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Sierra High Route – From Road’s End to Twin Lakes in 17 Days


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Home Forums Campfire Member Trip Reports Sierra High Route – From Road’s End to Twin Lakes in 17 Days

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  • #3670821
    Manfred
    BPL Member

    @orienteering

    Eight years ago I titled my SHR trip report Sierra High Route – The Trip of a Lifetime. Someone commented back then “Whilst it may be the trip of a lifetime, I have a feeling many trips of a lifetime are in your future.” How right he was!

    While backpacking the John Muir Trail with my girlfriend last year, I would from time to time point at passes along the wayside and speak in glowing terms about the basins one would find on the other side when hiking the Sierra High Route. My girlfriend’s interest got eventually piqued and we decided to backpack the Sierra High Route this summer with 50% more time than Andrew and I took eight years ago so we can swim and fish whenever we like.

    As the saying goes “A picture is worth a thousand words”. While I couldn’t describe the beauty, we experienced, in a thousand words, our photos give you a little glimpse into what it is like out there. Go and experience it for yourself if you have the chance – it is amazing!

     

    Day 1: Road’s End to Lower Tent Meadow

    On our way to Kings Canyon National Park

    Kings Canyon National Park Sign

    we stopped briefly at the General Grant Grove to admire the giant sequoias.

    General Grant Grove

    My daughter Hannah, who has been for many years a faithful companion on backpacking trips was driving us and we stopped briefly to take a photo together overlooking the confluence of the South and Middle Fork of the Kings River.

    Confluence of South and Middle Fork of Kings River

    Once Hannah dropped us at the Copper Creek trailhead, Gela and I climbed the first 2,300 ft to Lower Tent Meadow for our first of many nights sleeping under the stars

    Lower Tent Meadow

     

    Day 2: Lower Tent Meadow to Lower State Lake

    While climbing up another 2,800 ft we said ‘good bye’ to Kings Canyon and the Grand Sentinel.

    Kings Canyou with Grand Sentinel

    Grouse Lake makes for a fantastic first stop on the Sierra High Route. This time around its dep blue color wasn’t shining through like it did last time.

    Grouse Lake

    We took a little swim and continued over Grouse Lake Pass and Goat Crest Saddle to Glacier Lakes.

    Glacier Lake

    Gong through Glacier Valley

    Glacier Valley

    we arrived at Upper State Lake for the night.

    Lower State Lake

    Day 3: Upper State Lake to Marion Lake

    The day before I had provided fresh trout for our lunch. Gela took her turn today and caught fresh trout for us. We would continue to do that through our complete trip.

    Gela provides fresh trout for lunch

    We swam at the Horseshoe Lake

    Horseshoe Lake

    before going over Windy Ridge and Gray Pass to Cartridge Creek from where we climbed

    Cartridge Creek

    over White Pass and Red Pass before descending to Marion Lake for the night.

    Marion Lake

    Day 4: Marion Lake to Lower Palisade Lake

    From Marion Lake we walked through the beautiful Lake Basin that always screams at me to come back and fish every single lake. One day …

    Lake Basin 1

    Passing several lakes without fishing,

    Lake Basin 2

    brought us closer to Frozen Lake Pass. This would be our first time of going through extensive talus

    To Frozen Lake Pass

    Standing on top Gela couldn’t believe that we went up here.

    Frozen Lake Pass

    Once she started descending on the other side, Gela was asking herself whether this trip is really for her. At 5’2” she had a hard time with the talus.

    Going down Frozen Lake Pass

    We descended safely down to the Upper Basin

    Upper Basin

    where we found this interesting rock … and life was good again 😊

    Heart Rock

    Looking back at Frozen Lake Pass

    Look back at Frozen Lake Pass

    we hiked quickly on the JMT up to Mather Pass for a well-deserved break

    Mather Pass

    before going down to the Palisade Lakes.

    Palisade Lakes

    Day 5: Lower Palisade Lake to LeConte Canyon

    Climbing up to Cirque Pass was a pleasure – especially with the fantastic views back to Lower Palisade Lake.

