Inquiry

Discussion about winter adventure sports in the Sierra Nevada mountains including but not limited to; winter backpacking and camping, mountaineering, downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, etc.
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maverick
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Inquiry

Post by maverick » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:58 pm

These questions are to our experienced backcountry skiers.

How many miles could a man in his mid 20's, in excellent condition, with 10 days of food in his pack, reasonably be able to average daily?

Has anyone skied up Kearsarge Pass and then down Bubbs Creek to RE? How long did it take you? How many days were you out?


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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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paul
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Re: Inquiry

Post by paul » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:31 am

Mav - miles per day is pretty hard to say, because it is so controlled by conditions. With the massive snowfall we have had through February, I would expect conditions to be very heavy going - as in trailbreaking up to knee deep even on skis. If that is the case, and I repeat, IF, then probably even a tough young man is probably not going more than 6 to 8 miles in a day - and to achieve that he'd be going all of the daylight hours. If things are more consolidated than I would expect, then you could move faster.
I have not been over Kearsarge, on skis or otherwise. But I would say he has had time to cover that distance, regardless of conditions. Assuming he knows the area well enough to be aware of that route as a bailout, it's possible. The thing is, he'd have to make that call at Bullfrog Lake, and that would be pretty early in the trip, he'd have to be thinking not only it's time to bail, but also that going back over Kearsarge is just too hairy to contemplate - given that it is the shortest route out. Would a young, tough, determined Marine make that call there?
But, to be realistic, the most likely scenario is avalanche, given the conditions. This young man has what it takes to survive if he is lost or injured - we know he is not only a Marine but has specific cold weather training. I can only hope he has hunkered down somewhere, because anywhere he goes he would be taking a risk. Once down to Junction Meadow the risk is reduced, but big slides could still come down from above and run right across the valley floor down there - there are some big chutes above.

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Re: Inquiry

Post by bobby49 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:39 am

One April some years back, there were six of us experienced cross country skiers that started out from South Lake with good snow. Due to a late start, we got most of the way up toward Bishop Pass. Then a broken ski binding caused the main party to pause and camp while two guys went back to South Lake and to Bishop to Wilson's for a replacement. They got back before noon on Day two, so we got over Bishop Pass and down to LeConte Canyon. On Day Three it was snowing like hell, so we skied up to Muir Pass barely able to see where we were going, and we took refuge in the hut overnight. Day Four was wasted due to heavy snow, so we stayed put. On Day Five, we skied downhill to Evolution Lake for a very cold camp. On Day Six, we skied up Darwin Canyon and over Lamarck Col. We camped at Grassy Lake on the way down to North Lake, so we got out to the Lake Sabrina Road by noon. Then we had to do a car shuttle. Basically, you can't really estimate the time for travel unless you can predict the weather and the snow conditions. In April, that was tough. A group size of six was strong, especially with the ski repair incident. We used 2-man tents and each tent had a white gas stove, so we could recover from any stove failures. I think our worst injury was one big heel blister.

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maverick
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Re: Inquiry

Post by maverick » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:34 pm

Thank you to the both of you for your input. :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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limpingcrab
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Re: Inquiry

Post by limpingcrab » Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:35 pm

[youtube_vid]ZojE9nhR88o[/youtube_vid]
Edit: here's the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZojE9nhR88o

You can get an idea (in spring conditions) by watching this guy ski the high route.


I've done 20 mile days in average conditions (high winds and a bit of new snow) and I'm no expert. Most people seem to do the tans-sierra from Wolverton to Shepherd pass in 5 days. Some more, many people less.


Sorry, that wasn't a super specific answer but might help gauge the estimates. Of course heavy snow can shut the whole thing down

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Re: Inquiry

Post by bobby49 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:26 pm

Some friends of mine went from Shepherd Pass to Wolverton in three days. I asked them what they ate along the way. They said, "Cookies. Lots and lots of cookies."

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