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When and where was your first Sierra cross country and solo

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When and where was your first Sierra cross country and solo

Postby maverick » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:40 pm

My first cross country jaunt was with some adults over McGee Lakes Pass back in
1970 at the ripe old age of 10.
It was not to bad, but I remember Evolution Creek being much harder at the time, and
it was kind of scary because the water level was high, and moving very fast.
First solo was in Europe, but in the Sierra it was when I came back home in the
early 80's.
It was in 1983 when I got home after being deployed for 2 years in Japan, a trip to
Upper Mills Creek Lake, Lake Italy, down Second Recess, up to Laurel Lake, and
back out Mono Pass.
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Re: When and where was your first Sierra cross country and solo

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:10 pm

I had been solo backpacking and off-trail traveling many years before I ever set foot in the Sierra. So I will answer this question, specific to the Sierra.

My first solo (on trails) was from Carson Pass down to Summit City Creek, with intentions of going on down to the Mokulmne River, but the water was too high to cross Summit City Creek. It was the summer after a very high snow year and there was the debris of a huge avalanche that actually went up the other side of the valley!

My first off-trail route was a climb of Mt Shasta. But if you want to only consider backpacks, my first major off-trail route was a 16-day solo trip from North Lake, over Lamark Col, through Evolution Basin, climb Mt Fisk, around Davis Lake (south side- guidebooks said you can't; but yes you can) to Martha Lake, climb Mt Goddard, into Ionian Basin, Enchanted Gorge-Goddard Creek (as a bivy/day-hike), over Black Giant Pass, down LeConte, into Dusy Basin, over Knapsack Col, Barret Lakes, Climb Mt Sill an out via Thunderbolt Pass-Bishop Pass to South Lake.

Now my first ever solo and off trail experience was 3 yrs old when I hauled my little red wagon to the empty forested lot next to my house and pretended I had a covered wagon.
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Re: When and where was your first Sierra cross country and solo

Postby oldranger » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:31 pm

My first cross country was at the age of 15 with another 15 year old and was a spur of the moment trip to fish Mattie Lake.

My first solo trip wasn't until 18 years later, 1980, a couple of months after I "dropped out" to become a mountain bum. It started sometime around September 10 and concluded either the last day of September or 1st of October. My route was from T. Meadows to Hetch Hetchy and some of the time was on trails but a whole lot was off trail including Doe Lake, Slide Canyon, Rock Island Lake, Otter Lakes, Peninsula Lakes, Fawn Lake, Bear, Big Island, Bearup, and Edyth Lakes. It was truly the trip of a lifetime for me. I lost over 10lbs despite starting off with over 65 lbs. and only a fortuitous resupply saved me from losing a few lbs. more. I have been about halfway finished with a TR since last fall but it remains on the backburner. I'd like to find my slides and get them scanned, too, before I post. Maverick, don't hold your breath on this! ;)

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Re: When and where was your first Sierra cross country and solo

Postby balzaccom » Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:57 am

First solo was before the first cross country. I was 19 or so, spent the summer working in the Sierra and headed out of Yosemite into the North Rim trail. Good adventure.

Cross country? I don't even remember. Seems like I have been doing that since I started, in one way or another...
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Re: When and where was your first Sierra cross country and solo

Postby Jimr » Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:09 am

My first x-country trip was in 1985. It was a trans-sierra trip from Courtwright Reservoir, over Hell-For-Sure pass to Martha Lk, then into Goddard Creek, then to Ionian Basin. Our plan was to go down Enchanted Gorge, but my dumb-@zz hiking buddy twisted his ankle nearly running across talus. He post-holed and the rock that gave way came to rest on his ankle. He was flown out the next day. Ranger Mortgensen was hiking in Ionian Basin on his day off and happened across our predicament within about an hour after it happened. We altered our plan (the remaining three of us) and headed over, what I believe is Solomon Pass (Just west of Mt. Solomon) to hit the JMT, down Leconte Canyon, then up to Dusy Basin and out South Lake.

My first solo trip was the 1986 July 4th weekend. I walked an over-nighter on the ridge route from Cone Pk to an exit point in the Julia Pfeiffer Burns area (looking for bigfoot) I wanted to hike with a view of the Pacific Ocean on my left and the Sierra Nevada on my right. Instead of surf n turf views, I had fog n smog.

My first Sierra solo was a couple of years ago. I went from Sabrina to Hungry Packer Lk, then day hiked up to Wallace-Haeckel col. I wanted to bag Mt. Haeckel, but there were 40 mph winds flying through the uppermost bowl, so I elected to turn back after hitting the col. I'm not much of a peak bagger, so it was no big deal.
What?!
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Re: When and where was your first Sierra cross country and solo

Postby maverick » Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:47 am

OR wrote "I'd like to find my slides and get them scanned, too, before I post.
Maverick, don't hold your breath on this!", just one of Rock Island, and of Doe for
the memories, my photo's of these was of the 1000's that accidentally go discarded.
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Re: When and where was your first Sierra cross country and solo

Postby oldranger » Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:08 pm

Mav,

that is a big order, While not discarded finding is tough!