    Lower Palisade Lake

    Going down into Cirque Basin

    Descending from Cirque Pass

    we passed its lake on

    Lake in Cirque Basin

    our way to Potluck Pass with its gorgeous views

    View from Potluck Pass

    Going through Palisade Basin

    Palisade Basin

    we reached Knapsack Pass soon and enjoyed the view of Dusy Basin from there.

    Dusy Basin from Knapsack Pass

    Once we reached the Dusy Branch it was down, down, down from there on the Bishop Pass Trail to LeConte Canyon while having a constant view of Langille Peak.

    Langille Peak

    Day 6: LeConte Canyon to Darwin Canyon

    Any hike through LeConte Canyon

    LeConte Canyon

    has to include a visit to the Rock Monster. As you can see it lost its teeth and eyes over the last couple of years, but it is still extremely hard to escape it 😊

    Rock Monster

    Passing Helen Lake

    Helen Lake

    we were already thinking of Muir Pass with Muir Hut

    Muir Hut on Muir Pass

    and the view down to Lake McDermand and Wanda Lake.

    Lake McDermand and Wanda Lake

    This was familiar terrain as we had backpacked the John Muir Trail last summer. It was still interesting to see everything coming from the opposite direction. We would notice things that we had missed going the other way.

    Our  break at Sapphire Lake was relaxing

    Sapphire Lake

    and swimming in Evolution Lake added to the feeling of relaxation.

    Evolution Lake

    Now we would leave the JMT and climb up to Darwin Bench and eventually Darwin Canyon where we camped with a gorgeous view of the beautiful Darwin Lakes.

    Darwin Lakes

    The sky seemed to be on fire that evening as we were looking forward to picking up our re-supply the next day.

    Sky in Darwin Canyon

    We had decided to go first over Lamarck Col into North Lake for resupply and then from there over Piute Pass into Humphreys Basin to continue on the SHR instead of going over Snow Tongue Pass to get into Humphreys Basin.

    Day 7: Darwin Canyon to Loch Leven

    We saw a Bald Eagle in Darwin Canyon fishing in the Darwin Lakes. That was a first for us. So far we had only seen Golden Eagles in the Sierra.

    Darwin Lakes

    Coming down from Lamarck Col we crossed snow

    Lamarck Col

    and right after that hit huge sandy area where we were once again surprised to see how wildflowers carve out a living in that environment.

    Wildflower

    Seeing North Lake made us look forward to some goodies we had put into our re-supply bucket

    North Lake

    and consequently we would get down pretty fast leaving the mountains behind us.

    Looking back to the mountains

    Day 8: Loch Leven to Merriam Lake

    Starting our day at Loch Leven

    Loch Leven

    and walking through all the wildflowers along the way made for a great morning. The Sierra was in high bloom during our trip and one could write a whole trip report with just wildflower photos.

    Wildflowers

    The view back at Piute Lake and Loch Leven from Piute Pass made us realize how easy Piute Pass is

    Piute Lake and Loch Leven

    and what a great gateway into Humphreys Basin.

    Humphreys Basin

    While crossing Humphreys Basin on our way to Mesa Lake

    Mesa Lake

    we were constantly in awe of the wildflowers.

    More Wildflowers

    When we reached Puppet we got a great view of Puppet Lake, Paris Lake, Alsace Lake, Lorraine Lake, Roget Lake and Blanc Lake.

    View from Puppet Pass

    Descending the talus was once again hard for Gela,

    Talus

    but it brought us first down to those beautiful lakes

    Puppet Lake

    and more wildflowers

    Wildflowers

    and eventually into French Canyon

    French Canyon

    from there we climbed up to Merriam Lake where I would swim before the night.

    Day 9: Merriam Lake to Bear Creek

    Merriam Lake greeted us with calm mirror-like water in the morning

    Merriam Lake

    and we climbed from there along LaSalle Lake to the top of Feather Pass

    Feather Pass

    On the way down  through the snow

    Descending Feather Pass

    we admired the ‘feathers’ that gave it it’s name.

