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SHR North-South July 2015

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SHR North-South July 2015

Postby edhyatt » Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:27 pm

Morning (from the UK)

I'm across this summer to try this; I've read much of the helpful information on here and was looking to see if anyone had any pointers?

North-South for permit availability and convenience. I've read Roper, looked at Skurka's notes and planned out (sort of) things on Caltopo.

I've not done much in the Sierras (JMT, few days trips) am 'happy' on Class 2/3 terrain and an ex-rock climber (been a while though). Did the Colorado Trail in 2013. I'll be doing the Tahoe Rim Trail before-hand to get used to elevation - I live at 240' above sea-level!

Thinking of taking it slow (or realistic):

Twin Lakes- Tuolumne Meadows - 30 miles, 3 days, take a day off
Tuolumne Meadows - Reds Meadows/Mammoth - 50 miles, 5 days, take a day off
Mammoth-Bishop Pass - 75(?) miles, 7-8 days, take a day off
Bishop Pass-Onion Valley - 65(?) miles, 7 days

Any advice or comments welcomed.

ed



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Re: SHR North-South July 2015

Postby wildhiker » Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:58 pm

I don't think 10 miles per day cross-country is "taking it slow". That's a very ambitious pace.
-Phil
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Re: SHR North-South July 2015

Postby edhyatt » Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:58 am

Thanks wildhiker - interesting, I'll think about that; an extra days food (or two) might be a good idea in the early stages then.

I'm usually pretty speedy on rocky terrain and have done a lot of (slow) off-trail in Scotland and Mallorca. I tend to walk all day with few breaks (this might well change at altitude, although I got used to that on the CT and was averaging 18 mile days there easily enough).

I'll be light, with a base weight around 12lbs.

Appreciate that the going can be slow though...looking at some of the images of talus slopes.
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Re: SHR North-South July 2015

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:44 am

If you "end" on segment at Bishop Pass, are you having someone bring in food? It is still about 3 hours down to the trailhead, and no public transportation into town.

If you go out to Onion Valley, are you going to skip the section of the SHR from Mather Pass to Kings Canyon (roads end)? or are you going to walk back from Road's End via Bubbs Creek to Kearsarge Pass and Onion Valley trailhead?

It is all personal style, but I do not like days off. I would rather just pick up food and keep going. I did this route in 2010, much slower than you propose. (I did a trip report - dig through the archives - three separate trip reports dated in the Fall 2010) My husband joined me on the mid section, and with two vehicles, we were able to shuttle my car to various trailheads. I intended on doing all north-to-south but at Mammoth, we decided to do the mid section south-to-north (easier for my husband to acclimate) and after that transport logistics simply worked better to do the southern section south-to-north. Nevertheless, I researched the route a lot before I did it, and if I had done it alone, I would have continued north-to-south direction --it is a very good choice. Following Roper's directions does get a bit muddled because he describes everything south-to-north.

I assume you are stuck with using public transportation. It is fairly easy to hitch-hike from the trailheads to town. Hey, you have a British accent - people will love to give you a ride! I found that the best way to get a ride from Bishop back to South Lake is to sit at the Forest Service office with a sign. I did that and got a ride within 10 minutes.
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Re: SHR North-South July 2015

Postby edhyatt » Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:19 am

It was your trip reports that led me to HST - so I've already read and enjoyed them (thanks). I'm surprised not to see others going North-South...perhaps they just don't write about it.

I quite like a little 'down time' so hiking over the pass and hitching into Bishop would be my way to go - the accent works when trying to get a ride, but first potential lifts have to get past the bald head and broken nose...

I was thinking about taking the Bubbs Creek/Kearsage Pass option - looks like a reasonable way out? I think I will have to factor in some more trail time maybe - not too big an issue..I may as well fill the can up with more food.

Appreciate the advice.
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Re: SHR North-South July 2015

Postby Bluewater » Sat Apr 25, 2015 3:11 pm

My experience is limited to the southern 2/3rds of the SHR (northbound from Kearsarge/east side entry to Lake Catherine). I usually travel at about 1 mph cross country and 2.5 mph on trail (including breaks) so an average of about 10 mpd is reasonable, but I travel light and like to hike all day. If it's all cross country I usually max out at 7+- mpd depending on the terrain possibly because the route finding can be taxing by the end of the day. Andrew and Manfred from BPL finished the route in 12 days in 2012 which is way too fast or enjoyable for me (trip report here: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin ... d_id=68276). I've hiked with Andrew a few times and he is fast.

