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Late August ~100 Mile Solo Hike - First Time In The Sierras

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Re: Late August ~100 Mile Solo Hike - First Time In The Sier

Postby Mike M. » Thu Jul 21, 2016 5:30 pm

MetalBackpacker,

I'm late to chime in here but wanted to add my comments to the discussion:

1. You say you chose to start your hike on or about August 20th because (you assume) there won't be as many people on the trail that late in the season, since school terms will be starting, etc. In fact, August 20th is right in the middle of high season for hiking in the high country. If you want to avoid crowds, it would be better to time your hike for after Labor Day.

2. Permits will be easier to obtain if you enter the wilderness on a weekday (Monday through Thursday) or after Labor Day.

3. You will encounter more people on weekends. The closer you are to a trailhead, the more people you'll see (especially on weekends and holidays).

4. if you are seeking solitude, limit your time spent on the John Muir Trail as much as possible. It attracts many hikers.

5. Your proposed route is extremely ambitious. Will it leave you enough time to explore end enjoy the Ionian Basin, for instance?

6. If you don't carry a bear canister, you risk having your food raided by bears. This is especially true at popular campsites and on highly-trafficked trails. If you choose not to carry a canister, you must hang your food. Even if you do carry a canister, you'll probably need to hang some of your food at the beginning of your trip, since it is likely not all of it will fit in one canister. Above treeline, hanging food is not an option, but bear encounters are fewer (but not unknown). Fortunately, the higher you are and the further you are from an established trail, the less likely you are to have your food raided.

7. Be mindful of how rigorous off-trail travel can be. While you might easily be able to make 8-10 miles in three hours on an established trail, expect the same distance to take you all day when traveling cross country.

8. Will the Florence Lake ferry still be operating when you start your hike? If not, you'll have to hike the length of the lake.

9. You might consider starting your hike at either North or South Lake from the east side (out of Bishop), which would give you a few more options should you have to alter your itinerary mid-hike. Rather than fly into Fresno, you could fly into Reno and save a little money. This option puts you into the high country right away. If you wanted to stick with Fresno, I'd rather drive to Bishop then hike the hot, dusty, and tedious trail to Blayney Meadows and on to the JMT junction.

Hope this helps and I wish you a fun trip. Be sure to post a trip report!

Mike



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Re: Late August ~100 Mile Solo Hike - First Time In The Sier

Postby Jimr » Thu Jul 21, 2016 6:13 pm

Looking at Google Earth from Lamarck col to Piute pass. That's some serious **** my friend. At best, a serious and precipitous string of talus chutes. I highly recommend offing that and re-routing. A great route would be after visiting Darwin Lakes, drop down to Darwin bench, then head N through the three lakes in that cirque, then either Alpine col (class 2) or the Keyhole (class 3). If you choose Alpine col, descend around the western shore of Goethe lake. It's longer, but it will save you from working through 3 1/2 to 4 hours of car size talus. From the outlet of Goethe, it's an easy stroll down the mountain side to hit the Humphreys basin area.
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Re: Late August ~100 Mile Solo Hike - First Time In The Sier

Postby MetalBackpacker » Fri Jul 22, 2016 11:05 am

Jimr wrote:Looking at Google Earth from Lamarck col to Piute pass. That's some serious **** my friend. At best, a serious and precipitous string of talus chutes. I highly recommend offing that and re-routing. A great route would be after visiting Darwin Lakes, drop down to Darwin bench, then head N through the three lakes in that cirque, then either Alpine col (class 2) or the Keyhole (class 3). If you choose Alpine col, descend around the western shore of Goethe lake. It's longer, but it will save you from working through 3 1/2 to 4 hours of car size talus. From the outlet of Goethe, it's an easy stroll down the mountain side to hit the Humphreys basin area.


You're right, that section is looking to be rather sketchy. Plus, the Goethe Lakes area seems to be more aesthetic. I'll likely reroute using Alpine Col. Thanks for that info about the talus on the eastern side of Goethe.
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Re: Late August ~100 Mile Solo Hike - First Time In The Sier

Postby Carne_DelMuerto » Fri Jul 22, 2016 11:36 am

MetalBackpacker wrote:I'll likely reroute using Alpine Col. Thanks for that info about the talus on the eastern side of Goethe.


There's still a good amount of talus on the west side, it's just much more manageable than the east. In fact, there will be a lot of talus from lake 11910 until lower Goethe Lake.
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Re: Late August ~100 Mile Solo Hike - First Time In The Sier

Postby Jimr » Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:23 pm

Yup, just know it will likely take you all day to get from Darwin Bench to Piute Canyon.
P8180337.JPG


East side of Goethe looks just like this.
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Re: Late August ~100 Mile Solo Hike - First Time In The Sier

Postby rlown » Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:28 pm

what Jimr said.. It starts out narly, and just gets worse.
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Re: Late August ~100 Mile Solo Hike - First Time In The Sier

Postby maverick » Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:41 pm

Go a little north and use Packsaddle or Lobe Pass, a little easier.
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Re: Late August ~100 Mile Solo Hike - First Time In The Sier

Postby rlown » Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:49 pm

actually , its not easier..
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Re: Late August ~100 Mile Solo Hike - First Time In The Sier

Postby toejam » Sat Jul 23, 2016 1:26 am

I'll be hiking a bunch of your route a week later, so I'll keep an eye out for your body. :lol: I'll be hiking out of North Lake. Solitude will be no problem off the major trails, and I love the Sierra in August - the weather is better than the Rockies. I think you should just suck it up and take a bear canister. They are actually kind of liberating.

I'm trying to remember what forum I know you from. Anyway, have fun. You picked a great location. If you do 1/3 of what you have planned, it will be the trip of a lifetime.
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Re: Late August ~100 Mile Solo Hike - First Time In The Sier

Postby maverick » Sat Jul 23, 2016 11:29 am

Packsaddle is for someone comfortable with steep snow, its northern side has a snowfield that requires an ice axe and possibly crampons if one doesn't time the pass for later in the day. It is an alternative to the others, snow vs endless rock.
Lobes upper section is rocky and steep on the eastern side but the rocky descent is not nearly as long or tedious as any of the other passes.
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Re: Late August ~100 Mile Solo Hike - First Time In The Sier

Postby MetalBackpacker » Sun Jul 24, 2016 9:23 am

Thanks for the additional input everyone. I've updated the route to a 2.0 version, posted here again for convenience: http://caltopo.com/m/M1SL

Doing 10 days now. The Bear Basin/Seven Gables area looked particularly interesting to me so I allotted more time there. This is shaping up to be an awesome route!

toejam wrote:I'll be hiking a bunch of your route a week later, so I'll keep an eye out for your body. :lol: I'll be hiking out of North Lake. Solitude will be no problem off the major trails, and I love the Sierra in August - the weather is better than the Rockies. I think you should just suck it up and take a bear canister. They are actually kind of liberating.

I'm trying to remember what forum I know you from. Anyway, have fun. You picked a great location. If you do 1/3 of what you have planned, it will be the trip of a lifetime.


Ha, good luck finding it :D It does seem like solitude will not be a problem off the major trails, which I tried my hardest to avoid. What's your planned route? Yeah your name sounds familiar too, maybe backcountrypost, backpacker, bigbendchat, linvillegorge or haz forum?
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Re: Late August ~100 Mile Solo Hike - First Time In The Sier

Postby Jimr » Sun Jul 24, 2016 5:58 pm

Move your line around lake 11,910 to Alpine col to the East side. Guaranteed.
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