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If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
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Between our worthy suggestions he has options now depending on how their group feels and can cope. Most backpackers especially those with some preparation and fitness will be able to go over Kearsarge the first day while others upon reaching Gilbert Lake will not be too enthusiastic knowing they've got twice that vertical yet to climb. A pack on a newbie is always an unknown because it stresses one's body in ways that are hard to know beforehand. And such high altitudes can make even a fit person unnaturally gasp for air if their body has not yet acclimated. At that point if those less in shape keep pushing up the trail, they may end up getting their muscels or joints overstressed that might hinder their trip on following days. So at that point they might decide on what they want to do knowing there are good options for switching gears to a more relaxed plan and not have to worry that they are going to end up with half a cup. Or if just tired, they might take a two or three hour break at Flower Lake, refresh, and continue on towards Kearsarge Pass. After reaching that they are in good position to do anything you suggested. Many of us get our legs after acclimating to altitude a couple days and hiking about. If they so decide to stay by Matlock the first day and reach Kearsarge Lakes on day 2, by the third morning they might go big for Rae Lakes or enjoy one of the the easier options. ...David
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