    The 'Feathers'

    Bearpaw Lake was a perfect stop swimming and fishing.

    Bearpaw Lake

    We spent a lot of time there before climbing from Ursa Lake

    Ursa Lake

    towards Black Bear Lake.

    Black Bear Lake

    From there it was a short climb to White Bear Lake and White Bear Lake Pass which can be seen on the right of the lake.

    White Bear Lake with Pass

    While descending from the pass we got into a thunderstorm with heavy hail the size of small grapes. We found cover under a big talus boulder and waited the storm out for almost an hour.

    Hail

    Those daily thunderstorms during our first 9 days had slowed us down and when we reached Lake Italy we decided to descend from the snow level

    'Snow'

    on Lake Italy trail

    Along Lake Italy Trail

    down to the JMT and pick up the SHR again the next day at Tully Hole.

    Day 10: Bear Creek to Tully Hole

    What a different world it was down there at the JMT with all the trees

    Tree

    As we were familiar with this stretch from last summer’s JMT trip, we advanced fast over Bear Ridge and started climbing up along Mono Creek and Silver Pass Creek from where we enjoyed great views back.

    View back from Silver Pass Creek

    At Silver Pass Lake we once again sat out a thunderstorm for an hour before going over Silver Pass

    Silver Pass

    and by Warrior Lake

    Warrior Lake

    on our way down to Fish Creek.

    Fish Creek

    Day 11: Tully Hole to Red’s Meadow

    We were looking forward to comparing the SHR to the JMT on this stretch. The first part, climbing from Tully Hole

    Tully Hole

    to Lake Virginia

    Lake Virginia

    and Purple Lake

    Purple Lake

    is identical.

    What we were looking forward to, was the route over Mammoth Crest and we were not disappointed.

    After climbing to Duck Lake (with Pika Lake in the background)

    Duck Lake with Pika Lakewe went over Duck Pass down towards Barney Lake and Skelton Lake,

    Barney Lake and Skelton Lakebut noticed our mistake right away and kept climbing a little to an unnamed pass to get to the Deer Lakes

    Deer Lakes

    from where we climbed up to the Mammoth Crest with its interesting geological sights like these lava rocks

    Lava Rocks

    or these views down to Horseshoe Lake and the Twin Lakes.

    Horseshoe Lake and Twin Lakes

    Horseshoe Lake

    Crystal Crag stood out

    Crystal Crag

    as did one of the Red Cones

    Red Cone

    on our way through the burn area of the 1992 Rainbow Fire to Red’s Meadow. Once there, we enjoyed a dinner at the Mule House Café, took a hot shower and washed our clothes.

    Day 12: Red’s Meadow to Cecile Lake

    Passing by Devil’s Postpile

    Devil's Postpile

    we hiked up to Superior Lake where we caught our lunch

    Superior Lake

    before climbing up to Nancy Pass.

    Going up Nancy Pass

    From where the Minarets became our next goal.

    Minarets from Nancy Pass

    Walking along Minaret Lake seemed like a scene out of Tolkien’s Middle Earth.

    Minaret Lake with Minarets

    Isn’t it interesting how different it looks when looking back?

    Looking back at Minaret Lake

    Day 13: Cecile Lake to Rush Creek

    The view of the Minarets in the morning gave it once again a totally different mood.

    Minarets in the morning

    The same was true for looking back at Minaret Lake

    Minaret Lake

    Now we descended all the way down to Cecile Lake

    Cecile Lake

    and began our descent to Iceberg Lake

    Iceberg Lake

    It took us way longer than anticipated as we eventually cliffed out and needed to climb all the way back to Cecile Lake before finding a suitable route down to Iceberg Lake. Lesson learned: Never follow use trails but think for yourself. Otherwise you might end up on the mountaineer’s route that exceeds your skill level.

    Once we reached Ediza Lake with views of Mount Ritter and Banner Peak,

    Ediza Lake

    we decided to go down to Shadow Creek to use the JMT to Tuolumne Meadows instead of following the SHR to there.

