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6 day hike starting taboose pass over whitney

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6 day hike starting taboose pass over whitney

Postby grugs » Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:35 pm

I am planning a six day hike beginning at Taboose pass ending at Whitney Portal. 72 miles. Is this a doable plan? Thanks for your input.



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Re: 6 day hike starting taboose pass over whitney

Postby maverick » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:37 pm

First of all welcome to HST Grugs!
Second, give us some back ground, what difficult trips do you have under your belt?
Taboose Pass is 61/4 miles, 5972 ft elevation gain, so that alone may take you 2
days to reach the JMT.
Then you have Pinchot, Glen, Forester Pass, and up to Trail Crest and down to
the Portal, which is about 3000 ft elevation, and 5000 ft descent alone.
Then depending when you are planning Glen, and Forester are not a piece of cake
when snow is present.
I think at least 7, or even better 8 days to at least enjoy the trip for most folks would
be needed, unless you fall into the mountain goat category, and then 6 days is doable.
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Re: 6 day hike starting taboose pass over whitney

Postby grugs » Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:45 pm

Thanks, Maverick, hike is planned for next Aug. Snow is not an issue. Have done the trail from Mosquito FLats to Monmoth in four days. I am not an ultra marathoner, and am concerned that the trip may be more of a test of endurance than an enjoyable sojourn in the mountains. 12 miles per day with the elevation changes may be a little too ambitious.
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Re: 6 day hike starting taboose pass over whitney

Postby Ikan Mas » Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:41 pm

To put things in perspective, in the Boy Scout trooop that I am involved with, we take the boys in at Kearsarge Pass, over Forester, side trip to Wallace Lake and go out summitting Whitney in six days. I think its around 55 miles with the trip to Wallace. Now this generally is for boys that have done a 50 miler before, although, come to think of it, it was my son's first full 50. We have had no issues from the boys, but we have had several cases of altitude sickness among the accompanying adults. If you're in good shape, the hike you propose sounds doable. Forester is a bear though.
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Re: 6 day hike starting taboose pass over whitney

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:30 am

The proposed trip of the poster is 72 miles in six days. Your example of boy scouts is 55 miles in six days. That is 17 miles difference. There is the seventh day!

I have done 12+ mile days with about 3000 feet gain in the Sierra, but to do this every day for six days straight may take the fun out of it. With an early start you should be able to get over Taboose Pass the first day. IF you get a late start Taboose Pass will kill you. It really gets hot. Also, do you want to climb Whitney on the way? If so it is best to add a day for weather contigency.

Plan for 7 or 8 days, and if you get energetic and come out early, so what!
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Re: 6 day hike starting taboose pass over whitney

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:56 pm

Snow may or may not be an issue - too soon to tell. When I went over Forester in September we walked across the tip of a snowfield still lingering across the trail. There were very obvious use trails that dipped far below and above the actual maintained trail, obviously from many JMTers skirting the snowfield earlier in the year. If this winter turns out like last winter, snow may be a concern.... depends on how things go.

A friend and I set out for Horseshoe meadows from Onion - we intended to take six days, using one to dayhike up and back to Whitney. We were prepared for the predicted temps minus ten degrees, and encountered night temps much lower than that. High winds were predicted for Whitney on the day we would have gone up. Gathering clouds looked like snow might be imminent. My friend and I opted out of a summit and kept hiking - did a pass per day, Kearsarge, Forester, Guyot, New Army - got back to the car with the GPS totaling us out at 60 miles over four days. The hiking wasn't a problem for either of us middle aged chicks, but then, we'd both been hiking each weekend for months, dayhikes and overnights of various lengths and difficulties, so getting up and hiking all day to pitch camp at dusk was not a problem. But the cold - my friend had every stitch of clothing on as we went over New Army and dropped into Cottonwood Lakes. When we came off the trail the sun was setting and the temp at Horseshoe (about 9,000 feet) was 40F which felt positively balmy! I expect we could have toughed it out, but it would have cost us some long hours of chattering teeth at night, and we figured it would be no sweat to go get a day permit some other folks abandoned and summit Whitney as a day hike, considering the cumulative elevation gain over four days was more than 12,000 feet a simple Whitney dayhike was nothing.

