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Obscure Route Planning

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Re: Obscure Route Planning

Postby RoguePhotonic » Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:48 pm

My pack isn't that heavy in terms of gear. I probably was around 25 pounds or less base weight this year and that is counting an ice ax but allot of my choices with food are bulky and don't fit well. For example I often eat cold cereal for breakfast and I will use a 12 ounce bag for 2 days and a 17 ounce bag for 3 days. These of course are very large and don't pack well and deliver very little calories for their bulk. The only alternative I used while out there was pop tarts. They are just as heavy but are 200 calories each. On better sections I would eat 2 packs for breakfast making for 800 calories. All around I prefer not to cook for breakfast since it saves time and fuel and I don't care much for oatmeal.

For lunch I would eat a whole mess of things. My primary source of usable calories would be Ritz crackers with peanut butter and honey on it. The result is those big tubes of ritz crackers and a whole plastic jar of peanut butter. I would follow that up with corn nuts, a beef stick, beef jerky, a beef and cheese stick and maybe some other little snack.

Dinner is normally a Pasta Side or any other type of those meals. On the best days I would have meat to add to it such as tuna packs or single serving SPAM. Add some block cheese to the top. I also would carry a seasoning shaker and a bottle of hot sauce much of the time. Most days after dinner I might eat a small packet of cookies.

The end result is living on crap food for months loaded with preservatives and also that they don't pack well. When I say I can only get 7 days of food in it that means very carefully packing everything in taking every bit of space I can and leaving out all my other scented items like soap. Also I would not be able to get the jar of peanut butter in and most likely a couple packs of jerky and maybe even one bag of cereal.

I don't know how many of you have gotten out hiking for at least a month but I learned the hard way that you have to really like the food you eat out there or you will hate it. It's not like on a weekend or a week long trip where you can take stuff that is not that great but it's light so you just deal with it. You quickly will find yourself dumping out most of your food or not even being able to eat it at all resulting in extreme energy loss. Finding what is good to eat hasn't been easy but I have done pretty well eating what I listed above.

Next year I think I will make some GORP for lunch to cut down on space and eat more energy efficient foods. The reason for the last 3 years I did not do any GORP is because that was all I used to eat hiking in 2008 and I burned out on it. Even last year when I picked some up just for a couple days of lunch I barely ate any of it. But if I make my own I probably can get some good results.

This thread certainly has gone from route planning to meal planning but that is ok. :p



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Re: Obscure Route Planning

Postby Cross Country » Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:30 pm

Now we're talking efficiency and results. I have experimented a lot and educated myself very well (I believe). I believe we're talking weight input of calories and energy out put. A basic knowledge of nutrition is needed. The most efficient input is a combination of nutrients (proteins, carbohydrates (including sugar) and fats. On an extended trip vitamins and minerals are important. Take a mult. vitamin. Electrolyte balance matters which means in this case (backpacking at elevation) salt content of your body counts heavily. I do not have a degree in nutrition and would welcome any input from someone with one who has backpacked extensively.
Remember that this applies to an extended trip.
In the evening one should consume a large amount of protein at times. This is one reason to fish and eat lots of them (fish). In the evening eating fat is important for a balanced diet.
Hours before hiking, eating lots of carbohydrates, like pasta is beneficial
The only thing beneficial to eat less than 2 hours before hiking is sugar and only sugar.
The only thing beneficial to eat less than 1 hour before hiking is liquid sugar. The problem with most liquid sugar is that it has a horrible electrolyte balance.
Therefore the only thing beneficial thing to eat less than 1 hour before hiking is gatorade.
For the first 12 years of my backpacking life I was unaware of these things. Four times I hiked to Granite Lake from Mineral King and attempted to hike out in one day and couldn't quite make it out in one day. The fifth time I met a doctor and his 2 sons there and we were hiking out together. At the first summit we were conversing and I was drinking Gatorade (ga) and one boy asked his dad what ga was and his father replied that is was a salt solution. It has more sugar than salt. Does that make it a salt or sugar solution? Anyway, we continued hiking and got out at about 5:00. The only time I got out in 1 day. Later when recounting this story to a friend I realized that the reason I was able to hike out the entire distance in one day was because of ga. From then on I relied on ga extensively. I would even skip breakfast or lunch and just drink ga. I even tried skipping both to just drink ga (with mixed results). Skipping 1 meal for ga was ALWAYS beneficial but, or course, not satisfying. As humans (I'm one) we like to eat food. One food that is a disaster while hiking is trail mix. It has nuts. Nuts take 3-5 hours to digest. Trail mix slows you down. I cannot imagine how it could help you nutritionally. I experimented so extensively because I taught nutrition in public school for over 20 years. I believe I applied this general knowledge of nutrition to backpacking because I backpacked extensively and alway was EXTREMELY interested in efficiency. Let's face it: backpacking ain't easy. It's hard. Therefore the more efficient the better.
Last edited by Cross Country on Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Obscure Route Planning

Postby Coops » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:21 am

RP,

With respect to your interest in the area west of Observation and Shakespeare...I considered it myslef last year while on a trip through Amphitheater and Dumbell Lakes. I think it would be a fine area to explore, but extraction will be difficult. Unless you head back over Cataract Creek Pass, which I actually enjoy (there is a ledge on the North side of the pass that is key to doing this pass at low class 3 maybe even class 2), your only logical option is to come down from Dumbell lakes via their drainage. I did this last year and it was an absolute grunt even as an ultralighter. The old Muir Trail is drastically overgrown once you hit Cartridge Creek as well.
On my way up the Middle Fork of the Kings (heading back to toward Palisade Creek), I visually scoured the slopes leading up to the lakes west of Shakespeare and Observation for a logical way up or down. It didn't look safe quite honestly, and I couldn't find a good route; but as we all know, there's probably a way. If you go for it, just know that you may have to back track out of there.
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Re: Obscure Route Planning

Postby quentinc » Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:14 pm

I can only fit about 6 days of food in my Bearikade too. Since the idea of living on liquid sugar doesn't appeal to me, I pretty much bring what I want (although many of the items are dried or dehydrated), including an inefficient loaf of bread. This goes back to the discussion on another thread about trade-offs in comfort.