    Walking along Garnet Lake

    Garnet Lake

    and Thousand Island Lake

    Thousand Island Lake

    we wondered whether we should have staid on the SHR as the other side of the lakes looked so inviting. Island Pass went by fast and from Rush Creek we started our climb towards Donohue Pass before making camp.

    Day 14: Rush Creek to Gaylor Lake

    Going over Donohue Pass one is greeted by this great view of Lyell Canyon

    Lyell Canyon

    from where you can look back to Lyell Glacier.

    Lyell Glacier

    Walking through the campground at Tuolumne Meadows was eerie. Seeing it completely deserted with all campsites empty should have been a warning to us. When we arrived at the store/post office/grill we were shocked to see — nothing. The whole building was boarded up and partially dismantled. We were stumped.  After all we received a delivery confirmation from the US Post office telling us our priority mail package to the Tuolumne Post Office had been received. What would we do without our resupply?

    Five other hikers were sitting at a picnic table having the exact same situation. One of them had walked to the ranger station and was told their packages are most likely at the Lee Vining post office – and that the YARTS bus would run there at 5 pm.

    When thinking about it I, realized our trip would be over as we would lose at least two days if not even three days retrieving our package and getting back here. While we were all discussing why the postmaster, who received our packages didn’t send us a post card, why there is nothing posted on the building letting people know where to get their packages, etc. I had an idea.

    The other five hikers had already decided to take the bus to Lee Vining, so I asked them whether they would be willing to sell us their remaining food. They looked at me in disbelief, but everyone dug out their bear canisters. There were several remaining Mountain House meals, Nuun tablets, a packaged cookie, etc. Everything together was just enough to save our trip. When I wanted to pay, everyone declined with a smile. They were happy to help us finish the last three days of the Sierra High Route and that was enough for them. Just experiencing that level of kindness in the backpacking community makes those trips so worth it – especially in today’s times.

    Now we continued on through Tuolumne Meadows

    Tuolumne Meadows

    towards Gaylor Lakes where we slept once again under the stars.

    Day 15: Gaylor Lakes to Secret Lake

    Sleeping under the stars is one of the great things that the Sierra’s good weather makes possible.

    Gaylor Lake

    Great Sierra Mine (with Gaylor Lakes) was our first goal

    Great Sierra Mine

    On our way to Mine Shaft Pass

    Going up to Mine Shaft Pass

    from where we could see Saddlebag Lake.

    Saddle Bag Lake from Mine Shaft Pass

    Going down to Green Treble Lake (with Maul Lake)

    Green Treble Lake and Maul Lake

    we passed once again endless wildflowers

    Wildflowers

    and this ptarmigan. Do you see it?

    Ptarmigan

    Finally, Wasco Lake, Steelhead Lake, Sky Pilot Pass and Secret Lake Pass came into view when we reached the top of the Mount Conness Shoulder.

    View from Mt Conness Shoulder

    From there we made our way down to the Conness Lakes before going up past Cascade Lake (with Steelhead Lake and Saddlebag Lake) to Secret Lake for the night.

    Cascade Lake and Steelhead Lake

    Day 16: Secret Lake to Soldier Lake

    From the top of the shoulder between North Peak and the Shepherd Crest we had a straight view down to Upper McCabe Lake.

    Upper McCabe Lake

    From there we worked our way over to Secret Lake Pass and  enjoyed one last view back

    View back from Secret Lake Pass

    before heading over the pass

    Secret Lake Pass

    to the lake for a swim

    Swimming in Upper McCabe Lake

    Going down into Virginia Canyon

    Virginia Canyon

    was delightful. Going up the other side afforded us nice view of the Shepherd Crest

    Shepherd Crest from Soldier Lake

    before reaching Soldier Lake for the night.

