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2015 Group Trip ?

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2015 Group Trip ?

Postby 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 ?

Postby 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-

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
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2015 Group Trip(s)?

Postby 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 ?

Postby 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


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).

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Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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Re: 2015 Group Trip(s)?

Postby SSSdave » Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:35 am

Hobbes wrote:...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?...


Hobbes that pretty much what I related in my early post with snippet below so would encourage others to put their two cents herein on any other ways we might meet up including the road camping ideas.

david >>> 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.
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Re: 2015 Group Trip ?

Postby SSSdave » Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:56 am

What you say Mike is quite true to some extent. Those who camp at popular lakeside locations ought to expect others groups nearby and in fact some probably prefer so. There have always been fair numbers of backpacking groups that ironically always seem to site at well used popular often lakeside campspots even though they may have just hiked 8 miles through areas virtually empty of people. However one would expect not a few of even those folks might prefer not to be next to groups with near legal numbers of occupants.

My comment was not to promote a strategy of bringing groups out to remote offtrail areas where indeed that is likely to annoy those who seek such destinations. Worthwhile lake destinations one day in and out from trailheads are likely to be popular and relatively heavily used. But rather when a destination is one of those places there are usually peripheral locations to site that are further away more hidden from lake edges and trails if one bothers to consider what might be possible on a topo and hunt around some instead of just plunking down at the "village" where a trail meets a lake. One strategy we often use is to look on a map for relatively level terrain that requires climbing up more than 50 feet above trails along lakeshores when there are otherwise lakeside camp sites level walking to lake edges.
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Re: 2015 Group Trip ?

Postby Jimr » Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:54 am

Hobbes, I'm in for Milestone, but I plan on starting at Onion Valley and doing Kearsarge and Forester, then over. Maybe out Harrison pass to Onion Valley, but it sounds like a sand/talus slog. If I can get a partner/shuttle, I may exit Shepherd. I'm not much for the JMT, but I plan on blasting through, then settling in.

I like the idea of two meetups as well. I'd be inclined to do both. Perhaps bring my son on the shorter of the two.
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Re: 2015 Group Trip ?

Postby Cross Country » Fri Nov 07, 2014 11:25 am

I believe the best idea would be a front country first day. From a large group, several smaller groups could go to various destinations in the back country. I believe this would accomodate almost everyone.
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Re: 2015 Group Trip ?

Postby Hobbes » Fri Nov 07, 2014 7:58 pm

Jim, I'm thinking of trying to convince Andy to come along over Crabtree, then down the Whitney creek watershed (Steve C @ the Whitney Zone has a great route description), then straight outta Compton; oops, I meant Shepherd.

I did Kearsarge/Forrester/LSA/Shepherd a few years ago; Harrison would really add to the excitement. Maybe you could get to Oleander to go that way - she could return directly to Road's End.

If this group decided on something like Honeymoon/Royce, I'd be there. It would be an easy side trip to hit the Bears or go fish Rlown's "secret" lake. Wouldn't matter going up Pine Crk or via N Lake.
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Re: 2015 Group Trip ?

Postby rlown » Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:11 pm

well, as we have no one signing up to coordinate such a trip, I guess my "secret" lake is still safe. :p

I actually don't like the big meet up plan. I like the impromptu meet-ups. Like i did at Mesa with Herm. It lasted a short time and that was fine, and very refreshing to meet someone and see what lure he was throwing at Mesa as he was doing quite well!. Much better than I was.

I don't want to see 18 people at the "secret" lake at one time. all will be disappointed other than with the scenery. It's at least a 2 day fest to get something depending on what you present and time of year.

It's almost best to talk to those that you know in your genre' (bagging, fishing, hiking), and team up that way. beyond that it'll be luck.
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Re: 2015 Group Trip ?

Postby AlmostThere » Sat Nov 08, 2014 6:55 am

SSSdave wrote:
LMBSGV wrote:
I would think a front country location would be much more appropriate for a large HST gathering. Just my pov

Also my pov.


Sure car camping could work too and just 3 days would fit. The issue is sure to be finding a car camping location that would be interesting enough for people to actually bother to make all the effort for?


Florence Lake, Courtright Lake, or even Tahoe area have all the hiking and fishing you could pack into three days.
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Re: 2015 Group Trip ?

Postby richlong8 » Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:34 am

I might as well chime in....staying at a campground, or only backpacking in a few miles, so the group that meets can be really large is not appealing to me. Something like Milestone Basin/Kaweah that was mentioned, or a location that is not where the average person would travel to in 1-2 days is much more attractive to me. When I look at the trip report from last year's meetup, man, I really missed something by not going on that trip. Trips close to the end of a road- not so much(my opinion). I think Maverick's suggestion of Pioneer Basin is a good one. Tough one day trip for many people, doable in 2, and seems about right for a 5 day meetup of HST. Graveyard Lakes seems ok for 5 days also, even though that road to Edison is a long, slow drive from anywhere.
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