Forum Replies Created
Nov 7, 2020 at 7:16 pm #3682888
At the risk of adding more half-baked, ill-informed information to this thread…
I’ve been using an Ambit 3 for the last 3-4 years, and I’d basically second everything that @art-r said.
I have not wanted to bring the charging cable while backpacking, so I’ve always used the 200 hour mode. And as Arthur pointed out, it’s pretty woefully inaccurate in this mode–not just due to limited sampling (and the distance errors that result from that), but spatial errors that result in recorded points being off by up to several hundred feet. This might affect your ability to navigate with the watch–I don’t know; I’ve never tried to navigate with it. I am more of a topo map person.
This year, I started recording GPS tracks with my DeLorme inReach Mini instead of the Ambit, and it does a much better job (at a sample rate of 30 seconds/pt, to boot, decreasing distance errors in the recorded track). If you’re already carrying an inReach, you might consider that. After a 14 hour day of backpacking, I find it has usually drained the battery by ~30%. I recharge it nightly.
Alternatively, if you use the Ambit in a higher accuracy/higher sample rate mode, accuracy should should be great (I do that all the time for dayhikes or runs, and the accuracy is outstanding). Of course, you would need to bring the charging cable in this case.
Lastly, some of the more recent offerings from Coros also look compelling, but that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms.
Given that I don’t use the watch to record a GPS track anymore, and never use it for navigation, I’m thinking about going back to a barometric watch for backpacking.Nov 5, 2020 at 11:17 pm #3682595
I remembered that you were thinking about doing it this year! Sorry to hear that COVID waylaid those plans.
I was glad to hear, of course, that you still got out and about in your neck of the woods… 2020 was a good year to stay local (unless “local” also meant “on fire”).Oct 19, 2020 at 11:33 pm #3680362
@ardavis324-2-2 – Great question!
The short answer is that it was just a natural consequence of exploring the Sierra in the way that I found that I enjoyed the most. Over time, I found myself wanting to hike farther and farther, and as I did so, it became easier and easier. Eventually, Rae Lakes loop as a day hike became an easy thing.
The longer answer:
The 2009 me had precious few hiking miles under his belt, and was visiting the Sierra (and really, mountainous terrain) for the first time (I’m from Wisconsin; we are not “mountain people”).
Over the next few years, I just found myself wanting to hike farther, with a light pack. I had become fascinated with the Sierra, and wanted to explore all of it–every trail, every drainage, every peak, every pass–and see them all multiple times, so I could piece it all together in my head, into a contiguous place. I didn’t do that much in that regard, however–I essentially just went backpacking one week every year, with my wife, and she didn’t have the same enthusiasm for hiking long days, so we generally kept things shorter.
In 2013, I hiked the JMT with my dad. It was great in the way that most JMT hikes are great, and I was enamored with the “remote” places like Upper Basin and Pinchot Pass that we visited, that I hadn’t visited previously.
In around 2014, I started hiking solo, and that really led a bit of an explosion in how I explored the Sierra. It was around this time that I started to feel comfortable in the Sierra, and naturally, that comfort made me more willing to push things a bit, both in terms of distance, gear, and aggressiveness in exploring some more remote places (where, at that time, “remote” to me might mean “off the JMT.”) I realized that there was no reason I couldn’t visit places like Pinchot Pass on a weekend; I could do things like 60-80 mile loops in 2-3 days. And in 2015, I did these things, and it was tremendously rewarding. It was also, at times, hard.
In 2015, I finally decided to hike Rae Lakes loop as a day hike. It had been on my mind for a while, but was still pretty unfathomable to me–to leave on the Rae Lakes loop, with no pack on my back. Such commitment it takes! But I did it; and it was rewarding in the sense that doing a hard thing was rewarding, even though it ended up not being very hard (although some knee pain arose ten miles from the end, and it wasn’t a particularly welcome companion).
In these years, I never really focused on distance as a metric that matters–I was still simply motivated to explore EVERYTHING, and hiking long days enabled more exploration. By this time, I had kids, and a demanding full-time job. I had little free time, but hobby #1 was exploring the Sierra.
I’ll note that people often say one can see more by going slower. I don’t argue otherwise–I’ve taken slow trips as well. I can enjoy both. At this point, I was enjoying moving faster.
So that was sort of it–the answer to your question, at least: Over a handful of years, I found myself wanting to hike further, and did so, and for every long hike I did, the next one became a bit easier (or more likely, I’d go a bit further, and make it just as hard as the last one :) ). My goal was not explicitly to hike big miles, but it was to be able to explore nooks and crannies of the Sierra in weekends and shorter trips, which were more amenable to my lifestyle.
