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Kearsarge->Forester->Shepherd

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Kearsarge->Forester->Shepherd

Postby Hobbes » Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:10 pm

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here are the trail conditions, as of Th-Fri, of Kearsarge, Forester & Shepherd. I had been watching the weather, and knew a high pressure system was building behind the late storm that hit Sun-Mon. I made my arrangements and split OC early Th am, and was on the trail by noon. Spent Th night below Forester, and Fri night @ the SP TH. (14 miles day1, 19 day2 & out.)

As for other conditions, there were -0- mozzies, -0- clouds, and -0- humidity. Oh, and -0- people (going SOBO). I ran into around 20+ PCTers over the 2 days, but I seem to be the only person they met coming south. Cheers.

What can you say? When the Sierra are "on", there ain't nowhere else like it. Photo was taken before 3 - I took the high route for a view of the Pinnacles & Videttes.
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For all you hardcore XC guys/gals (Mav, Q, SN), here's a peekaboo shot of Harrison.
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The last 400 yrds @ FP were straight up following the boot/glissade tracks of NOBO PCTers.
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I "knew" about the cornice/field @ SP. I timed my arrival for 4pm, and the snow was just perfect to securely stomp through each boot track. 4.5 hours later, I was sleeping in the desert. A 1 hr walk back to OV road @ 6am the next day (Sat) through the desert was also pretty bitchin'.

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PS, take extra water containers. There are already limited sources, so you need to fillerup when available.
Last edited by Hobbes on Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: Kearsarge->Forester->Shepherd

Postby maverick » Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:03 pm

Hobbes,

What happened to the post and pictures you had up? Was going to comment on the
lack of snow on SP.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

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Re: Kearsarge->Forester->Shepherd

Postby Hobbes » Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:13 pm

I made an edit and the post disappeared into the ether. I'll try and post again, but if it doesn't work, plz send me a PM, and I'll send you a saved copy.
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Re: Kearsarge->Forester->Shepherd

Postby maverick » Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:21 pm

For some reason the PM you sent was blank too. :confused:
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: Kearsarge->Forester->Shepherd

Postby Hobbes » Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:44 pm

The system (either forum or PM) doesn't like this addendum - does Eric have a "personal photo shot' scanner/blocker? LOL. Actually, I think I had messed up the closing [/rimg] with a carriage return.

***
I ran into another PCTer on the top, so we each took a photo of the other. You can see the Tyndall lakes are just melting out, and the already barren Kaweahs.

Image

***
As for lack of snow, I think the discussion is going to quickly morph from possible life threatening storms to possible life threatening lack of water (and/or forest fires). I kept dicking around with my water management, but still ended up being a little dehydrated each day/evening.

I can't tell you how many PCTers admired my el cheapo life guard hat. They were already getting roasted, with all manner of scarves, wrapping, etc trying to beat the sun. I think a few planned on looking for my type of hat in Indy/LP as they exited out Kearsarge for re-supplies.

After I got back home, I started noodling around how to modify my pack in order to put two containers up front on my shoulder straps. I hate my Plat reservoir system, because it's a major pain to fill it back up. I'll continue to use it as backup, but I need something I can quickly re-fill, and which doesn't put more weight on my back/butt.
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Kearsarge->Forester->Shepherd

Postby Bluewater » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:47 pm

Thank for the conditions/trip report. It almost looks like late season in some places. Great shot of you on Forester, I took almost the same photo last Sept. Your daily mileage is just my style. If you don't mind a question about gear, were you traveling lightweight/UL?

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Re: Kearsarge->Forester->Shepherd

Postby Hobbes » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:35 am

Bluewater wrote:If you don't mind a question about gear, were you traveling lightweight/UL?


Yipers - jinx twins. Yeah, actually I'm near the SUL level - from your photo, it looks like you are as well. I built a new pack out of sil that comes in @ 7.5 oz, but your cuben pack is probably a lot lighter. During the winter, I also built a new 900FP 25 degree down quilt that weighs 17 oz (from the T-H kit), as well as a new oversized tarptent that is nothing more than Shires' original model pulled out to almost tandem size. (I'm paranoid about getting wet.)

Is that a Zpack or did you MYOG? About 10% of the PCTers either had a Z or had built their own cuben of similar design. Amazingly, around 90% of all packs were ULA. It was like there was a convention or some kind of pre-trip qualifying requirement before you could start. LOL

Everybody had trail runners, 1/2 with nylon shorts. Skurka has definitely had an impact on style/approach. I was wearing my NB MT110 that I run in, which are way lighter than anything they had. Of course, they're out for months, whereas I'm in/out in days, so I can afford to push that limit.

Interestingly, the vast majority of trekking poles were good 'ole alum BD like mine. While they are heavier than the fancier graphites, it seems like most people have decided that poles are one essential piece of gear that cannot fail. A lot of people had umbrellas, but were planning on dumping them @ Kearsarge. Ditto for spikes/axes.

I was going to take my spikes, but a gal @ OV said she had crossed Forester in sandals. (To her credit, she was carrying boots in her pack, because as she said "she didn't want to be that person who requires aid/assistance".)

All in all, besides the obvious thrill of being out, it was really illuminating seeing the changes in equip/people, due, I guess mostly to the time of the year ie PCTers. I only saw 5 people with "traditional" gear - you know, the 'REI look' complete with boots, heavy packs, etc.

What's interesting is the traditionalists were CA natives doing local runs like the RLL. Now, do they know something the PCTers don't, or were they just phoning it in with whatever they had? That is, the PCTers to a person were very fit, confident, directed & prepared. The locals were puffing, and in fact, a group of 3 looked like they might have needed assistance coming NOBO over FP.

