HST Trail condtiions - Trip completed Jul 6,201 | High Sierra Topix  

HST Trail condtiions - Trip completed Jul 6,201

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HST Trail condtiions - Trip completed Jul 6,201

Postby ALPINEGOAT » Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:15 pm

Me and 2 friends started the HST from Crescent Meadow on Jun 30th and reached Whitney Portal on Jul 6th. We had a great trip and conditions were very good.

Few tips As below -

-Walk-in permits are possible. Two were issued on the day we got out permits. We booked ours a few months back.
- No need for crampons, ice axe or micro-spikes in any sections. Teeny bit of snow left near precipice lake and some ice on the switchbacks from trail crest to Trail camp.
- Plenty of water in creeks that can be used for drinking. Creeks flowing nearly every 3 miles all along the way. We did not treat water until we reached the JMT. Water is limited to the known lakes in Whitney zone.
- Winter clothing not required. Temps were at 40 - 50 in the nights even at GUitar lake. In addition to our day clothes we carried a down/mid-weight fleece and gloves. It was more than adequate.
- Bear canisters are legally required only in Whitney zone and only if you camp. If you are passing through, it is not needed. We did not carry bear canisters.
- Camping does not have to be at designated campgrounds. When you get your permit, it is an approximate itinerary and can choose to flex. You are required to protect the food safely from bears, which we did by hanging all our food from a tree with a rope.
- Wag bag needed only for Whitney zone. Otherwise we dug catholes to poop.
- Hot springs tub working well.. remember to pull out the cork to fill the tub and plug the drain.
- Mosquitoes were abundant near the meadows. Plan for either clothing or repellent spray.
- Shuttle service to Crescent Meadow - We took a one way rental to Visalia and then took a public shuttle service (sequoiashuttle.com) to Lodgepole. It took nearly 3 hours from getting on the shuttle, getting the permits and then hitting boots on the trail. So plan to start early on first day.
- Shuttle service from Whitney Portal. We hitched a ride to get into Lone Pine. And then took a shuttle from Lone Pine to Bishop and a one way rental car back home. The shuttle service was provided by PCT shuttle service. He was very good in working with us on drop off location and price. (PCT Shuttle service - David, 7609006222, david@davidmcins.com ) Note that the shuttle was car, good enough for the ride to accommodate 4 with backpacks. No A/C and well-used car. David was reliable, pleasant and took us safely from Lone Pine to Bishop.
- If you are planning to stay in Lone Pine, Whitney Motel is highly recommended. We did not stay this time but I have on 2 past occasions.
- Be careful of rattlesnakes in section between Moraine Lake through Kern Hot Springs. We saw a 5 foot right next to the trail. If he had not warned us loudly with is rattle we may have stepped on him.
- 12 to 3 PM was hot. So we broke out day into 2 sections. Start at 8 AM and then walk till 12ish. Luch, cool off in stream, siesta till 3ish. Start towalk again til 7ish. Set camp, eat sleep.
- remember to unplug th cork and plug the drain to use the Kern Hot Springs tub.


Itinerary

Day 1 - Crescent lake to Bear Paw Meadow
Day 2 - To Kaweah Gap. Camped 1 mile past the Kaweah gap. (afternoon break at Hamilton lake}
Day 3 - To Moraine Lake (afternoon break at Kern Hot Springs)
Day 4 - To 3 miles past Kern Hot springs (afternoon break at Kern Hot Springs)
Day 5 - To Lower Beaver Meadows ( afternoon break at Upper Junction Meadow)
Day 6 - To lake above Guitar Lake (kept it a short day so we could sleep at 5 and wake up up at 2 AM for an early start next day. We camped at a lake 500 ft above guitar lake.
Day 7 - To Whitney portal ( A long day with a lot of elevation to loose.

Please let me know if yo have any questions.



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ALPINEGOAT
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Re: HST Trail condtiions - Trip completed Jul 6,201

Postby maverick » Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:39 pm

Hi AG,

Welcome to HST! Thank you for posting this information.

Please let me know if you have any questions.


Will you be posting a TR with pictures? :nod:
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: HST Trail condtiions - Trip completed Jul 6,201

Postby ALPINEGOAT » Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:18 pm

Maverick, I will post some pics and a brief trail report in the next few days. Still decompressing from the trip. :)
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Re: HST Trail condtiions - Trip completed Jul 6,201

Postby bandguy5686 » Thu Jul 21, 2016 9:36 pm

- Bear canisters are legally required only in Whitney zone and only if you camp. If you are passing through, it is not needed. We did not carry bear canisters.


Hi! Are you sure about this? I thought canisters were required throughout SEKI.
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Re: HST Trail condtiions - Trip completed Jul 6,201

Postby ALPINEGOAT » Fri Jul 29, 2016 5:23 pm

Yes. When we got the permit, the ranger confirmed that in SEKI, it is legally required to protect the food through recommended methods, of which bear canister is one. We had a rope and hung our food in stuff sacks. In Whitney zone, a bear canister is required if you are camping overnight. If you are passing through it is not needed. You can call the SEKI backcountry office and they will confirm.
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Re: HST Trail condtiions - Trip completed Jul 6,201

Postby bandguy5686 » Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:35 pm

Thank you Alpinegoat. The rangers lead you to believe that canisters are required everywhere. I used to hang my food all the time. It was kind of a pain. I looked at those ursacks; maybe I should invest. Canisters are handy, but they're heavy too. Your trip sounds awesome btw!
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Re: HST Trail condtiions - Trip completed Jul 6,201

Postby sbslider » Mon Aug 01, 2016 6:19 am

This post was very enlightening to me. If you go on the Sequoia NP website it is very clear that portable bear canisters, while strongly encouraged, are NOT required.

https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/bear_bc.htm

thanks for pointing this out, as I am about to head out on the HST as well.
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