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Is It Too Early To Plan For Next Year?

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Is It Too Early To Plan For Next Year?

Postby David and Karen » Sun Sep 13, 2015 12:23 pm

Greetings from the Northwest. I know armchair the armchair hiking season doesn't begin for at least another month but for those of you with an eye on 2016 already I have something to share, and something to ask of you as well.

First off, if you like to hike out of state, I would encourage you to check out my homemade, ad free, hiking website http://members.shaw.ca/karenanddavid/, I've been hard at work converting it from a personal site to more of a field guide with help from the members of the nwhikers.net forum. There are a tonne of quality photos and beta, from Canada and the Western US, but only Washington, Oregon & Utah are what I would consider completed, I've done parts of California, but the Sierra are proving to be a daunting task, I'm presently engrossed in research which is what brought me here. I really appreciate the home grown efforts of Kevin's Hiking Page: http://kevingong.com/Hiking/ and if you are familiar with any similar resources, please share them below. If you like what I am trying to do, please share your Flickr pages and help me make the Sierra segment as interesting and accurate as can be. Thanks

On a personal note we skipped our semi-annual trip to the Sierras in 2014 because we couldn't settle on a uniquely compelling destination. Our experience level is top notch - you really don't have a choice in Canada since everything is off trail and over gnarly terrain. Although age is catching up with us and the preference is to avoid real exposure, and long stretches of difficult off trail terrain. Our interest is purely photography, with an emphasis on lake bagging. So far the two best things we did in the Sierras were exploring the far end of 1000 Island Lake (Catherine & Ritter) and exploring Dusy Basin & over to Palisades Basin. We were least enthused by the conga line of thru hikers at Rae Lakes, considering the effort it took to reach there. What would be ideal is a big lake basin full of pretty tarns where you could explore for a week or more. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Last edited by David and Karen on Thu Sep 17, 2015 6:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: Is It Too Early To Plan For Next Year?

Postby rlown » Sun Sep 13, 2015 6:49 pm

nice work! I guess 2 things.. It's Sierra and not Sierras. and the second, could you please add a link to your site pointing back to HST.

Thanks..

PS: It's way too early to plan. We wait now for El Nino to show up.
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Re: Is It Too Early To Plan For Next Year?

Postby balzaccom » Sun Sep 13, 2015 10:35 pm

Nope--it's not too early to plan! We're already thinking about hikes for next year. One area you might explore would be Humphreys Basin out of North Lake, or the off-trail lakes of the Emigrant Wilderness. We have trip reports on those and on over forty other hikes in the Sierra, if you check out our website...
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check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
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Re: Is It Too Early To Plan For Next Year?

Postby rlown » Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:25 pm

I guess what I really meant to say is you can plan all you want, and then let the weather and/or fires move your schedule around.

I agree with Balzaccom that Humphreys Basin is a nice place to hang out. I'd add French Basin to that as well.
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Re: Is It Too Early To Plan For Next Year?

Postby Jimr » Mon Sep 14, 2015 6:07 pm

I have 30 year old plans that just came to fruition over the past two years. It was much better as two trips rather than one as originally planned. Like both guys said; dream, plan, play with possibilities, then dial in what you will do once you know what the weather has done. I already have some plans for next season. The results from winter will dictate the dates.
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Re: Is It Too Early To Plan For Next Year?

Postby David and Karen » Mon Sep 14, 2015 6:27 pm

balzaccom wrote:Nope--it's not too early to plan! We're already thinking about hikes for next year. One area you might explore would be Humphreys Basin out of North Lake, or the off-trail lakes of the Emigrant Wilderness. We have trip reports on those and on over forty other hikes in the Sierra, if you check out our website...


Your website is the EXACT reason I started this project - really just a way to collect all my research in one place, photos with links to really useful websites that get buried in Google results under garbage like trails.com and their ilk. I just started perusing it and I can already tell that it is a well cared for labour of love, thanks so much for taking the time to create and share this. If you are thinking about any out of state destinations next year hopefully my website can return the favour.

BTW - You can see on the pages that I've converted from my personal stuff to a guide format (Washington, Oregon & Utah), I always credit my sources and get the permission from the photographer for any photos I've posted. I hope in the near future to bring my Sierra pages up to that standard - thanks again.
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Re: Is It Too Early To Plan For Next Year?