Doing the TRT ahead of time will be a huge benefit with acclimatization and conditioning. I've never felt better than after finishing the JMT and have often thought it would be a good way to get ready before starting the SHR in the future.

I can't tell from your itinerary, but it looks like you may be planning your days off at the end of each section. My preference would be to take days off while on the route, or to take a few 1/2 days along the route. There are a few spots that I wish I could have taken more time to experience/fish/chill while out there. Some highlights: The basin between grey and white passes, Lake Basin, lower Mills Creek Lake, Laurel Lake/Grinnel Lakes and the meadow between Iceberg and Minaret Lakes (above Ediza) among others. Taking days off while out on the route would also leave time for side trips to Ionian Basin, Dumbell Lakes etc or for peak bagging Mt Sill. . .




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Re: SHR North-South July 2015

Postby edhyatt » Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:57 pm

Thanks for those thoughts - strangely it never occurred to me to take time out on trail - I'll give that some consideration; my usual instinct is to head to a town, a shower, food, and a bed...spending time out in the back-country without an agenda would be interesting.

Your times are about the same as mine, although I don't have too much experience in the Sierra. The TRT does not appear to have much elevation gain, but will help me acclimatise - I'll also be taking some Diamox (whether or not I need it is another thing). Taking 12 days is way too fast for me - about double that seems better!

I travel pretty light too - any gear choices anyone would recommend (I could post up my kit list)?

ed
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Re: SHR North-South July 2015

Postby Bluewater » Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:41 am

I realize gear is based on individual preference and I'm always interested to see what other people are using. This is my latest 3 season Sierra list (http://seatosummitultralight.blogspot.c ... -2014.html). It works for carrying up to 9 days of food. For longer trips I switch to a heavier pack.


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Re: SHR North-South July 2015

Postby edhyatt » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:13 am

W :D W that is light - the MYOG looks great.

I'll put my list up a bit later - happy to have it pared down from it's (in comparison) beefy 12lb base...
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Re: SHR North-South July 2015

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Apr 26, 2015 7:14 am

FYI, Diamox is not something you take after you start to have problems (or if you have sulfa allergies). You start it prior to hiking, to prevent symptoms. It causes other symptoms that I wouldn't care for, so it's fine by me that I don't/can't use it myself.

The best approach, if you do not tend to have elevation issues, is to stay hydrated and acclimate - spend one or two nights at lower elevations before going high. Or camping low and hiking high.
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Re: SHR North-South July 2015

Postby edhyatt » Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:01 am

Thanks; I know how to take it (it is a private prescription in the UK and they make sure you know all about it before they will write one). I reckon I'll acclimatise on the TRT - if not OK after that I may use the Diamox.
Last edited by edhyatt on Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SHR North-South July 2015

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:36 am

OK, I am not an acronym person - what is TRT? Tahoe Rim Trail??

Personally, I would slow down the first part of the High Route while you acclimate. By the way, legalities aside, your safety is number one. You are not going to be fined and thrown in jail if you have to set up camp along that long stretch north of Tioga Pass that is designated as a "day-use" area. The route finding is really tricky and that may slow you down too. Twice on the route, I camped in technically "illegal" areas - both times it would have been unsafe to continue. Obviously you plan to camp in legal spots, but I would never let that enter into safety decisions. Same with staying "exactly" on route. A few of the passes really need to be detoured or delayed if conditions are poor. No way am I going to be on one of those passes in a severe lightning storm! PS - do you have much lightning in Scottish highlands?

I would be equally concerned about jet-lag. I assume you are flying into Reno. Simply taking an easy day, sleeping a lot, and not even hiking, does wonders to acclimate. You do not want your "acclimation hike" to actually cause altitude sickness! One nice thing about starting in the north part, is that the altitudes are pretty moderate, compared to most of the Sierra. Everyone is different. I live at sea level and feel the altitude but do not get sick even if I hike the same day I drive to the trailhead. Others have a lot of trouble. Easy does it the first few days. That is one reason I did not like the idea of starting the SHR at Roads End.
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