Help planning for late 2016 trip

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sparky
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Re: Help planning for late 2016 trip

Post by sparky » Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:44 pm

While I have seen tracks well above tree line a few times I am sure they just use the passes like we do, and the bears do. And no, not being serious or trying to scare...just teasing :)








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Tom_H
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Re: Help planning for late 2016 trip

Post by Tom_H » Sat Oct 17, 2015 11:23 pm

sparky wrote:While I have seen tracks well above tree line a few times I am sure they just use the passes like we do, and the bears do.
This and grizzlies are the only things I haven't had run-ins with (black bears, bobcats, wild boars, alligators, rattlers, copperheads, cottonmouths, skunks........), Only the blacks here in the Sierra, though. The others were in Appalachians or southern swamps. Skeeters are the worst of the varmints IMHO.

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AlmostThere
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Re: Help planning for late 2016 trip

Post by AlmostThere » Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:11 am

As a backpacker who takes my dog, I can tell you that your dog is at risk - more risk than you are - from hiking-related issues. My dog got very sick one trip, because she refused to stay put and sleep - she kept leaving the vestibule of the tent and walking around in the wet grass, unknown to us, who were soundly asleep until she started whimpering at 2 am. Wet plus cold resulted in a lung infection, resulting in a huge vet bill and antibiotics. Previous trips she stayed put and slept where we told her to - and we keep her tied up as well, with a short leash just long enough so she can get out and drink or pee. She has had sore paws due to granite, and she now is aggressive to other dogs due to other people's loose, uncontrolled, aggressive dogs running up on her and resulting in her attempting to defend us. We put a tick collar on her and give her flea meds, and do all we can to keep her happy and healthy. She won't let us know when her paws hurt (so then we are constantly checking her feet) and she will growl at deer (keeping us awake all night every night if we camp where there are deer trails/routes - deer are EVERYWHERE).

I can tell you that the park rules are enforced, there are backcountry rangers along popular trails, and I have seen folks with dogs marched out of the wilderness by rangers then ejected from parks. And I am GLAD there are no dogs allowed there!!! I enjoy having a break from other people's idiot dogs that plague me when I'm trying to set up camp, run around chasing away all the wild creatures, pee on my tent, and repeatedly return because the idiot owner won't tie him up already! Thank goodness for parks.

You do NOT need a dog for protection. You need to protect your dog more than he will ever protect you - from himself, since he hasn't got the instincts to survive in the wild, or the smarts to not take off like a shot if a gunshot (it's hunting season in fall) or thunder happens. This is California, not Alaska or Wyoming - there is NOTHING out there for you to fear an attack from, period. The bears are benign to you if you properly store food, and the mountain lions are more interested in their usual prey than they ever will be in you.

For Fall hiking where there is color, I suggest September - east Sierra destinations will have more color. Little Lakes is leisurely, high elevation, and beautiful. On the west side, driving up to Kaiser Wilderness there are short dog friendly hikes to lakes with aspens, or going farther out one can hike Dinkey Wilderness. Permits are free walking up the day before, $5 per person in advance - but you don't need advance reservations unless it's summer. I rarely reserve unless I have a larger group, ever.

You will need chains or cables and other emergency gear in the car in mid to late fall, just in case - especially if heading for trailheads farther from town. Trailheads over Kaiser Pass or out Dinkey Creek Road will sometimes also involve less improved roads. A shovel, ropes, tarps, even a small chain saw, can sometimes mean the difference between a long camp next to a road or getting home on time. If that's not appealing sticking with paved routes to trailheads closer in would be good, and a lot of those are in parks.

Cross Country
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Re: Help planning for late 2016 trip

Post by Cross Country » Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:53 am

I will say that the response of AlmostThere to be excellent and you should carefully consider EVERYTHING he wrote.

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Sierra Miguel
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Re: Help planning for late 2016 trip

Post by Sierra Miguel » Sun Oct 18, 2015 1:34 pm

I can't but think that you're going to run out of side trips on a 14-day plan through there.

Consider extending your loop to the northwest. I don't know the passes, but if you can get over to the JMT west of Mt. Hilgard, that area is pretty. Italy Pass looks like a good route over.

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AlmostThere
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Re: Help planning for late 2016 trip

Post by AlmostThere » Sun Oct 18, 2015 2:13 pm

Sierra Miguel wrote:
Wandering Daisy wrote:Two weeks also means a LONG ways out from a reliable weather report.
The backcountry ranger stations get daily reports by radio, and many of the hikers will have days-old reports from the TH or from Muir Ranch. Not sure what date the (summer) rangers close up shop.
A serious storm is more probable. Few of us would do a 2-week trip late season.
A storm of a few days seems to roll through in mid-October, just like this year. If you're only two days from the TH and getting recent reports, it's not hard to get out safely. There's also Lamarck Col for a quick and easy exit, since you won't have dogs.
The backcountry rangers start closing up shop when the resorts, pack stations, High Sierra camps, etc. do - usually mid to late September.

