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95 Days in the Sierra

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Re: 95 Days in the Sierra

Postby sashe » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:36 am

Great trip report!



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Re: 95 Days in the Sierra

Postby Cross Country » Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:09 pm

I never liked "death" marches. Both of my sons liked them. You seem to like them also. While hiking with your Dad I believe you should either alter your hiking days with him or don't take him. I had hiking days where I (we) made half the distance I could have made but no one ever felt sufficiently pressured to fall and get hurt. I admire what you do alone but not what you do with your Dad. How lucky you are to have a Dad willing to do something with you that you love and is so unusual (backpacking). I would have given my right n_ _ for that with my Dad. Luckily I had that with my son (s).
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Re: 95 Days in the Sierra

Postby Pulpit » Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:51 am

Rogue - Nice trip report so far. I was milling around your flickr page and I saw you stayed at the same campsite at Echo Lake I had stayed at back in '08..........great spot!
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Re: 95 Days in the Sierra

Postby RoguePhotonic » Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:00 pm

Yeah that was a nice place. It was very stormy though! Rough week for sure. One day I will get to that part in the report.
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Re: 95 Days in the Sierra

Postby whrdafamI? » Sat Nov 19, 2011 9:10 pm

Backpacking with a guy you hate? That just doesn't make much sense. Highly illogical behavior. But when they have money and then they bring it to you that makes it alright?
Better to have it and not need it than it is to need it and not have it!

Get busy living or get busy dying.
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Re: 95 Days in the Sierra

Postby SSSdave » Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:30 am

Started reading this weeks ago when first posted, but quickly found issue with what I was reading, didn't have time, and instead decided to abort and spend some time later after others had made inputs.

RP >>> "A common theme in a number of activities in my life I have simply "learned by doing". The notion of engaging in dangerous activities without proper training or experience is of course foolish at best but I was determined to overcome the challenges I was planning and in this case I did not feel I was lacking the experience necessary to do my hike safely...
While planning and getting suggestions from a number of sources I received large amounts of criticism being called reckless, irrational, crazy, selfish and many more things all revolving a general atmosphere of resentment. "

Recalling earlier threads on this board I wonder how much of your attitude is due to a resistance to considering advice of others when that is critical and differs from your own ideas. Resistance most of us have to some extent which is healthy though maybe more so for you. On public web boards what we post is sometimes misunderstood, taken out of context, narrowly considered, regardless of how well one might present their position. Part of reducing such is to craft one's inputs carefully so narrow minds, especially those with attitudes, cannot easily run off in false directions.

Unfortunately there are numbers of people whose daily communication contantly drips with emotion regardless of the subject under discussion. Their ingrained behavior is such that they can't relate much of anything without emotions coming out. Common with juveniles growing up though most grow out of that. For instance casually discussing within a group something like whether one ought ever wear an orange shirt to work should not be something others ought to get emotional about beyond a smile and some good natured joking. However an overly emotional person may become angry at others that simply disagree with them about that trivial issue. One often sees that behavior between two married people that are constantly emotionally nagging and complaining at each other. A wise approach is not to respond in kind as such people expect but rather in ways that calm and inhibit further responses.

RP >>>" I always wore long sleeve shirts and pants in the Sierra to protect from the sun and mosquitoes."

Wise indeed.

RP >>>"Since I had planned to be at the trail head I had brought a can of stew to eat for breakfast and instead I had packed it in and I did not wish to pack this large tin can for the next three days so where the large egg crate lay in this camp site I stuck the can there in the hopes that all these pack trains out here would not only take out that crate but the can as well."

As a young man, learn from that dilemna to plan adequately so as to not to put yourself in that position again.

RP >>>"At this point it had been raining for nearly 2 hours and I was soaked and ready to stop...
While this happened the clouds suddenly opened up and began a total down pour on me. As I made my way up the hill out of Rifle Creek the storm became a complete deluge! Hail pounded me, lightning cracked over head and as I reached a small ridge all I could see of the surrounding mountains was silhouettes from the rain falling. The wind roared over the ridge I was on pounding me like a hurricane! I was excited beyond belief. I shouted out loud wildly and laughed like a crazy man at this rage nature thrashed upon me. I did not have on my rain coat and was completely drenched but couldn't have been happier...
It did not take long before what had been a fun storm became miserable. The rain was still coming down hard and showed no signs of letting up. I was soaked and the wind was blowing an icy chill now that I was not hiking to stay warm...
While unpacking I learned the hard way that my pack was not water proof at all. My sleeping bag on top had many wet patches, most of my clothes were soaked and my wallet with all my money since it had been at the very bottom of my pack."

The above shows inexperience with the broad range of Sierra thunderstorms possible. An experienced backpacker paying attention to the atmosphere can almost always readily avoid being caught in such situations by making conservative choices well before a storm is imminent. Waiting until rain starts may already be too late. Being cold and wet especially while solo when that includes one gear is more than simply uncomfortable, it may be a genuinely dangerous situation. Regardless of how supposedly weatherproof a pack is, it is wise to carry a waterproof pack cover on extended trips. You state you learn from experience. Will read then may comment on more later and see if that was so.
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Re: 95 Days in the Sierra

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sun Nov 20, 2011 2:23 pm

Backpacking with a guy you hate? That just doesn't make much sense. Highly illogical behavior. But when they have money and then they bring it to you that makes it alright?


