In particular, I found satellite imagery and slope angle shading layers to be particularly helpful. Two crew members (Sean O’Rourke and Carol Patterson) met me at the Sprinter van this time. Author. After finishing this section, I shared this moment in an InReach message to my crew member Sean O’Rourke, “Feeling sky high wahoo!” I also found myself to be mesmerized by the patterns of sunlight on the lapping waves on Cecile Lake and the sunlight beams streaming through the smoke on the Minarets. I like to print one map set at 1:24000 for detail and one at 1:50000 (or more) for the big picture. To plan your next escape, try “rolling your own” maps using the CalTopo or Gaia GPS online services. But not so… When I got up to start moving again, I felt even more tired than I did when I sat down. He calls it the finest route in the High Sierra, but what else could he say? This bit me a handful of times during the FKT effort with my time estimates. Luckily, I was not doing this a week or two earlier, when lighting seemed to be pummeling the entire state of California. And later, I did get a little rain while I was on the JMT, but the ground was drenched – it could have been a lot worse if I was there earlier in the day. And something about that break was magical… Maybe it was the food I ate (jerky?) That was definitely the high point of the day. The cost of commercial maps, especially for longer trips, can be significant and are not tailored to your planned start, route, or campsites. Do not be too concerned. I decided I would opt for the east option during the FKT, which seemed to be the pass described by Roper. I found it to be particularly challenging to make sense of this section from home using Roper’s book, satellite imagery on Caltopo, and google earth. How is it that water can be so amazing? Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. I think this might be due to the route-finding challenges, but I would guess it is usually from being uncomfortable with class 3 climbing while wearing a pack. Expedition Planner Sierra High Route. This is the longest dry section on the SHR and the seasonal creeks were definitely not running. And the slope was loose talus. This was not helped when I saw a fellow SHR’er going the other way on Blue Lake Pass. When coming from the north, the “gap” that leads to the use trail above Shadow Creek is not obvious at all. I see no reason to fear finding it, whether you travel north to south or vice versa. Kern is burnt out and brutal isothermic junk, good coverage and skiing up high through Tablelands. It was awesome! It is a rugged alternate to the John Muir Trail (JMT)– it boasts about 100 miles of cross-country travel, numerous Class III scrambles, and endless miles of … 6 day sections) Expecting 30's-40's at night, 60's-70's during the day. I found trying to find the “easy wooded ramps” below Glacier Lakes at home using the tools on Caltopo.com to be quite fun. But I need to mention this for the sake of the ladies out there (and the non-squeamish men who are secure enough to share this with their good lady friends!) Since it wasn’t part of any of my recon trips, I wasn’t sure how it would go… I ended up right in the middle if a disconnected ledge system on a very sheer face. The high point? I even had some entertainment from a helicopter that kept visiting me throughout this section. Then took the Sierra High Route from Blue Lake Pass to Dusy Basin. It made for a great start to the day. But it is an expert route–not for novices, youth groups, bad knees, or even experienced trail hikers new to loaded scrambling and off-trail navigation. Dealing with the smoke was the worse part of the day. My eyes felt like they were rolling in their sockets. I later bought Roper’s guide book and discovered it’s far from a ridge traverse (despite being described as running “along the spine of California’s Sierra Nevada”), and it really would be essentially impossible to do such a thing, but I do think that Roper’s intent was well executed and it’s a beautiful, “rugged alternative to the John Muir Trail” through the Sierra High Country. From June 24th-28th, 2018 I solo hiked this self-created route. It was raining, but I didn’t care. Another boost. As I got closer, Sean’s headlamp began blinking in strobe mode, almost exactly in-time with the song Aerodynamic by Daft Punk streaming through my headphones. Resupplying twice - once at Parcher's Resort at South Lake, once at Red's Meadow (i.e. In fact, the High Route doesn’t dip below 9,000 feet at all! Seriously good stuff. I spent at least 20 minutes going up and down every trail and use trail I could find and nothing seemed to be going in the right direction. 58 miles of the BSL is concurrent with the JMT and its associated crowds. Whether on skis, running shoes, or rock shoes, there is no other experience that blends speed, beauty, and technicality so wonderfully in my mind. I can’t say my route was entirely “amazingly easy… grassy slopes, low-angled slabs, and short stretches of stable talus.” There are steep cliff sections that you might encounter. Look at slope angle shading too. The sun starts feeling low in the sky and my brain begins to think “If you aren’t heading home yet, you should be.” I was getting tired. But today’s mileage had been done as a two-day overnight run with my girlfriend Liz Levy, so I found myself having a mental issue with doing the entire leg in one push. The location of Nancy Pass is a little ambiguous. I was about to start my last massive climb (almost 4,000 ft over 6 miles) before camp and it was daunting. Caltopo is a phenomenal tool in my opinion. And there were a lot of sticker bushes… Eventually, I found the trail. We resupplied twice, at Reds Meadow and in Bishop via Bishop Pass (no hitchhiking involved). Change ), Sierra High Route Fastest Known Time Trip Report, Video: Virtual Chat with Sierra High Route FKT holder Renee Elsdon Jacobs, Second Run Hard Mom Hard Podcast Interview, Follow Renee Elsdon Jacobs on WordPress.com, The net elevation gain is more than 2,000 ft less if you travel north to south. But I found none of this. Luckily, I narrowly missed all the excitement that afternoon. Different route, different challenges, but same endeavor of going after a fast time on a hard, multi-day adventure. This popular trailhead allows fast access to the beautiful high country terrain that we seek. I was plodding. Once again, I lucked out… While I was heading up to Frozen Lake Pass, the thunder lessened, eventually stopped, and did not start again. I was delighted to play host and put CalTopo into a Mountaineers context. Current Seattle and Foothills instructors, thank you, a big thank you. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. You can use this feature to plan a cross country travel route in CalTopo for a place you've never visited! I discovered that they were not fully run-able for a variety of reasons during the recon and apparently neglected to fix his in my estimate after the fact. Roper’s description for the north side of Frozen Lake Pass includes “rugged… class 2-3 slope, quite steep… extremely unstable rock… traumatic,” which is why I wanted to visit this pass before doing the FKT. USGS and USFS topos, aerial imagery, printing to geospatial PDFs, exporting to KMZ and MBTiles. It’s been on my bucket list ever since! 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