Return hike HST

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bobby49
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Re: Return hike HST

Post by bobby49 » Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:52 am

Julian wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:43 am
I know that it is much xc but it should be the shortest route back or am I false?
The shortest route may be the slowest.








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Re: Return hike HST

Post by stevet » Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:11 pm

If fit and pack is reasonably light out and back in 10 days is not only feasible, enjoyable too. I did 8 days out and back a few years ago returning via Cloud and Deadman Canyons over Elizabeth Pass retracing the HST from Bearpaw to Crescent Mdw. Kern Kaweah, Cloud Canyon, and Deadman Canyon as creekfeet noted are beautiful. If you have 10 days, perhaps climb out of Deadman Canyon to Big Bird Lake and spent a couple days wandering the Tablelands. So many options.

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Re: Return hike HST

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:45 pm

I would not do Pants Pass unless you have had considerable off-trail experience. The route finding is tricky and the south side descent is very steep, exposed, and loose. It puts you into Nine Lakes Basin, so you still repeat the HST from Keweah Gap.

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Re: Return hike HST

Post by jhfowler » Sun Jul 07, 2019 3:11 pm

We did a 6 day yo-yo of the HST a couple of years ago:

https://jimmyjamhikingclub.com/high-sierra-trail/

On the way there we did Pants Pass and the way back Kern canyon. As others have said, Pants Pass is pretty slippery (a backcountry ranger told us “no one likes Pants Pass!”), but it does put you into really pretty country on the east side.

If I did it again I would do Colby Pass to deadman canyon to cloud canyon to big bird lake to tablelands instead.

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Re: Return hike HST

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:29 pm

Nice trip report. 2016 was a very dry year. When you said you crossed Keweah River, was that really the Kern at Junction Meadow? I have never crossed it when the water was low like that.

I did Pants Pass a bit differently. I found a report on the internet that showed how to detour the steep gully on the north side. You climb to the notch to the south and scramble north over the ridge to the real "Pants Pass". The ridge scramble had some easy class 3 but was on solid rock. It added 200 feet but was better than clawing my way up the north chute. I went down the south side, which was simply a matter of "scree skiing". I think this is generally the route I took.

Regarding the Whaleback question, there is a hard to find use-trail up Cloud Canyon.
Pants Pass.JPG
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Julian
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Re: Return hike HST

Post by Julian » Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:12 am

Thank you for all your porposals.

It is nice to know that there are several alternate routes for our trip back. I think that we will decide spontaneously if we hike back the HST or if we hike over colby pass to cloud canyon or even to the tablelands. I have found some pictures from this area and it looks marvellous.

In the third edition of "The High Sierra" from Secor is a picture of the trail to the summit of whaleback. I think that we could find the trail with help of this. Do you think that it is worth to climb whaleback?

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Re: Return hike HST

Post by c9h13no3 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:39 am

Julian wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:12 am
In the third edition of "The High Sierra" from Secor is a picture of the trail to the summit of whaleback. I think that we could find the trail with help of this. Do you think that it is worth to climb whaleback?
Probably not a great choice for your first Sierra peak, there's no trail to Whaleback's summit. It's class 3 if you're good at staying on route, but most new climbers aren't.

Mt Stewart, Eagle Scout Peak and Mt Kaweah are more within your skills and are right off the HST.
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Re: Return hike HST

Post by Julian » Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:00 pm

We have already gathered some experience in off-trail hiking in Austria and the Dolomites because trails were very badly marked there. The highest difficulty of such a route was a C5.2 at the Lachenspitze which we tackled without any problems.
But I think that it is more difficult to hike a summit without any trail in the High Sierra than a partly unmarked trail to a Alp summit...

Which of your mentioned peaks is the most scenic in your opinion?

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Re: Return hike HST

Post by Wandering Daisy » Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:56 pm

Eagle Scout and Stewart are shorter climbs, both with very nice views. Stewart is scrambling on nice rock (I have not done Eagle Scout but I think it is supposed to be a nice climb too). Keweah looks like a long slog. You would have to go an additional 1/3 mile on the ridge to see into Keweah Basin.

Given that you are worried about time anyway, I would do either Stewart or Eagle Scout.

A side-trip up to Arctic Lake from Guitar Lake would be short and very scenic too.

If you decide to go up Deadman Canyon, Big Bird Lake is very scenic.

You will have to figure out if any of these side trips would work out logistically.

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maverick
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Re: Return hike HST

Post by maverick » Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:59 pm

Which of your mentioned peaks is the most scenic in your opinion?
Make your own decision, by looking at these two TR's: :)

https://pantilat.wordpress.com/2019/02/25/mount-kaweah/
https://pantilat.wordpress.com/2015/11/ ... cout-peak/
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org

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