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thinking out loud

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thinking out loud

Postby sparky » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:52 pm

So I am planning my 2013 hike and I feel I might be starting to overthink it. I say hike instead of hikes because I now live out of state so I cant just go to the sierra whenever it suits me. :thumbsdown:

So I have a 2 possibly 3 week excursion planned for the sierra. If my lady joins me we will probably start in yosemite, do some day hiking and sight seeing. The she will fly back here, and I will continue down to south lake and hike for a week, then the next week I will be helping in the search for larry. I should be well broken in for the climb up taboose :thumbsup:

I have a route hammered out, but I am just not sure which is the best way to do it. So let me do some thinking aloud here and if anyone has an opinion to share, please do.

My route is bishop pass > knapsack pass > potluck pass > cirque or chimney pass (opinions?) > mather pass > upper basin crossing > Cataract Pass > Dumbell Pass > Cartridge Creek > Middle Fork > Dusty > Bishop pass

The biggest and only real advantage I see of heading this direction is descending Cartridge Creek. But then I also would have to descend the scary side of Upper Basin Crossing, and then ascend the steeper side of Cataract.

If I were to reverse the route, that would have me ascending the bushwack of Cartridge Creek. But, I would be able to descend the north side of Cataract and ascend the west side of Upper Basin Crossing. I would also have a much easier first day, and also get broken in some on trail before heading cross country.

I know it will be a great time either way, but am I wrong to think Cartridge Creek as being the crux? Am I better off descending it? What does the peanut gallery say?
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: thinking out loud

Postby Mike M. » Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:41 pm

Sparky, sounds like a great itinerary. It's a classic, uncomfortable bushwhack up Cartridge Creek from the Middle Fork of King's River to Triple Falls. I don't think it makes a difference if you're going up or down. The closer you are to the creek, the harder the bushwhack. There is a remnant of a trail on the east side of the creek, if you are lucky enough to find it. Still slow going; just stick with it and be patient; be prepared to use your full vocabulary of cuss words. One year I had luck hiking mainly in the creek bed (going up); another year, coming down, I found the old trail and followed it almost all the way to a well developed camp near the confluence of Cartridge Creek and Middle Fork. The hike from here to the JMT junction is fabulously scenic.

Cirque Pass is easy Class 2 if you have good route finding skills, harder if you get off route.

Mike
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Re: thinking out loud

Postby sparky » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:12 pm

The hike from here to the JMT junction is fabulously scenic.


I am glad you said that because this trip I wanted some low elevation canyon country, and some solitude.

Anyone have any advice for upper basin crossing? The west side looks a little hairy
There is a million ways to be human, all are worthwhile.

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Re: thinking out loud

Postby maverick » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:40 pm

CG has a pretty spot on route description of UBC so I won't repeat what he says.
http://www.highsierratopix.com/communit ... =31&t=8326
Cataract Pass is not a big deal unless the cornice is big at the top, which needs to
be by-passed and can makes things a little more interesting.
A different route instead of bushwacking down to the MFK is to go down to the
lakes west of Observation Peak via a class 2 chute. These are some pretty lakes and
the views toward the Devil's Crags are truly outstanding! From the outlet of Lake 10565
skirt around towards the two small lakes northwest and then continue on following
the outlet creek from Shakspere to the JMT.
Cirque is rated a class 3, but as Mike said, if you have good route finding skills, and
avoid getting stuck on the cliffs, than it is not to difficuly, but Chimney is even easier
and would recommend it, especially with the weight of your pack only a few days
in. By the way, how many days are you planning this trip for?
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Re: thinking out loud

Postby sparky » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:35 pm

It looks like 5 full days of hiking but im planning 6 or 7 days.

Thanks for the suggestiin too mav, when im solo, i dont really sit around much, so i will need and excursion or 2
There is a million ways to be human, all are worthwhile.

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Re: thinking out loud

Postby maverick » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:56 pm

PM sent
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Re: thinking out loud

Postby hurricaniac » Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:52 pm

I was thinking about coming down Cartridge Ck. from Marion Lake this July until I read these posts. It sounds like the southern version of Goddard Ck. of which I hellishly made my way down in June 1977. The buckthorn was overhead and we had to throw ourselves on it to beat down a path.

I've never been so shredded from a day of hiking in my life.
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Re: thinking out loud

Postby maverick » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:35 am

Hi Hurricaniac,

Welcome to HST! Hope you will share some of your trips with us, we always enjoy
a Sierra adventure here no matter how long ago it was.
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: thinking out loud

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:51 pm

When I do long trips (say 12+ days food) I try to get more trail miles early in the trip so the more difficult off-trail miles are with a lighter pack. Not sure this is an issue with a 5-7 day trip. Also, I prefer going up more difficult passes (other than bushwhaking). Particulary I am more comfortable on steep snow going up vs going down. Every loop trip I do, I also do a detailed trip plan (daily miles, elevatio gain, estimated tavel time) going both diretions. Sometimes this exercise results in the better way simply popping out as you compare the two directions.
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Re: thinking out loud

Postby Tom_H » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:04 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:When I do long trips (say 12+ days food) I try to get more trail miles early in the trip so the more difficult off-trail miles are with a lighter pack. Not sure this is an issue with a 5-7 day trip. Also, I prefer going up more difficult passes (other than bushwhaking). Particulary I am more comfortable on steep snow going up vs going down. Every loop trip I do, I also do a detailed trip plan (daily miles, elevatio gain, estimated tavel time) going both diretions. Sometimes this exercise results in the better way simply popping out as you compare the two directions.


I agree with this. As someone who was trained in NOLS technique, I can see Daisy's experience as a NOLS instructor here. These comments are not so much to Sparky, but to others who may not be as experienced as he. To Daisy's remarks, I would add that a reason going up steep snow is preferable to going down steep snow is what is involved in self-arrest. If you slip while going uphill, you are already in self-arrest position. If going downhill, you must flip on your stomach first. Those with a heavy pack &/or who aren't experienced at this may go careening away before having an opportunity to recover. If you are going to be on steep snow (this summer will be no repeat of 2011) seriously consider ice axes and crampons (or at least some kind of ice cleats).

Daisy is also right about hiking up or down steep hills. Downhill exerts more impact on the knees and muscles. Those who hike all the time will have little problem. Those with little experience or who are out of shape will suffer exhaustion in the quads and could have their legs give out on a mis-step. Also agree on bushwacking. Climbing through manzanita is a nightmare; when fighting one's way downhill through it, at least gravity is on your side. And, as she says, trip planning with elevation change analysis does clarify things too.

Daisy, check your P.M.s. I sent you a message a month ago. Looks like you've been on a long excursion. Hope it was fun.
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Re: thinking out loud

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:34 pm

I am on a long excursion from looking at PM's. If you have anything to ask me just ask on the regular forum and I will answer. I look at all forums- so if a equipment question, put it there, if a non-Sierra question, put it there, etc.
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Re: thinking out loud

Postby sparky » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:10 pm

wandering daisy, I totally agree. I am not too worried about starting out on the SHR right off the bat. I would rather do those off trail portions with a full pack than ascend Cartridge creek. I will heed your advice though and map out the elevation changes though and see if that influences my decision
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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