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Cross Country Route

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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby rlown » Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:15 pm

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.


Umm.. Any of the feedback getting through?

If you're gonna do it, do it. Don't tell us about it anymore, because you've been warned. And you get to pay for a SAR rescue/recovery. This is not ok. If I was admin, I'd lock this thread.



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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:27 pm

If the usefulness of information passed has reached an end then we can close the discussion. The fact remains that none of the risks people are trying to warn me about I don't already know. I appreciate you all being respectful mountain hikers trying to give the best and safest advise possible especially to inexperienced hikers that need it. But as we all know "the mountains are calling and I must go".
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby almostpicasso » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:07 pm

To concur with the previous posters, I have been on two sections of the proposed route:

1. Disappearing Creek (bottom of the Enchanted Gorge) to Simpson Meadow: This is BRUTAL hiking -- solid buckthorn and rattlesnakes every 30 yards -- prepare to have your pack and clothes shredded on this section. Fording the Mid. Fk. Kings early season this yr may be semi-suicidal.

2. Coppermine to Colby Pass: I have done this in winter skiing. The col going up to the pass n. of Triple Divide Peak from Glacier Lake is do-able, but will be snow-filled all this yr. (take an ice axe). The backside going into the Kern Drainage is cake.
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:24 pm

1. Disappearing Creek (bottom of the Enchanted Gorge) to Simpson Meadow: This is BRUTAL hiking -- solid buckthorn and rattlesnakes every 30 yards -- prepare to have your pack and clothes shredded on this section. Fording the Mid. Fk. Kings early season this yr may be semi-suicidal.


I have read about some of these places being choked by nettles also. Honestly I think if I actually make it this far I will be looking forward to some bad bush wacking. After all I would have been on the trail for over 80 days. It will be Mid September for the river crossing so it shouldn't be too bad.
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby gdurkee » Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:05 am

A map is not the territory it represents, but if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness.
Philosopher and scientist Alfred Korzybski, 1931


Well, since you're cheerfully not heeding the voices of experience here, I think the main hope is that you'll find the snow conditions and stream crossings such a major thrash that you'll rethink the trip very early on. I'd strongly urge you to have a Plan II in mind -- something lower elevation or even a base camp somewhere until maybe late July.

And even if you get past the secondary streams, I can't imagine crossing the Kern at Junction Meadow then. You get all the way over there, then what? You'll feel so committed from the effort to get there, you try to cross (and likely die) rather than turn around. Same with going over Junction (really high angle snow) and getting to Cedar. Bubbs Creek won't be crossable when you get there.

But to even get there, you'll be crossing a lot of snow and sun cups. There's a very slight chance it'll be a super-warm spring and it'll melt off quickly, but that also means high water.

Consider starting way south at Tunnel Meadow or somewhere. Nice meadows and few dangerous crossing. Work you way north and stay on the JMT until the conditions feel right and you're confident with snow and the stream crossings are manageable, then you can leave the trail. Early season this year, that'll really be adventure enough.

But anyway, a map is nice to look at and plan. We all get pretty excited by that sort of thing. You just really have to remember it's not post-holing up a steep slope in bad spring snow and trying to cross really bad streams & rivers. I don't think you're imagining this in a very realistic way. In some ways, there's nothing really wrong with that. You just have to have a Plan II so that when you realize the conditions well exceed your experience and skill, you turn around or stay in one place until you can safely continue.


George

OH. PS: Regarding the "I don't care if I die" stuff. I have never, ever, never, never, never been on a rescue where the person said "throw me back, I'm OK with dying." Every single person has been very happy to see us and be found. Every one of them. Again, looking at the map of your philosophy is very different from lying in the snow with a broken femur after punching through a snow bridge. Heck of a time to rethink your views on death... .
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby almostpicasso » Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:19 am

My son-in-law does SAR here in the N. Cascades -- his motto is "We don't rescue smart people."
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby maverick » Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:48 am

I would like to say that I am very impressed with our forum members in the way
they have rallied to open this persons eyes to the faith that may await him.
Seeing current rangers, former rangers, SAR members, folks with 30-40+ years
of backcountry experience, and members with 1000's of x-country miles under there
belt coming together for this cause is humbling, I would like to say thank you for
solidifying my belief that this is the best forum, period!

To Almostpicasso, welcome to HST, and George D. nice see you back!

Now the important question: George, when is the Tioga webcam going to be up
again?
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby Jimr » Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:36 am

I suspect, that much of the sound advice you are receiving IS being considered, even though, on the surface, it wouldn't seem so. You are determined, so hopefully, you will incorporate much of the advice into your endeavor. Nobody here suggested you not challenge yourself because you may get hurt. We wouldn't be hiking cross country in the mountains, looking for remote wonders, if we didn't enjoy the challenge. What is being said is: Be informed, Be realistic, Be aware, Be flexible, Live to tell the story to your grandchildren.

