2015 Group Trip ?

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AlmostThere
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Re: 2015 Group Trip ?

Post by AlmostThere » Thu Nov 06, 2014 1:36 pm

you cannot have large groups of people meeting in the wilderness in a single place. The group size for any backpacking group is 15 in the parks and any of the wilderness areas. boy Scouts are routinely disregarding this and taking multiple permits in the same wilderness area and forming huge groups around a single lake. this pisses off rangers trying to rehab overused sites....


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Re: 2015 Group Trip ?

Post by giantbrookie » Thu Nov 06, 2014 1:46 pm

SSSdave wrote:Yeah thought about those and some other SR120 destinations in Yosemite. Superb in all but one category. Fishing enthusiasts would have little to do. And wilderness permits for those very popular destinations would face quota issues.
The fishing prospects in the 120 corridor are actually way better than one would think, especially for some proximal destinations south of the Highway. Let's just say that the old "Land of the Giant Brookies" north of I80 is now fishless but some of the 120 lakes make very good substitutes.

The quota issue is probably an issue for some of these destinations but there are some creative entry point and destination combos that work (but keeping below the group size limit overall). In addition, this area has flexibility as a starting point for folks that may wish to make it part of a longer trip either going in or out.

I also like Cross Country's idea of Laurel Lake, which is also the doorstep to destinations deeper in the backcountry as the Bermuda Triangle (ie Edyth, Bearup, et al.), Vernon, Branigan, and upper Falls Creek and beyond.

For 'central' car camping meeting spots, Yosemite (120) is not so good, but there are some good choices N and S of the park that are nicely "central" for the High Sierra. Perhaps the most versatile locations are campgrounds along the Kaiser Pass Road from Kaiser Pass to the Florence L., Edison L. area because these allow takeoff or return from a very wide variety of backcountry destinations. There are campgrounds that would be useful in the Courtright Res./Wishon area as well, which are also good kickoff or return points, although the range of potential destinations is not as large as for the Edison-Florence area. There are also nice primitive camping spots on the west flank that can be much nicer than designated campgrounds. One area that is particularly outstanding is on big flat-topped spurs on the road to Big Meadow (kickoff points such as Jennie Lakes/Rowell Meadow/Marvin Pass etc.). Those spots are gorgeous and once accommodated 200+ folks for an FOP trip in 2004 (don't worry, the FOP had porta potties, and we left the place cleaner than it was on arrival). North of the Yosemite, there are some campgrounds of 108, but Leavitt Lake may be the best car camp destination (high clearance vehicle needed) along this corridor. That one doesn't have quite as much flexibility as a starting or ending point, but it is one of the premier gateways to Emigrant Wilderness.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: 2015 Group Trip ?

Post by SSSdave » Thu Nov 06, 2014 2:07 pm

Cross Country wrote:If you want to have a place that is only one day hike and still good fishing I suggest Laurel Lake out of Hetch Hetchy. Also the camping possibilities for a large group there is excellent. Even I might be able to go there. I know how to fish that lake too (did so about 25-30 days) I usually fished it one day on my way in to Edith and one day on my way out of Edith. One time I hiked all the way out from Edith but that wasn't any fun. It was ALWAYS a pleasure to fish Laurel so I nearly always stopped there for the afternoon and fished it.
Laurel Lake was the destination of my first backpacking trip. Lots of bear stories over those early years in that section of the park. The fishing there for real rainbow trout can certainly be superb in June though like other lower mid forest elevation lakes, trout go into a stupor by mid summer. The hike in is moderately strenuous at 2900 feet up vertical 8.5 miles. Permits require a face to face ranger station on the hike in day so a mid morning start. No peakbagging and exploring limited to maybe dropping into Eleanor Creek canyon. Landscape photography weak though usual intimate nature is about.

Another mid forest elevation choice in that zone has as good rainbow fishing but a much easier hike in out...Kibbie Lake at less than 4 miles. Camping for a large group is a no brainer with significant granite sand glaciated flats on the north side. Mid June nice wildflowers all about. Such timing would not get in the way with member's mid summer season plans. Permits are easy phone call to Stanislaus NF with night box pick-up. Even an easy night hike in. Would work well at 3 days thus Friday thru Sunday. Peakbaggers would be out of luck but could join terrain explorers on either a day hike bushwhack around the big lake or try the tricky route up to Many Island. Photography not spectacular though enough to keep someone busy on more intimate landscapes and nature a couple days.

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Re: 2015 Group Trip ?

Post by SSSdave » Thu Nov 06, 2014 2:41 pm

The most central locations are going to be in either Sierra NF or Inyo NF. Thus some trail quota information:

Trail quotas for Inyo National Forest wilderness area trailheads:

http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOC ... 143453.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Trail quotas for Sierra National Forest wilderness area trailheads:

http://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/sierr ... width=full" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Any destination with a small quota is obviously not going to work. The reservable quota is of course appropriate for a larger group say of a dozen people. One could consider filling quotas on consecutive days to allow more people to meet up though that does not mean everyone camping in the same spot but rather in easy walking vicinity. Obviously would need to reserve dates well in advance and that means probably by early May before the general population gets into their summer vacation mode.

I have more ideas for destinations than on my original post as was hoping others would chime in versus my making the thorough list I could. So another good one for 4 or 5 days one day in and out, would be large deep Duck Lake out of the Coldwater Campground in the Mammoth Lakes basin. This person has never actually been there though have well researched it over years. A heavily used trailhead with a high reservable quota of 18 plus 12 walk-ups. Just 5 miles maybe 1700 feet vertical, all High Sierra country. Good destination for all types of enthusiasts and notably for fishermen some nicely large trout. Reasonable distance from both north and south areas of the state. Given its sunny location despite altitude, would work well for early July thus not interfere with prime summer season of mid July thru mid August.