In 2016–wanting to explore places in the Sierra that trails don’t touch–I tugged myself off the ribbon, and started exploring off-trail. That led to another explosion in how I explored the Sierra, and since then, I’ve focused most of my trips on exploring off-trail places. As a consequence of all the fast, long-day hiking I’d done in 2014-2016, I found myself able to ride the “conveyor belt” of trails to quickly access XC areas, then explore off-trail.
So the trips I took in 2017 to 2019 were generally shorter in terms of distance. I didn’t “pound out the trail miles” except when I needed to* to access the remote areas I wished to explore. Over those years, I thought about hiking the Rae Lakes loop again, just to see if I’d gained in fitness, or if things had become easier. But given the choice, I always gravitated towards climbing a new peak, or exploring some other area. And I still have many places to visit; by my last count, although I think I’ve hiked over 2,000 miles in the Sierra, I still have many places to explore.
* I’m looking at you, Bubbs Creek Trail
So–this brings us to 2020–and this particular hike. The circumstances that led me to repeating Rae Lakes this year was a peculiar combination of not really wanting to commit to solo off-trail travel, plus not having time to plan anything. I needed to dip my toe in the Sierra again in a way that was mentally easy, and ironically, the Rae Lakes loop dayhike was the thing that checked that box.
I warned you this was the long version! But you might’ve expected this, given the trip report you already read :).
If you still haven’t quite had enough, there is an even longer version–this saga is spelled out in my trip reports from 2014 to now, which are reasonably well-catalogued here: https://ontheswitchbacks.wordpress.com/trip-reports/
I should warn you, they’re all about as wordy and uninformative as this one.Oct 10, 2020 at 12:45 pm #3679115
Oof. Buh-bye Suunto is all I have to say.
I’m an Ambit 3 Peak owner. I’ve been on the fence about a new watch lately, but what you describe above is the nudge I need.
Not being able to access data-laden GPX files is a stupid omission of a pretty fundamental feature.Oct 4, 2020 at 12:09 pm #3678415Oct 2, 2020 at 4:55 pm #3678213
For day hikes and 4-day trips, I really like my rechargeable SteriPen. For a long hike – PCT, AT, etc (or a big group), I’d lean towards a modern in-line filter and/or gravity system to avoid one more device needing recharging and the possibility of some aspect of recharging going awry.
@davidinkenai I sort of do the opposite!
For short trips, I like a BeFree, because I don’t have to worry about clogging (and it will clog).
For longer trips, I like the Steripen, simply to avoid the clogging issue. I’ll already be recharging a camera on the go, so adding a Steripen isn’t a big deal.Oct 1, 2020 at 10:54 pm #3678135Oct 1, 2020 at 10:48 pm #3678134Oct 1, 2020 at 10:47 pm #3678133Oct 1, 2020 at 10:46 pm #3678132Oct 1, 2020 at 10:46 pm #3678131Oct 1, 2020 at 10:43 pm #3678129Oct 1, 2020 at 7:45 pm #3678116
<figure class=”wp-block-image size-large”>
<figcaption>Middle Rae Lake</figcaption>
</figure>Oct 1, 2020 at 7:16 pm #3678108
Thanks for sharing! Beautiful country.
Your secret weapon is the same as my secret weapon!
I am convinced that time dilates during road walks. Absolutely convinced.Oct 1, 2020 at 7:10 pm #3678106
I used Steripens for 4-5 years. I had both the Adventurer Opti and the Freedom.
The only failure I recall was my own failure to charge the darn thing prior to leaving home.
I switched to a BeFree in 2017 when I realized that I didn’t even want to wait the 90 seconds a Steripen needs.
However, I wouldn’t hesitate to use a Steripen again.
In my experience Steripens have not been more failure-prone than mechanical filters. I have had filters fail.
Like Mike (and many others), I carry tablets as a back-up, regardless of what my primary means of treating water is.Sep 28, 2020 at 12:24 am #3677700
Well, the right combination of wind direction and status of federal lands occurred this weekend, and I finally got up there.
We came in from the Virginia Lakes TH and did some putzing about; summiting Matterhon Peak was amongst that putzing.
Tremendous views! To compare the smoke conditions with when you were out there, here’s Spiller Canyon. You can see the barrier of smoke, somewhere around Tuolumne Meadows (though Lyell is still quite visible):
Upper Slide Canyon:
And this should look familiar (though I forgot to look for your entry!):
Although you say you came up a gully on the SW side, I assume you meant SE? i.e., the Spiller Canyon side?Sep 14, 2020 at 4:36 pm #3676098
@ardavis324-2-2 the message that showed up in my inbox had you hypothesizing about a location… you were right!
