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High Sierra Trail late sept/early oct

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Re: High Sierra Trail late sept/early oct

Postby wildhiker » Fri Sep 09, 2016 5:44 pm

Another thing to keep in mind - deer hunting season starts at the end of September. The National Forest wilderness areas are open to hunting. No hunting in national parks. I'm not a hunter, so I don't know which of our NF wildernesses get any significant hunting use. But if you are concerned about some guy with a gun mistaking you for a deer, better to stay in the national parks.
-Phil



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Re: High Sierra Trail late sept/early oct

Postby Ruy » Fri Sep 09, 2016 5:52 pm

I do most of my backpacking in the "serra da mantiqueira" and "serra do mar" here in brazil. They are lower mountain ranges, more similar to the appalachian mountains than the west coast. The highest peeks are around 2800 m (9200 ft) and we stay lots of time around 2000-2500 m (6500-8200ft). It can below freezing some times, but I've never seem snow. I can get around with a compass and charts.

I've been to Patagonia and did some hiking there in the spring. I had never hiked through snow before, and there were quite a few patches of snow in the trails and I did manage to get along.

Regarding the scenary the "mountains" we have here are really old geological formations, do they are all smooth and rounded. I was really blown away by the young (geologically speaking) Andes in Patagonia.
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Re: High Sierra Trail late sept/early oct

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Sep 09, 2016 7:48 pm

Y'all are assuming he has funds to let a rental car sit around. Most people flying in are taking public transportation. He's asking about shuttles... ALL public transportation options up there get scaled way back this time of year. Yosemite is the best option for anyone relying on public trans.
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Re: High Sierra Trail late sept/early oct

Postby balance » Sat Sep 10, 2016 2:27 am

Greetings Ruy

One of the reasons I recommend exploring Yosemite is that you can be out for a few days, grab some hot food and a shower, and go back out again. Also, since you're flying in, what kind of gear do you have. Renting from REI or something like that? Late September you'll probably need more, heavier, somewhat specialized gear.

I spent five days in the Eastern Sierra last early October. The first two days I huddled in snowy, cold conditions at the trailhead camp. Then enjoyed a three day backpacking trip with beautiful, late summer sunny days. You never know.

If you decide to go for a longer trip, one thing in your favor is that even if you get caught in that first big snow dump of fall, the ground is usually warm enough to melt the snow. After that, when the snow returns, that nice clear trail you went up on becomes a big white blanket of confusion with a hundred places to go wrong.

You are going to love the Sierra Nevada, so I think you're making a great choice. Getting out doors always takes a little work (or a lot) but the reward is always well worth the effort.

Peace.
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Re: High Sierra Trail late sept/early oct

Postby balance » Sat Sep 10, 2016 2:48 am

Hey Ruy

I just noticed you said you're from Brazil. Thanks for having an awesome Olympics! Peaceful and exciting and all around great fun and competition.

Congratulations for winning an excellent variety of medals, especially for the soccer gold (even though you beat us out for the volleyball gold). Maybe instead of a snowshoe trip this January, I should go to Brazil and hike from the hotel to a sunny, warm beach.

Peace.
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Re: High Sierra Trail late sept/early oct

Postby WarrenFork » Sun Sep 25, 2016 10:41 pm

Ruy—

If you've handled spring hiking in Patagonia you should be good to go for the HST in early fall. Take a look at the historic weather stats for the Sierra — October is pretty congenial as long as you're prepared for conditions similar to those you encountered in Patagonia. (And based on my experience down there it will be much less windy in these parts.) The average minimum and maximum October temperatures at Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite (elevation 2622 m) are -4 and 13 Celsius; average Oct. precipitation is 38 mm. Sequoia National Park is quite a ways south of Yosemite, hence warmer and drier. The closest weather station I could find to the HST is Mineral King (2300 m). Average October precipitation there is 8.1 mm, occurring on three days out of 31. It will be colder and potentially wetter higher up, but not outlandishly so.

A five day NOAA point forecast trending toward the ominous would be a deal-breaker, of course. Over at Backpacking Light you'll find some additional perspectives on fall hiking in the Sierra. And you'll find some beautiful shots of October scenery on the HST right here on High Sierra Topix.
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