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Tough Hikes

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Tough Hikes

Postby Hobbes » Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:53 pm

After getting back from the HST meet-up last week, I was wondering why I thought the hike from Shepherd seemed tougher than usual. I started going through some of my notes with respect to elevation gain/loss and mileage for some other "regular" 3-4-5 day trips, and began to compare various mixed class 1/2 trail/x-c hikes. Here's what I came up with:

1. Shepherd/Kern/Kaweah loop = 13k gain, 13k loss, 64 miles

2. North lake/Larmarck/Kearsarge PCT/JMT = 13.4k gain, 13k loss, 72 miles

3. Kearsarge/Forester/Mt Whitney = 9.9k gain, 11.6k loss, 48 miles

4. Piute/Puppet/Italy/Feather/Hutchinson/Piute = 7.2k gain, 7.2 loss, 43 miles

Disregarding peak bagging, what are some other hikes that would be comparable to these mixed trail/x-c stats in the 3-4-5 day range? I gained a new found respect to west side passes after traveling to the Kaweah basin, especially ones like Kaweah & Milestone, the latter which looked like a sheer cliff from the Kern basin. What part of the SHR has the biggest gain/loss over a 50-70 mile range? The initial climb out from Road's End?

Here's an example of a hike which I don't have any familiarity: when I was hiking down from Shepherd, I ran into two guys @ the Pothole who were on the way up. They were happy to take a break, so we chatted for a few minutes. Their planned itinerary included heading to LSA, over Harrison, down to Reflection, up to Gardiner, through Rae, and back down Baxter. It seems like a pretty tough hike, which got me thinking about other good 3-4-5 day loops and/or section hikes that would present a good physical challenge.



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Re: Tough Hikes

Postby sparky » Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:49 am

not really the answer you are looking for, but I have (on paper) linked together some very difficult west to east crossings of the range that look interesting.
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Re: Tough Hikes

Postby Hobbes » Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:09 am

Au contraire, le spark, please post up what you have. Maybe Eric and/or Mav have a summary somewhere of challenging 3-5 day hikes. If not, perhaps this could be a nice anchor post to collect these kinds of trips.

I would suggest, however, that anything involving purposely seeking out class 3+ passes/peaks that involve short distances would fall into another type of category. That is, I'm thinking of 10-15 mile days that involve a mix of trails and class 2 passes that provide around a 50-60 mile range for a 4+ day weekend.

My guess is something like the Hamilton lakes->Pyra Queen->Pants and/or Colby loop, etc. Or, Bishop->Tehipite->SHR->Dusy, etc. Or, the aforementioned Shepherd->Harrison->Gardiner->Baxter. Or, the Larmarck->McGee loop Wandering Daisy did last month.
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Re: Tough Hikes

Postby sparky » Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:23 am

oh I see what you are getting at here...here is one I havnt done....bishop pass > SHR south > catridge pass > dumbell pass > amphitheater pass > up the creek to palisade basin > knapsack > bishop pass

for crossing, lots of cool ways from courtright or florence to taboose pass....descend goodale creek or armstrong canyon for extra gnar points...there are all kinds of cool/interesting lines to make this crossing.
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Re: Tough Hikes

Postby Hobbes » Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:25 am

"bishop pass > SHR south > catridge pass > dumbell pass > amphitheater pass > up the creek to palisade basin > knapsack > bishop pass"

Yes, exactly. Daisy suggested a variation of this to Tehipite from Bishop. She also piqued my intereste with the Lamarck->McGee loop - maybe add Hell For Sure as a spur and exit/enter Haeckel col.

Eric Su does a variation of these quick loops, just on a whole - and I mean whole - different level:

http://peaksforfreaks.blogspot.com/

http://www.summitpost.org/phpBB3/2014-s ... ml#p960778
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Re: Tough Hikes

Postby sekihiker » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:05 am

If you poke around in the 50 or so trip descriptions at www.sierrahiker.com, you might be able to fine some.
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Re: Tough Hikes

Postby Cross Country » Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:55 am

Of hikes that I did several times my toughest was out of Mineral King over Timber Gap to Cliff Creek. Now comes the difficult part. From 10-15 minutes down the trail you hike up and over the ridge to the lake at the head of Granit Creek. It's only class 2 but what makes it so diffult is that it is relentlessly steep hiking for several hours. After a while it starts to grind at you. I went there several times because you can go there in June. Once I hiked it on my birthday. I kept saying to myself - this is proof that I don't believe in arbitrary designations like birth dates. I tried to never let those interfere with a good oportunity (like a 5 day stretch with no softball games). I got to hike to a really cool place and miss no games. This trip is 5 days with a layover day including the driving. I could play games on Wed, Thur and Fri nights, drive to MK and hike to Cliff Creek on Sat, do the grind on Sun, layover with fishing on Mon, hike out Tue, drive to Three Rivers and slide down "Old Slicky" in the river for a few hours, drive home and play a game Wed night. Ahh - those were the days (the 70s)
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Re: Tough Hikes

Postby oleander » Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:06 am

Cross Country wrote:I tried to never let those interfere with a good oportunity (like a 5 day stretch with no softball games).


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Re: Tough Hikes

Postby tie » Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:36 am

This might meet your standards, or it might be too short.

Onion Valley -> University Pass -> Center Basin (cross country)
-> Forester Pass (JMT)
-> Lake South America -> Little Joe's Pass -> Reflection Lake (cross country)
-> Kearsarge Pass -> Onion Valley (trail).

Image
Image
(This GPS track is missing the descent from Kearsarge Pass.)

The loop is about 35 miles, with maybe 12K' or 13K' elevation gain & loss (?).

The cross-country passes are class 2, but no joke, and personally I can't imagine doing them with a pack.

Here's a trip report from Leor Pantilat https://pantilat.wordpress.com/2009/09/27/the-stanford-loop/ . He took Milly's Foot Pass down to Lake Reflection, but most people on the Internet prefer Little Joe's.
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Re: Tough Hikes

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:07 am

This is a trip I did several years ago. Upper Basin lakes plus climb of Split Mountain - 3 days. Day 1 to Cardinal Lake (9 miles, 6730 feet gain). Day 2 to the lake north of Split Mountain, climb, to west side and up to lake below Mt Ruskin (11 miles, 3860 feet gain). Day 3- drop to Kings River and up to lakes below Striped Mtn and back out Taboose Pass (13 miles, 1350 gain, -7500 loss).

I think my pack only weighed 18 pounds to start with. Did it with a bivy. You cannot directly traverse to Cardinal Lake- have to drop down first.
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