HST Community      How Old?

How Old? | High Sierra Topix  

How Old?

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!

How Old?

Postby maverick » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:20 pm

Is the oldest backpacker you have ever met in the backcountry? Trip this year to Second Lake, 85 year young man. :nod:
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org



User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 9331
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: How Old?

Postby dave54 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:20 pm

hmmm would have to think about who was the oldest. I seldom ask ages.

I did, however, meet an 88 year old who was bicycling SF to NY and a solo 92 year old an easy day hike/maintained trail.
=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~
Log off and get outdoors!
~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=
User avatar
dave54
Founding Member
 
Posts: 895
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 9:24 pm
Location: where the Sierras, Cascades, and Great Basin meet.
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: How Old?

Postby rlown » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:24 pm

I'd say that SSSdave is older than 40, if he was backpacking in '71. Fix it SSSdave. :)

BIRTHDAYS
Congratulations to: JimJ (68), SSSdave (40) as of today..

75 was the oldest I met..
User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 6479
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:00 pm
Location: Petaluma, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: How Old?

Postby Tom_H » Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:22 pm

One of my former fellow guides is 76. He day hikes almost every day of the year (Appalachians) and does one or two 2-3 nighters with his grandson each year. Says he can't do more 'cause his back kills him from sleeping on the ground (same reason I had to quit). Our director is 80 and does occasional short day hikes.
User avatar
Tom_H
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 643
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:11 pm
Location: Elk Grove, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: How Old?

Postby kpeter » Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:23 pm

I'm not exactly sure, but it inspires a good story.

In the 1990s I met an elderly couple who were camped near the falls below Moonlight Lake in Sabrina Basin. Horsepackers had brought in their gear for them--they had an ice box, a car camping tent, chairs, etc. As we chatted they told us that this was their annual trip to the Sierra. How long had they been coming, I asked? They made a trip every year as part of their anniversary celebration. Their first trip was on a Sierra Club outing in the 1930s.

They regretted not being able to pack in their gear themselves any longer.

After I picked my jaw up from the ground, I finished an enjoyable trip. That couple stays in the back of my mind every time I feel my body getting older.
User avatar
kpeter
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 685
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:11 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: How Old?

Postby wildhiker » Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:54 pm

Another interesting story...
In summer 1974 I was helping to conduct a study of attitudes and opinions of backpackers in Yosemite. We would get to a lake early, setup camp, watch how people who arrived selected campsites (that was interesting - there was a natural spacing of at least 100 feet), and then ask them to fill out a short questionnaire in early evening. Our questionnaire included questions about how they felt about trail conditions, crowding, litter, horse use, etc. One night at Fletcher Lake, one of our interviewees was a single woman backpacker in her 70s. When she saw the question about horse use, she suddenly piped up with how much she hated the horse poop on the trails and said quite animatedly, "if people can't throw some clothes and a bit of food into a backpack and hike up here by themselves, they shouldn't be allowed to come!" As young college students, we were impressed by her stamina and her spunk.
-Phil
User avatar
wildhiker
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 294
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:44 pm
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: How Old?

Postby oldhikerQ » Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:29 am

I met a gentleman who was in his mid-70s in 2012 on our North Lake-South Lake trip. He was hiking alone with a huge external frame pack. We talked a bit about his traveling solo, and he said that he was carrying a sat phone so he could check in with the wife daily. Quite an inspiration. Hope that I still have 10 more years in me.

On the previous year's trip we were taking a break by a creek when a younger group caught up to us. They mentioned that the trip was taking its toll because of their age. When we quizzed them, they revealed that they were in their mid 30's. We told them that our group was between 58 and 63 years old. They were blown away that people of our age were still backpacking. I guess that age is relative.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost
User avatar
oldhikerQ
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 111
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:50 am
Location: South OC, CA
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

Re: How Old?

Postby cgundersen » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:09 am

mav: and, your most-ancient is?
kpeter: my wife and I ran into a couple with a similar story, namely that they (regretfully) could no longer do the heavy lifting and had resorted to horses, and I could easily imagine that they'd been doing this for MANY decades. But, I did not ask when they started.

Personally, I ran into a guy a couple years ago who said he'd been backpacking since college days and he was Cal '59. That put him on a fast track to 80 at the time.