    Soldier Lake

    Day 17: Soldier Lake to Twin Lakes

    During the night the temperatures dipped down to 23.2F which produced a nice frosting on our sleeping pads. What a contrast to the high daytime temperatures we had to endure – often in the 90s. The morning was still lovely and we had a beautiful view of Virginia Peak and Stanton Pass from our campsite.

    Stanton Pass with Virginia Peak

    Return Lake came into sight when we climbed Stanton Pass.

    Return Lake

    While climbing down from Stanton Pass

    Descending Stanton Pass

    into Spiller Creek Canyon we were greeted with views of our last pass – Horse Creek Pass.

    Spiller Creek Canyon with Horse Creek Pass

    Spiller Creek Canyon had more wildflowers for us.

    Wildflowers

    That scenery changed abruptly when we reached the top of Horse Creek Pass.

    Horse Creek Pass

    Going down through talus and snow

    Descending Horse Creek Pass

    we reached eventually Horse Creek with its waterfalls and views of the Sawtooth Ridge.

    Horse Creek Falls with Sawtooth Ridge

    A short while later Twin Lakes came into view.

    Twin Lakes

    That was an incredible feeling. We had made it – from Road’s End all the way to Twin Lakes!

    Summary:

    What could I possibly add to these photos? The scenery on the Sierra High Route is amazing. Being off-trail most of the time is enormously rewarding despite the navigation challenges that come with it. Going in July compared to September eight years ago meant we were greeted daily with an abundance of wildflowers while at the same time having to endure high temperatures up to the 90s, mosquitoes and almost daily a thunderstorm. While being on the Sierra High Route Gela suddenly asked me why I took her last year on the John Muir Trail with all its dust and horse manure. What could I possibly answer to that? The JMT is beautiful in its own way and it was a good way to find out what daily mileage we would both feel comfortable with. My estimates that were based on our JMT hike were nevertheless too optimistic. I didn’t realize how much big talus can slow down a 5’2” person until we were out there. I would just hop from boulder to boulder being 6’1” tall while Gela was constantly climbing up and down boulders or work her way around them. During this Sierra High Route I was often thinking back to Andrew and myself backpacking the SHR eight years ago. Back then we were explorers and challenging navigation was a major part of the experience. I will always hold that trip in a special place. Gela and I spent on our trip more time swimming, fishing and taking photos of wildflowers, which made for a different experience that is very special to me in its own way.

    #3671060
    matthew k
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    Thank you for sharing this trip report. You show so many spots that I would like to experience myself. Thanks for this inspiration. :)

    #3671085
    Brad Rogers
    BPL Member

    @mocs123

    Locale: Southeast Tennessee

    Awesome trip report.  Thanks for sharing!!!!

    #3671094
    David Noll
    BPL Member

    @dpnoll

    Locale: Maroon Bells

    Great report Manfred. I got cold just watching you swimming. That must have been chilly.

    #3671096
    Paul Wagner
    BPL Member

    @balzaccom

    Locale: Wine Country

    Spectacular report. Thanks for posting this.

    #3671150
    Kevin Babione
    BPL Member

    @kbabione

    Locale: Pennsylvania

    I always enjoy your reports – thanks again.  That talus looks pretty daunting (to an East-Coaster who’s never hiked anything like it).

    One quick question…Did you tell the other hikers to distribute your resupply package among themselves or were you able to pick it up?  I love the instant camaraderie we all have with other backpackers.  We did something similar to your new “friends” a couple years ago while doing a hut-to-hut-to-hut traverse of the AMC White Mountain huts.  On our last morning we had a relatively easy 2.5 mile hike down to our car, so we all unloaded any uneaten snacks from our packs and gave them to a couple of thru-hikers who were very appreciative.