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Re: When and where was your first Sierra cross country and solo

Postby Troutdog 59 » Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:57 pm

My 1st cross country trip was my first backpack in 1975. It wasnt intended that way. It was supposed to be a 3.5 mile loop on a trail to Jamison Lake and a few others in Plumas NF. When we got there, they had a Bubonic Plauge warning (no joking) at the trailhead. We had a dog so we first opted not to go on the trip and dayhike to some nearby lakes. Shortly thereafter, a crowded campground prompted us to reconsider. A review of the map indiated our original destination was "just over the ridge." There was a trail up the side we approached from, but it went to a lookout. The only way down to the lakes was to drop down the steep slope (kind of a rock glissade) through the brush to the lake below. So began my backpacking. :) :)

I've only ever done one true solo trip, and that was out of FLorence Lk in 1989 and it was mostly cross country. I made my way from Florence on trail to the JMT; then cross country from the JMT to the West Pinnacles drainage; then continued cross country up the W Pinnacles and over into the Bear Creek drainage near Three Island; and then back to Florence via the JMT and Selden Pass. Scared myself pretty good crossing into the Bear Creek drainage when I took a short slider on steep section of the decent. Only ended up with a small raspberry on the one butt cheek, but it shook me up a bit and is likley a big part of why I have never gone truly solo again. Starting to reconsdier such things>

I have started trips and ended trips solo. Once I met my brother in the BC. He did a week long trip and I did 5 days. I hiked solo that 1st day and met up with him at the end of that day. I think that was about 1993. In 1999, my brother did the JMT. I met him at Edison (VVR) as a resupply and hiked south with him for 4 days, before heading out over Hell 4 Sure pass on my own. I was supposed to take 3 days to get out, but I get bored on my own so I hiked out in 2 days.

As noted above, solo packing is starting to have more appeal as I get older, as its harder to find others to hike with (or ones that will put up with me :wink: ) and you only have yourself to consider as far as planning, daily iteneray, etc, but I will admit to liking company on hikes.
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Re: When and where was your first Sierra cross country and solo

Postby oldranger » Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:44 pm

Troutdog,

I know what you mean about finding people that will put up with you. My question though is about what difference another person would have made on the trip where you slid? Did you expect that they would kiss it and make it better? :o

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Re: When and where was your first Sierra cross country and solo

Postby Troutdog 59 » Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:37 pm

:D :lol: :D

Wait,

:moon:

;)
If you stand in the light, you get the feel of the night, and the music that plays in your ear......
In your mind you can hear, a voice so sweet and clear, and the music that plays in your head......
As it flows up from the ground, taking all that hear the sound, close your eyes, it’s about to begin.

R. Trower
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Re: When and where was your first Sierra cross country and solo

Postby quentinc » Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:48 pm

I know we have this other thread going about how absurd it would be to pick the Ionian Basin for your first x-country experience, but because of my obsession with Greek mythology, that is just what I did.

It would have been sometime in my early 30's, but I didn't start backpacking until I was almost 30. It was a day's detour from a North Lake to South Lake trip (going in through Humphrey's Basin -- now I always go over Lamarck Col to reach the Evolution area). I remember trying to get to the top of the little peak just to the west of Wanda Pass and having to turn back. But I got in and out of the Basin just fine.
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Re: When and where was your first Sierra cross country and solo

Postby LMBSGV » Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:52 pm

My cross country travel in the Sierra began on day hikes on trips with my wife. The first was in 1979 when on a return trip to Fletcher Lake we got there in the early afternoon. Looking at the map we saw Townsley Lake and decided to see what it was like. The hike up there was simple and easy. The lake was gorgeous. We spent the rest of the afternoon, seeing no one else, then walked back down to Fletcher where the hordes had assembled at several campsites. We thought about taking down the tent and heading up to Townsley, but decided not to. But that put the idea in our heads that camping a little ways away from the designated routes might be a great idea.

On subsequent trips, at certain places we ventured a quarter mile or so off the trail for campsites when it seemed like a good idea. We also dayhiked a lot off trail. After our son was born, we continued doing this. In 1991, we went to Humphrey’s Basin. The weather was horrible - it was one of those a typhoon off Baja rain patterns. We ended up at Lower Desolation Lake when racing to beat the lightning and first cloudburst. A couple of days later, taking advantage of a break in the weather, we went to Mesa Lake. We were now hooked on finding easy off trail routes. We went to Pioneer Basin, North Fork of the San Joaquin, the off-trail lakes in Dusy Basin.

My first solo trip was in June 1997 when I went to Davis Lake. I say cross country because there was scattered snow above Waugh Lake and deep snow by the JMT junction. I looked for the Davis Lake trail but it was buried under at least a foot of snow. New snow was falling so visibility beyond a couple of hundred yard was non-existent. I got out my compass to reassure myself that was the right way and then headed through the snow and trees to what I figured was Davis Lake. I arrived at the outlet creek of the lake. The snow continued until about 3:00 a.m., then the next day was back to typical clear June weather I saw no one for two days except a lot of wildlife emerging as the ice and snow melted while spring passed into summer. Beginning the next year, I’ve done solo trips with cross-country sections every year. My wife doesn’t like class 2, especially talus. Many of the places I want(ed) to go involve class 2 sections. So I take one trip a year solo to discover the wonders of off-trail travel in the Sierra.
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