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Kings Canyon High Basin Route

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Re: Kings Canyon High Basin Route

Postby ndpanda » Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:26 am

schmalz wrote:This thread has definitely brought up a number of ethical concerns regarding online trip reports.

"The only section of the route I have not done is Bubbs to Woods. Pre Edition explains such and alternate route given, though this appears to be a straightforward section -- Gardiner Pass and then King Col."

I find this comment to be particularly disturbing in light of the fact that you are charging money for the guide to this route.


Steve Roper set a pretty high bar with his process for the Sierra High Route. He had around 25 years of Sierra experience when he started putting the route together in the late 1970s. He hiked every segment at least once over the course of several summers so he got a sense of varying snow levels. Then, according to his introduction to the original edition, he "agonized" for more than a year about whether or not to go public. For the 1997 edition of the book he solicited input from seasoned hikers of the route and asked backcountry rangers — George Durkee, for one — to review sections of the manuscript.

When Ropers's guide to the SHR came out in the early 1980s I had already hiked quite a few of the segments he identified, and over the years I've gone over the rest of them, most more than once. I've always found his take on the terrain and his routefinding advice to be pretty solid, with the odd quibble here and there. (His description of how to get down to Twin Island Lakes from Glacier Lake Pass seemed overly complicated to me the first time I read it, but the next time I hiked that stretch I realized that putting the route into words was more challenging than the actual routefinding.)

On the one hand, I think that the deliberative approach Roper took to defining a mountain route is unlikely to be emulated by others now that we have the internet to share our experiences in close to real time. On the other, I think it's largely responsible for the SHR's longevity and credibility in the outdoor community.



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Re: Kings Canyon High Basin Route

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Apr 15, 2015 5:39 pm

Coming from someone who has personally hiked extensively with Rogue... When he says he will never do it again that should be an extreme warming not to be taken lightly. I for one will never do them since I know just how bad they really are.


Haha Yeah sometimes I tell people that I rarely get scared while doing anything in the Sierra but when I do you know it's pretty bad. I still find it funny that I was going to turn back in the Enchanted Gorge on those grass slopes but you made me push forward with almost disastrous results.
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Re: Kings Canyon High Basin Route

Postby alpinemike » Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:35 pm

Well it's not like turning back and the alternative was too much better. That other side of the creek looked pretty awful and technical. Hey.. I'm the one that almost died :P


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Re: Kings Canyon High Basin Route

Postby Panoramic » Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:24 am

From a guide stand point this certainly can be a blocking point. King Col with any sort of cornice would be impassable without ropes. It's just too narrow and steep.


Agreed. This is the one high Sierra crossing that I would not do again. Very loose and steep from bottom to top.

Chris
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Re: Kings Canyon High Basin Route

Postby maverick » Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:52 am

Hi Chris,

Welcome to HST! Hope you will write up an intro when you get the time. viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9329
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: Kings Canyon High Basin Route

Postby WarrenFork » Tue Apr 28, 2015 4:48 pm

A "high" route that drops as low as 6000 feet (Simpson Meadow) apart from the endpoints feels a little contrived to me. (The low point of both Roper's route and the Muir Trail excluding the ends is 7550 feet at Devil's Postpile.)

Also, since it's being touted as a high basin route, I was surprised to read on the promotional site that "The next high basin — Palisades — would entail an unjustifiable effort and is therefore bypassed." This seems more like a marketing ploy to differentiate the route from Roper's than anything else. If my focus was hiking high basins I'd be much more inclined to rank the Enchanted Gorge and the thrash down Goddard Creek in the "unjustifiable effort" category.
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Re: Kings Canyon High Basin Route

Postby sparky » Tue Apr 28, 2015 5:14 pm

heh talk about contrived....I have been incorporating shapes and symbols into my routes over the last couple years that has actually worked out in unexpected ways
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Re: Kings Canyon High Basin Route

Postby andrewskurka » Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:17 pm

WarrenFork wrote:A "high" route that drops as low as 6000 feet (Simpson Meadow) apart from the endpoints feels a little contrived to me. (The low point of both Roper's route and the Muir Trail excluding the ends is 7550 feet at Devil's Postpile.)

Also, since it's being touted as a high basin route, I was surprised to read on the promotional site that "The next high basin — Palisades — would entail an unjustifiable effort and is therefore bypassed." This seems more like a marketing ploy to differentiate the route from Roper's than anything else. If my focus was hiking high basins I'd be much more inclined to rank the Enchanted Gorge and the thrash down Goddard Creek in the "unjustifiable effort" category.


Here are the rest of the low points:

Lodgepole 6,720
Colby Canyon 9,040
Junction Meadow 8,202
Castle Domes Meadow 7,874
South Fork 9,383
Middle Fork & Palisades 8,040
Simpson Meadow 5,960

If you want to avoid Simpson Meadow, exit at Courtwright. But the logistics will be a real pain in the pass. If there were a road up the Middle Fork the route would end there (which I also stated in the online materials) but there thankfully is not, so the obvious exit from there is Road's End. If you want to hike the JMT because this route drops lower for a few miles, go for it.

I'd encourage you to map out the route through Palisades Basin from the bottom of Cataract Creek or Adventurer Col and let me know if you still think it makes sense. It adds 10k of vertical up and down, yet you get just two passes out of it and you still end up at LeConte Ranger Station since there is really no natural way to follow the crest. I would have loved to add Palisades Basin, but it seemed unnecessarily difficult given where the rest of the route is going.
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Re: Kings Canyon High Basin Route

Postby sekihiker » Sat May 02, 2015 2:58 pm

Just finished reading this thread from beginning to end. For anyone who has been to www.sierrahiker.com make sure you read the Disclaimer and Warning. It's so difficult to communicate effectively with others when conditioning and skill sets vary so widely from person to person. Those of us who share our experiences assume that those who read our reports will use them with caution. I'm turning 70 this month and at this age, I wouldn't attempt many of the hikes I have described. Many of them were taken after getting myself into shape to run marathons [PR 3:03]. I feel good when I run an 11 minute mile now days. I'm still hiking but I'm not going down Enchanted Gorge any time soon.
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