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BSL + Whitney Mid July

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BSL + Whitney Mid July

Postby mrgonzalo » Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:49 pm

Hello folks,

Long-time lurker, first-time (I think) poster here. Hailing out of Tuscaloosa, Alabama (temporarily) though currently in Los Angeles for the Summer.

Earlier this year, I came upon the Big SEKI Loop. Needless to say, I was inspired. I was able to secure a few weeks off this summer, and will be enjoying it in the Sierra.

The BSL was perfect for me, However, I really wanted to check Whitney out. However, since I understand that some are very protective of the term BSL and any deviations from it are grounds for immediate beheading, I added an extra “B” to it, so as not to ruffle any feathers :)

This plan will follow the BSL route all the way, with the exception of getting off-trail by Whitney Creek. At that point, I will be working my way across to the PCT/Crabtree Meadow.

This trip is sketched out in comfortable, under 20 mi days, for 10 days total. I am likely going to be going at a faster pace, so slight adjustments may happen. However, I worked in a 2-day buffer, in the case I feel like taking a short day and sucking up the air.

Caltopo here: http://caltopo.com/m/17FM

Day Start End Mileage Total
1 Road's End Roaring River 15.3 15.3
2 Roaring River Hamilton Lake 16.6 31.9
3 Hamilton Lake Moraine Lake 15.8 47.7
4 Moraine Lake Guitar Lake 20.6 68.3
5 Guitar Lake Wallace Creek 16 84.3
6 Wallace Creek Vidette Lake 16.3 100.6
7 Vidette Lake Twin Lakes 18.1 118.7
8 Twin Lakes Palisade Lakes 15.3 134
9 Palisade Lakes Simpson Mdw. 17.8 151.8
10 Simpson Mdw. Roads End 22.5 174.3

(these distances are a bit off).

Comment away – particularly anyone that has cut across through Whitney Creek lately (I hear there might have been some ground shift due to snow in the past year or two that might have affected the route, but cannot find any confirmation). I'm cross-posting from another site, since you folks here are particularly wise in the ways of the Sierra.



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Re: BSL + Whitney Mid July

Postby maverick » Sat Jun 04, 2016 12:09 pm

Welcome to HST! Please read: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4205
Difficult to comment without knowing about you background, experience, and capabilites.
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: BSL + Whitney Mid July

Postby mrgonzalo » Sat Jun 04, 2016 2:11 pm

Hey Maverick!

Thanks for the welcome. I did read the sticky threat prior to my post. I thought the info provided (15-18 miles per day at a minimum, planning off-trail travel though potentially exposed areas) was indicative of capability/experience. But, alas, it would have required a mind reader and a bunch of assumptions to get there (and that's what you were trying to avoid).

I lug a base weight of slightly under 5lbs, and will be at approx. 20lbs with food and water (canister included). I am comfortable with navigation and off-trail traveling. Know my way through a map and compass. I do not mind a class 3 scramble, but would rather them be the exception and not the rule. I put at least 1000 miles under my feet every year, without counting the occasional chance that I get to escape for more than two weeks at a time. My gear is tuned to the expected environment, and so is my attitude (hopefully).

I hope this was better.

My main question is hearing from folks who have crossed from Kern River to Crabtree Meadow via Whitney Creek recently. I'd like to know whether the conditions have changed, since the previous posts in the form date back quite a few years.

Thanks
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Re: BSL + Whitney Mid July

Postby chulavista » Sat Jun 04, 2016 6:21 pm

http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthreads.php/topics/39980/Re_Whitney_Creek_Kern_River_Shortcut

It would suck to get killed trying to save a few miles when you appear to be able to hike so far and fast.
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Re: BSL + Whitney Mid July

Postby mrgonzalo » Sat Jun 04, 2016 8:21 pm

chulavista wrote:http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthreads.php/topics/39980/Re_Whitney_Creek_Kern_River_Shortcut

It would suck to get killed trying to save a few miles when you appear to be able to hike so far and fast.


I did come upon this post in my search. The OP put some real effort into that post!
My concern mostly stems out of a more recent post here in HST (2014) where someone mentioned that they heard that snow between those years had caused some shift in the terrain. Again, not only hearsay, but no accounts from anyone else ever since then.
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Re: BSL + Whitney Mid July

Postby chulavista » Sun Jun 05, 2016 5:35 am

I haven't been on it lately, but its hard to imagine a rock slide or avalanche affecting the scramble.
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Re: BSL + Whitney Mid July

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:36 am

How much UL experience do you have in the Sierra, at higher altitudes? An added pound or two to be prepared for sub-freezing nights and high winds/downpours may be a good idea, but then, I am not an UL backpacker. That time of year you may encounter severe thunderstorms. Timing is important- get over high passes in the morning. Years back I got caught on Colby Pass in a big storm, and got so hypothermic so quickly that I had to stop and make hot soup to internally warm up. It rained hard for two days. Not common, but possible.
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Re: BSL + Whitney Mid July

Postby mrgonzalo » Sun Jun 05, 2016 10:46 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:How much UL experience do you have in the Sierra, at higher altitudes? An added pound or two to be prepared for sub-freezing nights and high winds/downpours may be a good idea, but then, I am not an UL backpacker. That time of year you may encounter severe thunderstorms. Timing is important- get over high passes in the morning. Years back I got caught on Colby Pass in a big storm, and got so hypothermic so quickly that I had to stop and make hot soup to internally warm up. It rained hard for two days. Not common, but possible.


Not a lot of experience at 10k plus elevations, but yes in the 7-8ks with temperatures in the teens + wind. Part of the reason why most of my days are planned to be around 15mi or so is to allow for time to descend to lower elevations, if the need arises. Most of my passes are timed out to happen in the earlier hours of the day. The exception would be Mather Pass. My original intention was to camp in the upper basin, and leave it for the morning. However, I am not so sure about that. Any feed back as to that?
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Re: BSL + Whitney Mid July

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:49 pm

The lakes 0.4 miles due east of the trail (labeled as marsh but there is dry ground) has nice protected camping- very pretty too. If you do not want to divert that far from the trail, just go about 0.1 mile east of the trail to the creek- not as pretty but sheltered camping. This is about 2.5 miles south of Mather Pass. There is also camping right below the pass (south side) but exposed- good weather option.
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Re: BSL + Whitney Mid July

Postby mrgonzalo » Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:15 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:The lakes 0.4 miles due east of the trail (labeled as marsh but there is dry ground) has nice protected camping- very pretty too. If you do not want to divert that far from the trail, just go about 0.1 mile east of the trail to the creek- not as pretty but sheltered camping. This is about 2.5 miles south of Mather Pass. There is also camping right below the pass (south side) but exposed- good weather option.


Locked them down on my map. Thanks for the tip!
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