    #3671157
    Manfred
    BPL Member

    @orienteering

    Kevin,

    The other hikers planned to pick up their own re-supply packages and didn’t need any extra food. Once we were back home, I contacted the post office and it turned out that the ranger’s information was wrong. While Lee Vining is indeed the next closest post office, all packages to Tuolumne Meadows were rerouted to the post office in Yosemite Valley as both are in Yosemite NP. I can only imagine the frustration of those hikers when going the next day to the Lee Vining PO and not getting their re-supplies. The post office in Tuolumne Meadows should really post a notice on the closed building to let people know what happened to their packages. And it would be nice if the postmaster in Yosemite Valley would send a post card to everyone who got their package rerouted from Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley. In regard to my package: I contacted the postmaster in Yosemite Valley and requested to return it to sender. Tracking shows that it made it to the next two facilities in a single day, but since then I see for the last seven days “Your package will arrive later than expected, but is still on its way. It is currently in transit to the next facility.” with no further update. I wonder what is going on there …

    #3671162
    Kevin Babione
    BPL Member

    @kbabione

    Locale: Pennsylvania

    I hope it’s not an example of the post office practicing for the November election…

    #3671169
    Dave Heiss
    BPL Member

    @daveheiss

    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    What an epic trip. Thanks for letting me come along via this excellent trip report.

    #3671458
    Logan K
    BPL Member

    @logan

    Locale: Florida

    Outstanding trip report!

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    Logan

    #3686863
    Murali C
    BPL Member

    @mchinnak

    Awesome and timely!

    I would like to do this hike next year. I just started reading Roper’s book.

    Manfred – how much of off trail navigation did you have before your first attempt in 2012? I have mostly done well marked trail hikes like JMT, CT, PCT sections etc. How can I acquire the skills before I attempt this hike? I can definitely try to acquire some skills by taking some classes in REI or online compass training etc from Skurka’s videos.

    I should probably find someone who is experienced in navigation skills if I attempt this I guess.

    #3686870
    Manfred
    BPL Member

    @orienteering

    Murali,

    I’m participating in Orienteering events since my childhood and thus feel very comfortable with map & compass and going off-trail. Depending on where you live you could participate in such events – they often offer beginner’s clinics at the events – or use permanent courses that often are offered by Orienteering clubs. For example here in the Bay Area the BAOC offers a multitude of permanent courses from beginner to advanced on 6 different maps

     

    #3686873
    Brad Rogers
    BPL Member

    @mocs123

    Locale: Southeast Tennessee

    Navigation in the Sierra above treeline in good weather is generally fairly easy, but I would absolutely be comfortable with a map and compass.  The past few years I have starting taking a phone with Gaia as well and while I wouldn’t rely on it entirely (as it can break or run out of juice), it’s always nice – particularly if you want to find exactly where you are quickly.

    What may be more of a challenge if you haven’t done much of it is getting used to all the talus hopping and some sketchy sections.  Just don’t plan on doing trail miles off trail – I generally figure 1 mile an hour for talus sections, and feel lucky to get that.

    #3686877
    Murali C
    BPL Member

    @mchinnak

    Thanks Manfred. I live in Austin, TX. I will see if there are any online courses that I can take. Closest national park is Big Bend for training. Thought it may be easier to just fly to California and train.

    Thanks Brad. Yep – will definitely have phone, gaia etc. I am not sure if you all have checked out the gpx tracks that is there for SHR. I will carry that as well for reference. The only experience I have of talus is when I did a day hike of Mt St. Helens in Washington – 4.1 miles and 4500 feet with lots of boulder hopping and had to use hands. I was thinking of doing the 118 mile section in 9 to 10 days. I think Mafred did it in 8 days in 2012 – which many folks have said is pretty fast.

    #3686879
    Murali C
    BPL Member

    @mchinnak

    This website seems to have gpx tracks:

    http://onthetrail.org/trekking/shr/

    #3686881
    Manfred
    BPL Member

    @orienteering

    Murali,

    The AOC (Austin Orienteering Club) offers regular events. It might be worthwhile looking into that to practice some off-trail navigation.

