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Cross Country Route

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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:08 pm

You gotta be kiddking me. Sept 2010 had some of the coldest Sept weather in memorry say after Sept 15th. I went over Taboos Pass about 9/15/10 and it was so cold that everything froze, even with my fantastic Mtn Hardware stuff.


I was only out to September 18th but most of it was pretty mild except for September 8th when I was at Lake South America. It was so cold that my water bottles were freezing at 8PM. But I do not recall September 15th being very cold.

"So this location is a ford"?!?!?!!? Are you absolutely clueless AND crazy? Calm surface water? Worst case scenario begin your ford upstream?! Jeez, what's the point? This is the Kern River. It's an Order 5 river at that point and it'll be spring runoff. There are people here with a lot of experience who have been trying to, reasonably gently, tell you about some of the problems you could encounter. You say you hiked the JMT? What did you learn on the way? I remember reading The Cactus Eaters, about a couple hiking the PCT maybe 10 years ago, and thinking "How could a guy hike so far and learn so little?"


I do not know what every river crossing is like in the Sierra. Something could be a ford or it could not be. It's not such an unreasonable question. After all the only other trail crossing the Kern to the south "High Sierra Trail" has a bridge.

I guess my point of high lighting calm "surface" water was in vain. The point was that of course I know the water is still swift underneath. And of course that style of ford would be miserable at best and unlikely I would even attempt it.

I'm not sure what you mean by what did I learn hiking the JMT. Fords are just a normal part of almost any long distance hike. It certainly is possible to reach an impassible ford but I will deal with the problem while I stand on the shore line and not in my computer chair.

It's one thing to look at a flat piece of paper -- a map -- and dream up excellent adventures. It's another to have hiked at least some of that terrain and be unable to imagine it in other conditions -- to have apparently learned nothing from 220 + miles of trails and streams. Some years ago


I certainly agree with you in terms that you can dream too big while you stare at topo maps. I learned that when I did my 2009 hike that included the whole JMT. The total hike was about 300 miles. When I left I had planned to climb 17 mountains. When I got home I had only climbed 6. I learned that it is hard enough to just hike all the miles let alone summit all these peaks along the way. And I do imagine what things are like in other conditions. I often would come to stream crossings or just hike along creeks and look at the water lines and drift wood from early season and would gawk at the incredible levels these rivers can reach and more often then not have noted of them being impassible early season. I have hiked around 1000 miles of trails in the high Sierra so I have learned plenty.

Mountaineering, at its best, is about a humble relationship to terrain and learning. There is no room for arrogance or ego


Well lucky for me I have no ego at all lol. I have nothing to prove. My hike is based completely off locations I want to visit, nothing more. I am just lucky enough to get to visit them all at once instead of 10 years of hiking.

I do agree this isn't the best time for my hike but I repeat myself again in saying there is no other time. It's now or never. And say I did hike the JMT again? that is "only" 211 miles or so. I need more time in the back country then that.

Let me say again - do a bunch of short trips, learn the terrain


What can more short trips teach me about the Sierra terrain that 1000 miles of hiking it has not?

But it can snow 6" in June... or anytime during the "summer."


I know and don't mind. Let it snow, let it rain let it hail on me like crazy. Let the lightning make me take cover like it did in 2009. I love a good storm! It's all an adventure.



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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby oldranger » Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:37 pm

Some people have an answer to everything. kind of scary.

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: Cross Country Route

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:47 pm

Lol yeah I can't help but think of the man that drove Christopher McCandless to the start of his Alaskan adventure. The man said he had an answer for everything he tried to warn him against. And we know how that ended.

As I said before I thank everyone for their advise and information regarding the locations I plan to travel to. But too many of you are talking to me like I am from another state and have never hiked the Sierra before. I have no doubt that my hike plans far exceed my "physical" condition. But they don't exceed my technical knowledge. But the last two years I set off on long hikes doubting if I could make it or not and I did so hopefully i'll be 3 for 3.
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby AlmostThere » Sat Apr 16, 2011 6:06 pm

Right, a veteran backcountry ranger questions your sanity, and your vast experience trumps it.