The rear apex strap reaches the top of the 125 cm pole. You need to specify this when you order it, and they just send you a longer strap. It is extremely light weight; I doubt the longer version adds >0.1 oz.
I think 120 cm would work perfectly. In the back there would be no issues; in the front it would tilt a little less than my pole for the same elevation. Tarptent specifies that the poles should be “107 cm to 120 cm” on their webpage, so you’re fully within bounds of expectations… I’m the one that’s pushing it a bit! But as I said, even 125 cm works great.Sep 10, 2020 at 8:58 pm #3675644
I’ve spent six nights in a ProTrail Li, mostly above treeline in the Sierra.
I’m a huge fan. It’s extremely well designed. It works great with my fixed length 125 cm poles. Coming from a Hexamid, I’m pretty excited to only have four stakes required for pitching.
After replacing some of the guylines, and adding additional lengths of guylines for rock vs stake pitching, it weighs in at 16.270 oz on my scale (including stuff sack and guylines; no stakes).
I haven’t been able to test it in any extreme weather. I’ve sat out a few showers, and it’s seen ~25 mph gusts, both of which it (unsurprisingly) does great with.Sep 9, 2020 at 8:39 pm #3675480
Yeah. I the plan right now is for the forests to reopen on the 14th (at least, as of the last forest order that I saw). If they don’t–but if Yosemite stays open–and if air is ok–I’ll still be fine. Just won’t exit at Twin Lakes and will loop back through Yosemite.Sep 9, 2020 at 10:38 am #3675379
Thanks for confirming and posting that, Stephen. I never thought that trail running shoes would be the item that caused me to dip my toe into the black market… How many bitcoin will illegally imported Akashas cost?
I had a little “Christmas morning” moment when I discovered another pair of brand new Akashas in my closet. This pushes out my concerns over a replacement until next year.
I have been wearing the Ultra Raptors, and am getting a fair amount of heel rubbing. I may need to size up again.
In the meantime, I’m going to give the Sportiva TX Guide approach shoes a shot. They’re on their way. In an Akasha replacement, I’m more concerned with performance off trail than on (I can use almost anything on trail and be fine, from Sportiva Wildcats to Hokas, to Nikes, etc.) Hoping an approach shoe can be comfortable enough for all day hiking while inspiring confidence on rock. I’ve never tried one before.Sep 9, 2020 at 12:15 am #3675333
No, not up there now… Permit was for Friday the 11th, but I’m punting it back to the 19th. My intended route was from Tioga Pass to Twin Lakes, and with the Inyo closure, that requires some significant re-routing.
I’m hoping that by the 19th, Inyo is open, but if not–and if air is reasonably particulate-free–and if no additional plagues have bestowed themselves upon California–I’ll give it a shot…Sep 5, 2020 at 12:37 pm #3674833
Thanks for sharing David!
I will be in that area next weekend, and have been pondering an ascent of Matterhorn Peak, if it fits into the schedule. Seems like a must-visit summit to me!Sep 4, 2020 at 9:06 pm #3674766
Posting to follow and commiserate.
I too have used Akashas pretty much exclusively on my off-trail adventures for the last 4-5 years.
Why, oh why, La Sportiva?
You are in a better position than I am, Mike; when I realized the Akashas were discontinued, I tried to stock up, but was only able to secure two pairs, one of which never made it to my house. The single pair I did receive has been dutifully chewed up on Sierra granite this summer.
I’m going to give the Ultra Raptors, Mutants, and Akyras a shot. Now maybe the Lycans and Jackals, too (thanks Rog!).
Anyhow, I’m starting with the Ultra Raptors, which are on their way to my house now. I used to use the Ultra Raptors back in my glued-to-the-trail days, and liked those then, so I know the fit is good.Mar 30, 2020 at 10:57 pm #3638835
Well, I usually notice it on those unusual days when I pitch while the afternoon sun is still strong. And in those cases, I’m usually not in the tarp–I’ll putz around camp or whatever, and then, when I re-enter, I notice the congregation at the apex.
So I, always figured there’s just warm air up there–solar heating of the fabric, plus maybe a little greenhousing. Plus light. All of which might attract the flying buggers.
Of course, in the course of responding to this thread, I have–by far–given it more thought than I ever have before…Mar 29, 2020 at 10:01 pm #3638607
That has also been my experience in a Hexamid solo. No vents, so they just congregate there.
Is it mysterious? I thought it was just heat.