TR: Great Western Divide ~ July 2014. | High Sierra Topix  

TR: Great Western Divide ~ July 2014.

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Re: TR: Great Western Divide ~ July 2014.

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Nov 06, 2014 5:47 pm

I guess from an outsider-looking-in, it amazes me you would skimp on food, and then have 9 pounds of "old school" camera gear, on the type of trip you and Rogue were doing. I guess we all have our "sacred cows" we just are not willing to skimp on! For my husband it is his 5 pounds of fishing gear. At least you can catch dinner with some of that gear. In 2012 I started my 14-day trips in the Wind Rivers with 42 pounds on my back. I skimped on food but took fly fishing gear (total of 11 oz) and knew I could easily catch dinner if needed. One "sacred cow" in the Wind Rivers is wading shoes - 10-oz crocks. There, you end up wading creeks many times each day and the luxury of dry shoes at night are worth it to me.

My main problem with the 40-45 pound range, is that it is too heavy for my GoLite Quest, so I really suffer until I get rid of about 5 pounds. Yet, if I use my Kelty load hauler, I am carrying so much extra weight I do not need later in the trip.

A heavier pack never stopped me from hard off-trail travel, but a lighter pack sure makes it more fun!



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Re: TR: Great Western Divide ~ July 2014.

Postby Bluewater » Sat Nov 08, 2014 2:25 pm

Thanks for your feedback! I used the 'super vivid' mode on a Canon S95 a lot on that trip. It automatically super saturates the photos and instead of editing them I just posted as-is. It's sometimes over the top (understatement).

Sekihiker, I used the information from your Mt Brewer Loop tr as an outline for a follow up trip later in the summer. I went back and finished the north end of the GWD, although t-storms kept me off Mt Brewer. I got to within 100+- feet from the top via the north chute.

WD I agree about the realistic cross country daily mileage. I'm ok doing the long trail days (w/ a light pack) to access the 'good stuff', but those long boulder fields can be demoralizing:) I max out at around 1 mph and can really only comfortably go for 6-7 hours in a day.

Alpinemike I can't imagine how hard it was sliding on granite boulders descending into the Enchanted Gorge with a heavy pack. Adding 9 lbs of camera gear and another 7.5 lbs of food (1.5 lbs/day @ 5 days) would have had my pack at over 40 lbs on day 1. I've trained with a 40 lb pack and it was hard. You guys are hardcore. Still, I would gladly carry a little more to beable to go out for 30 days at a time.


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Re: TR: Great Western Divide ~ July 2014.

Postby alpinemike » Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:44 pm

I definitely wish I could carry less camera gear but I'm a photographer and that's what gives me the shots that I love. I will say that next year I will have a slightly lower base weight so that will help overall. And Bluewater I definitely learned through Rogue that when you're out there for over a month at a time like I was this summer adding in a few luxuries makes all the difference in the world. There are few things worse than wishing you had brought that extra piece of gear (that honestly weighs very little in the grand scheme of things) in the middle of a 14 day section. I learned my lesson this year in that I'll be carrying a real tent with a vestibule next summer. I spent far too many cramped nights and evenings cooking my food outside the tent while a storm was bearing down on us. Granted this was the epic summer of rain, rain and then some more (We totaled something like 22 in a 35 day period)! But it only takes 1 or 2 times in a 2 week period for it to get really old to try and cook dinner half inside and half outside your tent. Rogue brings an entire collapsable bucket to do laundry, which honestly after being out there for that long I can completely see the merit in. And yeah sliding down the Enchanted Gorge was absolutely horrendous... It's safe to say I'll never be back there (certainly not with a full pack). I think the trip's crux though was a Class 5 crack with full pack to get out of that lake on the Ragged Spur. And to that I can very safely say I will never come back to!
Never put off a backpacking trip for tomorrow, if you can do it today...
Alpine Mike-

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Re: TR: Great Western Divide ~ July 2014.

Postby Bluewater » Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:07 pm

After seeing some of your photos it looks like the few extra pounds of camera gear is worth every ounce aplinemike! I dream about taking a month+ off and hitting the backcountry but right now 10 days is my max. I'm sure after a few weeks a good tent and ability to do some laundry would make a real difference. After finishing the JMT I could hardly stand to wear any of my clothes. That was after just 10 days.

I had an experience in the snow last year with a small group that made me consider a larger winter shelter. I brought a MLD Solomid, which provided enough shelter for one and I stayed warm and dry. . . but my buddies were sharing a Supermid and had breakfast in bed. There just wasn't enough room in the Solomid to cook. I see solo hikers cooking in a Duomid, so that might be a good option.
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