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Suggestions for 1 week, easy cross-country trips?

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Suggestions for 1 week, easy cross-country trips?

Postby shtinkypuppie » Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:33 pm

Howdy,

I'm getting ready to put next year's schedule together. At this point I've done almost every good trail between Donohue Pass and Cottonwood Pass. I wonder if anyone could suggest a few trips to get me into some new, cross-country areas. Ideally, they would be:
- Around 50-75 miles total (6-9 days)
- Involve class 2 cross-country hiking only (a little easy class 3 might go too)
- Loops if possible

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
- Eric
"It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the Earth, and in contemplation of her beauties to know wonder and humility"

- Rachel Carson



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Re: Suggestions for 1 week, easy cross-country trips?

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:17 am

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4205

First things first.

Are you expecting to be off trail for the entire week?

Any cross country leg of a trip should be cut to half the miles of any trailed section. Some cross country routes take longer than others.

Do you know how to use a map? compass? (If you say "I'm taking a gps, I don't need a map and compass" do not pass GO, go to jail. If you don't know how to navigate the gps won't help you much and can get you into trouble.)
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Re: Suggestions for 1 week, easy cross-country trips?

Postby shtinkypuppie » Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:47 am

Thanks for your reply! I probably should have noticed the 'suggestions for requesting route advice post'.

I was thinking more of doing loops where trails are connected by cross country segments. One prototype I laid out was Pine creek - Italy Pass - Bear Lakes - Merriam Lake - Pine Creek Pass - Royce Lakes - Pine Creek. That's mostly on trail, but runs me through some cool off-trail areas too. All week off-trail is OK, but would have to be shorter mileage.

I do know how to use a map and compass.

Backpacking experience - Level 3 (150+ nights in the backcountry per year for the last 4 years, several cross country trips)
Class 2 terrain ideal, a little class 3 is tolerable. I'm pretty adept on snow.
Main interests are big mountain scenery and lakes. Don't care about fish.
Loops are very much preferred.
Looking for anything between Yosemite and Cottonwood Pass, east or west.
Not bringing dogs.

Thanks again for your time!
"It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the Earth, and in contemplation of her beauties to know wonder and humility"

- Rachel Carson
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Re: Suggestions for 1 week, easy cross-country trips?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:40 am

"Class 2" is a broad range of difficulties. The class 2 pass in your projected route is quite difficult. I do not recommend that level of "class 2" for your first cross country trip. I suggest you do some day-trips over class 2 passes first, to get an idea of what they are like.

I think that the Upper Kern has great off-trail travel that is quite easy, however requires good navigation skills.

The North Lake to South Lake loop via Lemark Col is a good trip for first time off-trail travel. Lemark Col can however be difficult in some conditions, such as hard snow.
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Re: Suggestions for 1 week, easy cross-country trips?

Postby markskor » Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:39 pm

Are you a fisherman?
Sunrise - Mildred - Echo - Matthes - Nelson - Reymond - Johnson - Upper Townsley - Ireland and down the Lyell?

Mono Meadows - Ottaway - Red Peak Pass - Red Devil - Adair - Oblisk - Washburn - Valley?

Royces, French Canyon,Tour the Bears from Pine Creek?

Miter Basin?
All include some trail/some off.
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: Suggestions for 1 week, easy cross-country trips?

Postby texan » Tue Oct 14, 2014 1:38 pm

markskor wrote:Are you a fisherman?
Sunrise - Mildred - Echo - Matthes - Nelson - Reymond - Johnson - Upper Townsley - Ireland and down the Lyell?

Mono Meadows - Ottaway - Red Peak Pass - Red Devil - Adair - Oblisk - Washburn - Valley?

Royces, French Canyon,Tour the Bears from Pine Creek?

Miter Basin?
All include some trail/some off.


Now that is some awesome advice if your were a fisherman :D

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Re: Suggestions for 1 week, easy cross-country trips?

Postby SSSdave » Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:16 pm

We get a lot of questions on this board about loops which is misguided. As though having to reverse an out and back route is more likely uninteresting and a key element of a trips worthiness. In truth, destinations are usually far more of value than whether such requires a loop or not to get there. Like a loop around the shore of Lake Sabrina is better than an out and back to Topsy Turvy and Hungry Packer Lake?

So some cross country, 6-9 days, not fishing?

Real easy, 6 days:

From Mosquito Flat TH in Rock Creek Canyon, hike over Mono Pass into Pioneer Basin. Horse trail only leads to lowest lake in chain so one can roam over easy open landscapes with route finding by sight and topo easy. On route back spend a day at Fourth Recess Lake.

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.47162,-118.78975&z=14&t=T

A bit more challenging 5 to 9 days:

Another misguided notion that the more icon or famed places on visits the better a trip must be. Those who do such trips don't have the time in any one of those places to do them justice. Forget about all those all in one trips visiting Piute Creek, French Canyon, EF Bear Creek, and Pine Creek. From North Lake TH over Piute Pass into Humphreys Basin. Look at this topo:

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.24573,-118.70031&z=14&t=T

See all those lakes against Glacier Divide and southwest of Humphreys? All off trail. Enough to keep anyone busy more than a week or two without needing to hurry to some place else.
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Re: Suggestions for 1 week, easy cross-country trips?

Postby dave54 » Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:49 pm

Lassen Volcanic.

The east 1/2 of the Park is more or less flat to rolling, open forest. Numerous lakes. The adjacent Caribou Wilderness would add to the looping possibilities.
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Re: Suggestions for 1 week, easy cross-country trips?

Postby shtinkypuppie » Fri Oct 17, 2014 3:02 am

Thanks for the suggestions, y'all. I will definitely be working these into next year's schedule.
"It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the Earth, and in contemplation of her beauties to know wonder and humility"

- Rachel Carson
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Re: Suggestions for 1 week, easy cross-country trips?

Postby balance » Fri Oct 17, 2014 11:41 am

Greeings shtinkpuppie

How the heck do you get 150+ nights per year in the backcountry? It must be nice having money plus freedom. Would you consider trading lives with me?

You might consider North Lake to Lamarck Col into Darwin basin, which feels even more isolated than it actually is. Maybe explore that area. Then up the S. fork of the San Joaquin, hang a right at Piute Creek, cross over Puppet Pass, then wander around Humphreys Basin. That should make for an interesting week or so.

Peace.
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Re: Suggestions for 1 week, easy cross-country trips?

Postby alpinemike » Fri Oct 17, 2014 12:12 pm

I agree with Balance. That is a great route that is straightforward and fairly mellow terrain. Another route that you might consider especially if you're interested in seeing quite remote areas is going into Ionian Basin. You could start out of North Lake and go over Lamarck Col and meet up with the JMT then go South in Ionian via Wanda Pass. Explore that area for a few days with relative navigational ease although the travel through the sharp rock could be annoying.. but all in good fun! Then head out via Black Giant Pass on the other side and maybe even bag Black Giant if you're interested in getting an awesome view. You could exit either via Lamarck Col again or go out via South Lake (Bishop Pass). The South Lake option is a bit longer but puts you through some astounding country with terrific views and allows for exploration of Dusy Basin which is easy cross country travel.
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Re: Suggestions for 1 week, easy cross-country trips?

Postby Cross Country » Fri Oct 17, 2014 12:18 pm

I second balance´s notion.
During 25 years I went 500 days and I thought that was a lot. You´ve done 600 days in 4 years. I´m impressed with that quannty. After my first 4 years my destinations were mosly cross country (hence my HST name). Wow 150 per year. That´s really a lot.
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