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    Default Sierra High Route

    I've got a hold of Mark Hudson's notes (thanks Mags), but does any one have more info on the Sierra High Route, or can point me to some websites? I've looked over things like the GORP pages, and a few other places, but I'd like to get some nicely filtered suggestions from people here. Thanks.

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  3. #3
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    Mark Hudson is the current Coordinator at ALDHA-East. In 2005, he and Owl (a triple crowner) did the HSR. Mark is a very experienced hiker in his own right.

    He sent me some VERY rough notes (by his own admission). As Chris found out, there are little notes for the HSR, so these notes may help. Mark (Skeeter) posts here once in a while. You can also e-mail him at:
    mvhudson AT gmail DOT com

    I believe he will have much better notes for a presentation at ALDHA in the future.


    His notes:

    Hope I caught you still at work <g>... this might wet your appetite a bit ; )

    I think I told you that you were at the top of the short list of people in ALDHA crazy enough to do the High Sierra Route. Since you're notating the Colorado Trail I thought you'd like to see the notes that I made up after the HSR. I hesitate to even call it rough draft, the notes were made while still fresh in my mind so that when Dave and I go to do a Gathering presentation things don't get forgotten.

    High Sierra Route
    Kings Canyon to Twin Lakes California

    Suggestions:
    1) Have a high fear threshold
    2) Have a good sense of balance
    3) Use trekking poles
    4) Go light
    5) Boots, not trail shoes
    6) Good route finding skills, GPS back-up
    7) Go in September
    8) Sense of humor
    9) Sense of adventure
    10) Go North
    11) Carry at least 60 feet of rope (5mm)
    12) Do NOT go solo
    13) Pay CLOSE attention to the guide.

    General:
    #'s 1,2,3 and 4 will help with the scree skiing, talus hopping, and class 3 descents.
    #5; ten miles per day is about max on off-trail hiking, so there is no significant advantage to lightweight footwear. In addition you'll be battering your feet, not to mention having to stop all the time to dump out accumulated debris.
    #6 hardly needs addressing, this is a route, not a trail, for more than half the distance.
    #7 avoids the heat and bugs and puts you in prime time Sierra hiking. Be aware that bad weather may force you off the route and either onto trail or into town.
    #'s 8 and 9 will make the whole trip go better.
    #10: it's easier to climb talus than scree. North is difficult, south may be near impossible.
    #11: We used ours twice to lower our packs, we should have used it three times.
    #12: Most of the route is little traveled, if you have an accident in September you may not be found until spring.
    #13: The guide is filled with "purple prose". Avoid the tendency to skip to what you think is the next part of the route description; if the purple prose extols the view up the valley, and there's a ridge in the way of your view, you are on the wrong side of the ridge!

    More General Info:
    Plan your first resupply out of Piute Pass. If things take longer than you planned on you still have the option of using Bishop Pass for resupply.
    Don't give up during the first week to Bishop. If it's not the hardest part of the route it sure seems that way.
    Partners need to be equally committed, or the fur is going to fly at the first hairy pass.
    Finding the correct route is the first priority, save ego battles over who is right for somewhere else.
    Despite your best efforts you will end up off route. Know how to deal with it.
    Remember that usually there is more than one right answer about how to arrive at a destination.
    We spent 20 days hiking the route. Many route variations and side trips are suggested in the guide, which we didn't do (except by accident). The book suggests a month for the route, you'll definitely need more than twenty days to explore on the side.
    Our HSR mantra was "It'll go!"; meaning whoever was ahead could see a way through.


    Resupply:
    Bishop: Outfitters, groceries, etc.
    Red's Meadows: Café, store with limited supplies.
    Mammoth: Spread out tourist town. Groceries, etc,
    Tuolumne Meadows: Small store with limited resupply. Grill open from 8 am until 4 pm. Outfitter with outdoor clothing, limited gear selection located about 200 yards west of store. Bus service (YARTA) $10 to Yosemite Valley, also service to Lee Vining.

    Transportation:
    Good luck finding a way to Kings Canyon. Nearest public transportation leaves you in Fresno, approximately two driving hours from the Copper Creek Trailhead.
    Hitchhiking into Bishop and back out to the North Lake trailhead proved pretty easy, there are some VERY expensive shuttles available (>$150 for two people).
    There's a $14 dollar round-trip shuttle from Reds Meadow to the Mammouth ski area (save your ticket stub for your ride back in!), and a free shuttle from there down into the town of Mammouth.
    The northern terminus of the route is at Twin Lakes outside of Bridgeport. Twin Lakes is a popular resort area and hitching out to Bridgeport is easy.
    Supposedly bus transportation exists in the Owens Valley, you'll need more than good luck trying to find out any information about it.
    We tied back into the transportation system in a roundabout way by hitching back to Tuolumne Meadows via Lee Vining, hiking from TM to Yosemite Valley, and taking the YARTA (Yosemite Area Regional Transportation Authority?) bus to Modesto where you can catch Greyhound or Amtrac. You can catch the YARTA bus directly from Lee Vining.

    Misc:

    If you have high speed internet access, Google Earth will give you some idea of the terrain that you will be passing over.
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
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    The true harvest of my life is intangible...a little stardust caught,a portion of the rainbow I have clutched -Thoreau

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    Thanks, Mags (and, by extension, Mark). This may be rough but it is great stuff.

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    Has anyone seen or used Andrew Skurka's Maps?
    http://www.andrewskurka.com/SHR08/maps.php
    What? Me worry??

