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SHR (Ropers)

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Re: SHR (Ropers)

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:00 pm

Wildhiker, you do not have to do the route south-to-north! The exact reason I did not is that I did not want to do that 5000+ gain the first day of the trip. Instead I broke the north section into a 4-day trip from Twin Lakes to Tuolumne (stashed my food there on the drive to Twin Lakes) and then did a 10-day section to Reds Meadow, with its first two days of well maintained trails.

Then when my husband joined me at Mammoth Lakes, because he was not in great shape, we decide to drive down to North Lake and intersect the route and switch to south-to-north. In that direction, there are plenty of campsites early on so you can stop if slow or tired. If instead you go in from Reds Meadow, you are stuck with limited camping and long stretches of no water the first few days. We took 11 days to do this section, even though it is the easiest. Reason- we wanted it to be a leisurely fishing trip!

Then he drove me to Roads End, where I did the "start" fully acclimated and in great shape; 8.5 days back to North Lake. And I went over Alpine Col instead of Snow Tongue (which I had previously done and swore I would never do it again!).

And another reason for our odd logistics, was that my husband, who at the time was a very busy CPA, could not help me or join me the last section because of tax crunch time. He simply was not available to pick me up at the end of the trip, so he dropped me off and I walked back to my car to end the trip.

Point is, there is no "right" or "wrong" direction of order of the route, as long as you do all (or most) of it. Roper simply does not get into details of daily mileage and just gives out the basics of the route.

Because I am an obsessive "planner", when I wrote my guidebook to off-trail routes in the Wind Rivers, I figured out detailed daily travel plans. This adds a LOT of work to writing a guide! But to fit all those details in a book, I had to leave out philosophic ramblings and information on history, flora or fauna. Ropers book is a better enjoyable "read" than mine! Mine is 100% nitty-gritty route information which does not make good armchair reading.



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Re: SHR (Ropers)

Postby CAMERONM » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:03 pm

"There's some really nice terrain although in places I've wondered why Roper chose the route he did. For example, why go over Snow Tongue instead of Alpine Col?"

I admit that I am guilty of only a scant single read of Roper when I did this section and through hubris or stupidity decided to just figure out stuff as I went. While hiking north I saw the Alpine Col option and it looked more interesting than the hike-round-the-mountain and up Snowtongue option, however I had jettisoned the crampons in favor of Kahtoolas, and the combination of no intel about that route and the certainty of steep snow walls around a few of the approach lakes dissuaded me from taking that path. Why Roper chose Snow Tongue, I cannot say. However, I also wondered about a few of Roper's choices.
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Re: SHR (Ropers)

Postby Bluewater » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:04 am

Thanks for your SHR trip report Wandering Daisy, I read it a few times while planning (I think it was called Granny does the High Route)

I did the southern section in 2012, entering via Kearsage Pass then down to Roads End (to keep the logistics easier from the east side) and out via Echo Col. In 2013 I did the sections from Reds to Lake Catherine and from Lake Italy to the Silver Divide.

In 2016 I 'negotiated' enough time to do the whole SHR, but wanted to add a x/c route to Whitney instead of repeating the southern section from Lake Basin to Roads End. In 22 days I went sobo from Bridgeport to LeConte Canyon then left the high route and took portions of the KCHBR and SoSHR to Mt Whitney.

Going up the north side of Sky Pilot Col and Snow Tongue Pass was sketchy, I would definitely do those going downhill on the steep north side(s) next time!
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Re: SHR (Ropers)

Postby Jimr » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:28 am

I bought this and read it a lot of years ago.

Roper.jpg


That's about as far as I got. I've never had much of a desire to do either the SHR or JMT as a through hike. I've done parts of both. It's hard to not end up on parts of the JMT at times. I did South Lake to Taboose via the SHR many years ago, but didn't know it was part of the SHR at the time.
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Re: SHR (Ropers)

Postby longri » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:36 am

Jimr wrote:I did South Lake to Taboose via the SHR many years ago, but didn't know it was part of the SHR at the time.


Most of that isn't specific to the Roper's route. It's either also part of the JMT or off of both routes. But the short jumbly section through Palisade Basin is on the SHR. I've heard it called "The Bishop High Route".

I love those Barret Lakes. I've been told they have huge fish, or at least used to.
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Re: SHR (Ropers)

Postby Jimr » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:44 am

Yes, the section over Thunderbolt, pass jumping South to Palisade lakes and over Mather to Upper Basin is the section I believe is part of the route. He may use Knapsack pass. I'm not sure.
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Re: SHR (Ropers)

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:13 pm

Supposedly no fish left in Barrett Lakes, but when I was there in the late 1990's I ran across an old cowboy (in cowboy boots!) who caught several large fish. I fished the pond below the outlet and caught several small fish, enough for dinner. I am not convinced that Barrett Lakes are barren.

I did most of the SHR in pieces over the years before I actually did it as one hike. I will say that being very familiar with a lot of the passes really helped when I did the entire route. You get an entirely different feel on a complete thru-hike than on individual trips. I have been out in the mountains for month+ at a time before (resupplied by horse but I did not have to pay for it) and I really like that. In fact, if I had more $$ I would have had horsepackers resupply me so the only civilization I would have had to encounter were Reds Meadow and Tioga Road.

Thru-hiking now has the reputation of going fast but it does not have to be that way. Because there are so many close and logical trailheads near the SHR, you can even resupply several times and carry a light pack, even if you go slowly.
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Re: SHR (Ropers)

Postby longri » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:58 pm

The logistics of resupply encourage fast hiking. It's a long haul from Road's End to Red's Meadow.

Otherwise you have to keep exiting to get food which turns the trip into a series of closely spaced section hikes. Alternatively, you could pay the big bucks to have food packed in. Or if you're fortunate perhaps arrange very nice friends to meet you.

When I tried it I hiked in a second bear canister in advance. Not really legal but safe from bears and it was hidden such that nobody was ever going to find it. I thought at the time that that was a better idea than breaking the flow and hiking out; or carrying a really monster pack of food up out of King's Canyon. The downside was that I had to go back and retrieve the empty canister afterwards.
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Re: SHR (Ropers)

Postby gregodorizzi » Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:04 pm

longri wrote:The downside was that I had to go back and retrieve the empty canister afterwards.


downside? seems as good excuse as any to go back in :unibrow:
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Re: SHR (Ropers)

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:56 pm

You have other options between Roads End and Mammoth Lakes (Devils Postpile). South Lake and North Lake are both what I consider "close" trailheads to the SHR. Now that there is bus service to South Lake, it is even handier. Both trailheads are good for hitching to Bishop. Edison Lake is close to the junction of Mono Creek and Second Recess. "Close", of course is relative; compared to 25+ mile round trip walk outs to trailheads (all but one still requiring significantly long drives to the nearest town) in the Wind Rivers, the Sierra hs lots of resupply options.

I did Roads End to North Lake in 8.5 days. Friends of mine did Roads End to South Lake They are hard core thru-hikers, Triple Crown hikers; think they did it in 5-6 days. There are many options. Roper does not discuss logistics of resupply at all. No need to feel you have to go from Road's End to Devils Postpile/Mammoth in one stretch.
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