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Sierra High Route in early July

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Sierra High Route in early July

Postby Lailka » Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:39 pm

Hi,
I'm a french hiker and I was planning to do a part of the Sierra High Route (from Cedar Grove to Yosemite) from June 29th to July 16th. According to all report, this year is a very snowy year and I'm wondering if this trip is still feasible.

I'm an experienced walker and comfortable with x-country travel, navigation, horrible weather etc. I'm not an alpinist but snow doesn't afraid me.

Do you think that doing this route this year at this time is still possible ? Do I need to carry crampons and/or Ice axe ?

Is the Jmt south to north a better idea ?

Thanks in advance :wink:
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Re: Sierra High Route in early July

Postby RoguePhotonic » Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:50 pm

When you say Cedar Grove to Yosemite does that mean you will stop your hike at Tuolumne Meadows?

Of course it's possible but it depends completely on your skill and what sort of experience you want from it. Your time frame will have you on snow most of the way. The passes will be dangerous and an ice axe and crampons would be good. Any water crossings will also be extreme.
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Re: Sierra High Route in early July

Postby Lailka » Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:07 pm

I was planning to leave the SHR near Merced lake and then going down to Yosemite.

In view of the snow level, do you think 17 days will be enough to reach Yosemite ? What will be the most dangerous passes according to you ?

I'm not looking for an easy cross country travel but I just want to be sure what to expect and what kind of appropriate gear to bring.
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Re: Sierra High Route in early July

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:20 pm

Are you talking about Roper's High Route? The Sierra High Route goes between Crescent Meadow and Whitney Portal.
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Re: Sierra High Route in early July

Postby maverick » Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:30 pm

Hi Lailka

Welcome to HST!
As you know this is a big snow year, especially from the central sierra, and up.
If your looking forward to a lot of snow, do not mind carrying an ice axe, maybe
crampons, and dealing with difficult creek crossings, but no mosquitoes, then go for
it.
Frozen Lake Pass, and Snow Tongue Pass are some of the more difficult passes
with Snow Tongue Pass being the worst, some areas will be easier with snow
coverage, especially once the snow is softer later in the day, but then you have
suncups to deal with in other areas.
If you prefer thawed lakes, no really difficult creek crossings, beautiful wildflowers
displays, mosquitoes, and more people, than go later in the year.
Both seasons are different, but beautiful, it all depends what your looking for, and
what your comfort/experience levels are.
17 days should be fine, Muir Ranch will be open for resupply pickups on 20th of
June.
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Re: Sierra High Route in early July

Postby maverick » Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:33 pm

WD wrote The Sierra High Route goes between Crescent Meadow and Whitney Portal."

That's the High Sierra Trail, from Crescent to Whitney.
Sierra High Route is from Road's End to Twin Lakes.
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Re: Sierra High Route in early July

Postby Lailka » Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:58 pm

Thank you for all yours advices Maverick

My flights are already booked so I don't have the choice, I will be there in early July :/

My last destinations were Iceland, Scotland and Norway so I'm definitely more looking for extreme wilderness, harsh landscape than beautiful wildflowers and lots of people around :D

Do you think that crampon are a must have ? I'm afraid by the weight of a pair of crampons so if I dont really need them, I would prefer not to have them.
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Re: Sierra High Route in early July

Postby maverick » Mon Jun 06, 2011 4:51 pm

Lailka wrote "Do you think that crampon are a must have ? I'm afraid by the
weight of a pair of crampons so if I dont really need them, I would prefer not
to have them."

As long as you wait till later in the mornings for the hard ice to soften you'll be all right
with out them.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

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Re: Sierra High Route in early July

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:36 pm

What you have going for you is lots of daylight! I think 17 days will involve long days given the snow. You do have many options, though. If you get far behind schedule, you can leave at Reds Meadow. There is good public transportation to get back to Yosemite. You could also switch to the PCT at Red's Meadow if you were just a little behind, and go out to Tuolumne Meadows. In fact there are several places where you can make up time by simply switching to the PCT. You may have to camp on snow in a few places- take an appropriate sleeping pad. I think Snow Tongue Pass is actually easier with snow on it. I think Cirque Pass could be harder with snow- it is very slabby and cliffy. You will need to be very careful about avoiding passes early AM. I did the route last year in August, without crampons, and had to wait several hours at a few passes for the snow to soften (Cecile Lake to Iceberg Lake was the worst). Last year, Ritter Lakes were totally snow, even in August. I do not think you need crampons, maybe an ice axe ( you definitely will have some very steep snow), definitely trekking poles (to help at river crossings). River crossings are going to be high. As for wading shoes- I think you are going to have wet feet at any rate because of the snow, so may as well just cross in your boots. Take extra socks. You can always mail extra gear home when you hit Reds Meadow. Also tons of mosquitoes possible - I always take a head net.
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Re: Sierra High Route in early July

Postby Lailka » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:31 am

Thank for yours responses :) So, I will definitely bring an ice Axe but no crampons.
Do you think that :
*7 days between roads end and Muir trail ranch
*5 days between Muir trail ranch and reds meadow
*5 days between reds meadow and Yosemite
Is a good timing ?
I'm not familiar with snow camping. I have a tarp style tent : a Shangrila-2. Do I need to bring special stakes ?
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Re: Sierra High Route in early July

Postby The Other Tom » Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:55 am

Lailka wrote:Thank for yours responses :) So, I will definitely bring an ice Axe but no crampons.
Do you think that :
*7 days between roads end and Muir trail ranch
*5 days between Muir trail ranch and reds meadow
*5 days between reds meadow and Yosemite
Is a good timing ?
I'm not familiar with snow camping. I have a tarp style tent : a Shangrila-2. Do I need to bring special stakes ?

Regarding your timing, it guess it depends on how fast you want to hike. Some people do it quicker than you have listed, some slower. For me personally, your timing is about right. I like to take it slow and enjoy the views.
By the way, after your trip, please post a trip report. I'd be interested in your comparison of the High Sierra to your other trips ( Iceland, Scotland and Norway ).
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Re: Sierra High Route in early July

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:49 am

You have me confused. Muir Ranch is not on the Sierra HIgh route - it is on the PCT-JMT. How does Muir Ranch resupply fit into the HIgh Route? The way I see it you would go down the PCT from Evolution Lake and out to resupply, then come in French Canyon and reconnect with High Route at Merrium Lake junction. This would skip Darwin Bench, SnowTongue Pass and Humphryes Basin. I resupplied at North Lake (but had family to help out). No public services at North Lake. You could get a guide service in Bishop to meet you at Piute Pass with supplies.

Your time table is very ambitious. Depends on how much the snow slows you down.
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