too - no worries there...just you two, right?

Quick question - If you go out a week earlier, can you spend that extra week up there?
4 weeks is better...
If no more severe storms - voted late June.
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: When to start the High Sierra Route this summer?

Postby rlown » Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:08 pm

i do remember it.. in a good way..

Still say, plan early. (late June). if Winter plays out weird avoid the 4th of July and go the week after.
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Re: When to start the High Sierra Route this summer?

Postby Tom_H » Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:19 pm

Well, on this one I am in complete agreement with Russ. This has been such a strange winter, it all hinges on whether these last 2 storms have been an aberration and we are going back to drought or if the first half was the aberration and the rest of the season is going to be normal. Any prediction is nothing more than a WAG. In normal winters, most snow is gone by the end of June. I don't think we have to worry about this being a repeat of 82-83 or 10-11. With the experience both of you have, I think you could handle hiking on the snow. It will be hard packed and any use of crampons or ice cleats would only be on steeper slopes. If you know how to self arrest with the ice axe, I just don't think you will have serious problems. And really, how can you go wrong starting a honeymoon in the Ahwahnee!? C'mon, treat the lady to some mountain elegance before or after the trail. :rockon:
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