Rogue, if you get to Bubb's Creek and find the water too high to cross, it would be best to look for crossings upstream, not downstream, as the water flow will only increase as you move downstream.
True but only .2 of a mile up stream the landscape begins to climb steeply.
I'll probably go with the Milestone Pass route because it will cut a day of hiking out which I can use as a possible catch up day or break up miles even more. One thing about the Bubbs Creek crossing day is I am supposed to make the 14 mile trek from Lake Reflection to Roads end and if I find myself bushwhacking down Bubbs Creek it will just make the day that much longer.
A piece of planning that perhaps those of you that have spent more time camping in Yosemite Valley can help me with is my plans at one point are to arrive in Yosemite Valley and spend 2 nights before continuing on. I know there are a couple backpackers camps but generally how often are they full? I can easily imagine myself strolling into Yosemite Valley in the after noon to find no open camp sites. What then? Lounge around and spend the night sprawled out on a park bench some where? Dispersal camp illegally into the forest? And if I did get a spot in a backpackers camp they only allow one night.
I suppose the only real issue is night one because what ever I do I can get up early and get a site.
Seems there is always room for 1 more in the Valley BP site (Stables) - anytime, but... Wilderness permit and obvious backpacking gear are necessary, especially if trying to spend that second night. Rangers usually will cut you some slack on the second stay overnight - (Buddy meeting me and he is running a day behind...bla bla bla?), but only if you have a permit, look the part, are amicable, and you do not abuse the system. FYI, I often see PCT'ers taking a zero day or two here, with no apparent consternation. Thus no 6-man, 2-story tents and no coolers. Rangers daily do check closely.
I just wanted to say thanks to Rogue for sticking with the board despite some of the concerns expressed over his plans earlier. I've really enjoyed his photos and just wish I could spend months each summer in the Sierra.
I remember doing some pretty ridiculous things in my 20s also, that I now look back on and think I must have been crazy (in particular the 2 week hike through a 13000ft mountain range in Turkey in the pre-GPS days, with only a 1:250K map drawn by the British Army in 1941 and thick fog 60% of the time - think US hikers now in Iran). In a way I'm glad there weren't message boards where people could have told me I was mad and dissuaded me from an amazing and unrepeatable experience.
Nevertheless, I'm sure the various pieces of advice and cautions are helpful - I too am now at an age where caution overtakes boldness/foolishness most (if not all) of the time, and it is great to learn of the challenges I and others might not have thought about from those with many years of experience in these beautiful mountains of ours. Its just that if someone had told me "no that's impossible", as opposed to "these are the difficulties, some of which you might not be able to overcome, so you might need to backtrack, re-route or whatever", then (especially at that age) it would have been easier to ignore their advice than to take it on board.
I'm more then happy to keep posting even if people are hostile towards me. At least your overt about it and that's what's important. I left another hiking forum after learning I was about ready to get banned and that many of the people hated me when I had no idea anything was wrong at all.
In general I like talking about hiking because it's all I have in life that brings me any happiness to get back into the mountains and I only know two people in person that "sometimes" hike. One describes a view such as Glacier Point as being "nice but is just what ever". The other being my dad that rarely goes and is more annoying then good company on the trail.
As for my trip if I do make it through as planned I certainly will be experienced at cross country!
I spent some time today reviewing my route and analyzing the profiles of cross country days and other then some days with extreme altitude gain i'm fairly confident with what I have planned.
