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High Sierra Trail advice

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High Sierra Trail advice

Postby BigE1969 » Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:25 am

My buddy and I will be hitting the trail this Sunday.

Day 1- Mehrten Creek or Buck Creek
Day 2 Upper Hamilton Lake
Day 3 Moraine Lake
Day 4 Kern Hot Springs
Day 5 Wallace Creek/JMT
Day 6 Guitar Lake
Day 7 Summit Whitney and exit the Portal

This to me seems like a leisurely itinerary. A few long days with some short ones in between. Any thoughts or suggestions? Mehrten Creek or Buck Creek which is better for camping? I can't wait!!!



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Re: High Sierra Trail advice

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:55 am

I prefer Buck Creek. There is a bear box and site next to the trail west of the creek. Last time I was there the site as taken so I went downstream and set up my tent on a very flat rock!

Not sure what you mean by "upper Hamilton Lake". I lake Hamilton Lake for its photography- especially chance at nice sunset photos. There is limited camping near Precipice Lake - also very pretty.

If you reach Kern Hot Springs late in the day and there is a crowd, you may not be able to get in. I had to wait until the next morning to use the hot springs.

Yes, you can climb Whitney from Guitar Lake and go out the same day. But then you miss the opportunity to get great sunrise photos from Trail Camp. Trail camp is not the nicest, but a great location for photos. I assume you are young with young knees. We older folks get beat up by your last day. That is a lot of downhill in a day.
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Re: High Sierra Trail advice

Postby giantbrookie » Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:10 pm

WD has pretty much answered this, so I'll just chime in with agreement and a little addition re Upper Hamilton. First of all, I agree with WD regarding Buck Creek vs Mehrten. Buck is a much nicer campsite and it is a bit further along (without being too far along), so I think it makes for a better day 1. By this time of year Buck Creek is a great place to cool your heels on day 1, too.

Regarding Upper Hamilton, indeed there are two Hamilton lakes. The larger, upper, one is more beautiful and has bear boxes and plenty of good campsites. The lower lake really doesn't offer campsites and I recall that the trail passes well above it requiring a bit of scrambling to get to the lakeshore. The only advantage the lower lake has over the upper one is that the lower lake has bigger and plumper fish than the upper one.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: High Sierra Trail advice

Postby BigE1969 » Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:27 pm

I'm not that young. I'll be turning 44 the day we make it to the top of Whitney. I thought of staying at trail camp or outpost camp but I figured the cheeseburgers and beer would be calling my name. I'll just see how I feel as the day goes along.
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Re: High Sierra Trail advice

Postby Vaca Russ » Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:58 pm

Having been to Trail Camp less than a week ago, I have only one thing to say...

"Yuck!" :angry:

I think there needs to be a $1000 deposit put down for wag bags. You turn your bag back in, you get your deposit back.

JMHO, sorry for hijacking the thread.

-Russ
” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
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Re: High Sierra Trail advice

Postby BigE1969 » Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:53 am

Is there any good fishing around Kern Hot Springs and Wallace Creek?
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Re: High Sierra Trail advice

Postby robert h » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:06 pm

We just finished most of your route last Sat. We continued north at into the upper Kern then over Forester and Kearsarge passes. We weren't fishing but the Kern looked great and we heard good reports from people we met.

We lunched and swam at Hamilton but opted for a longer day 2 and overnighted at Precipice. There are a few really nice campsites (no bear lockers) accross the outflow stream on your right at the lake. The sites are close to the lake about 100-150' from the trail/creek. The location is stunning and was our 2nd favorite campsite. Enjoy your trip!
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Re: High Sierra Trail advice

Postby BigE1969 » Fri Aug 23, 2013 6:31 pm

Leaving in the morning. I feel like a little kid going to summer camp for the first time.
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