Questions and reports related to Sierra Nevada current and forecast conditions, as well as general precautions and safety information. Trail conditions, fire/smoke reports, mosquito reports, weather and snow conditions, stream crossing information, and more.
Paloma wrote:How cold does it get at night in the backcountry? I'm thinking 20 degrees? I have a hard time getting out of the sleeping bag in those temps!
That sort of illustrates the problem. In many ways travel in winter is more straightforward because you know it's going to be cold and there will be snow so you prepare for it. But in October you can get long stretches of warm days with zero precipitation. Who would carry gear for snow travel then? But the conditions can change rapidly. That's the potential trap, especially with something like the Roper route which sort of pushes you to try and go light.
Paloma wrote:Just wondering, how risky is it to attempt the high route solo in October? Weather looks great for the next 10 days.
Even some of the fastest and most experienced long distance cross country backpackers need 12 1/2 days to complete the SHR. I have done it solo in July/August.
When you ask about, "how risky is it to attempt the high route solo" while the weather "looks great for the next 10 days" are you actually talking about trying to complete the entire SHR in 10 days? If you need to ask then I wouldn't recommend it.
I was out in northern Yosemite last week and we followed part of the High Route taking a shortcut from Virginia Canyon to Spiller Creek Canyon. We were expecting snow that day and we got it, though not until we were well on our way down from Stanton Pass into Spiller. Accumulation was not much more than an inch or so but it was wet snow and my hiking partner's trail runners got soaked through once we were in the canyon. I was glad I wore light hiking boots, especially since temperatures were unseasonably low for a couple of days and nights. Things warmed up and we had five beautiful sunny days after that. As long as you're prepared for cold and mindful of the weather forecast I think section hiking the SHR is well worthwhile up until around Oct 15. But I wouldn't try to do the entire route this time of year in ten days. You've got noticeably less daylight every day and you'd be hiking and making camps when it's dark and cold.