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Sierra High Route in early July

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Re: Sierra High Route in early July

Postby John Dittli » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:04 am

Lailka wrote:Thank for yours responses :) So, I will definitely bring an ice Axe but no crampons.

I'm not familiar with snow camping. I have a tarp style tent : a Shangrila-2. Do I need to bring special stakes ?


I regularly ski along the SHR in April and May and rarely do I find the need to camp on snow. If you don't mind bivying on slabs and the such, by late June there will be plenty of dry ground. Just avoid "creating" camps in sensitive, vegetated areas.

JD
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Re: Sierra High Route in early July

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:47 pm

VVR is a better resupply point for the SHR. When you hit Mono Creek you can detour down to VVR and get back onto track.
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Re: Sierra High Route in early July

Postby Lailka » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:19 pm

@WD
You totally got it : I plan to follow evolution creek, reach Muir ranch and then go back on the SHR by piute creek and french canyon. Does this sound consistent ?
You really think my time table is too ambitious ?

@John Dittli
good to know but I wont have a bivy, just a Shangrila with a bug nest. I have not yet managed to find a breathable bivy with a good bug nest

@RoguePhotonic
VVR will be too far from Roads end, I dont think I cant pack more than 7 days of food but this resort looks quite attractive ;)
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Re: Sierra High Route in early July

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:07 am

Here is why I think your plans are ambitious. Your first part is 7 days- the route is 88 miles to Muir Ranch. That is 12 mile a day on an off-trail route, much of it could be totally snow covered. And this does not even count the elevation gains and difficult passes. IF you are a strong off-trail hiker and if it were August with little snow, I would say it is OK, but I think you may be stretching it for early season this year. I do not know your capabilities, all I know are the route statistics and that I did this route last year so I know the terrain. Routefinding is tricky- and when I did it, I had already done 80% of the route on previous trips, so I knew exactly where I was going. Granted from Dusy Basin to Muir Ranch is all trail -and here is where you can make up time. It is a shame that you would have to run through beautiful Evolution valley and basin. If you get poor snow conditions up high I doubt you can make even 10 miles in a day from the Monarch Divide to Dusy Basin. Personally I would take a few more days food on the first stretch. If you make it, OK, if not you at least will not go hungry.

The middle part of the trip is almost entirely off-trail miles, although the off-trail travel is easier, in my opinion, than the southern part. However, there is little on the high route that is really easy. Again, a lot depends on snow conditions. With good conditions and if you can simply walk on the snow, you should not be delayed. If you have to post-hole- that is a different story. And nobody can guess right now what it will be like.

From Devil's postpile to Yosemite Valley, you will again be up higher and over the most difficult part of the route, with respect to route finding. For example, the first time I went from Blue Lake to Twin Island Lakes, it took me 8 hours with numerous route-finding mistakes. Second time, on the reverse direction, I did it in 6 hours. Third time, last year, I did it in 4 hours. If it is your first time on the route you need to have some contingency time alloted to route finding errors.

I am not saying do not do the route. I just think you should have a "pan B" that works with your transportation limitations in case you get far behind schedule. I also think it would be wise to take a bit more food in case delayed.
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Re: Sierra High Route in early July

Postby Lailka » Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:15 pm

Thank you very much for all yours advices
Here is my plan B :
Going from roads end to Upper basin and see if I can keep my timing and what is my physical condition. If I'm off timing from upper basin, follow the JMT to Muir Ranch.
If I'm still late and exhausted, follow the JMT to Hilgard branch and see again my condition. I can re-join the SHR there or keep going on the JMT.
Same thing at Mono creek.
Same thing at Duck lake
Same thing at Devils postpile and I can rejoin the SHR at Ediza lake or Thousand island lake
From Thousand island lake to Forester Creek I dont have a plan B
From Forester creek I can go to Yosemite on trails

My plan C if everything go wrong :
Go back to roads ends and doing some hitchhiking
Same thing at Vermilion valley
Take a shuttle at Devils postpile

I'm not very fond of taking a bit more food because I will be already quite overloaded by the bear canister, the ice axe and 7 days of food. I prefer to go lighter and faster. Do you think this is a mistake ?
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Re: Sierra High Route in early July

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:36 pm

Extra food- depends on how much food you take for each day. I have my food pared down so that I end just about every trip with no food- and often no food the last day. If you often have some food left over, then perhaps you already have your "emergency" food with your current food plan. I take 1.25 pounds, 2200-2400 calories per day. If you are taking close to 2.0 pounds per day you probably already have enough for a day's delay. In dire need, :rolleyes: you can sit on Muir Pass and beg for food off all those PCT-JMT hikers who have taken too much!

You also have to consider your own body's reaction to low food. If you tend to really loose energy when low on food, be careful. If on the other hand, you have a bit of extra baggage around your waist when you start, you may be OK. Also, most people tend to have a reduced appatite the first few days. By about Day 10, you could be really needing lots of calories. I have been on several 4-day survival treks (45 miles) so am well aware of how my body reacts to starvation. Have you had similar experiences? The thing is, if you are behind schedule, you will need to make lots of miles in a day, the very situation that requires more food.

You can also pack more calories per pound in your food with careful selection of "calorie dense" food. Remember that it is not the pounds of food carried, but number of calories carried.
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Re: Sierra High Route in early July

Postby Lailka » Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:01 pm

I will carry around 13 pounds of food for the first seven days, about 3400 calories per day.
Generally, I have no left over and I have already experienced starvation in my previous walk. I had just a very bad mood but generally my extra baggage :D supplied me extra energy so I was fine.
I will prefer to die of starvation then die of shame begging for food :o
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Re: Sierra High Route in early July

Postby RoguePhotonic » Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:31 pm

Why don't you resupply over Bishop Pass at Parchers Village Resort? That's what I am planning this year then from there to VVR.
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Re: Sierra High Route in early July

Postby eliburakian » Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:24 pm

Last year doing the SHR, we got resupplied at Bishop Pass. Just paid a horse packer to meet me at the pass. If I were to do it again, I'd resupply at Piute Pass near Mt. Humphreys. Do to slower than expected mileage, we had to ski from Piute Pass to Red's Meadow.

I'll be out there making up that missed section during the first week in July. Although I really liked hiking north (sun at back and Roper's route book describes it in this section) I'm probably going to go N to S this year so I can climb up the hard snow on the northern sides of the passes and go down in the softer snow on the south side. Just FYI.

Maybe I'll see you out there! Good luck, it's great fun!

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Re: Sierra High Route in early July

Postby Lailka » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:51 am

Horse packing looks quite expensive, isnt it ?
eliburakian, are you going to hike this section or will you carry skis ?
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Re: Sierra High Route in early July

Postby eliburakian » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:01 am

Lailka,

We'll be hiking this section. I'll be with someone who's not a great skier and doesn't have backcountry equipment. Plus, when skis aren't appropriate, they're a big pain in the but. Suncups can also make skiing pretty unpleasant, and I don't want to be bringing my heavy plastic tele boots.

So hiking it is, but we will have snowshoes, crampons and ice axes.

Horse packing is pretty expensive. Last year I was with two other people, so we were able to split the costs. I can't remember specifically, but I think it worked out to about 100 bucks a person. We felt it was better than spending the time/energy to leave the SHR.

Good luck with everything and hope we see you out there!

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Re: Sierra High Route in early July

Postby Lailka » Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:47 am

good luck to you too !
I hope to see there too :)
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