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Re: Tale of Three Drainages: S Fork Merced, Merced, San Joaquin 7/20-26

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:24 pm
by LMBSGV
Thanks for adding the PDF map. A very interesting and creative route. I really enjoyed reading your report and the photos. Dawn is amazing. And Happy Birthday!

Re: Tale of Three Drainages: S Fork Merced, Merced, San Joaquin 7/20-26

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 4:47 pm
by kpeter
Yes, the map really helped me follow along and impresses me even more. Amazing 13 year old trooper you have to do all those cross country passes.

Re: Tale of Three Drainages: S Fork Merced, Merced, San Joaquin 7/20-26

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:28 pm
by TahoeJeff
Man, what a great adventure and cooresponding report! You're daughter is one of the toughest 13 yo backpackers around. Those beautiful Bows grilling over the coals look deelish.

Re: Tale of Three Drainages: S Fork Merced, Merced, San Joaquin 7/20-26

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:00 pm
by Harlen
Giantbrookie writes:
In sports they talk about "making a statement" with a performance, but for an aging recreational athlete such as me, the statement one makes is to oneself.

That's an interesting and humble perspective, but you may be discounting the interest your friends and family take in your exploits, and us too, here at HST. That was a great trip you two made, and we love seeing and hearing about it.

Your photos of Lake 10,400+ and the ones around Lake Edna are really fine. And the pictures of you and Dawn navigating between rock and Ice in a hailstorm are wonderful too.

We really envy your time in the mountains with your kids John. How do you do it?! I hope it's just a matter of not having the ocean to compete with your mountain fun, rather than our over-loading the boys. You are pretty generous with the amount of the load you carry.
Congratulations on such a successful trip. Ian.

Re: Tale of Three Drainages: S Fork Merced, Merced, San Joaquin 7/20-26

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 7:32 am
by sekihiker
giantbrookie wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:15 pm
ChainAdairLillianRouteDone.pdf
Holy Cow! The map really tells the tale.

Re: Tale of Three Drainages: S Fork Merced, Merced, San Joaquin 7/20-26

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:15 am
by Wandering Daisy
There are a couple of good reasons to keep kids' loads light until they reach their later teens. First is that this makes their trip more enjoyable and they will more likely stick to backpacking. Second is that while kid's bones are growing, heavy loads are not recommended (medically). Just be thankful that you no longer have to carry the kid too! Also, if you carry the food, then although starting weight is heavy, each day your pack gets lighter.

Thanks so much for adding the map. It is always nice to know new off-trail routes in that area. I would imagine that Red Peak Pass would have some terribly steep snow at this time so it is good to know of some detours.

Re: Tale of Three Drainages: S Fork Merced, Merced, San Joaquin 7/20-26

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:45 am
by Harlen
WD writes:
There are a couple of good reasons to keep kids' loads light until they reach their later teens. First is that this makes their trip more enjoyable and they will more likely stick to backpacking.
DSC01646.JPG
But he seemed happy with his big pack?
DSC01614.JPG
Maybe I shouldn't have made him dig out the whole snow cave? :(

Re: Tale of Three Drainages: S Fork Merced, Merced, San Joaquin 7/20-26

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:12 am
by giantbrookie
Wandering Daisy wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:15 am
There are a couple of good reasons to keep kids' loads light until they reach their later teens. First is that this makes their trip more enjoyable and they will more likely stick to backpacking. Second is that while kid's bones are growing, heavy loads are not recommended (medically). Just be thankful that you no longer have to carry the kid too! Also, if you carry the food, then although starting weight is heavy, each day your pack gets lighter.

Thanks so much for adding the map. It is always nice to know new off-trail routes in that area. I would imagine that Red Peak Pass would have some terribly steep snow at this time so it is good to know of some detours.
Yes, I don't want to give Dawn too much more next year. During the trip, the stove and water filter was shifted to Dawn's pack, and I think that will be pretty much the limit of changes I will make to what she carries. Regarding Red Peak Pass, I've never been over it, but looking at the topo its north side looks very steep. I suppose it wouldn't be super scary if there is good runout below that headwall on the north, but if no runout, or if it's corniced, I could see it would be a problem. We met a group near Upper Merced Pass Lake that had turned back at Red Peak Pass owing to both the obscuring of the trail by snow and the steepness of this snow. They were pondering their options. Given their position and goals (and lack of desire to go off trail), I recommended that they do the "end around" to the south and east, by heading over Fernandez and then Post Peak Pass. Now, let's say someone really liked off trail stuff, found Red Peak Pass too steep and wonderered how one might continue eastward with the minimum amount of detour. Then I think there are several additional options in addition to wrapping around to Grayling as we did from Lower Ottoway. I think one can go E from Upper Ottoway through the Ottaway-Merced Pk saddle, then curve around to a NW direction above Edna, so as to avoid the steeper snow, then head for the upper part of the drainage going down to Lower Edna. As a variant from L 10400+ I think one can also head directly through the gap ESE of the lake that is directly north of Red Peak.

Re: Tale of Three Drainages: S Fork Merced, Merced, San Joaquin 7/20-26

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:51 am
by Wandering Daisy
Harlen- having been around little girls (my kids) and little boys (grandkids) it is my observation that little girls have a whole lot more common sense than little boys. My girls ended up in the emergency room about once per 15 years; my boy grandkids end up in the emergency room yearly. At NOLS I taught one course for 13-15 year old boys. My main job was simply to keep them from killing themselves.

All kidding aside, there is a lack of appropriate or ultra-light gear for kids and that makes it more difficult to keep the pack weight down until they grow enough to fit into adult clothing. Even "youth" packs are too heavy. I just bought my soon to be 13-year old granddaughter a good quality light women's x-sm pack. She is going to be short, like her mom, so I think it will serve her well for several years. She is also ready for a good quality down sleeping bag this Christmas.

I often think I should start an outdoor equipment/clothing business and call it "Hobbits"- good gear for small people.

Re: Tale of Three Drainages: S Fork Merced, Merced, San Joaquin 7/20-26

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:01 pm
by sekihiker
Wandering Daisy wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:51 am
Harlen- having been around little girls (my kids) and little boys (grandkids) it is my observation that little girls have a whole lot more common sense than little boys. My girls ended up in the emergency room about once per 15 years; my boy grandkids end up in the emergency room yearly. At NOLS I taught one course for 13-15 year old boys. My main job was simply to keep them from killing themselves.
Having been a little boy and having taken my daughters backpacking, I have to agree. There is not too much exaggeration in what you say, WD.