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Time to give the Sierra a rest?

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Re: Time to give the Sierra a rest?

Postby limpingcrab » Wed May 20, 2015 11:12 am

I've thought about this a lot. The options are:

A: Get to know one place extremely well
B: Get to know many places in passing

I've settled on A because it feels like home and everywhere else I'm another tourist/visitor. There are many people who have visited all of the destinations, but only a handful who know Sequoia/Kings as well as I do so I enjoy spending my time here, at home. It's all preference and this doesn't mean I don't enjoy seeing other places, just that when it comes to spending time in the mountains there are infinite things I still want to do around here before I use vacation time abroad.

Kinda like, "Sweet, I've got 5 days free in a few weeks, I would love to go to Utah! But, I've always wanted to descend Horse Creek or climb the Citadel. Yup, I'll stay here to get 5 mountains days instead of 2 travel days and 3 mountain days."



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Re: Time to give the Sierra a rest?

Postby rlown » Wed May 20, 2015 11:20 am

limpingcrab wrote:I've thought about this a lot. The options are:

A: Get to know one place extremely well
B: Get to know many places in passing


I too fixate on option A. I'll throw in a B choice every once in awhile, just for exploratory reasons, but I don't just hike to hike. I like to find a place, like you that is a "second home", so to speak.

Without B, you can't find a new place you might really like!

I think this year, the fire season will be problematic. I might be not be able to go anyway (work.)
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Re: Time to give the Sierra a rest?

Postby Teresa Gergen » Fri May 22, 2015 12:59 am

The summer forecast for the Rockies is very wet. That'll mean thunderstorms, not just rain.

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/p ... php?lead=1
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Re: Time to give the Sierra a rest?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri May 22, 2015 5:06 pm

The summer forecast for the Rockies is ALWAYS wet! -That is normal. But the wetness is manageable - almost always comes in the form of short (1 hour duration) afternoon thunderstorms, often several separated by 1-2 hours of non-rain (that stunning "storm lighting" that makes perfect photos). You just have to plan differently than what you would normally plan in the Sierra. You have to be an early-bird and "make hay when the sun shines". I actually do not get any wetter than when I am in the Sierra, because most of the time when it rains in am in the tent. The actual weather in the mountains is not nearly as bad as the forecast suggests.

I do not think you have to do either "A" or "B". I know two ranges very well - the Wind Rivers and the Sierra. And I enjoy dabbling in other areas. Helps that I made a living teaching climbing when young, and now I am retired with all the time in the world. Actually, experiencing many different ranges and weather conditions makes me a better backpacker. I am even getting the hang of coastal backpacking. Every night on any trip is "home" for me; doesn't matter where I am, old familiar place or new. I guess that is just my personality. To each his own.
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Re: Time to give the Sierra a rest?

Postby limpingcrab » Fri May 22, 2015 9:05 pm

To each his own indeed! That's the beauty of the outdoors.

Still, if you are visiting many places you could know one place better than you currently do.

So it's still kind of an A or B thing ;)
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Re: Time to give the Sierra a rest?

Postby Teresa Gergen » Sat May 23, 2015 12:29 am

Hi WD,
I'm from CO and most of my climbing history has been above 10K there, with some experience climbing high peaks in both the Winds and Sierra. The forecast for this summer is wetter than usual because of the El Nino. CO and WY have both had an unusually wet May with snowfall every few days up high and measured in feet per storm. The snow depth maps are showing areas of snow in the 75-100" level up high.

There is a lot more ground vegetation in the Rockies than the Sierra. When it gets wet from an afternoon storm, it can stay wet for days. Unless you're only on wide trails, your clothes and boots will get soaked from passing through it, and the sun won't always dry it out like the strong Sierra sun does, with all the trees, so you can end up with wet boots and clothes your entire trip just from a short afternoon rain. This is probably more true in CO than in the Winds.
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Re: Time to give the Sierra a rest?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat May 23, 2015 1:50 pm

Yes, wet feet. I never knew one could backpack and keep feet dry until I came to the Sierra! You just learn to deal with the weather. It may be an eye-opener to Sierra backpackers who have never been anywhere else. And yes, I am a glutton for punishment and going back to the Wind Rivers in August. Expecting rain and maybe even snow.

I am headed to the Lost Coast tomorrow. Last time I did this trip, same time of year, it rained every day, one night 4 inches. I think in 7 days I had about 2 hours of sunlight. Talk about being wet - I finally gave up- only my sleeping bag stayed dry. I did not have a working camera at the time so no photos. So I am doing it again - hopefully with better weather and a camera- if I get half the days without rain I would be happy. I am doing the entire coast- including the gnarly southern section. I also had a trip in Desolation planned, but weather in the mountains is still not great- put off that trip for a week and hopefully weather will improve.
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Re: Time to give the Sierra a rest?

Postby Big Ed » Sun Jun 21, 2015 3:43 pm

limpingcrab wrote:Snowy, rainy, dry, beetle trees, burned, bushes, flowers, granite, grass, it's all just another unique face of nature so I have no preference. I will enjoy the Sierra this year as much as any other.


I agree with this. I did a trip from Roads End to Courtright Reservoir the year after the Tehipite fire, a Forest Service employee told me I wouldn't want to go through there for ten years because of the fire. For me it's just another part of nature that I don't want to miss either. I saw places where the entire stump and root system burned in the ground, leaving root tunnels. I saw places where a tree exploded and there were chunks of it all over the place. There were also areas where the vegetation was already growing.
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