Lol very true. I am just too nice and I let him go because if I don't he will not go hiking at all the whole season. He didn't bring me money on the week he came. That was my uncle. I work for him in construction and he still owed me 1100 dollars when I left for my hike so he brought it to me on the same day that David came up.

Later in my hike around day 80 I was running out of money but I had checks at home so since David was wanting to once again get out and do a short hike and again I am too nice I let him come and bring me the money I needed (my money). I could have had someone else bring it but I let him. Of course he borrowed 260 dollars of the money he brought which I have yet to get back but that part of the trip will come much later.

Recalling earlier threads on this board I wonder how much of your attitude is due to a resistance to considering advice of others when that is critical and differs from your own ideas. Resistance most of us have to some extent which is healthy though maybe more so for you. On public web boards what we post is sometimes misunderstood, taken out of context, narrowly considered, regardless of how well one might present their position. Part of reducing such is to craft one's inputs carefully so narrow minds, especially those with attitudes, cannot easily run off in false directions


This is true but we have to remember that people resisted giving information I wanted for the alternative of simply saying "don't do it". My attitude of course was I am going to go and do it either way so I was just asking for the best information to help me along the way. An example of this was when I was planning a month long cross country hike across Death Valley National Park I was on forums seeking information about springs. I would see a spring on the map that I wanted first hand information on what I could expect if anything from that water source. In response many people just bashed me and said things like "if you had gone there in person you would know what it is like". My response is what kind of crap is that? Why would I be planning to hike through all these areas if I had already been there? That's why I am asking others.

The above shows inexperience with the broad range of Sierra thunderstorms possible. An experienced backpacker paying attention to the atmosphere can almost always readily avoid being caught in such situations by making conservative choices well before a storm is imminent. Waiting until rain starts may already be too late. Being cold and wet especially while solo when that includes one gear is more than simply uncomfortable, it may be a genuinely dangerous situation. Regardless of how supposedly weatherproof a pack is, it is wise to carry a waterproof pack cover on extended trips. You state you learn from experience. Will read then may comment on more later and see if that was so


I do agree completely this time in saying inexperience. I had become spoiled by Sierra weather the last few years and as a result had not even considered the idea of my pack getting soaked. I had some where around 17 days of rain on this trip when last year I had 4. Carrying a trash bag to put my gear in is now standard issue gear for my long trips. A pack cover is nice but it wont stop rain from running down your back and into your pack.

As for knowing the storm is coming I was well aware of that and am pretty good at predicting it days in advance but rain is simply a fact of life when hiking. It's true that generally I shouldn't let myself get soaked like I do although I almost always enjoy it.

All I have learned is one reason I am pretty set on going out again next year. After 3 years of doing this I have got everything so dialed in that I know I can do so many things better next year.

Two pieces of gear I learned would be essential are the trash bag of course and micro spikes. Not once any where did I do any post holing. Even in mid September this year all the snow fields I crossed were completely hard packed. When I crossed Red Peak Pass it was almost exactly one month later then it had been the year before and not only was there more snow this time but the year before I was post holing thigh deep. This time it was completely hard packed. More times then I care to remember I was on steep hard packed slopes where one slip meant sliding into the lake in water so deep you would be swimming. On Darwin Bench I slipped and fell and slid right down to the shore line. So as I said micro spikes will be standard gear now also.
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Re: 95 Days in the Sierra

Postby Jimr » Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:32 pm

Soaked and freezing and all you came up with was bring a trash bag? How about a poncho and pack cover? Standard equipment in my book.
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Re: 95 Days in the Sierra

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:50 pm

I do agree completely this time in saying inexperience. I had become spoiled by Sierra weather the last few years and as a result had not even considered the idea of my pack getting soaked. I had some where around 17 days of rain on this trip when last year I had 4. Carrying a trash bag to put my gear in is now standard issue gear for my long trips. A pack cover is nice but it wont ,stop rain from running down your back and into your pack.

I like your attitude, and your enjoyment of storms reminds me a bit of John Muir. As for inexperience, there always seems to be something else to learn. Some of the best lessons are the hard won ones.
I do think a pack-cover would help (and it comes in handy as a dry place to unpack gear into). I have a Mont Bel gortex single layer jacket (and pants) that has a hood, so between the jacket and cover, it does the job. Some pack covers have a built-in hood, so you might look into that. Unless you have some rain-pants to go with it, a poncho is not so good. I found out in the Army that a poncho just funnels all the rain into you pants and boots.
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Re: 95 Days in the Sierra

Postby RoguePhotonic » Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:43 pm

I wasn't soaked because I didn't have rain gear but because I just didn't care. I have a 500 dollar rain shell I bring with me but more often then not when it starts to rain I just say the hell with it and enjoy a nice shower. I also had rain pants for that first storm as my standard pairs of pants were both water proof but of course I had to switch them out. The last two years I packed my rain pants for a month and never used them so I stopped bringing them.

I'd still prefer all my gear in a trash bag in my pack then a pack cover. It will make sure my gear stays dry and if I am bush whacking I don't have to worry about the cover ripping off.
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