This is the final plan:
SJune 26 - 1 - Grasshopper Flat MJune 27 - 2 - Rifle Creek TJune 28 - 3 - Aspine Flat WJune 29 - 4 - Monarch Creek TJune 30 - 5 - Kaweah River FJuly 1 - 6 - Moose Lake SJuly 2 - 7 - Emerald Lake SJuly 3 - 8 - Lodgepole MJuly 4 - 9 - Bear Paw TJuly 5 - 10 - Lonely Lake WJuly 6 - 11 - Layover TJuly 7 - 12 - Colby Lake FJuly 8 - 13 - Lake 10,760 SJuly 9 - 14 - Lake Reflection SJuly 10 - 15 - Cross Creek MJuly 11 - 16 - Roads End TJuly 12 - 17 - Cross Creek WJuly 13 - 18 - Charlotte Lake TJuly 14 - 19 - Lake 9560 FJuly 15 - 20 - Gardiner Lakes SJuly 16 - 21 - Dragon Lake SJuly 17 - 22 - Layover MJuly 18 - 23 - Arrow Creek TJuly 19 - 24 - Cedar Grove WJuly 20 - 25 - Middle Fork TJuly 21 - 26 - Middle Fork Kings River FJuly 22 - 27 - Tehipite Valley SJuly 23 - 28 - Layover SJuly 24 - 29 - Simpson Meadow MJuly 25 - 30 - Lake 9702 TJuly 26 - 31 - East Kennedy Lake WJuly 27 - 32 - Cedar Grove TJuly 28 - 33 - Granite Creek FJuly 29 - 34 - Small Lakes 11160 SJuly 30 - 35 - Marion Lake SJuly 31 - 36 - Amphitheater Lake MAugust 1 - 37 - Below Potluck Pass TAugust 2 - 38 - Bishop Lake WAugust 3 - 39 - Parchers Rainbow Village TAugust 4 - 40 - Leconte Canyon FAugust 5 - 41 - Muir Hut SAugust 6 - 42 - Lake 11910 SAugust 7 - 43 - Layover MAugust 8 - 44 - Merriam Lake TAugust 9 - 45 - Lake Italy WAugust 10 - 46 - Mono Creek TAugust 11 - 47 - VVR FAugust 12 - 48 - Cotton Lake SAugust 13 - 49 - Minnow Creek SAugust 13 - 50 - Iva Bell Hotsprings MAugust 14 - 51 - Layover TAugust 15 - 52 - Reds Meadow WAugust 16 - 53 - Cecille Lake TAugust 17 - 54 - Lake Catherine FAugust 18 - 55 - Harriet Lake SAugust 19 - 56 - Red Devil Lake SAugust 20 - 57 - Lower Ottoway Lake MAugust 21 - 58 - Illilouette Creek TAugust 22 - 59 - Yosemite Valley WAugust 23 - 60 - Layover TAugust 24 - 61 - Near Tenaya Lake FAugust 25 - 62 - Tuolumne Meadows SAugust 26 - 63 - North of Green Treble Lakes SAugust 27 - 64 - Small Lakes above Return Lake MAugust 28 - 65 - Twin Lakes TAugust 29 - 66 - Kerrick Meadow WAugust 30 - 67 - Benson Lake TAugust 31 - 68 - Layover FSeptember 1 - 69 - Return Creek SSeptember 2 - 70 - Tuolumne Meadows SSeptember 3 - 71 - Echo Lake MSeptember 4 - 72 - Clouds Rest TSeptember 5 - 73 - Babcock Lake WSeptember 6 - 74 - Tuolumne Meadows TSeptember 7 - 75 - Below Donohue Pass FSeptember 8 - 76 - Reds Meadow SSeptember 9 - 77 - Layover SSeptember 10 - 78 - Purple Lake MSeptember 11 - 79 - VVR TSeptember 12 - 80 - Sallie Keyes Lakes WSeptember 13 - 81 - South Fork San Joaquin TSeptember 14 - 82 - Martha Lake FSeptember 15 - 83 - Lake 9840 SSeptember 16 - 84 - Cartridge Creek SSeptember 17 - 85 - Marion Lake MSeptember 18 - 86 - Muro Blanco TSeptember 19 - 87 - Paradise Valley WSeptember 20 - 88 - Cedar Grove TSeptember 21 - 89 - Roaring River FSeptember 22 - 90 - Tamarack Lake SSeptember 23 - 91 - Soda Creek SSeptember 24 - 92 - Columbine Lake MSeptember 25 - 93 - Mineral King TSeptember 26 - 94 - Forester Lake WSeptember 27 - 95 - Little Five Lakes TSeptember 28 - 96 - Mineral King
The changes are:
Will take Milestone Pass after Colby to the Upper Kern Trail.
I decided instead of crossing Frozen Lake Pass then Upper Basin Crossing it would be a nicer route to take Dumbbell and then Cataract Creek Pass.
On the return trip South I changed the miles and days up to make the bushwhacking a more realistic goal to get down to the Middle Fork of the Kings.
I decided to take the crazy bushwhacking route and go up Cartridge Creek but instead of Cartridge Pass which is more heavily traveled i'll take Pete's Col and then down through the Muro Blanco. I figure if I make it that far I will have been on the trail for over 80 days, probably 45 pounds lighter in body weight, in great shape and done more than enough cross country to want to take on some mean bushwhacking.
The last note in general is that this is only my planned route. If I reach it's end and am in good shape and the weather isn't turning on me yet and I still have the money to keep going then I will just keep hiking.