I look forward to your trail report.
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby RoguePhotonic » Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:10 pm

Well, since you're cheerfully not heeding the voices of experience here, I think the main hope is that you'll find the snow conditions and stream crossings such a major thrash that you'll rethink the trip very early on.


It's certainly possible since the first couple of weeks are the hardest anyway while you become fully adjusted to life on the trail.

I've already been considering what some plan B's are if I have to turn around in certain locations.

I can't imagine crossing the Kern at Junction Meadow then.


So this location is a ford? I imagine after going that far I would scout many miles if necessary up or down steam searching for downed trees or other narrow spots to cross. If I recall right Juncton Meadow has long sections of calm "surface" water which in a worst case scenario you could begin your ford up stream and let the stream carry you as you move across.

Same with going over Junction (really high angle snow) and getting to Cedar


Do you mean the trail before you get to Bubbs Creek Junction Meadow is a high angle snow early season? If that creek is not fordable at the trail at least you have it going for you that you can follow the creek down the canyon until you find a place to cross and be on route.

stay on the JMT until the conditions feel right and you're confident with snow and the stream crossings are manageable


I'd rather not because I did the whole JMT in 2009 then hiked on allot of it again in 2010. It's certainly beautiful but I want to explore new areas. It's really going to come down to what happens on the go.

I have never, ever, never, never, never been on a rescue where the person said "throw me back, I'm OK with dying."


Of course not lol. I certainly respect the notion of how much it would suck laying in a place with a broken leg. Whether or not your ok if you died is not even an issue because you will be there for some time before you actually died. I'm ok if I slip fall and get killed but a broken leg in my mind will be far worse then to die on the trail. I don't have any medical insurance and I WILL die before I allow myself to become a slave to endless medical debt. I know SAR is free but when I got to the hospital I would have to go over a break down of what each action of medical care will cost. If that cost was too high then it wont be done.

his motto is "We don't rescue smart people."


That's kind of a poor moto for people who get hurt just walking down the trail or get bit by a snake or get cerebral edema.

I suspect, that much of the sound advice you are receiving IS being considered, even though, on the surface, it wouldn't seem so. You are determined, so hopefully, you will incorporate much of the advice into your endeavor.


Indeed it is and I will. My goal is exactly as you put it. I will go I will try I will not do anything I am not comfortable with. If I have to reroute I will, if I have to wait I will. The only aspect that my hike is not completely flexible in is the closing dates of some resupply locations but i know of a couple places that are year round or open until late October. I could do week long loops out of the same areas while I wait for more snow melt and I get into better shape.
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby balzaccom » Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:53 pm

I think you may have missed the irony here: "his motto is "We don't rescue smart people."

That's kind of a poor moto for people who get hurt just walking down the trail or get bit by a snake or get cerebral edema."

In fact, it's pretty hard to be bitten by a snake. Many times, you have to pick it up.

And I don't think there are very many cases of cerebral edema in the Sierra...the elevations are simply not high enough for that to happen very quickly.
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby RoguePhotonic » Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:31 am

In fact, it's pretty hard to be bitten by a snake. Many times, you have to pick it up.


I disagree completely. You do not need to pick up a snake to get bit. People have been rushed to the hospital many times on the trail because they simply stepped over a rock or log and a snake bit them in the back of the ankle. I myself have almost stepped on a rattlesnake just walking down the trail.

I think it's true cerebral edema is not as common in the Sierra as pulmonary edema probably is but it does happen. Just last year a man had to be air lifted out of the Cottowood Lakes area from pulmonary edema.
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby Jimr » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:49 am

Straw men are easy to knock down, but it's pointless; they're made of straw. Look up the informal fallacy straw man.

The original assertion is "It's pretty hard to get bitten by a snake, many time, you have to pick it up."

The restatement is "You do not need to pick up a snake to get bit." This implies that the original argument was you need to pick up a snake to get bit.

That was not said or implied. The fact is, the great majority of snake bites are a result of someone handling, harassing, or threatening a snake that feels cornered with no other choice but to strike. Given a choice, a snake would much rather avoid.

But, this was in response to a prior straw man responding to. "We don't rescue smart people", to which a case was made regarding snake bites and cerebral edema. The motto was not coined based on the minority of incidence derived from unforseen/uncontrollable circumstances . It was coined based on the majority if cases that involved people who were ill-informed, ill-equipped, ill-skilled to be doing what they were doing, or made poor decisions, all leading to an avoidable situation.

To argue down good, sound advice with a pile of straw is to invalidate the good, sound advice. Further discussion becomes pointless. I'm glad you confirmed that you are taking the advice seriously, it would be foolish not to. There is far too much experience here from back country rangers, technical climbers, locals who have spent half of their life in the remote recesses of the Sierra Nevada to ignore their advice.

I look forward to your TR and pics.
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