But, we were ready to get off the trail and Whitney will be there next summer. The burger tasted awesome.

We kept shooting to hit the tops of passes before afternoon as the storms were hitting in the afternoon - on our first day, looking south from Bullfrog Lake, we could tell Kearsarge was being hammered with rain. The next morning that part of the sky cleared off. Afternoon showers are fairly typical in the Sierra - we were seeing storms, complete with lightening. By night time we tried to be below 10k elevation to have a fire if we needed to warm up.
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Re: 6 day hike starting taboose pass over whitney

Postby richlong8 » Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:32 pm

Those east side passes are very tough. The less weight you carry, the better off you will be. I would probably come in over Sawmill Pass instead of Taboose. That way, there would be one less pass(Pinchot) to go over. truthfully, for a 6 day trip, I would probably just go Kearsage. There would be more time to really enjoy the trip, instead of rushing through the country.
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Re: 6 day hike starting taboose pass over whitney

Postby Cross Country » Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:06 pm

Some people need to do things in a hurry. I'm not one of them. I'v done Taboose. It was our best alternative. I never did Whitney nor Forester. Neither were my idea of enjoying myself and less so for the people I was with. This proposed trip is tough. That's for sure.
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Re: 6 day hike starting taboose pass over whitney

Postby Mike M. » Mon Dec 06, 2010 6:19 pm

You could do it but would you want to?

If it were me, I would try to find two extra days and take my time to enjoy the hike.

For me, the hardest two days would be 1) the hike up Pinchot and then the long, long descent to Woods Creek and 2) the long hike up to Glen Pass and then down to Vidette Meadows. I can't imagine doing this hike and choosing to just pass through Rae Lakes Basin -- I would want to camp there, but to hike in one day over Pinchot, down to Woods Creek, and then up to Rae Lakes Basin would be grueling and no fun.

Hope you can find another day or two!

Mike
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Re: 6 day hike starting taboose pass over whitney

Postby fishmonger » Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:56 pm

maverick wrote:First of all welcome to HST Grugs!
Second, give us some back ground, what difficult trips do you have under your belt?
Taboose Pass is 61/4 miles, 5972 ft elevation gain, so that alone may take you 2
days to reach the JMT.


Secor and other guides are way off on Taboose pass distances. At least in my old edition, Secor has Taboose Pass at 5 miles - don't believe it!

data from 2008 - JMT intersection to Taboose Pass trailhead according to cleaned up GPX files

from trailhead to pass 8.35 miles
5761 elevation gain (few feet lost before the pass, this one is straight up)

Taboose trailhead to JMT intersection 10.9 miles

mapped on topo showing the re-routed trail west of the pass

http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.p ... T.gpx&t=t2

I've done the pass up and down in a day, but it's brutal and if you have a lot of weight you probably need to add a half day extra for that first big climb. In summer, I suggest to start at 7pm or later when the sun disappears behind the crest, hike up to 9000 feet by headlight and then set up camp above the stream crossing. Next morning you won't have to fight the heat so much, plus you got some acclimation at reasonable elevation before heading all the way up. There is not a lot of water on the lower trail - if you don't fill up at the bottom of the canyon where the trail almost touches the creek, you won't get any water until you cross the stream at about 9000 feet - and it's a hot slope in the morning that gets you there. Watch for snakes at the bottom...

Regarding the overall plan - having done that section many times as part of the JMT, it is possible in 6 days (we did it faster last summer in spite of losing half a day at Rae Lakes due to weather), but only if you are fully acclimated when you begin. If you're not ready for the elevation, you'll be much slower and it definitely won't be enjoyable.
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Re: 6 day hike starting taboose pass over whitney

Postby East Side Hiker » Thu Dec 09, 2010 9:53 am

72 miles in 6 days is very doable (12 mi/day), and further more, to appreciate the fantastic beauty of that region, doing it any faster would be a shame. You need to camp early enough so you can do some side trips up the various drainages toward the crest. I suggest camping at the bottom of passes, doing the pass early and get on down the trail. Be careful going down from Trail Crest at the end because though you will have become stronger and the pack is lighter, it is a long long way down with your knees getting pounded...
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Re: 6 day hike starting taboose pass over whitney

Postby grugs » Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:38 pm

Thanks to all for your input. Continuing to study and read.
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