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Trip suggestion requests

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Trip suggestion requests

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun May 20, 2012 9:29 am

It is the time of year when lots of "where should I go" trip requests seem to flourish. Perhaps I am a bit of a grump, but I am reluctant to offer suggestions for those who seem not to do their homework before asking. I am more inclined to offer advise for those who at least narrow down their requests, show that they have done some work themselves before asking, and are realistic about their level of experience.

None of us have crystal balls to predict the weather and snow conditions. Most of us just look at the CDEC data and agency web sites and come up with our unique speculations. As far as our favoirte trips- just read some of the posted trip reports. There already is a wealth of information on this forum.

The blanket requests often result in a splattering of suggestions all over the Sierra - something which I think is not very helpful at all. More serious is when you do not give information about your experience. A big factor is your "on trail" and "off trial" experience/desires. The vague term "experienced" is not very helpful.

In summary- do your homework before asking, be specific on requests, be honest and specific about your experience level, and be a "giver" as well as a "taker" by posting your trip reports.



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Re: Trip suggestion requests

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sun May 20, 2012 12:44 pm

I have to agree that it would be nice for requests more narrowed down. When someone just asks where is a good place to go for 5 to 10 days there are just too many options of places and too many factors come into play.

Back in 2008 when I started hiking constantly I had never been on any forums and I only planned trips by looking at a map, seeing a road that goes in some where, then factor up the miles to some place that looks like it could be nice and if I was lucky look up a couple photos online of the place and off I went. I had lots of great trips doing this.
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Re: Trip suggestion requests

Postby maverick » Sun May 20, 2012 2:26 pm

Most of what you talking about WD would be addressed if folks read the "SUGGESTIONS
FOR REQUESTING TRIP ADVICE " section, including using the search feature before
requesting information, but don't expect miracles.
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: Trip suggestion requests

Postby eaglecreek » Sun May 20, 2012 8:01 pm

I am a new member getting ready to request a trip suggestion. I can provide all of the suggested info about experience levels and preferences but I have never hiked west of the southern Appalachians and don't really know how to "narrow down" my request. Yosemite was initally appealing but from what I've read on it, seems crowded and hard to get permits for. I don't want to clutter the site with too broad a request. Any suggestions as to the "homework" I could do before submitting a request?
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Re: Trip suggestion requests

Postby mhulkman » Sun May 20, 2012 8:42 pm

eaglecreek wrote:I am a new member getting ready to request a trip suggestion. I can provide all of the suggested info about experience levels and preferences but I have never hiked west of the southern Appalachians and don't really know how to "narrow down" my request. Yosemite was initally appealing but from what I've read on it, seems crowded and hard to get permits for. I don't want to clutter the site with too broad a request. Any suggestions as to the "homework" I could do before submitting a request?

Yosemite is DEFINATELY crowded in the valley but not that bad in the high country. Permits for backpacking are very limited for all of the sierras but not impossible. Walk up permits 1 day in advance can be had if you are at the ranger station/visitor center the day before your hike and an hour before they open. Do some research on the wilderness areas surrounding Yosemite, all of them are beautiful and nearly national park worthy themselves, Ansel Adams, John Muir, Emigrant. If you have never hiked the sierras you will be in AWE!!!!
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Re: Trip suggestion requests

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun May 20, 2012 9:14 pm

When someone asks where to go in the Sierra, I am not able to say much. I can think of 100 trips and am not inclined to just throw out ideas. By doing your homework, here is how it is done:

1. Maps. Between Google Maps and numerous free websites with topo maps, you can get an idea of the lay of the land. If you can read a map you can get an idea of lakes, mountains and trees.

2. Where to start? The Sierra are large! If you have limited time you do not want to be spending days driving. So where do you live? Will you have a car? Public transporation?

3. Permits and stuff. Each Forest has very good webpages that tell you all about the rules and regulations. Most are now putting updated remaining permits for trails with quotas. No point in suggesting a trailhead if all slots are already full.

4. Guidebooks. There are tons of good guidebooks on the Sierra. They may not tell you those special "secret" places (we may not do that either!) but they all have good first time trips and give you an idea of how many miles is typically covered in a days travel.

5. Our trip reports. Here you can get more details and our opinions.

What are weeds to some, are flowers to others. We need to know a bit more about your likes and dislikes before we can give you appropriate ideas. What are your priorities? My number one priority is scenery, whereas, someone else's may be solitude. Yosemite IS crowded, but I go to Yosemite a lot because it has spectacular scenery. I am willing to put up with the crowds. I go to Yosemite, NOT expecting solitude. Also, living close to Yosemite I can take advantage of off-season when it is less crowded.

When all you say is "I want mountains, lakes and forests" - well that means most of the Sierra! Do you want to see the biggies- the 14'ers? Some of the less known smaller mountains are also very pretty. High altitude or lower altitudes? The maps show treeline- you can see yourself where your type of scenery is located.

