Route-Itis

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.
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rightstar76
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Re: Route-Itis

Post by rightstar76 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:59 pm

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Last edited by rightstar76 on Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:14 am, edited 1 time in total.








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Wandering Daisy
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Re: Route-Itis

Post by Wandering Daisy » Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:48 pm

I did the SHR primarily for the aesthetics. I had done bits and pieces previously, and stringing it all together resulted in an entirely different experience. As for a "sport". Even a difficult route can be done slowly, reducing the difficulty (or at least the strenuousness). "Difficulty" is relative. I did not think it was a difficult route after years of doing 5th class alpine climbing. I took 31 days; a pretty slow pace. I was not competing with myself or anyone else. Roper spent a lot of time devising a good route; I simply wanted to take advantage of his efforts. I flip-flopped simply due to car logistics, added a few side-trips and deleted two passes that I had done before and swore I would never do again (due to safety reasons). So it was not totally "pure". I did not feel it was a "game" where I had to follow all the rules. I think I had just as a rewarding trip as those who do it as an athletic/sport event. For each "named" route I do, I probably do 20 that I simply figure out myself. I would not want to avoid a named route, nor would I want to do nothing but named routes. Variety is the spice of life.


I did write a trip report for our forum. But I would have done it regardless if I even told anyone that I had done it. It simply is a classic, great route, very worthy of doing.

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Re: Route-Itis

Post by balzaccom » Fri Aug 31, 2018 4:00 am

Great post. Thanks Daisy
Balzaccom

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Route-Itis

Post by oldranger » Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:31 pm

Thank God we all have different perspectives on how to enjoy the backcountry! I am happy that some stick to routes and others do not. I know that with a little effort I can find a place or a time that I can go to, catch fish, and not see anyone else if that is my desire. Did a day hike out of TM campground a little over a week ago. First hour on a trail I did not see another person; next 7, off trail, not another person; last hour on trail over a dozen. A peaceful day overall finding my way, choosing my own route, catching a few fish, and generally happy to be alive and happy that most people stay on trails or "prescribed routes."
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!

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Re: Route-Itis

Post by giantbrookie » Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:31 pm

oldranger wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:31 pm
Thank God we all have different perspectives on how to enjoy the backcountry! I am happy that some stick to routes and others do not. I know that with a little effort I can find a place or a time that I can go to, catch fish, and not see anyone else if that is my desire. Did a day hike out of TM campground a little over a week ago. First hour on a trail I did not see another person; next 7, off trail, not another person; last hour on trail over a dozen. A peaceful day overall finding my way, choosing my own route, catching a few fish, and generally happy to be alive and happy that most people stay on trails or "prescribed routes."
Yes. This echoes my sentiment. There is little doubt that more folks are focused on publicized routes nowadays be they trails or off trail routes. But as times change, folks enjoy the backcountry in different ways. They still enjoy it though, and I think that's what counts. On my 5-day trip with my daughter we ran into zero folks off trail and a bunch of folks on, and this including a lot of through hikers on the JMT/PCT and on the Edison Ferry. Different aims than me, but still folks that shared a common enjoyment with me for being out there. For me, I see things like OR in the sense that what the route-itis phenomenon has done has been to focus a larger percentage of the backcountry population in a smaller space, leaving most of off trail space far less traveled than it was in the 70's. And, as OR notes, these concentrations of folks mean that one doesn't even have to hike very far off trail to get solitude, if that is in fact a priority. On those fun off trail routes I've done going back at least 15 years I haven't encountered anyone on those off trail hiking stretches (excluding whomever I was hiking with), except for one couple met while stopping to rig up my fishing gear while on the "Gold at the End of the Rainbow" trip of 2015. That segment of my trip did correspond to a SHR segment in fact. I don't intentionally avoid "named" off trail routes, but I just don't pay attention to them so I end up missing them, most of the time. As far as encountering people off trail, here are some examples: 2002 Mordor I, Wolverton-Tablelands-Glacier Ridge-Triple Divide-Lion-Tamarck, 8 days, 7 days with off trail segments. I think I we met someone below Big Bird or at Big Bird, but my memory is foggy. If so then 7 out of the 8 days of off trail segments encountered nobody . Mordor II 2003:8 days Kaweah-Red Spur. 5 days of off trail with no people encountered. Blackchuck 2007 3 off trail days with nobody encountered off trail. Tunechuck 2008 off trail operations on parts or all of 5 days with nobody encountered off trail. Yosemite Inside Out 2014 2 off trail days with no people encountered. Gold at the end of the Rainbow 2015 5 days with some off trail days. 4 of 5 days without encountering anyone. Astride the Silver Divide 2018 off trail on parts of 5 days and did not encounter anyone off trail.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Route-Itis

Post by creekfeet » Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:02 am

After seeing yet another 6+ letter acronym for some route I’d never heard of with a pay to play guide for sale, I was thinking about starting this exact same post, so I’m glad I stumbled across it. Others have made some valid arguments in favor of acronym routes, but I feel like following someone else’s pre-ordained route largely defeats the purpose of x-country travel. To me it’s about the entire process, beginning in the winter when I start pouring over the same section of the map I’ve studied a thousand times before and probably hiked a handful of times as well, only to all of a sudden see a new route start to manifest itself. Then naturally when I get on the trail more often than not I wind up deviating wildly from my planned route. Such a large part of the joy of x-country hiking is climbing up a pass only to see a lake in the distance you all of a sudden just have to go to, or deciding to stomp along some random creek because the swimming potential seems good, or even going off on a wild goose chase in search of Shorty Lovelace cabins after bumping into Ranger Cindy. I get wanting to do a route if you believe it’s going to take you to the very best places, but it hardly seems worth sacrificing the freedom of open granite and a blank map.

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Re: Route-Itis

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:05 am

If the trend continues, more bloggers, who are trying to make money by offering GPS tracks and off-trail information, will put out more routes and more people, who wound have not done such route on their own, will do the route. Partly they will do the route because the uncertainty has been take out and partly because it now has a "name" and recognition and gets put on a "to-do" list. So, I would not be so sure that our past experiences with our off-trail trips will continue in the future.

That said, we all are looking for good routes to do. Simply asking about off-trail information on this forum (or doing trip report searches) is not that much different. The "information age" has its ups and downs. Fishermen seem to be the only ones willing keep their favorite areas secrets.

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Re: Route-Itis

Post by longri » Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:28 am

How are these bloggers and on-line guides different than using a hiking guidebook or suggestions gleaned from forums like this one? Is it the enhancing effect that the internet has on just about everything that has got people nervous about the future of the backcountry?

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longri
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Re: Route-Itis

Post by longri » Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:29 am

Gold at the End of the Rainbow
Mordor I
Mordor II
Blackchuck
Tunechuck
Astride the Silver Divide

More of those darned named routes :-)

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Re: Route-Itis

Post by SSSdave » Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:12 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:05 am
... Fishermen seem to be the only ones willing keep their favorite areas secrets.

Not just fishermen. I have lots of images on my site with only vague location information. My large body of work is a statement that there are vast areas yet to be explored that those making an effort can reap rewards. There are minor numbers of other photographers with the same attitude while large numbers of others don't care and a few will whine about those like me haha. It takes a whole lot of strenuous effort with many dry wells to find a few with water. I welcome others to enjoy the hunt, it makes the game more interesting. The above noted, I expect there are others that just go out to remote rarely visited favorite places to quietly experience those places, especially wildlife enthusiasts, and then don't publicize whatever so it only seems like just fishermen.

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