Jul 6, 2011 at 8:31 pm #1276392
Backpack JackBPL Member
@jumpbackjackLocale: Armpit of California
Me and Ken Helwig are putting together a hike for Labor Day weekend. The start date will be Sat. Sept. 3rd and continue threw Thurs. the 8th. The hike is not set in stone as far as the complete route. The plan is to start at Onion Valley, my only criteria for the hike that I metioned to ken was, I wanted to do Forrester Pass, and try to exit on the same side of the Sierra ( East side). Here's what Ken has proposed so far and we're looking for anyone that want's to come with us, up to a total of 6 hikers on the permit, so we need 4 more people.
Ok so there are two different options that we can do on this trip.
First option was what I had stated earlier with the group going over Kearsarge, to Forester and out via Shepards Pass
This trip would be 3-4 days and as many nights and would involve a shuttle
Second option would be to go over Kearsarge and then take the Center Basin Trail and over Junction Pass. This was the JMT until they built the trail over Forester. After Junction Pass we head to Tyndall Crk and then over Forester Pass. After that we take Kearsarge Pass and out. This trip would have the feel of some cross country as the Center Basin trail is unmaintained after the lakes in the basin. This would take 4 nights and 5 days.
Any input is welcome, and we need to do this as quick as possible so we can secure a permit. Thanks, JackJul 6, 2011 at 9:02 pm #1756671
Backpack JackBPL Member
@jumpbackjackLocale: Armpit of California
After talking more with Ken, we decided on the 2nd option for the hike.Jul 6, 2011 at 10:19 pm #1756695
I assume that you expect each member to be completely self-sufficient for gear and food. You and Ken would play the role of expert navigators, right? It also sounds like we would enter and exit at Onion Valley, so no car shuttle required.
In order to keep everybody paced together, it would be ideal if everybody had roughly similar loads, like plus or minus 25%. What kind of loads are you shooting for? I ask, because I typically have much heavier camera gear along.
What do we need to do to sign up?
–B.G.–Jul 7, 2011 at 12:07 am #1756716
@attaboybradLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Same questions as Bob. I may well be interested.Jul 7, 2011 at 10:30 am #1756829
USA Duane HallBPL Member
@hikerduaneLocale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
I'm doing a larger circuit than you in early August, for 8 days if I can, no permit yet, I'll do the walk-in option. So I need to study my maps for that area and maybe Horseshoe Meadow as a backup plan. I've been to Vidette Meadow a few years ago when I did the Rae Lakes Loop, but in over Kearsarge Pass, clockwise. Have fun.Jul 7, 2011 at 5:08 pm #1756973
Bob, yes everyone is self sufficient on the hike. My typical weight for a trip like this is around 25 lbs skin out. Jack and I are not the fastest hikers on this planet so the pace will likely be slow to moderate pace. Sign up? Just say that you want to go and we all will work out the details.
Expert navigators?? Nawww I am sufficient enough to get to where I need to go. The route finding on this trip looks like it is quite straightforward. Especially going through Center Basin and up towards Junction Pass. Their should be remnants of a trail going up to the pass. On the southern side we need to find our way to The Pothole, just east of Shepherds Pass, then the rest is straightforward.
The itenerary is like this:
Day 1 Onion Valley trailhead to Vidette Meadows
Day 2 Vidette Meadows to someplace in Center Basin
Day 3 Center Basin to Tyndall Crk. crossing via Junction Pass, and Shepherds Pass
Day 4 Tyndall Creek to Vidette Meadows via Forester Pass
Day 5 Vidette Meadows to Onion Valley and home!
Bradley, speaking for myself, you are welcome to join us. We are a fun bunch to hike with!Jul 7, 2011 at 5:29 pm #1756980
"We are a fun bunch to hike with!"
I'll enthusiastically second that!Jul 7, 2011 at 5:34 pm #1756984
"Just say that you want to go and we all will work out the details."
The itinerary looks reasonable. I want to go.
The mileage is very modest. I better get my long hard trails out of the way earlier in the summer. I studied the map around Center Basin to Tyndall Creek, and the precise route down to the Pothole and then back up is not obvious. Plus Tyndall Creek is a very large area.
I think the Onion Valley campground had some early season problem with excess snow. It would be nice if we had something organized for the night that we arrive, before we start, but that is not required. We want to sleep high that night to minimize problems going over the pass.
