Sierra High Route

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Wandering Daisy
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Re: Sierra High Route

Post by Wandering Daisy » Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:40 pm

Zoltan- I read your journal. Thanks for posting. It is always great to get someone else's perspective. Seems we both had our share of route-finding hits and misses! I am glad you agree with me on Sky Pilot being the worst pass. I will take issue with your comment to do the route when young. Post-60 hikers like me can do just fine if we just slow down. There is a daily limit on old knees. We just do not go as fast as you young'ns. Here is my list of worst passes: Sky Pilot (dangerous), Snow Tounge (dangerous in wrong conditions), White Bear (miserable on old knees), Nancy (because I missed the right route), Frozen Lake (can be dangerous in some conditions - tough talus if you are not used to talus). From your photos it seems like my trip this year in August had more snow than your trip, but you seemed to have a lot more mosquitoes then I did.








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Re: Sierra High Route

Post by miked » Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:32 pm

Zoltan, just curious, how much experience with cross country travel and navigation did you have prior to completing the SHR?

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Re: Sierra High Route

Post by Zoltan » Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:38 pm

WD - thanks for reading the journal! Yes I wrote that particular bit about doing the route as a youngster after a particularly hard day - my knees were barking for sure. It is quite heartening to have read your TR and to realize that I will likely be able to continue my off-trail activities well into the future if I take good care of myself.

Indeed Sky Pilot was the worst pass for me. Downright scary, though I think I overstated my case in the heat of the moment. I'd put Frozen Lake second, but perhaps that is due to it being the first difficult pass I encountered, and I was still getting my talus chops. '08 was the second very low snow year in a row, so you're right, even in July we didn't have much. Certainly would have preferred more snow on Glacier Lake Pass!

@Miked - prior to the SHR the only significant cross-country experience I had was going over Harrison Pass on the Kings-Kern Divide. I did hike the California PCT in '07 though, so I felt pretty comfortable giving it a shot.

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Re: Sierra High Route

Post by East Side Hiker » Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:12 pm

WD - could you say how many days it actually took you (day 1 - Aug 4, day 34, Sept 5) - I mean was it really 34 days (pardon my stupidness)? and how many different trips did it take (appears that you took 3 different trips, but were the trips contiguous?)?

And I would like to know about the names of the passes you mention (Sky piolet, etc.) - are they out of the Roper book, or where do they come from?

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Re: Sierra High Route

Post by Wandering Daisy » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:38 pm

The 34 days were "door to door", contiguous- but I did not do the route geographically contiguously. 1) North-to-south, Twin Lakes to Reds Meadow, 2) South-to-north, North Lake to Reds Meadow and 3) south-to-north, Kings Canyon to North Lake. One day was all driving. Four days were half days travel and the other half "town stuff" such as moving cars, washing clothes and getting supplies. I also added two side trips that took two extra days. So I really did the "official route" in 29 days. My husband joined me on the middle part and we purposely slowed down to fish. That 11 day stretch could easlily have been done in 9 days. I also was very picky about camping at the best scenic spot each night, so some days I could have easily traveled farther but would have had to camp at less spectacular spots. Here is the actual break-down:

Day 1 - Leave home, stash food at Tuolumne Meadows, drive to Twin Lakes, get permit, hike to Horse Creek.
Days 2-5 hike to Rafferty Creek, with 3 hr stop at Tuolumne to pick up food ,showering, eating etc
Days 6-12 hike to King Creek near Devils Postpile (2 extra days for side trips)
Day 13- hike out 2 hrs, 3 hrs on shuttle busses - horrible connections- to meet husband, retrieve my car at Twin Lakes, night in motel at Mammoth Lakes
Day 14- park husbands car at George Lake, drive to Bishop, buy supplies, to North Lake, 4 hour hike to Piute Lake
Day 15-23 hike to Deer Lakes
Day 24- I hike to Reds Meadow in 4 hours, Husband goes out to George Lake to get car, I take shuttle bus to Mammoth Lakes, he meets me, we drive his car over Tioga Pass, motel in Oakhurst
Day 25- wash clothes, buy supplies, drive to Cedar Grove, night in campground
Day 26-33 walk Roads End to Goethe Lake (husband goes home after dropping me off at 5:30 AM)
Day 34- walk 3-4 hours to my car that had sat at North Lake since Day, drive home.

My optimum choice would have been to do the route north-to-south all the way, but because my husband wanted to join me in the middle and he had work obligations that precluded that he could drop me off to start or come get me at the end, the more complicated logistics were needed.

I have lots of reasons to prefer the north-to-south direction - 1) allows a short first 4-5 days thus light pack when starting and stashing food at Tuolumne was on the way to the trailhead to Twin Lakes , 2) most sierra passes are harder (steeper) on north side and I prefer to go UP a hard pass than down - old knees issues, 3) put the longer mileage days at the end (since my last leg was Road's End to North Lake -longer than Roper's recommended exit to South Lake). The disadvantage is that Roper describes the route south to north. I knew the route quite well from previous trips so this was not an issue for me.

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Re: Sierra High Route

Post by Wandering Daisy » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:43 pm

Oh, forgot you asked about names of passes. These are in Roper's description - the same as decribed in Secors' guidebook -The High Sierra, Peak Passes and Trails.

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Re: Sierra High Route

Post by fishmonger » Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:47 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:The 34 days were "door to door"

just for contrast (and I am in no way endorsing this approach), this guy did it in 7 days:
http://kevinsawchuk.blogspot.com/2007/0 ... -2005.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

and a 9 day trip with lots of detailed info
http://andrewskurka.com/SHR08/index.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Sierra High Route

Post by East Side Hiker » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:19 pm

WD - I really appreciate your description.

I too want to hike UP the steep sides (yes, the knee issues).

Thanks for all the info, and I must be more attentive to Secor's descriptions. I hadn't noticed those names of the passes. I love Sky Pilots, and thus the name "Sky Pilot Pass" is intriguing to me.

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Re: Sierra High Route

Post by oldranger » Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:51 pm

Why am I not impressed when somebody does a trip in the Sierra really fast and it is not to save someones life or to catch up with the love of their life?

mike
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!

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Re: Sierra High Route

Post by gdurkee » Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:55 pm

or to catch up with the love of their life?
Now that's worth a whole topic right there. What have folks gone through in the backcountry to find True Love?

I'm not talkin'. You go....

g.

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