Why no porters/"sherpas" in the Sierra? | High Sierra Topix  

Why no porters/"sherpas" in the Sierra?

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Re: Why no porters/"sherpas" in the Sierra?

Postby longri » Wed May 16, 2018 7:56 am

fishmonger wrote:I met some guys with goats 2 summers ago.


I've never seen pack goats. But this makes it look easy; the animal just tags along obediently.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMSYKl-SxyE



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Re: Why no porters/"sherpas" in the Sierra?

Postby oldranger » Wed May 16, 2018 8:05 am

longri wrote:
fishmonger wrote:I met some guys with goats 2 summers ago.


I've never seen pack goats. But this makes it look easy; the animal just tags along obediently.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMSYKl-SxyE



My experience watching goats is that while they roughly follow they will frequently cut across switchbacks and will wander a bit to grab a bite of grass.
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Re: Why no porters/"sherpas" in the Sierra?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed May 16, 2018 9:07 am

Whether goats are seen as a bother or helpful depends a lot on your view of animals on backpacks in general. Animal lovers see their goat not only as a means to carry stuff but as a companion, much like a dog. Any animal taken backpacking requires you to put their needs above yours. Goats usually are not seen as pack animals that carry everything- rather they supplement, allowing you to be out longer without resupply. The goat below are a larger variety. I met this group in the Wind Rivers. They were ranchers from Idaho, and had two grown goats and several juvenile goats who were being "trained". They said that on a goat's first trip they simply learn to wear the pack. Later they actually put stuff inside.

085_Goats.jpg
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Re: Why no porters/"sherpas" in the Sierra?

Postby oldranger » Wed May 16, 2018 9:49 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:Whether goats are seen as a bother or helpful depends a lot on your view of animals on backpacks in general. Animal lovers see their goat not only as a means to carry stuff but as a companion, much like a dog. Any animal taken backpacking requires you to put their needs above yours. Goats usually are not seen as pack animals that carry everything- rather they supplement, allowing you to be out longer without resupply. The goat below are a larger variety. I met this group in the Wind Rivers. They were ranchers from Idaho, and had two grown goats and several juvenile goats who were being "trained". They said that on a goat's first trip they simply learn to wear the pack. Later they actually put stuff inside.

085_Goats.jpg


The older couple we encountered carried small day packs. 5 goats carried the bulk of their gear.
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Re: Why no porters/"sherpas" in the Sierra?

Postby longri » Wed May 16, 2018 10:32 am

That's one of the things that looked appealing to me, that the animal appeared to have a nice disposition. When I've encountered llamas I've felt the same way, that they might be nice just to have around. I love horses too but they have other downsides in the backcountry.

The other thing that occurred to me is that you could eat the goat. It would save a lot of food weight.
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Re: Why no porters/"sherpas" in the Sierra?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed May 16, 2018 2:18 pm

I hope that was meant as a joke Longri. One would eat their goat no more than one would eat their dog (or their backpack partner). One goat packer I met was so attached to his goat that he would not even board his goat out even though he wanted to do some international travel. He did it once and the goat was so depressed that it broke his heart. He was simply waiting until his goat died before he started traveling.
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Re: Why no porters/"sherpas" in the Sierra?

Postby longri » Wed May 16, 2018 5:24 pm

Image


That should take you back about 40 years.
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