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Solo Backpacking Questions...

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
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Re: Solo Backpacking Questions...

Postby taracheezem » Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:03 am

Sorry for being so vague Maverick! I have never been to the High Sierra so I know only what I have gleaned from Internet searches. To answer some of your questions...I always feel like people sound so full of themselves when they try to quantify their experience level but let's just say I am an endurance athlete with several week long backpacking trips under her belt. The trip itineraries I had read said that they took seven days from Crescent Meadows to Whitney Portal but many of the days were only around 10 miles which seemed pretty light to me... That is why I was wondering if 5 days was feasible or if the trail was just that challenging. I also refrained from putting a more concrete start date because I am a woman advertising that I am backpacking alone but I was planning on early summer.

Thanks again!



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Solo Backpacking Questions...

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:32 am

Ten miles with a loaded backpack trudging up 5,000 feet of gain at high elevations is not insignificant, so it is quite a challenge if you are not training at elevation.
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Re: Solo Backpacking Questions...

Postby Ska-T » Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:43 am

What AlmostThere said.

The High Sierra Trail out of Crescent Meadow is different from what most of us (that replied) thought you meant. This year on the HST you will have no snow problems with an early summer start. There could be some ice patches coming down from Trail Crest (near Whitney). You can do the trip in 5 days, especially during the long days of the early summer, but you should be in good shape, carry a sub 25 lb backpack, and not be unduly affected when the trail steepens. I'm guessing 6 to 7 days would be more relaxing, but I know next to nothing about you.
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Re: Solo Backpacking Questions...

Postby taracheezem » Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:06 pm

Thank you! I really appreciate all of the advice. Sorry for being so misleading... I really didn't know much about the area or this forum so I am grateful for the guidance.
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Re: Solo Backpacking Questions...

Postby longri » Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:25 pm

The High Sierra Trail is about 75 miles long with roughly 20,000 feet of elevation gain/loss. It's a really good trail. While it does go over high passes a fair amount of it is at relatively low elevation. It's been done in under 16 hours by an endurance athlete of a particular sort.

I walked it one year in mid-July without a canister which limited camping choices somewhat. I'm not sure I'd do it that way again but not sure I wouldn't either. The trail was not crowded when I went and I didn't encounter that many people. Two of the nights I camped alone, one night with just one other distant party, and one night with a big group of JMT hikers. One of them thought that my food bag in the bear box was fair game. I don't know if he was a thief or just young and stupid. I gave him the benefit of the doubt but took my food out of the box and tied it to a nearby tree. I wouldn't have even stopped there except for the bear box.
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