Postby sekihiker » Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:34 am

I, too, have a homemade, ad free, hiking website and it has been online since 1996. I have posted about 50 trip reports, mostly for hikes in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Go to: sierrahiker.com

An amazing collection of day hike reports (homemade and ad free) can be found at Bob Burd's site: snwburd.com Bob's day hikes cover more miles than many multi-day trips and almost always include the summiting of one or more peaks.
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Re: Is It Too Early To Plan For Next Year?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Sep 17, 2015 2:11 pm

Since you likely are comfortable with snow, early season (say late June-late July) may be your best bet. The air is still fresh, wildflowers are blooming, and some snow still on peaks. The high contrast of too much snow on the peaks is hard for me to deal with since I am not a great photographer so I have to hit that sweet spot of some snow, but not too much. That is to say, a "normal" year. If we have another drought winter, things may dry out earlier. Only drawbacks are that this is also mosquito season and you could run into some tough river crossings. The later in the season, the less mosquitoes, but the higher probability of haze and smoky skies which really ruins photos.

If you want good alpenglow photos, the west side offers better sunsets. If you prefer those early morning shots east side is best. Both sides have some impressive views- a west approach would be more "woodsy" at first. East side approaches are more direct with immediate steep terrain and impressive cliffs. The bigger mountain terrain is south of Mammoth; the more woodsy colorful terrain is north of Mammoth. Not sure what you are looking for.

I am bias to "big mountains". Some of my favorites: Gardiner Basin, Lakes Basin, Barrett and Dusy Basins. North Lake to South Lake loop, via Darwin Bench, PCT, and out Dusy Basin, with a side trip to Barrett Basin, is a fine trip. PCT does get crowded. Taboose Pass is my preferred approach to Lakes Basin, with a side trip to the lakes under Striped Mountain. Onion Valley and Kersarge Pass are my choice of route to Gardiner Basin.

And there always is Roper's High Route. You get to see lots of terrain, but it is a long route.

When I first moved to California, I purchased Arnot's book, Sierra, Range of Light. It is a bit dated, but it is a good overview of trips to places less traveled. With new lighter equipment, you can go a lot faster than he proposes. I have done nearly every one of his trips and all have been outstanding. His writing gets a bit sappy philosophical, but his focus is on specific experiences, which is a unique way to write a guidebook.
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Re: Is It Too Early To Plan For Next Year?

Postby maverick » Thu Sep 17, 2015 2:24 pm

Rlown wrote:
It's Sierra and not Sierras. and the second, could you please add a link to your site pointing back to HST.


Yes, please change "Sierras" to "Sierra", and please include a link pointing back to HST on your website, this is requested of anyone posting a website on HST! Thanks
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Re: Is It Too Early To Plan For Next Year?

Postby markskor » Thu Sep 17, 2015 3:45 pm

maverick wrote:
Rlown wrote:
It's Sierra and not Sierras. and the second, could you please add a link to your site pointing back to HST.


Yes, please change "Sierras" to "Sierra", and please include a link pointing back to HST on your website, this is requested of anyone posting a website on HST! Thanks

Agreed! Here at HST we welcome all Sierra related discussion. Our only rules are -
1) - Must be (at least somehow) Sierra related.
2) - Any linked website must also include a reciprocal link back to HST, or face being erased/deleted.
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Re: Is It Too Early To Plan For Next Year?

Postby David and Karen » Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:16 pm

sekihiker - I already had your site bookmarked, but the 2nd one is new to me - thanks

Wandering Daisy - A lot to digest, I look forward to delving into your suggestions in detail. Thanks everyone for all the advice.

PS - I changed the 'Sierras' in my original post and checked to make sure I didn't have that in my website. I'll need more photos before I can complete the upgrade for my Sierra pages, but I'll post a prototype of some sort this weekend and each one will have a link to HST and any of the other pages I used for sources.
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Re: Is It Too Early To Plan For Next Year?

Postby rlown » Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:40 pm

David and Karen wrote:sekihiker - I already had your site bookmarked, but the 2nd one is new to me - thanks

Wandering Daisy - A lot to digest, I look forward to delving into your suggestions in detail. Thanks everyone for all the advice.

PS - I changed the 'Sierras' in my original post and checked to make sure I didn't have that in my website. I'll need more photos before I can complete the upgrade for my Sierra pages, but I'll post a prototype of some sort this weekend and each one will have a link to HST and any of the other pages I used for sources.


main page:

Capture.JPG
Capture.JPG (24.45 KiB) Viewed 105 times


Not that you're doing a bad job.. I applaud your work!
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