I know a gal who's done more decades and miles than you cross country in the Sierra. She's been wrong at times as well. Difference is she's generally wrong in harmless ways.

You don't have to have a zillion miles of experience to be wrong, but it's probably more dangerous that way. The human brain tends to operate that way - repeated experiences that things are THIS way tend to lead to the expectation that things will always be that way. Actual reading on the subject of SAR missions and behavior of people in trouble has borne out that folks who are lost in the wilderness are of all experience levels, all ages, and either separated from their group or out there alone. Combine overconfidence, solo backpacking, and an astonishing lack of recognition of potential trouble spots, there you go. Just add SAR team.

I certainly hope you are as omnipotent and omniscient as you're saying you are. I'd still ride the helicopter out to grid search for you, but I ain't carrying your gear.
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby rlown » Sat Apr 16, 2011 6:16 pm

RP,

Look forward to hearing back from you in late Sept. Should be one heck of a TR.
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sat Apr 16, 2011 6:18 pm

Well we already know the solution when I hit a wall on my trip. [reroute]

I certainly hope you are as omnipotent and omniscient as you're saying you are.


Lol I wouldn't call myself omnipotent or omniscient.

Look forward to hearing back from you in late Sept. Should be one heck of a TR.


I'll certainly write one unless I am dead. :p
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby East Side Hiker » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:59 am

There are many "crossings" of drainages; I wouldn't call them "fords." Fords are places where vehicles cross drainages, and they are different because they are "somewhat maintained" by the counties or users. Trail creek crossings can be tricky, especially larger (side) creeks, because the substrate moves every late afternoon. Especially in the Yosemite creeks, like Virginia Canyon - no, I'm thinking about the PCT, not JMT... In any event, there will be places you'll have to take your shoes off, protect your camera, and use a pole to give you a three-point stance to cross creeks/side-creeks; or walk up/down the creek looking for a good log.
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby East Side Hiker » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:10 am

This thread has caused about the most attention of any that I've noticed going back through the records. But I can say that from Sept 15 or 16, or maybe its was 18, I was just a little west of Shepherd Pass and it was so cold my water bottle froze in my tent. The Sept weather was crappy the first two months - smoke from the Sheep Fire, high winds at higher elevations, unusual and changing weather, a ton of rain late Aug - it all forced me out to the Inyos, White's, and Death Valley. And I have scores of pictures of the Sierra from these places showing the crappy weather and smoke (well obviously not from Death Valley, but I do have a couple great burro and rattlesnake pictures from Saline Hot Springs).
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby markskor » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:46 am

East Side Hiker wrote:This thread has caused about the most attention of any that I've noticed going back through the records.


Yes, controversy and questionable judgement always draws attention.
FYI, At ~1000 views, only 57,000 hits short of another greater, more positive, past, backpacking thread.
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby RoguePhotonic » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:25 am

I wouldn't call them "fords." Fords are places where vehicles cross drainages,


My dictionary defines "ford" as crossing a body of water by wading. Or a stream that may be crossed by wading.

As for weather it just shows how it all depends on where you are. In August I only got "sprinkled" on twice.
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby hikerchick395 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:11 am

:dontknow where is the smilie eating popcorn?

I, like rlown, will be looking forward to the trip reort
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby quentinc » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:47 am

So am I, and personally I hope Rogue has a fantastic trip. I certainly appreciate the fact that people are pointing out all the potential dangers that he may or may not be 100% focused on, but I feel like there's an awful lot of "tsk tsking" going on in this thread. It's not like he's never done long x-country trips through the Sierra before.

On the related topic I raised, I think SAR should charge (and be able to charge) people. Just as I admire Rogue's sense of adventure, I think people should be held personally responsible for their actions. If I ever had to be rescued, whether the result of a "stupid" mistake or just bad luck, I would certainly think it fair that I should pay at least some portion of the cost. I should think most people would find it's worth the cost, given the alternative to not being rescued!
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