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Cross Country Route

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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby balzaccom » Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:48 pm

Catching fish is not actually a very good way to re-supply. They have very few calories, and if you are low on provisions, it is actually likely that you will expend more calories catching them and cooking them than they will give you in return.

This kind of thinking makes me fear that you may be tackling more than you can handle on this trip. And I don't know if you've ever hiked a trail that dropped 6,000 feet in a day...but with a pack on, that's a very strenuous day.
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby rlown » Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:50 pm

Seriously.. Is someone going with you with a rope, or are you at least bringing a SPOT device?

One can't read this with a straight face at this point..
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby RoguePhotonic » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:05 pm

Catching fish is not actually a very good way to re-supply. They have very few calories, and if you are low on provisions, it is actually likely that you will expend more calories catching them and cooking them than they will give you in return.


I agree they don't give much calories but how hard it is to catch them depends on your location. Last year I made an error in planning and found myself a day short on food. I simply rationed my food supplies and then ate fish one night for dinner and it all worked out well. After all unless I was in a serious situation it is unlikely to find myself behind schedule for more then a day or two. Sometimes when this happens I will use layover days to make up the time.

And I don't know if you've ever hiked a trail that dropped 6,000 in a day...but with a pack on, that's a very strenuous day.


I did once on the last day of my 2009 trip. I had spent the night on Clouds Rest and then hiked down and climbed Half Dome keeping my pack on until the cables and then went all the way down to Yosemite Valley. it was about 15 miles and 8000 foot altitude loss with a full pack. I also had my Canon 5D2 on me so 8 extra pounds. The effects were better felt the next day.
Last edited by RoguePhotonic on Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby RoguePhotonic » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:11 pm

Seriously.. Is someone going with you with a rope, or are you at least bringing a SPOT device?


I don't know at this point who will be with me where. There are a few people that are considering coming along for a section or two but I am yet to work that out but most of it I will be alone.

Nope no SPOT, no beacons.

If it makes you feel any better I am ok with dying out there so if it happens it just does. Like John Muir said "what a glorious grave site we would have".
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:43 pm

You may not care if you die out there, but some poor SAR people are going to have to go out and spend we taxpayers resources to carry your sore butt back to civilization. I think that kind of thinking is really irresponsible. And you really do not want to die anyway. Saying you are willing to die gets you half way to doing stupid enough stuff to actually die. People who have survived epic situations never said die.

Since you have the PCT emblem on your avatar, am I to conclude that you successfully completed the PCT. If so, what year?

How many class 2, class 3, class 4 or class 5 passes have you actually done in the Sierra? Have you really had enough technical climbing experience to know what class 5 is?

This is not a good year for your project. Pretty sure to fail with snow conditions and high water crossings, and your lack of experience. (This is also not a very good year for those poor PCT hikers either). If I were you I would play around the Sierra off-trail to gain a feel for it, including bushwhaking, check out some of the uncertain sections of your routes and then do Roper's High Route in August. There is lots of detailed information on Roper's High Route. All this would go a long way at assuring a higher chance of success to actually complete your project.
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby rlown » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:07 pm

RP, Just to be clear on the "classes" again, when you say class 5 with a full pack, do you mean this?
The system consists of five classes indicating the technical difficulty of the hardest section:
Class 1 is walking on an even, often planar, surface with a low chance of injury, and a fall is unlikely to be fatal.
Classes 2 and 3 are steeper scrambling with increased exposure and a greater chance of severe injury, but falls are not always fatal.
Class 4 can involve short steep sections where the use of a rope is recommended, and un-roped falls could be fatal.
Class 5 is considered true rock climbing, predominantly on vertical or near vertical rock, and requires skill and a rope to proceed safely. Un-roped falls would result in severe injury or death.
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:31 pm

You may not care if you die out there, but some poor SAR people are going to have to go out and spend we taxpayers resources to carry your sore butt back to civilization


Well if that happened at the very least it's more experience for them which is better in the long run. I don't think anyone thinks they shouldn't drive a car because some poor emergency service personnel may have to clean your blood off the highway. It's not like we plan for things to happen.