And a weather forecast is unpredictable even in midsummer - on day four of a six day trip, we met the Crabtree Meadow ranger, who told us to expect night temps 30 degrees below what NOAA had said right before we left. And really gnarly weather conditions had developed, resulting in a course change and an early bail out. It's worse in October. Yesterday, I went day hiking with a morning forecast of 30% showers. We were being hailed on and we were hiking on or in a river in the trail for three miles, back to the car, and my poor dog kept trying to dig holes under rocks to hide from pea-sized ice stinging her while we walked. I will be investing in yet another dog clothing item - a rain coat.

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balance
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Re: Help planning for late 2016 trip

Post by balance » Mon Oct 19, 2015 10:35 pm

If you do go backpacking with your dogs, it would probably be a real good idea to get a book (or two) about backpacking with dogs.

Your dogs will probably enjoy being outdoors (all the new smells are like being a kid in a candy store for them). But taking a city-living dog up into the Sierra doesn't make them instantly ready for the environment. There are lot of ways they can get hurt, get into trouble, or cause trouble for others. Your dogs won't know what to expect, so you need to do the necessary research to protect them, and make sure that you and they are well prepared. Then it can be a safe, enjoyable experience.

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Re: Help planning for late 2016 trip

Post by SSSdave » Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:02 pm

hello kwyjibo,

Well you obviously are not going to be taking your pets into Evolution Valley. And 2-weeks is a rather long time to be out on trails requiring a significant weight of food. Lets see sometime next mid summer and my recommendation after normal winters is early August though note you are planning September.

Reads like you are expecting to hike out of South Lake over Bishop Pass, down to Le Conte Canyon, over Muir Pass, down Evolution Valley, down the SF of the San Joaquin River, up Piute Creek, over Piute Pass, and North Lake?

Although many trail beaters here would hike that route in less than a week, I also prefer leisurely trips with layovers and time to explore and fish once reaching camps and a 2-week trip on the route is perfect. The difference in my case is would break the single long trip into 3 trips haha. One out of South Lake, and two others out of North Lake.

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.12468,-118.55127&z=14&t=T

Day 1 from South Lake 9800 carrying max food weight just backpack up to Bishop Lake at 11.2k.
Day 2 hike over Bishop Pass 11.9k early morning and down into Dusy Basin. Wander off trail to lake 11388 for camp and have most of day enjoying world class views late day of some of the most impressive peaks in the range.
Day 3 mid morning break camp then hike down to Le Canyon and find nice spot about Little Pete Meadow along upper river 8.9k
Day 4 after lunch break camp and hike afternoon to noname lake at 10320+.

Day 5 early morning break camp and hike over Muir Pass 11,9k then down to south end of Saphire Lake 10.9k amid beautiful peaks.
Day 6 after lunch break camp hike short ways along trail to shores of Evolution Lake 10.8.
Day 7 after lunch break camp short hike to Darwin Bench 11.2k.
Day 8 layover day explore up Darwin Canyon.

Day 9 after lunch break camp short hike and find camp in Evolution Valley maybe Colby Meadow.
Day 10 early morning break camp then hike down through Evolution Meadow and down SF of the San Joaquin River to Aspen Meadow 9.2k.
Day 11 early morning break camp then continue down river then up Piute Creek to Hutchinson Meadow 9.5k.
Day 12 early morning break camp then continue up creek then off trail up to Tomahawk Lake 11.1k.
Day 13 after lunch break camp short hike to camp northeast side of Muriel Lake 11.4k.
Day 14 over Piute Pass and down to North Lake 9.2k.

David
http://www.davidsenesac.com/2015_Trip_C ... les-0.html

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Sittingbull
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Re: Help planning for late 2016 trip

Post by Sittingbull » Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:13 pm

I agree that it is important to be polite and friendly in response to questions, especially those posed by newcomers. I myself have felt discouraged from asking questions in this forum due to the tone of responses I have received. I assume the point of the forum is to share information and help backpackers to be educated and prepared.


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kwyjibo
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Re: Help planning for late 2016 trip

Post by kwyjibo » Fri Oct 23, 2015 7:06 am

Thanks SSSDave. We have planned the first couple days, and it looks like how you are describing it. We are only generally planning our days. If we hike to a spot that looks amazing (even if it wasn't a planned stopping spot) we will stop there to enjoy it. It is so easy to spend two weeks in the wilderness if you take the time to enjoy it :)

Balance I've learned my lesson on posting on here. I won't be making that mistake again. I think only a couple people actually helped me, and those people I'm grateful.

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