    Best,

    Manfred

    #3686882
    Murali C
    BPL Member

    @mchinnak

    Wow! Thanks Manfred…..already checking them out:-)

    #3686886
    Manfred
    BPL Member

    @orienteering

    Murali,

    I’m torn in regard to GPX tracks for a cross-country route. The main downsides I see are

    – If you follow the line of a downloaded GPX track on your GPS you will just follow the footsteps of someone else – including all the mistakes that person made

    – You won’t make any route choices and will miss interesting things to the left and right of that line

    – You will contribute to creating a ‘trail’ along that route. This summer I was surprised by the many parts of the SHR that have during the last 8 years turned into trails. I suspect the main reason for that is that many people follow the same GPS track they download from somewhere. As they all walk the same line they create a trail through the wilderness and thus take away from the wilderness experience of others. The big part of the beauty of a route for me is that everyone finds their own way

    Having said that, I bring a GPS an my trips and have my own planned route on there. Planning routes during the winter months is a lot of fun for me and creates joyful anticipation. I spend endless hours on Caltopo, Gaia, Google Earth, etc. to create a route and divide it into daily segments based on terrain, elevation gain & loss along the route, etc. During the trip I record a track on my GPS and learn a lot afterwards by comparing the track I took to the route I planned. Analyzing why the planned route didn’t work as intended helps me to plan better the next time. Analyzing why I made a mistake and the track deviates is equally helpful – often it is mental fatigue at the end of the day, sometimes it is following other people’s footsteps instead of reading the map myself, sometimes it is an over eagerness to get somewhere coupled with lack of dead reckoning that results in going up/down a gully/ridge too early, etc.

    In a nutshell, I would recommend to read the Roper book while pouring over maps and creating your own route for your GPS unit. Your experience will be so much more rewarding than simply following someone else’s footsteps that you downloaded as a GPX track.

    Best,

    Manfred

     

     

    #3686903
    matthew k
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    Just my $.02 but thank you for being thoughtful about sharing off-trail GPX files.

    I like how Skurka does it where he only drops a few pins, particularly at really difficult/dangerous spots (e.g. go “east of this lake”). I think that helps minimize the likelihood of establishing a trail.

    #3686934
    Murali C
    BPL Member

    @mchinnak

    Manfred – thanks for your reply. I just started my planning process. I do plan to get Skurka’s planning kit he sells. Reading Roper’s book (just started) and his motivations for not including tracks. Understand the motivations. I may have it as a backup. I do want to draw some routes as you indicate to blaze my own trail. Lets see.

    Did you wear anything heavier than trail runners? I always use Trail runners like La Sportiva Bushido’s. Also, did you take carmpons or ice axes. Will I need it in August?

    #3686948
    Manfred
    BPL Member

    @orienteering

    Murali,

    I used La Sportiva Ultra Raptor trail runners on the SHR. When we went this July we didn’t need crampons or ice axes. Just check the snow situation a couple of weeks before you go and you will know. This August you would certainly not have needed them. Most likely next August you won’t need it either.

    #3686952
    Murali C
    BPL Member

    @mchinnak

    Thanks for all of your help!

    #3686964
    d k
    BPL Member

    @dkramalc

    Wow, Manfred, I just saw this trip report.   My envy knows no bounds :-) what an incredible trip!  You really hit high spots in the High Sierra, in all its glory…I only wish I had the stamina and skills to follow (approximately) in your footsteps, but seeing your beautiful pictures of some familiar spots and many unfamiliar ones (and maybe eventually visiting just a few of the unfamiliar ones) will have to do!

    #3687001
    Manfred
    BPL Member

    @orienteering

    Hi Deb,

    Yes, the Sierra High Route makes indeed for an incredible trip. We enjoyed it so much that we are considering to backpack it again this coming summer – this time from North to South which will make for a totally new experience.

    Enjoy your holidays! Hopefully 2021 will allow us to meet again in person.

    Manfred

    #3687332
    Alex Wallace
    BPL Member

    @feetfirst

    Locale: Sierra Nevada North

    Good stuff! Narrative & pics are great. Thanks for sharing.

    I’ve done many trips that incorporate portions of Roper’s “high route,” but not the whole shebang, yet. Your report has motivated me to change that. I especially liked your “relaxed” pace to the route; I’m thinking I’ll do the same.

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