Jan 19, 2010 at 11:23 am #1254262
Companion forum thread to:Jan 19, 2010 at 1:15 pm #1564241
@clbowdenLocale: Berkeley Hills
Cubicle fever! Must escape to mountains! Best article ever?!Jan 19, 2010 at 2:28 pm #1564266
@wufpackfnLocale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
I'm doing a trip in the same area this summer. I would love to see your gear list. Also, how did the Bearvault fit in the ULA Ohm pack?
Thanks and great trip report.Jan 19, 2010 at 2:38 pm #1564271
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
Well done gents!Jan 19, 2010 at 3:40 pm #1564295
@don-1-2-2Locale: Koyukuk River, Alaska
Hi Brad –
The bearvault fits into the Ohm reasonably well. It takes up a lot of space, but there's still plenty of space for what I need. I have a 1/4 closed cell foam pad in my Ohm, and that helps to pad my back from the hard canister. I find that if I put the canister relatively high in my pack, it keeps the the small of my back from getting irritated by pressure from the canister.
If you send me a note (firstname.lastname@example.org), I'll be happy to send you my detailed gear list. The simple version of the list is posted in the article.
DonJan 19, 2010 at 3:59 pm #1564301
@creachenLocale: East Bay
Nice stuff and a great read!! That area has alot of hiking potential I was there in early August and I am looking forward to going back again in July or August. EVOLUTION
Mt. HumphreysJan 19, 2010 at 4:15 pm #1564305
@dbthalLocale: Mid-Coast Maine
I really enjoyed the combination of text, photos, and short video clips.
Great trip report.Jan 19, 2010 at 4:25 pm #1564309
@gordontowneLocale: New England
I really enjoy these trip reports that BPL has been highlighting recently. I have to say, this one may be my favorite. The mix of text, pictures and video really helps you get a sense of the trip. Not to mention the fact that it appears to have been an amazing route and experience.Jan 19, 2010 at 5:29 pm #1564333
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
That route goes through some of the finest the Sierra has to offer. Well done, indeed, gentlemen!Jan 19, 2010 at 5:32 pm #1564334
@jdw01776Locale: Southeast Texas
Wow — what an inspiration. Great trip, and great report…Jan 19, 2010 at 5:59 pm #1564343
Definitely inspiring! It's very cool to see that you were able to pack in 3000+ calories per day at a density of 140+ cal/oz like that. Gives me hope that I'll be able to carry more than just a few days' worth of food in one of those canisters.
And, oh man, I want to get out to the Sierras….Jan 19, 2010 at 7:02 pm #1564368
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Outstanding article and trip!!
I really appreciate you sharing the methodology of planning an off trail trip. It is my favorite kind of planning and hiking.
Again, great job gentlemen!Jan 20, 2010 at 3:15 am #1564459
@alanlLocale: Bavarian & Austrian Alps
Sounds like a great trip. I completely agree with your approach. I have a small son at home and no immediate prospect of getting a whole Ten Days for such a thing, but did something similar on a smaller scale for a three day solo trip in the Karwendel Alps last summer.
There's a trail that crosses the main Karwendel range, between two huts, that's generally done as one fairly long day with a possibility of taking in one or two summits along the way. I decided to take two days between the same two huts, sticking more or less to the crest of the ridge the whole way, with a bivouac around the point where the trail crosses. Had two superb days, did seven of the nine summits (bypassed two on the first day that otherwise would have involved climbing and tricky route finding in mist), saw only one other person for the first day and a half (last two summits are the highest in the range and heavily frequented). From the second hut, options are a boring trudge out down the valley on a gravel road, or a very nice trail over a pass in the next ridge. Did the latter.Jan 20, 2010 at 5:11 am #1564465
@jkrew81Locale: White Mtns
very high quality trip report. Thanks guys!Jan 20, 2010 at 8:13 am #1564486
You guys seem to have your planning system dialed, not shocking given your cumulative experience and analytical thinking. Surprised to not see a reference to a Microsoft Excel file, though, in order to help plan the route, logistics, schedule, etc. By far, NG TOPO! and Excel are the two most important programs I use when planning a long trip. Google Maps/Earth is probably third — the landsat images are critical in determining vegetation and in updating the USGS maps if the landscape has changed since the maps were made (often the case in AK, where some of the USGS maps haven't been updated since they were first published in the 50's and 60's, and where glaciers have been receding, flood plains have changed course, and beaches have eroded).
