august/september high route trip

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Post by hikerduane » Sun Feb 26, 2006 7:29 pm

HSR or SHR? Although I don't know that much about the High Sierra Route. If you are talking about the SHR (Sierra High Route), it can be hiked averaging 10 miles a day if you can do the mileage that Steve Armstrong and his son Aaron did on their trips. I don't know if I would want to or could do that kind of mileage off trail and over all those passes. Check out Steve's trips on

Piece of cake.

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Post by copeg » Sun Feb 26, 2006 7:36 pm

markskor wrote:There is a point - especially on long treks (10 days and above) - where the weight of the alcohol needed exceeds that of white gas needed - especially if travelling with a larger group (3 or more). Figuring in Trailblaizer's thoughts - "little extra" alcohol to make sure" this point, the weight of the pepsi stove and fuel far exceeds that of the white gas model and fuel. Add to this the extra time needed to boil water - (longer with an alcohol model than a white gas stove) - maybe the need to melt snow - and the need for instantanious gratification...(I am cold and I want to eat now!). Then figure in that some like to eat trout... (to cook them, a hot stove is necessary) the fact that it is a lot easier to beg or borrow white gas from strangers...(not too many carry alcohol stoves up high)...thus, I stand by my first thoughts of bagging the pepsi stove on higher and longer SHR trips.
Maybe for short- solo hikes this point may change but...
interesting discussion though.
I agree with many of your points - carrying an alcohol stove is pretty much a matter of preference. It takes longer to boil, you'd be waiting all day to melt snow, its harder to cook fish, etc...Personally, I prefer one for 3 season because these things don't bother me (but opt for the white gas in winter). FWIW here is an analysis of stove weight versus time (14 days, there's another that does 28 days)
Granted, I don't think this was done at high altitude and large groups, but even so...

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Post by jpeters » Mon Feb 27, 2006 10:54 am

thanks for all the input folks, one more quick question, i'm planning on taking a sleeping bag rated at 5-20 degrees F in addition to a tent. is this overkill (temp wise) can i get away with a lighter bag or should i play it safe? i'm trying to cut as much weight as possible. right now i have my base pack weight calculated around 9.5 pounds.

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Post by StumbleBum » Mon Feb 27, 2006 5:02 pm

It's not unusual for night-time temps to drop a little below freezing... especially at 10-11K ft. If you are prepared for that, you should be fine... anything more than that may be overkill.

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Post by sierra cyd » Mon Mar 06, 2006 7:38 pm

I thru-hiked Roper's Sierra High Route in summer 2004 and took 6 weeks (by choice - the idea was to spend as much time as possible out there relaxing peak bagging, fishing, 1-2 days off per segment, etc), so I'm quite familiar with the route and it is fantastic. For the record, I don't quite understand what the point is of speed hiking it. But that's me. With that in mind, I'd recommend, with 12 days, doing only two segments. The days would still be plenty long, with some time to enjoy the scenery along the way or in the late afternoons at camp.

But if that's what you really want to do, I would generally agree with most people's comments about the mileage- you probably shouldn't plan on an average of more than about 10 miles per day while off-trail. You can make up some time on the on-trail portions, and some off-trail days will be easier than others. Off trail, route navigation takes a bit of time, and there are a number of talus slogs and ridges and valleys which need to be very carefully crossed to avoid injury. We moved pretty quickly through the talus slopes especially towards the end of the trip, but the pace still probably doesn't compare to what you'd be able to do on-trail. I even had to backtrack a little here and there.

I can't help much with the transportation on either end because we arranged rides with friends/family. Ditto on the alcohol stove, never used one.

We do most of our backpacking in the Sierra in late August/early September, and often you have a thunderstorm pattern at that time of year, so you should plan for rain, which may be freezing or hail (even snow) and temps below freezing at night. Strong winds are possible too. Normally you get breaks of a couple days between rain storms to dry out, but this isn't always true. The sleeping bag depends on your personal sleeping temperature, but definitely assume temps will drop below 32.

I also agree with what giantbrookie says about the relief, but also would like to mention that you won't have much time to acclimate. The trailhead starts quite low, relative to the rest of the route, so even if you spend the night down there, you'll be feeling it by the time you get to Grouse Lake.

If you haven't already, definitely look up Steve Armstrong on the forum. He loves to talk about it, and his son has done it twice now, I think.

Enjoy your trip!

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