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Re: 2015 Group Trip ?

Post by rlown » Thu Nov 06, 2014 2:52 pm

A nice thread with various options. Dave, are you organizing such a trip?

Russ

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Re: 2015 Group Trip ?

Post by SSSdave » Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:24 pm

rlown wrote:A nice thread with various options. Dave, are you organizing such a trip?

Russ
Nope :)

Just something I thought is worth kicking around now that we are in the off season. I do enjoy the notion of meeting up with others in the outdoors so don't mind being a catalyst. And I am rather thorough organizing and planning so maybe that has value.

I think the board has enough mass to bring people together in the backcountry in different ways than just what I've leaned towards here and it is nice we can each make inputs in this Internet era. Knowing what each of us has some interest in or not, putting out some ideas and opinions, has value at this stage in moving towards what is possible and how we might go about it. Heck a few of our high mileage long distance types could even end up on their own small group trip out to the remote eastern Kaweah basin.

The nice thing with all our experienced members is there really isn't a whole lot one needs to do in the way of organizing beyond making information available on the site and consensus of those who have interest to how whatever will happen. Each of us is quite capable of meeting up into a larger group as a bunch of independent solo's or small groups.

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2015 Group Trip ?

Post by AlmostThere » Thu Nov 06, 2014 5:14 pm

The regulations are that groups bigger than 15 must split into smaller groups and travel and camp 1/4 mile apart, and not comingle at any point. It isn't the quota we need to be mindful of. No wilderness area allows a group bigger than 15 no matter the quota.

I still vote for frontcountry camping and day hiking. We can get Mono Hot Springs campsites. Free dispersal camping at the Doris Lake trailhead, paid camping in the developed campground, cabins for the well-heeled, and hot springs (free primitive tubs as well as the clean ones you pay for) at the end of the day.

A very big group can split up and hike to all kinds of places - Mt Givens from Kaiser Pass, cross country to Idaho Lake, over to Bear Diversion Dam and up Bear Creek, and I even know the "secret" chute that gets you to the top of Devil's Table.

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Re: 2015 Group Trip ?

Post by SSSdave » Thu Nov 06, 2014 11:26 pm

As noted above, a car camping group get together would be fine too though I also think backcountry groups of below legal limits can be worthwhile too.

Here is the current guiding study on wilderness party limits. A good read and worth a thread of its own on the board. Obviously the study was meant to help area managers develop more considerate policy than one size fits all solutions. I've made a single brief comment below and will let it lie herein. Go read the link.

http://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0SO80aK ... nhGLsJUAo-" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I would be rather surprised if 15 people from the board would commit to meet up in the backcountry although probably another dozen might make soft commitments and bail within a couple weeks to set dates. If there were actually more than 15 attendees across several smaller groups each with permits, it would not bother me in the least meeting up in the same zone if we had twice that many simply spread out across sites reasonable distances apart well away from any popular camping zones. And that particularly means not siting at usual lakeshore camp areas of popular destinations. As members of a responsible public board, we want to be good citizens and are smart enough to figure out how to get this right.

The study relates the 15 person limits are merely local decisions and in fact the majority of managers set those limits and have been reducing limits over the recent decades merely because others were in nearby management areas. Like its the expected thing to do. It also relates reasons to support limits are often lowest common denominator decisions of how many of the least ecologically sensitive groups like equestrians and campfire enthusiasts are likely to impact the most sensitive areas while admitting LNT users in less sensitive areas are probably of little issue. Also some of the perceived issues really are not issues users are complaining about and a reason in some surveys users are ok with current limits is likely merely because most groups are small so it never impact them personally. Thus a matter of how survey questions are posed. And surveys show most people are not bothered meeting large groups in the wilderness which probably are considered as passing on trails versus camping next to. Obviously large groups camping at popular places will be a negative if they site near other smaller groups. That said a large group siting away from a popular area ought not bother anyone.

http://sierrawild.gov/resources/group-size-limits" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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2015 Group Trip(s)?

Post by Hobbes » Fri Nov 07, 2014 8:03 am

Sounds like the plans for a larger, less remote HST group trip are coming together quite nicely.

For the 5 of us who made it to Wallace for the 2014 HST meet-up, we tossed around some ideas for next year. Unless sentiments have changed, I believe we all expressed a desire to check out Kaweah/Milestone basin for 2015.

This kind of trip violates a lot of conditions set forth by others on this thread, the most obvious being it's definitely a 4 day (minimum) hike in/out. (To add insult to injury, it's straight up Shepherd and across Tyndall.) However, rather than initiate a debate about a single best location, why not embrace diverging interests with a cafeteria plan offering 2+ choices?

I'm definitely going to Milestone next summer, if for nothing else than to have a chance to finally get to meet Tom K in person. [As in, the dude @74 who sandbags others with ... oh, yeah, I forgot to mention I ran a 2:45 in my 40s. And did Baxter, Taboose, Shepherd & Lamarck this past summer.]

If a few others from the board head that way, then we might construe it as a HST meet-up. But, if this group comes up with a plan for something a little closer in, then if it fit my schedule, it would be fun to shoot in for a day, say hi, and head out.

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Re: 2015 Group Trip ?

Post by oldranger » Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:07 am

SSSDave wrote
Obviously large groups camping at popular places will be a negative if they site near other smaller groups. That said a large group siting away from a popular area ought not bother anyone. - See more at: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=11959&start=36#sthash.fLoYoFGG.dpuf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I respectively disagree. I expect to see lots of people at places like the Rae Lakes Loop, Lillian Lake, Vogelsang etc. When I do my usual off trail stuff I don't and as I said before, at the end of a tough day I would not appreciate being stuck near a large group (of course it could mitigate that with a cold beer and a steak).

Mike
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