I actually spent a few minutes consulting with them around upper Tyndall since they looked so worked. (One guy was sprawled out on the trail trying to recover some energy.) It was too high (cold/windy) to camp, but getting late to get over FP. They had left 1 person behind a mile or so who was going even slower, and when I asked if he had a tent to bivy below the pass, the excited non-sprawler said he had a "really good bag". Clearly, these guys were reacting to the stress.

Anyway, I relayed the message to the guy following that his friends were going over, and he said thanx and soldiered on. JHC, he looked like he had a sherpa pack. So, I guess the whole debate about preparedness goes both ways: go too heavy and you can't move fast enough to get out of potential danger unless you're in super-shape; go too light, and if you don't move fast enough to get out of danger (see Rush Crk thread), you're hosed in a completely different way.
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Re: Kearsarge->Forester->Shepherd

Postby quentinc » Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:26 pm

Great photos and, yes, the lack of snow is downright shocking. I went over Glen last weekend, and there was far less snow than their was the first week of August last year! I met some southbound JMTers, and they said the only other pass with snow was Muir, and it was easily negotiable.
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Re: Kearsarge->Forester->Shepherd

Postby Bluewater » Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:11 pm

Jinx twins:) Your myog pack sounds great! It's like a cascading effect, the less stuff weighs the less the pack itself weighs etc etc. Have you stayed warm in your T-Hiker quilt? I also used the T-Hiker quilt kit last winter to make a Sierra quilt and although it wasn't pretty it was actually too warm in some areas.

Approaching SUL in the Sierras is impressive, especially if using a bear canister. Did you carry a small Bear Boxer (275 c/i)? It has been the lightest one I can find (25+- oz).

My pack was homemade, but it was a little heavier (9 oz) and included a removable internal frame from a GG Gorilla for the 'heavier' weight after resupplying at MTR, and a Zpacks 8.5' x 5.5' cuben tarp was enough to stay dry during the few nights of rain last summer.

That's funny about the ULA's, there was no shortage of them on the JMT last summer! Most of the people I saw were using traditional gear, but I missed the PCT crowd by a few months. It's interesting to hear that the PCT'ers have embraced the Skurka style, I can't imagine going any other way if doing 20 miles/day for months at a time.

Your experience on the south side of Forester reminded me of a group I saw last year at the intersection of the trails near Charlotte Lake. A small group was camping right next to the trail with huge amounts of gear, a boom box blasting and laundry drying ON the trail sign, covering it. So much for LNT.

Thanks again for the TR and pxts.

Andy.

If you're interested here's a post about a homemade wearable quilt/puffy jacket I made using 900 fp down and SevenD from TiGoat (similar to a Jacks-r-better):

http://seatosummitultralight.blogspot.c ... quilt.html
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Re: Kearsarge->Forester->Shepherd

Postby Hobbes » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:44 am

quentinc wrote:Great photos and, yes, the lack of snow is downright shocking. I went over Glen last weekend, and there was far less snow than their was the first week of August last year! I met some southbound JMTers, and they said the only other pass with snow was Muir, and it was easily negotiable.


Quentin, I was thinking about your experience the previous week while standing at the intersection of the PCT & Kearsarge, recalling how you were blocked going either north/south by snow. And there I was, bathed in absolutely perfect weather. Glad you got back up there and rolled - it's amazing the mileage you can put up in those kinds of conditions.

I was toying with the thought of first heading north over Glen to Rae, and then south the way I did go the next day. Since I hadn't done an open-jaw @ Symmes before, I wasn't sure about timing, etc. That is, I needed to be walking out at dawn, not getting there at noon. Lone Pine was supposed to be 94 that day, so a late start hiking back to OV wouldn't have been advisable.
Last edited by Hobbes on Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kearsarge->Forester->Shepherd

Postby Hobbes » Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:18 am

Bluewater wrote:Have you stayed warm in your T-Hiker quilt? I also used the T-Hiker quilt kit last winter to make a Sierra quilt and although it wasn't pretty it was actually too warm in some areas.


Yeah, that kit rocks - my quilt ended up with over 3" of loft using all 12oz. The night I spent below Forester were in the last stunted trees @ 11,200. I was nice & warm, even though some were commenting that it had been pretty cold. (It wasn't that cold however - my water bottle didn't freeze.)

Approaching SUL in the Sierras is impressive, especially if using a bear canister. Did you carry a small Bear Boxer (275 c/i)? It has been the lightest one I can find (25+- oz).


I'm cheating by not including the can, since I figure nobody else has that kind of handicap. With the can, I shoot from a base of 5.2 to 7.3lbs (I have a BV450). The BV is like the BD poles - probably heavier than necessary, but not that much given its durability & functionality. (Hey, it's true, you can use them as a seat!)

My total going in was 14lbs with food & water (including 1 lb of fishing gear & camera), but I ended up carrying out 1.5+ lbs of uneaten food. So there you go - the best laid plans of mice & men. LOL

If you're interested here's a post about a homemade wearable quilt/puffy jacket I made using 900 fp down


Very nice. I've toyed @ the concept stage with various weight saving techniques, such as poncho tarps & quilt jackets, but keep retreating back to traditional single purpose equipment. As a result, I have both a soft shell and an over-sized tarptent (but no bivy). As for warmth, I have a nice M-B down vest that provides excellent supplemental warmth at the beg/end of the day.
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Re: Kearsarge->Forester->Shepherd

Postby windknot » Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:38 pm

Thanks for the info. I don't have anything to contribute to this thread other than to say that you guys are such dead ringers for each other it's uncanny.
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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