But RP, you aren't serious about sleeping with food in your tent, are you? If I have food I can't fit in the can, I find a place near a large "class 3" rock, which I can climb but a bear can't (claws don't work so well on granite), and "hang" my excess food there. I've also done that on long trips through areas where canisters aren't required and I didn't want to bother with that monstrous, bulky contraption.
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Re: Obscure Route Planning

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:19 pm

All good points with food but the trouble with Gatorade is that it's heavy. I brought allot of it in the one quart packets but they weigh 2 ounces per pack. I might still get more of it though because it has value over just taste and you don't have to drink aspartame.

Here is my thought on a route from Dumbell Lakes area:

Image

Maybe try to summit Mt. Shakespere while there. I do notice that it's spelled wrong on this map.
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Re: Obscure Route Planning

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:24 pm

But RP, you aren't serious about sleeping with food in your tent, are you?


Of course I am lol. I have spent plenty of nights sleeping with heaps of food in my tent. Makes you listen more closely when you hear something. :p

I have also had to leave food in my camp unprotected. An example of this is when I resupplied and went in to Cathedral Lakes. I set up camp then went for a summit push. I had lots of food that I could not get into the barrel so I just stuck it all in my kitchensink and piled some clothes on it to cover the smell and set out.

I've been lucky so far.
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Re: Obscure Route Planning

Postby Coops » Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:35 pm

All good on the route, but you will really have to pick your way down to the lake west of Shakespere. I would suggest even going west of the "knob" at 11,000 feet instead of going over near the 11,200' contour where you have it drawn. The saddle to the west looks much gentler. Not sure on the descent to Palisade Creek. Certainly looks good enough on the topo. Will be a classic knee-buster and you may run into some scrub bashing there. That's an avy proned area and a lot of the trees are wiped out. I was confused in my last post about the descent to the Middle Fork, but that all makes sense now. Best of luck if the plan goes forward!
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Re: Obscure Route Planning

Postby maverick » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:13 pm

Getting to Observation Peak Lakes from Palisade Creek is steep, and very
rocky once you get out of the woodsy area, watch your footing. Once you get
near Lake 10565: (http://WildernessApertures.com/img/s11/ ... 7198-6.jpg )
it is best to skirt the shoulder of the peak to end up near the outlet of the lake, just
look for the right route.
From the cluster of lakes above Lake 10565 there is the lake that is shaped like a
heart on its southern end, here is a shot that is taken from the outlet of this lake:
(http://WildernessApertures.com/img/s11/ ... 7564-4.jpg)
Follow the western shore toward the pass, class 3, here is shot looking back down
at the lake (http://WildernessApertures.com/img/s11/ ... 5717-6.jpg), and
head down to a small pond on the eastern side of the pass, about half way down
and into Dumbbell Basin.
Once pass the pond you will have to negotiate a series of cliffs by traversing down
to/near the small kidney shaped lake in the southwestern end of Dumbbell Basin.
Of coarse you'll be doing this route in reverse.
The views of the Devil's Crags are sublime, unfortunately there was a big fire at the
time of my visit, and visibility was not great, but acceptable near sunrise and sunset.
http://WildernessApertures.com/img/s11/ ... 1327-6.jpg
Amphitheater Lake can be a photographers dream also, if the conditions are right.
Personally Cataract Pass is not a big deal, if the cornice is not large so to block access
thus complicating things a bit, it still is only a class 3 at its worst.
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: Obscure Route Planning

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:21 pm

Thanks for the input and images help allot. I'll study it all and piece together a more finalized plan for the area.
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Re: Obscure Route Planning

Postby quentinc » Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:20 pm

RoguePhotonic wrote:
I have spent plenty of nights sleeping with heaps of food in my tent. Makes you listen more closely when you hear something. :p


Well, then there's always the R.J. Secor method -- sleeping out in the open without a tent and stashing the food in your sleeping bag. That was on the same Sierra Peaks Section trip where we had to keep stopping so he could take cigarette breaks (banned in Mineral King, but so?) and we didn't get to camp until well after dark.
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Re: Obscure Route Planning

Postby RoguePhotonic » Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:48 pm

I don't think putting it in the sleeping bag is a good idea. Hikers have been dragged along by bears with that but at least if a bear comes and starts to claw at my tent I can start making some noise and try to scare it away.

Sounds like hiking with my dad with waiting on cigarette breaks.
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Re: Obscure Route Planning

Postby quentinc » Fri Dec 23, 2011 7:09 pm

I think R.J.'s theory was that the bear would immediately recognize his authority as author of The High Sierra: Peaks, Passes and Trails and prostrate itself in obeisance. That didn't work with the permitting ranger, though. :)
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