I'm also going to offer a shameless plug here. A good chunk of Don and Alan's route appears to be part of the Sierra High Route. For those interested in this route, I'd recommend you start by picking up Roper's guidebook. I've posted a lot of additional info about the route and my SHR hike on my website, and I also developed a complete mapset using TOPO!.Jan 20, 2010 at 10:46 am #1564524
@idahomtmanLocale: Northern Idaho
Great article. Thanks.
Ionian Basin is one of my favorite (apparently not so) secret spots in the Sierra. A great day hike from Chasm Lake is to drop down the Enchanted Gorge and then climb back up Goddard Creek. No trail, very steep descent down the Gorge, could be lots of snow bridges and then it opens up into spectacular lower Goddard Creek canyon. The climb up Goddard Creek canyon is spectacular with some remote lakes (with trees) and then head back east over a col into Ionian Basin. About 15 trail-less miles with lots of talus, snow, river crossings, stinging nettles. Simply awesome. Just don't linger too long at lower Goddard playing on the smooth granite slides in the creek or you might not get back to camp before dark!Jan 20, 2010 at 11:57 am #1564543
@trebiskyLocale: Southern Arizona
This one gets 5 stars, this is exactly the kind of article I love to read on BPL, thanks!!
I was going to ask: what about the Ursack? Now I know that it (currently) is not an allowed substitute for a canister in the mandatory areas, but not as much of the Sierra is mandatory (don't you love that word) as folks think. And the official wording outside the mandatory area is that "some means must be used to prevent bears from getting your food". They don't make this crystal clear because (IMHO) they would really rather you use a canister everywhere.
After two trips of mine when I hauled a Garcia canister, I took a look at the Sierra Wild Bear site (which has a link to a nice map of canister mandatory areas) and was dismayed to discover that the entirety of both trips were NOT in canister mandatory areas. A study of this map with your trip in mind does indicate that it would be very hard to enter at Kearsarge pass and get out of the canister mandatory area that surrounds that trailhead. Then another smaller zone surrounds the Bishop pass (and Palisade Area). Nonetheless, lots of trips can be planned south of Yosemite that avoid these areas. My last trip was like this, and I used an Ursack and had no troubles, with bears or rangers!Jan 20, 2010 at 12:37 pm #1564551
@ksawchukLocale: Northern California
Thanks for an excellent article. It brings back a lot of memories–fortunately many not older than last year! There is a lot of great and little used XC in the Sierra–you probably didn't see anyone while off trail.
I'd love to know how you got Iridium messages to automatically post. I'll be skiing the JMT this winter and will be bringing my 9555 along. It would be nice to have my posts available for family and friends interested in my progress. As my new little SPOT tracker was recalled I'm not sure if I'll have that as a communication option by the end of March.Jan 20, 2010 at 1:48 pm #1564566
@ukulelebillLocale: Northeast Ohio
Thanks for the great article. You two a definitely an inspiration. I really liked the video clips. I want to start shooting some of my own after watching your clips. What a fantastic trip!!
Ukulele BillJan 20, 2010 at 3:39 pm #1564592
Excellent report!Jan 20, 2010 at 4:56 pm #1564607
@trebiskyLocale: Southern Arizona
Reading this article for the second time. It confirms my new philosophy of ultralight packing. The whole point is to be out there and on the move (however, at this point I only get up before dawn when there is a peak to be climbed). I used to carry a lot of the stuff I used to carry for "comfort in camp", or something like that which was never clearly articulated. Now I avoid carrying stuff to achieve "comfort on the trail" and am so much more happy! Nothing like traveling light and covering ground.
