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High Sierra Trail in early october

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High Sierra Trail in early october

Postby erzel » Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:40 pm

Hi folks,

Has anyone done the HST in early October? I'm wondering if it's still a good time to hike it.
Does the trail get snow that time of year? How many people should I expect?

Thanks,

Erzel.



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Re: High Sierra Trail in early october

Postby maverick » Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:52 pm

Hi Erzel,

Welcome to HST! Please read: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4205
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: High Sierra Trail in early october

Postby ERIC » Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:59 pm

Welcome aboard, erzel! As maverick points out, just a little more info on your desires and experience will help folks here give you more relevant info for your trip. :thumbsup:
New members, please consider giving us an intro!
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Re: High Sierra Trail in early october

Postby franklin411 » Sat Aug 06, 2016 10:16 am

I hiked about 1/3 of it in late September, from Crescent Meadow to Big Arroyo. I had planned to spend 1-2 nights at Big Arroyo, but I decided to head back to Crescent Meadow instead because I was lonely and not really having fun (fantastic scenery, but again...alone).

The weather was fabulous. Lows maybe in the lower 50s, daytime highs in the 70s, with crystal clear skies and warm, overnight breezes coming from East to West.

By the time I got to Bearpaw Meadow on the way out, there were light cirrus clouds in the sky.

By the time I got to Mehrton Meadow, the sky was overcast.

By the time I got to Lodgepole Campground, it was beginning to sprinkle.

By the time I got to Cedar Grove, it was about 40 degrees at 3 in the afternoon.

As I drove down to Fresno (all campgrounds were full), it was so foggy I couldn't see more than 20 feet.

It rained in Fresno that night. I drove back up the next afternoon to find a nice dusting of snow here and there. People who spent the night told me it was ice cold with lots of rain and snow and strong winds. The weather was a little chillier, but still fabulous the rest of my trip.

So ya...it depends on what a person is used to/expecting, but I guess that's the fall!
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Re: High Sierra Trail in early october

Postby AlmostThere » Sat Aug 06, 2016 10:28 am

My first-week-of-October trips have been more often than not an exercise in dealing with weather -- snow, rain and cold. (I'm kind of stupid about things, or prepared for it, depends on how you view these things -- I know folks who won't go out unless forecasts are dead boring and sunny who side with "stupid".)

There is a reason that roads get gated or closed to overnight parking on October 15. It's because that's the month winter starts to decide to happen -- some years it has roared in and began the snow pack for the year. Other years it sputters and spits and kind of waits, til November or December. It's a gamble either way. I would not, personally, decide to do a trip of more than two nights in the high country, that time of year.
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Re: High Sierra Trail in early october

Postby erzel » Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:28 am

Thanks for all the info.
To answer about my experience level - I'd consider myself a level 3 backpacker. I've also climbed Whitney from the portal. However, most of my trips have been in good weather. It sounds like October would be a gamble. Unfortunately, that is the only time I have.
Perhaps a different spot with a lower altitude? I'd like to backpack for 4-5 nights in the Sierras. Anyone have any recommendations?
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Re: High Sierra Trail in early october

Postby rlown » Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:36 am

I've done some October trips. It is colder and unpredictable. Markskor and I did 20 lakes on Oct 1st a few years back. We got to the trailhead, and it was 27 degrees at 7am. Warmed up nicely for the hike to the other end of saddlebag and we fished. Very nice, until that night when all hell broke loose. Massive cold winds, but at least it didn't snow. We decided after breakfast we should just get the hell out of there.

We were prepared but just didn't appreciate the tone mother nature was throwing at us.

If you do go somewhere, watch the weather like a hawk right up until you start the car.

You could do west side near Lillian and Rutherford. Not sure where you live so it's hard to give a quick in and out trip recommendation.

To add, I wouldn't do solo in October or into Winter.
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Re: High Sierra Trail in early october

Postby paul » Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:33 pm

My own approach to a trip in October is to pick a spot where I won't have issues no matter what the weather. That means both on the trail and on the road. So a trailhead where I can't get snowed in is the first step; then a route that doesn't take me over any high passes or tricky terrain, so that even if I get that big dump of snow that sometimes happens in October, I don't face anything worse than a laborious trudge to get out. And if the weather forecast looks bad, then the whole thing is off or gets shortened even more.
The other thing is that in October, unless it's just an overnight with a favorable forecast, I take the same clothing and sleeping gear I would take snow camping in the spring, so that I am prepared for whatever.
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Re: High Sierra Trail in early october

Postby erzel » Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:51 pm

Ok. I think I'll break my time into two parts and try to spend 2 trips of 3-days each so I won't
spend too long in the backcountry in October and won't be too far off the trailhead in case the
weather turns bad.
I'm thinking of trying a 3-day trip in the Eastern Sierras in early October. Any recommendations?
I have done lots of backpacking trips in the past, with some mild scrambling, but mostly in the summer in
good weather.
I will also potentially be bringing a dog, so anything that is dog-friendly would be nice, but not
required (I can leave her at home as well).

Thanks!

Erez.
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Re: High Sierra Trail in early october

Postby rlown » Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:53 pm

Sierra.. just saying. Leave the dog at home. he/she gets to live. Friendly would be more West-side. For the dog.
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