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High Sierra Trail Sept 2013 Trip Planning/Help

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Re: High Sierra Trail Sept 2013 Trip Planning/Help

Postby maverick » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:47 am

Hi Fishon,

Welcome to HST! Thanks for conributing to the thread with your great pictures, looking
forward to seeing you post some TR's of your own in the future. :thumbsup:
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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: High Sierra Trail Sept 2013 Trip Planning/Help

Postby longri » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:52 am

orbitor wrote:The great thing about the HST is that most camps have bear boxes installed.

I did this as well but ended up regretting it. It's nice to save the 2 lbs and the pack volume but then you're forced to camp where the bear boxes are. At one such location I caught a hiker trying to steal my food out of the box! He said he thought it was abandoned. After that I took my food out and tied it to a tree (I had an Ursack as a backup) about three feet from my tent. Who would have thought that other backpackers were more of a food storage threat than bears?

orbitor wrote:I'd do the HST again in a minute, if it weren't for the shuttle. Best scenario is to get a few friends to help, otherwise be prepared to fork over some $$$.

I avoided the HST for many years because of this issue. Finally I decided the best solution was to walk out and back. To add a little interest I did the return over Pyra-Queen. I was able to go to Whitney and back in five days. At a more normal pace the pack would be kind of heavy I suppose, although it should be possible to drop down to the Portal and resupply there.

It's a nice walk but misnamed.
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Re: High Sierra Trail Sept 2013 Trip Planning/Help

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:07 pm

Whitney and back in 5 days from Crescent Meadow is a bit brutal! I am not sure most backpackers would enjoy Pyra Queen Col. Running through Keweah Basin would also be a shame. So many beautiful places; too little time - that is always the problem! I personally would rather out-and-back from Whitney Portal and turn around at Hamilton Lake. That way you get 90% of the most scenic parts of the trail. 7-8 days food does not add that much weight and makes for daily mileages more reasonable for "the rest of us". Incidentally, when I did my out-and-back from Whitney Portal, I went through the hassle of the lottery (paid $$ for a 4-person permit and everyone bailed on me). Turned out that because I was in mid September, I could easily have obtained a first-come permit. I would not rule out starting at Whitney Portal just because you miss the lottery.
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Re: High Sierra Trail Sept 2013 Trip Planning/Help

Postby longri » Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:15 pm

Hi Daisy, you're probably right. Most people would be happier taking more time. I probably should have left out my experience because it sounds like I'm blowing my own horn. The point I was trying to make was that an out and back hike (assuming you have time) is better than the alternatives of using the nearly non-existent public transportation, hitchiking for days maybe, asking too much from a friend, or paying big big bucks for a shuttle.

I hadn't really considered doing it from the eastside. Plusses and minuses. Kaweah Basin is really cool! I enjoyed it a bunch and look forward to a return visit. So fun and rewarding to walk in the Sierra. Cheers!
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Re: High Sierra Trail Sept 2013 Trip Planning/Help

Postby dbogey » Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:13 pm

Dave - How many days did this trip take you

DavePloessel wrote:Hi Cody!

I did the HST a couple years back and would offer a couple bits of advice:

First: In my opinion, Moraine lake wasn't that awesome. Instead of doing the long day from hamilton to moraine, maybe hit 9 lakes from hamilton on day 3, or camp down in Big Arroyo (the area near the junction with the 5 lakes trail is quite pretty). There are some really amazing spots there.

Second, instead of hiking from kern hot springs to Wallace creek, camp at junction meadow and make the hike up out of the kern river valley EARLY in the morning. It's a pretty brital uphill, and if you start your day at the hot springs, by the time you hit the climb, it will be in full sun/heat and pretty much just suck.

If I were to do it again and looking to do short miles, I'd go

1) Crescent meadow to Buck creek.
2) Buck to Hamilton
3) hamilton to 9 lakes/big arroyo
4) big arroyo to Upper funston
5) Upper funston to junction meadow with a break to soak in the hot springs
6) Junction meadow to crabtree meadow
7) crabtree to guitar
8) guitar to whitney and the portal

One other thing.. Shuttle services are pretty expensive. I had some fun with it and turned it into a semi loop. After hitting Whitney, I hiked back, but took colby pass - cloud canyon - roaring river - deadman canyon - elizabeth pass back. Well worth it!
Just another day in paradise
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Re: High Sierra Trail Sept 2013 Trip Planning/Help

Postby DavePloessel » Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:37 am

dbogey wrote:Dave - How many days did this trip take you

My schedule when i did the HST and back:

West to east, with a group of four (this was very slow going)
1) Crescent - Buck creek (late start)
2) Buck - Hamilton
3) Hamilton - Big Arroyo
4) Big Arroyo - Moraine
5) Moraine - Kern river valley (stopped at hot springs for a soak, and dispersed camped along the river sinca all the campsites were full. Our original intent was to make it all the way to junction meadow, but knee issues and group dynamics {pee breaks, different hiking speeds, etc} slowed us down)
6) KRV to Lower Crabtree
7) Lower Crabtree - tarn above Guitar lake

8) tarn above guitar - summit of Whitney for sunrise. After summiting, at trail pass the other 3 people headed down to the portal where I'd dropped a car the week before, I went back east and ended up camping just west of Junction Meadow

9) Junction meadow - Colby Pass - colby lake with some XC side trips on both sides of colby pass
10) Colby lake - roaring river - top of deadman canyon with some xc side trips up cloud canyon, towards big bird lake, etc.
11) Upper Deadman - elisabeth pass - crescent meadows

Originally I had planned on taking about 3 more days on the return trip, but I just got into a groove and kept moving. I ended up undereating and finished with about a full 5 or 6 days food left in my bag ](*,)
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