–B.G.–Jul 7, 2011 at 5:35 pm #1756985
Mr. Ide, me thinks you should come along!Jul 7, 2011 at 5:49 pm #1756990
I surely wish I could Mr. Ken!Jul 7, 2011 at 5:55 pm #1756994
Bob, yes staying a night at Onion Valley is a must. I still believe that the route finding through Center Basin though should be straight forward as long as we stay on the west side of the basin and attain the headwall. As for the south to south east part of the pass heading down to The Pothole will be more of an issue, but I feel it does not pose too much of a problem though. Yes the mileage is modest, and to be honest can be changed. Onion Valley to Center Basin is doable and I am alright with doing that the first day.
Day 1 Onion Valley to Center Basin 12-13 miles camp at Golden Bear Lake
Day 2 Golden Bear Lake, over Junction Pass, over Shepherds Pass and camp at Tyndall Creek crossing (JMT) 7-11 miles. I cannot figure out cross counry mileage
Day 3….options??? either have a zero day to explore or hike over Forester Pass to Vidette Meadows. 11.5 miles
Day 4 Vidette Meadows to Onion Valley via Kearsarge Pass and drive home 8.4 hiking miles
Once this trip is finalized I will look at getting a campgroundJul 7, 2011 at 6:05 pm #1757001
Katharina LångstrumpBPL Member
@kat_pLocale: Pacific Coast
I am taking a week off work mid August for a trip, so I probably won't be able to take off again, so soon after. Sounds like a great trip, though.
I don't know about Jack being slow though….last year at Rae Lakes he got faster every day and there was no stopping him. : )Jul 7, 2011 at 6:07 pm #1757002
if we were to have a zero day, it would be fantastic to do some exploring. I have never been to Bighorn Plateau or Lake South America. Just seeing the Great Western Divide and glimpses of The Kern-Kaweah Divide would be AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!Jul 7, 2011 at 6:09 pm #1757003
Awe Kat, I was talking to Jack today and was asking if he had talked to you! I was supposed to pm you tonight. Beat me to the punch. Too bad you cannot come, this trip sounds very fun!Jul 7, 2011 at 6:10 pm #1757004
Bummer Doug! I know that it is a long way for you to go! Hope you can make the 2012 Northern CA BPL trip though. Next year will be even more fun!!Jul 7, 2011 at 6:16 pm #1757007
@ahemphillLocale: Bay Area
I'm interested (despite being somewhat of a newbie).Jul 7, 2011 at 6:20 pm #1757009
No worries Adam! I will be speaking to Jack later and I am sure you can come along. Welcome aboard! The nice thing about hiking with others is that you learn something. We all started out as newbies. We'd love to have you come along.Jul 7, 2011 at 6:28 pm #1757014
"Just seeing the Great Western Divide and glimpses of The Kern-Kaweah Divide would be AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Can't you see those places in Google Earth?
–B.G.–Jul 7, 2011 at 6:29 pm #1757015
@ahemphillLocale: Bay Area
Thanks Ken. I will certainly be interested to find out what one would pack for a trip like this — clothing in particular. I've got most of the gear covered (though I'm just beginning to experiment with shelters).Jul 7, 2011 at 6:33 pm #1757016
You would want to prepare for one day of rain, and one or two cold mornings that dip below freezing. The rest of it will be excess sun. The high mountain passes tend to be very breezy.
–B.G.–Jul 7, 2011 at 6:38 pm #1757020
Bob…..IN PERSON is better than looking at a computer!!!!!! I love big mountains and I can just stare at them all day long….seriously!Jul 7, 2011 at 6:38 pm #1757021
Adam, I sent you a pm. If you have clothing questions please ask awayJul 7, 2011 at 6:42 pm #1757022
and for route finding….I always feel it is a group effort. Everybody has different levels of skill and by having everyone chime in, takes it off someone else's shouldersJul 7, 2011 at 7:25 pm #1757044
"Day 2 Golden Bear Lake, over Junction Pass, over Shepherds Pass and camp at Tyndall Creek crossing (JMT) 7-11 miles. I cannot figure out cross counry mileage"
Tyndall Creek is all over the place, and the JMT crosses it once directly south of Forester Pass, and another at least five miles south of there. So, your camp is not obvious to me.
I use the National Geographic TOPO! program to plot the route and calculate mileage, and it will be within 5-10% accurate, even off trail. The issue is that the walking pace is much slower when off trail. Get on a big talus slope, and the pace is reduced to a crawl. That doesn't make it bad. It's just different.
–B.G.–Jul 7, 2011 at 7:30 pm #1757047
Yes and I agree on the off trail travel. It will slow down to a crawl. I am just making an estimate as to the mileage. That day could and should be the longest of the trip. No worries as we have many hours of hiking. I am referring to where the Shepherds pass trail and the JMT connect. There is a ranger station there
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