Baxter Pass to Kearsarge Pass via Rae Lakes - Route-finding?

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Re: Baxter Pass to Kearsarge Pass via Rae Lakes - Route-find

Post by SSSdave » Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:27 am

Reads like a good way to sour your novices to ever backpack again. The usual strategy and advice given that groups must hike all the way from every and any Eastern Sierra trailhead elevations all the way over The Crest in ONE DAY is a most stupid notion. Like until groups reach the other side, it is sooo boring and lakes just a streaaaaam!

If as a person of average fitness carrying average backpacking loads you are really going to do Baxter or the other 6k vertical passes, the only realistic strategy is to do so in TWO DAYS not one. That is why in Wilderness Press guides the first day one only goes to Summit Meadow at 9450. With the trailhead beside Oak Creek at 6040, that is a 3410 foot day that is considered strenuous in those guides. So that leaves slightly less than 3k the second day. The nice thing about Baxter is unlike the other 6k masochist climbs, it is not far from a stream the whole way thus one is not absolutely forced to reach specific camp zones.

The above said, with 7 days to work with, it would be far less trail pain to gamble burning one day trying to get a walk up permit at 11am on the following day and do a 6 day out and back from Onion Valley. I personally don't rate Rae Lakes basin nearly as high scenically as several other high country basins. But from the pressure to visit that zone from either side of the range, one would think it must be something relatively incredible. But it isn't. Thus you could request some advice on a plan B strategy going elsewhere if upon your 11am attempt the Kearsarge quota is filled.


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