It takes all of us a bit of effort to give you suggestions and we usually appreciate it if the asker of questions has also put in some effort and posts enough details and priorities so we can target our responses.
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Re: Trip suggestion requests

Postby maverick » Mon May 21, 2012 2:05 pm

Hi Eaglecreek,

Welcome to HST! As WD pointed out there is a wealth of information available
here on HST, on-line, and numerous books that one can buy, like for example Phil Arnot
"High Sierra, John Muir's Range of Light" book has several great location in it, and
he describes the routes quite well: http://www.amazon.com/The-High-Sierra-M ... 981&sr=1-1
Here are some more books that have good information:
http://www.amazon.com/Explorers-Guide-H ... 818&sr=1-1
http://www.amazon.com/Sierra-North-Back ... 854&sr=1-7
http://www.amazon.com/Sierra-South-Back ... 909&sr=1-9
Once you have read one of these books and find an area that interest you, check to see
if there is a trip report written up by using the search feature in the backpacking section
here on HST, or dig up some info on it on web, and then if you have specific question
ask away.
But either way, we here at HST will be happy to help out any member the best we
can, and no one is turned away or ignored asking for information about the Sierra!
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: Trip suggestion requests

Postby AlmostThere » Mon May 21, 2012 2:36 pm

eaglecreek wrote:I am a new member getting ready to request a trip suggestion. I can provide all of the suggested info about experience levels and preferences but I have never hiked west of the southern Appalachians and don't really know how to "narrow down" my request. Yosemite was initally appealing but from what I've read on it, seems crowded and hard to get permits for. I don't want to clutter the site with too broad a request. Any suggestions as to the "homework" I could do before submitting a request?


You could start with Sierra North and Sierra South - very good guidebooks that cover some very nice backpacking in the popular areas. And some not-so-popular areas.

Yosemite can be difficult, but, there are ways to work the system. I among others have posted tips and tricks to work the permitting system (within legal limits) to your advantage. The majority of the solution lies in being flexible and willing to avoid Half Dome and the area within ten miles of it...
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Re: Trip suggestion requests

Postby SSSdave » Mon May 21, 2012 3:39 pm

maverick wrote:Most of what you talking about WD would be addressed if folks read the "SUGGESTIONS FOR REQUESTING TRIP ADVICE " section, including using the search feature before requesting information, but don't expect miracles.


Please do, Maverick put up an excellent list. Gives me a smile every so often when he points that out to some new person posting something vague like...

Where is a good place to backpack to?

Another good site for Sierra Nevada backcountry images is summitpost.com. Peruse their images, see some place you like, bring up the topo, see where the nearest trailhead be, and search the destination name on the web for trip reports and whatever.

When I first began backpacking as an adult in the 70s, there was no Internet and with no friends into backpacking, no one to ask for advice. So I like legion other self taught enthusiasts bought the original WP Sierra North and Sierra South editions, rambled through its pages religiously, then went down to the nearest backpacking equipment store and bought up a pile of USGS 15 minute topos that I believe were just $1.50 or $2 at that time? Actually working in Silicon Valley, I also annually drove up to the USGS map sales room in Menlo Park and would buy humungous quantitites for such a peon.
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Re: Trip suggestion requests

Postby sparky » Mon May 21, 2012 5:00 pm

We have a very handy map here on high sierra topix. You cant go wrong
There is a million ways to be human, all are worthwhile.

True happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.
-Chuang Tzu.
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Re: Trip suggestion requests

Postby TehipiteTom » Tue May 22, 2012 9:45 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:When someone asks where to go in the Sierra, I am not able to say much. I can think of 100 trips and am not inclined to just throw out ideas. By doing your homework, here is how it is done:

1. Maps. Between Google Maps and numerous free websites with topo maps, you can get an idea of the lay of the land. If you can read a map you can get an idea of lakes, mountains and trees.

2. Where to start? The Sierra are large! If you have limited time you do not want to be spending days driving. So where do you live? Will you have a car? Public transporation?

3. Permits and stuff. Each Forest has very good webpages that tell you all about the rules and regulations. Most are now putting updated remaining permits for trails with quotas. No point in suggesting a trailhead if all slots are already full.

4. Guidebooks. There are tons of good guidebooks on the Sierra. They may not tell you those special "secret" places (we may not do that either!) but they all have good first time trips and give you an idea of how many miles is typically covered in a days travel.

5. Our trip reports. Here you can get more details and our opinions.

All good resources. There's also the visual approach. Flickr has several collections of Sierra Nevada photos (Range of Light and High Sierra are two of the biggest and most active); spend some time browsing the photos, see which landscapes most appeal to you, and Google those locations.
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Re: Trip suggestion requests

Postby cthenn » Tue May 22, 2012 3:31 pm

I almost always start with Google Earth. I love playing around with GE anyway, so it's fun for me to check out the terrain and scenery from the 3D perspective GE gives you. Their terrain model is incredibly accurate, in fact I use it when I'm trying to name peaks on my summit panoramas. I'll go to "street view" mode (it's not real street view, with photos, just a ground-eye perspective) from a place that looks interesting, usually a peak. It's amazing how accurately this modeled view reflects reality. If it looks good on GE, it will look even better in person. And isn't that what we all want, to visit places with spectacular views, and to connect with the natural world?

Also, GE shows all the trails in Yosemite and SEKI with semi-accurate milages, so check out what looks doable for a multi-day trip, or even a dayhike. Just look for something that looks fun or interesting to see, like a nice peak to climb, or a cool looking lake to visit. Since I'm a dayhiker, I usually will get a rough idea of how much elevation gain it is, or how many miles it is, to see if it's feasable for a dayhike. I have placemarks on most of the Eastside trailheads so I can see where I can go from various starting points. I download all my GPS data to GE so I can see what areas I haven't been to yet, or where I have been a lot in one area.

Once you find something that looks interesting, get more in depth by then searching the names of the places that interest you. Use websites like this and SP and others that post trip reports or photos. (I use Bob Burd's website A LOT) Frankly, I just go by what people report and what looks like something I'd like to see. Once you learn a few websites, it becomes really easy to research new places to visit in the Sierra. The Sierra is big, but once you learn a few things about it, it becomes very easy to find places to visit.
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