As for the article, I would be interested to see mileage per day as food for thought (but given 120 miles and 10 days the math to figure the average ain't all that hard. Also, it would seem that less than half of the days were "off the trail". This is fine, I like the mix.Jan 20, 2010 at 5:07 pm #1564611
@don-1-2-2Locale: Koyukuk River, Alaska
Hey everyone –
Thanks for all the feedback. Some responses and comments below:
Andy is correct that MS Excel is definitely part of our planning toolset. The tools we mentioned here were probably more focused on route selection and planning, which is only part of overall trip planning. We use Excel for gear lists, food calculations, and mileage estimates. As mentioned in the article, we took our daily food weight down below what we use on most trips, and we tried to get our calories per ounce as high as we reasonably could. It worked out pretty well. I normally carry a lot of food – I have the metabolism of a hummingbird, and I don't like being hungry. But it worked out well, and I'd be more comfortable on future trips with lower food weight. That's one of the benefits of an experiment like this – you learn and fold it back into your next trips.
Andy is also correct that a good chunk of our trip followed the SHR. I have a copy of Andy's SHR mapset, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone doing all or part of the SHR. He does a fantastic job of putting alot of info into his maps and other material.
I don't think we mentioned it in the article, but this was also the first trip that Alan and I had done together. We've known each other for years thru BPL, but had only met face to face on one occasion prior to this trip. That's a nice little side benefit of working with BPL, or being a member of the community here – lots of great folks you can connect with.
Kevin – Alan should be able to comment about the details of the auto updates from his sat phone. That process worked nicely and was enjoyed by our families at home.
We had fun doing the videos, but we also learned a few things. We didn't take enough candid shots, which would have blended nicely with the little vignettes we did. All of the video sessions were spontaneous – just us talking off the cuff. There were some nice outtakes and bloopers :-) Also, on several occasions I got too close to the camera and you can hear some heavy breathing. Sorry about that. In the future, we would use a small tripod more often. Taking field video is so easy these days and we plan to do a lot more in the future. All of the video in the article was shot on my Canon SD960IS. It does a pretty good job for a little point and shoot. It's amazing how fast video cameras are advancing. Here's a pic of the 960.Jan 20, 2010 at 5:08 pm #1564612
>I'd love to know how you got Iridium messages to automatically post. I'll be skiing the JMT this winter and will be bringing my 9555 along.
First, it helps to have a son who is PhD student in computer science.
Second, it involves using a surrogate email address to send SMS messages to, WordPress, and a WordPress utility, "postie," that pops email from the surrogate address and imports it into the WordPress Blog. We can even convert a 6 digit UTM location shorthand (embedded in the email) into a Google Map location like SPOT does.
There is also an option to post voice mail "blogs" from the Iridium phone as well. Although this is not via WordPress.
Contact me on my BPL address if you need more details…
-AJan 20, 2010 at 5:18 pm #1564614
>We had fun doing the videos, but we also learned a few things. We didn't take enough candid shots, which would have blended nicely with the little vignettes we did. All of the video sessions were spontaneous – just us talking off the cuff. There were some nice outtakes and bloopers :-) Also, on several occasions I got too close to the camera and you can hear some heavy breathing. Sorry about that. In the future, we would use a small tripod more often…
I would also add that in addition to a light tripod to avoid the shakes, I would definitely take a video camera that has the option to attach an external microphone. An external mic that was closer to the speaker (or sound source) and that had a windscreen on it would make enormous improvements in sound quality. By far the greatest culprit for creating outtakes was poor sound quality and ever-present wind noise–not camera shake or image quality. -AJan 20, 2010 at 5:24 pm #1564617
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
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