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Worst Switchbacks in the Sierras...

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The worst Switchbacks I Never Intend To Do With A Pack

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:01 am

Maybe this discussion could include the topic "The worst Switchbacks I Never Intend To Do With A Pack"! I can think of a few, like:
The Yosemite Falls Trail.
Snow Creek Trail.
Going from Pate Valley to White Wolf.
Going from Pate Valley to Pleasant Valley.
And so on...
Most of the time you plan on a day-hike or only going down them.

Meanwhile about not-so-fun switchbacks:
There was a guy from back east who every year did a sorta lite-pack of the JMT, and absolutely HATED the Tully Hole switchbacks, not because they are hard, just endless for little altitude gain/loss.
Bear Ridge did not seems so bad...after a week on the JMT.
The switchbacks to the High Trail from the Lewis Creek junction, thems some steep switchbacks!
Up the Golden Staircase to Mather Pass, now that took a chunk out our energy load.
And lets face it, just about everything from the east side of the Sierra (that starts low) is just baaaad!
Mentioned before, the excellent stone stairs out of Bubbs Creek to Sphinx Creel/Lakes just about killed my backpack pard.
Even though it gained~4000 feet, the trail out of Tahipite Valley did not seem so bad...after hitting the trail at the crack of dawn. The front of my legs hurt from going DOWN them though.
The Deer Cove switchbacks are long and tiring but well graded.
The first time I did Glenn Pass was a beat-down, but every time thereafter seemed fairly easy. Go figure...
And so on...
Doyle W. Donehoo
Sierra Trails:
http://www.doylewdonehoo.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Worst Switchbacks in the Sierras...

Postby Cross Country » Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:52 pm

I agree with giantbrookie about the Sphinx creek switchbacks. They are inspiring. Hi giantbrookie-Ha!

Once, my son Mike and I were hiking down from Baxter Pass and a Solo backpacker with lots of experience said to me "this should be called the "Bastard Pass Trail". To me it was kind of funny. I believe this to be true because we were hiking down, not up.
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Re: Worst Switchbacks in the Sierras...

Postby calipidder » Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:07 pm

I can walk up/down switchbacks all day as long as they aren't those 'sierra steps' or cobblestones that like to twist the ankles or interrupt a good pace. I'm trying to think of the times where those steps or cobblestones have really gotten annoying - Yosemite Falls. Mather Pass. Pate Valley to White Wolf. Black Rock pass from the west, while long and exposed, wasn't really that bad because it's graded in such a way that I could keep a pace and make progress. I've only gone down the Whitney switchbacks and haven't found them to be that bad - it's more the trail below the switchbacks that annoys me. Climbing towards granite park out of pine creek is a bit aggravating, but the first half is pretty well graded so I always think 'it could be worse'. Dunno. Whatever I'm on always seems that hardest when I'm out there. :)

Edited to add: that stupid stretch of the HST that descends into Kern Canyon from the west. Holy rattlesnakes batman! The first time I passed through there, I remember dealing with knee issues due to the 'sierra steps' plus lots of rattlesnakes. It's a stretch of trail I always dread.
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Re: Worst Switchbacks in the Sierras...

Postby rlown » Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:14 pm

It's not so much how you have to get there. It's more about where you're going and why..
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Re: Worst Switchbacks in the Sierras...

Postby lostcoyote » Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:21 pm

i found that the switchbacks going out of tehipite valley not to be all that bad. a nice slow pace and early morning start. i got up out of the valley in really good time. i counted off 68 of them, give or take.

the switchbacks that i don't like are, as mentioned, the giant 2 foot step stones some trail crews like building with... the ones that wreck knees on the uphill - lol
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