And, in his TR from August, dwwd mentioned that his companion was a newly minted octogenarian. And, that was no geezer trip that they managed!

This should be an inspiration to all the youngsters out there........especially, those pushing 60! Cameron
User avatar
cgundersen
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 843
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 12:07 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: How Old?

Postby Mtncaddis » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:06 am

Met a 78 year old man who was thru-hiking the JMT last summer. He was lean, packed lean, and hiked pretty quickly. We should all be so fortunate.
User avatar
Mtncaddis
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:48 am
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

Re: How Old?

Postby SSSdave » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:31 am

rlown wrote:I'd say that SSSdave is older than 40, if he was backpacking in '71. Fix it SSSdave. :)

BIRTHDAYS
Congratulations to: JimJ (68), SSSdave (40) as of today..

75 was the oldest I met..


For years I've only provided vague year dates for my birthday because such information in this era is an identity theft issue. My month/day information is public like that of most people. Since I retired from my Silicon Valley hardware electronics career in February at least at minimal full SS age:

http://www.davidsenesac.com/2017_Trip_Chronicles/winter_2017-1.html#mar2

That is enough of an offered ballpark date for my interests. As for other oldsters, I have seen many seniors over 70 both male and female out in the backcountry mainly on the east side but almost never ask people their ages. However on my Laurel Creek backpack this summer did have quite a conversation with 3 nice gals that were taking their 85 year old dad out for a few days along the main Mono Creek areas returning the favor of decades earlier trips when he had taken his young girls out.

Mosquito Flat and Saddlebag top the list of where one might see seniors because they are especially scenic destinations where one may tent an easy mile from trailheads. That noted, there are large numbers of what I consider terrific places within the usual one mile minimum distance from roads where seniors and others with physical imitations could legally backpack into were it not that such is never even considered by media or by members of forums like this. As a photographer I tend to ramble about considerable terrain near roads where it is obvious few others ever venture and in doing so come upon some great places at short distance to backpack into. One needs to be able to accept walking cross country versus on a trail and sometimes requires a waterless camp site. But that ought not be an issue if one will just be out for one night at a distance less than 2 miles from where road parked. Almost everyone including people on the board simply haven't had the imagination.

Consider Olmsted Point and Tenaya Lake in Yosemite along highway SR120. About the most crowded day use areas in the Sierra Nevada that also have a few very crowded trailheads where people go to just a few destinations like Sunrise Lakes, Clouds Rest, and Pollydome Lakes. Can a backpacker find any interesting place with reasonable privacy anywhere in that area? Seems like it is always crawling with tons of day visitors. Consider early summer where the highway crosses the map trail at these map cross hairs:

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.82423,-119.47582&z=15&t=T

There are several places to park there that always have open spots unlike just up the road at Tenaya. If going south one immediately vectors off the trail towards where Tenaya Creek doglegs south where one routes through some meadow, some bedrock flats, some brushy joint cracks with sparse trees, and reaches where the creek turns south at a narrow pond. By working around the easy slabs on north end of the 8664 ridge west of the creek, one continues south to at about one mile where the creek starts turning down between two domes flowing atop fabulous bed rock slabs. If one camps in this small forest zone at 8150, one is almost guaranteed of privacy with water a minor level walk east. The zone has numbers of fine Sierra juniper trees and not many mosquitoes even early season because it is mostly granite bedrock. There are likely to be day hiking people on the east side of the creek that have reached there from the Sunrise Lakes trail. But early season they will not be able to easily cross to the west side of that stream. Hiking down below to the 8500 foot elevation where one can hike up along the water slides requires some modest friction slab walking. If anyone actually wishes to check this out, I will advise also looking at the Google Earth 3-D views that will make the cross country route considerably more obvious.

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.82423,-119.47582&z=15&t=T

With a wee bit of imagination and some topographic map work there is so so much more as I could list dozens more examples per above. Places not only many seniors but also other less than fit people might enjoy if they simply reject the overwhelming usual lake destination mindset.
Last edited by SSSdave on Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:52 am, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 2256
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 10:18 pm
Location: Silicon Valley
Experience: N/A

Next

Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Lumbergh21 and 2 guests