And you really do not want to die anyway.


Although me wanting to die or not is irrelevant in general your wrong. But this is no place to get into some sort of soap opera discussion.

Since you have the PCT emblem on your avatar, am I to conclude that you successfully completed the PCT. If so, what year?


Actually I have only hiked a couple hundred miles of the PCT. I use the logo because I am a frequent volunteer with the Pacific Crest Trail Association doing trail maintenance. Logged 451 hours in 2010. :)

I do hope to do the thru hike some day. I wanted to do it this year but money kept me from doing so. And this is a case that I would have not gone because of snow.

Judging classes and passes and and how many is not easy. It seems like most passes that have trails are class 2. If that were the case I have done perhaps 30. As for Class 3 passes I am not sure that I have done any actually. But I have climbed a few mountains with typical slogs up class 3 talus or scree which more or less is the same concept. I did go from Grinnell Lake over the east ridge and down to Lower Hopkins Lake last year which is like crossing a pass and for all I know actually is a named pass that is not on the map. That climb was certainly class 3 at times and at least class 4 on some bits.

When it comes to knowing what class 5 is I really could use more experience. I tend to more often judge classes based on how technical the route is and if there is the lack of good hand holds but classes can be judged allot by exposure also which I do not factor in because I love heights so it doesn't make allot of difference to me if I am 10 feet off the ground or 2000.

There is no way I am not going to attempt this hike this year regardless of what awaits me. But it's certainly possible that many sections I could fail or who knows what may happen in general. If I have to reroute on the go then I will do so. If I do some cross country sections and decide it's not going well I may reroute those bits. I'll take it as it comes and hope for the best. I may not seem like it from my apparent do or die attitude but I am a very focused and level headed person and I know when to quit. But I would rather try and fail then not try at all.

I also believe this will be my last chance to do a hike like this in my life. I plan to do everything I can to become a full time trail worker hopefully with the National Parks Service and if I begin that line of work I don't think I will have the chance for so much free time in my life. Right now I work for my uncle in construction doing acoustical ceilings so I can get off all the time I want and have a job when I get back. It has allowed me to do these hikes the last two years.

RP, Just to be clear on the "classes" again, when you say class 5 with a full pack, do you mean this?


Yes and as I said I wouldn't attempt it with a full pack on. Who would lol. There is a big difference in a full climbers pack and a full hikers pack.
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby oldranger » Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:17 pm

Rogue

Post deleted by author. I apologize to regular participants in High Sierra Topix. The original post was not appropriate for a forum of this caliber and I don't want it to be a model for future posts.

Mike
Last edited by oldranger on Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby ERIC » Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:33 pm

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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:13 pm

You have a lot to learn if you think Class 2 means trails. That statement alone shows your inexperience at off-trail travel. If you plan on using the class ratings on passes to judge their feasibility, you need to read up on what the class ratings actually mean. Otherwise be prepared to be in for a BIG surprise. And this is not the last time in your life you could do your planned trip. Some of us here on this forum are over 60 years old and are just getting started doing long and challenging off-trail trips. You have a good long backpacking life ahead of you. Go out and give it a try, but be safe because honestly, this is NOT your last chance to do this kind of trip.
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby East Side Hiker » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:22 pm

When I was young, strong, and athletic (like 18-19 - 40 years ago), I ventured into that country a few times only because my friends and I were Clarence King fans. We adored his book, and his reported exploits and explorations (though it is somewhat controversial). You should really consider and study the old maps, not rely on modern medias. You could get into real trouble you would not expect to. The area is awesome, to be sure, but to discount the snow situation and the terrain would be a big mistake. The area around Clarence King is not the "gentle wilderness" (even though the lakes are awesome).