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    I got Skurka's CD of maps the other day.

    For $12.50, it seems to be a solid resource for planning.
    It includes:
    *** A 2 page document about the contents of the CD, scales of the maps, printing tips, etc.
    *** A 2 page databook / mileage chart pdf
    *** 8 overview maps (1:100,000 scale based on USGS 30x60 minute maps)
    *** 33 maps that cover the entire trail (1:24,000 scale based on USGS 7.5 minute quads)
    Both sets of maps are in formats to print 8.5"x11" or 11"x17"
    So far I've had them printed 8.5x11 in B&W for planning purposes, before heading out on the trip, I will get them printed 11"x17" in color on waterproof map paper. I had the guy at the print place make me one large color copy, the better detail and info on the map will be well worth the expense.

    Here is the link to his site if you're interested in a copy:
    http://andrewskurka.com/store/mapset_SHR.php
    What? Me worry??

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    Chris, when R U planning on going? I'm still in the early stages of planning a thru-hike for this early Fall, but I'm flexible on a Go date. Maybe, we can hike together or share info. I would prefer not going solo. Do U have Steve Roper's book on the HSR? He came up with the route. I think Mags is posting some of what's in Mark Hudson's(skeeter) and Owl's notes. I attended their presentation on the HSR at The Gathering in Pipestem WV in Oct. I think if U contact Mark he would be of a great help. Many THANX Mags and RedneckRye for the beta. I am planning on getting Skurka's maps., but was waiting for other reviews - ala RedneckRye. I have been desiring to thu-hike this route for quite awhile.

  8. #8
    Climber, caver, camper, canoeist since 1965
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    #5
    We don't stop hiking because we grow old, we grow old because we stop hiking. Finis Mitchell

  9. #9
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    Creaky, just started checking out the sites U gave. Seems like some good stuff in there. Thanx.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Chris, when R U planning on going? I'm still in the early stages of planning a thru-hike for this early Fall, but I'm flexible on a Go date. Maybe, we can hike together or share info. I would prefer not going solo. Do U have Steve Roper's book on the HSR? He came up with the route. I think Mags is posting some of what's in Mark Hudson's(skeeter) and Owl's notes. I attended their presentation on the HSR at The Gathering in Pipestem WV in Oct. I think if U contact Mark he would be of a great help. Many THANX Mags and RedneckRye for the beta. I am planning on getting Skurka's maps., but was waiting for other reviews - ala RedneckRye. I have been desiring to thu-hike this route for quite awhile.
    I got an e-mail from Skurka, he will be traveling mid-Feb thru late-March and also late-May thru late-Nov. It wasn't clear if anyone would be "minding the store" while he is away, so you might want to order the maps sooner rather than later.
    What? Me worry??

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Chris, when R U planning on going? I'm still in the early stages of planning a thru-hike for this early Fall, but I'm flexible on a Go date. Maybe, we can hike together or share info. I would prefer not going solo. Do U have Steve Roper's book on the HSR? He came up with the route. I think Mags is posting some of what's in Mark Hudson's(skeeter) and Owl's notes. I attended their presentation on the HSR at The Gathering in Pipestem WV in Oct. I think if U contact Mark he would be of a great help. Many THANX Mags and RedneckRye for the beta. I am planning on getting Skurka's maps., but was waiting for other reviews - ala RedneckRye. I have been desiring to thu-hike this route for quite awhile.

    Based on this site...
    http://cwillett.imathas.com/shr/
    Chris hiked the HSR in 2006, check it out.

    I revived a long dead thread when I asked about Skurka's maps.
    What? Me worry??

  12. #12
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    Yeah, I hiked back in 2006. I didn't do the whole thing for a variety of reasons, but enough of it to get a good taste, see some fabulous land, and move on to other projects. Neat area, just give yourself a lot of time to do it. If you have the time, being lost and wandering about is actually a lot of fun!

  13. #13
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    Do one thing everyday...that makes you happy...

  14. #14

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    Andrew Skurka and Buzz Burrell made a nice youtube video of their hike.
    Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quh5JR5AXoE

    I have friends who did parts of it in early spring but mostly it is all snow covered and they telemarked skied it. (Rondenee actually i believe) They went in at Kearsarge pass.
    They made a shorter video also on youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvp5SCEZXYM
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by fiddlehead View Post
    Andrew Skurka and Buzz Burrell made a nice youtube video of their hike.
    Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quh5JR5AXoE
    Wonder where Buzz kept his straw hat when he wasn't wearing it? I never saw it on his pack.

    He showed why I don't bother trying to keep my feet dry when stream crossing. Even with your best effort you're bound to go in.

  16. #16
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiddlehead View Post
    I have friends who did parts of it in early spring but mostly it is all snow covered and they telemarked skied it. (Rondenee actually i believe)

    Randonee is French for "Can't tele"
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
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    The true harvest of my life is intangible...a little stardust caught,a portion of the rainbow I have clutched -Thoreau

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mags View Post
    Randonee is French for "Can't tele"
    Telemark is Norwegian for "Wait up"

  18. #18

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    Well, i can't do either.
    We tried Rondanee skis on the CDT and crashed.
    I've been downhill-ing too long to switch i guess.
    Sort of like pc vs mac ya know.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  19. #19
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    trauma done the SHR on his epic 10,000 mile hike. it was early in a record snowfall season and he hiked it!
    **** the impossible

  20. #20
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    Yeah, seems reasonable considering Trauma has a lot of experience on snow and ice.

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