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Routes for 4 day trip starting on October 11th

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Routes for 4 day trip starting on October 11th

Postby tanasi » Mon Oct 06, 2014 11:53 am

We are planing a last minute trip. Looking for some options that would work in case the weather turns bad. As of a couple of days ago I was worried about it being hot...but guess I should really be worrying about snow! We are flying to SF on Friday, renting a car, then driving towards the Sierras on Saturday. We have looked at many trip reports, and found a few that might work for us (less than 45 miles, views, no forest trails if possible). We have backpacking experience, but no winter/snow experience. Are there certain areas we should narrow our search too? Is there one site to check weather for different trail locations/passes? We saw the trip posted below and it sounded great.
Would appreciate any other suggestions

Day 1: Franklin Lakes
Day 2: Little Claire (unfortunately altitude sickness dissuaded us from going to Amphitheater Lake)
Day 3: Big Five (with a swim at a tarn in route)
Day 4: Little Five incl 10410, Spring Lake
Day 5: Spring Lake to Columbine and out over Sawtooth Pass



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Re: Routes for 4 day trip starting on October 11th

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:03 pm

how prepared are you for cold nights? last weekend above 10000 feet we had ice and frost....


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Re: Routes for 4 day trip starting on October 11th

Postby maverick » Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:25 pm

Hi Tanasi,

Welcome to HST! Please read: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4205
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: Routes for 4 day trip starting on October 11th

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:38 pm

I have done that trip, and in late fall. I did a 3-day trip, and did not do the side trip to Big and Little Five Lakes. It is a great trip. BUT, lots of miles and at your farthest point in, you are a LONG ways from the trailhead. It is not the place I would want to be if a snowstorm started. Also, Sawtooth Pass is quite difficult to get down if the rocks were covered in snow. AND in a storm there is a possibility of the Mineral King Road being closed.

Cold by itself would not be a game stopper for me. Just take warmer clothes and be prepared for temperatures down to 15-degree range. Snow is the big issue.

I would watch the weather forecast carefully and have a Plan B. Read the detailed forecast - not just the stupid little boxes with pictures and temperatures. In the detailed discussion they describe different predictions based on different models. If ALL models agree to perfect weather then you may consider the trip. If there is disagreement and even one model says a storm, I would not do it.
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Re: Routes for 4 day trip starting on October 11th

Postby tanasi » Mon Oct 06, 2014 1:34 pm

Thank you Daisy and Almost There! Cold I am ok with as well. Snow not so much.

More details... we are looking for a loop (one car) with mountain views. There are 3 of us and we are all experienced on trails, but not cross country. Ideally about 30 to 45 miles/3 to 4 days. I have never been to the Sierras and don't have a preference as to which part we visit(planning to go back next summer for 3 months :) ) I don't particularly want to be in a tree covered area as that is mostly what we get here in TN year round! The choices seem to be overwhelming.
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Re: Routes for 4 day trip starting on October 11th

Postby maverick » Mon Oct 06, 2014 1:49 pm

Tanasi wrote:
Is there one site to check weather for different trail locations/passes?


This thread will give you some sites to use: viewtopic.php?f=34&t=7778&hilit=weather+forecast#p56188
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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Routes for 4 day trip starting on October 11th

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Oct 06, 2014 3:08 pm

Your vehicle as well as yourself need to be ready for snow this time of year. Chains or cables that fit the car, warm gear and water in the trunk, and cold weather gear in the pack, plus the ability to navigate in snow, would be safest. Weather doesn't look at NOAA before it changes.

The longer you are out, the more it matters.

I suggest car camping and day hiking out of Mineral King for the happiest medium. You will still want cables in the car. Steep uphill climbing gets you to a variety of high lakes and views with descending below tree line each day. Bugging out would be driving, not hiking.
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