I wouldn't touch the whole dieing thing with a 40 foot pole, and it hasn't really been a healthy or productive thing to be talking about publically. But if you really aren't that concerned, and you think people invovled in a SAR would somehow gain experience or benefit (or get enjoyment - I know you didn't say that, but there seems to be an implication) from a rescue event, you better make a lot of phone calls to people who know, and listen to and consider what they have to say. Rescuing someone from a car accident is not even remotely comparible. I'm currently a fire fighter, and I've been through a lot of SAR training, and the comparison is incredible. No one would be happy doing a SAR for you, especially once they read what's been written in this string.

After two heavy snow years in a row, you better know about snow packs and how to dig a pit and read the snow profile. An ice axe will do you no good in an avalanche, or rock slide. Neither will the ice axe do you any good unless you acutally know how to use it - have you ever arrested yourself? Have you practiced arresting yourself? I cannot understand your assessment of the reality of the snowpack (or the terrain). Its unrealistic considering the past winter and a half (I don't say two winters, because this winter is not over).

It seems that you have pretty much admitted that you're not "that" experienced. Doing trail work on the PCT is not "experience." In fact, if I were you, I'd get rid of that logo - I bet by now many people reading this string are bummed by seeing it.

Why not wait for a few years and scope out this idea of yours?
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:54 pm

I do respect everyone that goes out searching for people and the efforts they put forth. I'm glad they are there to help people out. But to say I should not challenge myself because I may get hurt and there is nothing I can do to stop people searching for me is crazy. They choose to take risks just as I do. They accept the possibility they may get injured in the process just as I do. It's what they signed up for. You really think they say please don't get hurt because I don't want to have to look for you because it's dangerous? I doubt it.

Lucky for them if I do get hurt along the way I wont even be considered missing until late October which would probably mean I was dead. So in other words if at any time along the way I need help it will be up to me alone to get a message out. The down side is that means the search area will be my entire hike. Believe me that if I could sign a form that says if I am missing that no search will ever be conducted I would certainly do so.

You have a lot to learn if you think Class 2 means trails


I didn't say that but considering what can often pass as class 2 I think most steep switch backing trails with high check dams could easily qualify as class 2. As I said classes can range quite greatly. Class 3 for example can be a nice boulder climb or a verticle climb such as the short section of Mt. Williamson that is class 3.

I disagree completely about being able to do this hike later because for one I think the chance of me living to be 60 is non existent. I am amazed to be alive today and I am 26. And if by some literal miracle i lived to be 60 I doubt I would be able to handle a 1000 mile hike of this nature.


and it hasn't really been a healthy or productive thing to be talking about publically]


It's ok because I don't speak to people online to make friends anymore. I enjoy a good conversation about the Sierra because I don't know anyone that hikes in person. The only two people I can get into the backcountry aren't that into it.

I certainly don't discount the terrain or snow, that is why I came here to get information on it and if I can find none then the best thing to do is go find out for myself. After all every route in the Sierra had to be hiked the first time with no help at all.

have you ever arrested yourself? Have you practiced arresting yourself?


I have not had the chance for practicing self arrest although I would like to. As for needing to do it in the backcountry I wouldn't say so. I've used it for glisading and I once was climbing down New Army Pass in early June while it still had tons of snow. I was climbing down a slope steep enough where I was only comfortable going down backwards. My leg then went through the snow next to a rock up to my knee and I fell backwards onto the slope. I had to use my ice axe to stop myself from going head first down the slope but it wasn't exactly a self arrest.

As for avalanche and rock falls that is another matter. Although reading the snow for avalanche danger is easy enough a rock fall is just bad luck IMO.

And yes I do admit I am not "that" experienced. I only started backpacking in 2006 and did not get into it heavy until 2008. I also do not drive so I cannot get into the mountains half as often as I would like.

I don't think the PCT logo should be used by only people in certain situations. I like to advocate for the trail to try and get more people out working on it since there are so few.

A further note on the snow pack though is I am of course going to monitor the melt as the dates get closer. There are many fine Sierra webcams to give me an idea of where it is at and if things are bad enough I will set back the trip by a little if I have to.
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