Cross Country Route

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ERIC
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Re: Cross Country Route

Post by ERIC » Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:33 pm

Let's keep things respectful, please.


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Wandering Daisy
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Re: Cross Country Route

Post by Wandering Daisy » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:13 pm

You have a lot to learn if you think Class 2 means trails. That statement alone shows your inexperience at off-trail travel. If you plan on using the class ratings on passes to judge their feasibility, you need to read up on what the class ratings actually mean. Otherwise be prepared to be in for a BIG surprise. And this is not the last time in your life you could do your planned trip. Some of us here on this forum are over 60 years old and are just getting started doing long and challenging off-trail trips. You have a good long backpacking life ahead of you. Go out and give it a try, but be safe because honestly, this is NOT your last chance to do this kind of trip.

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Re: Cross Country Route

Post by East Side Hiker » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:22 pm

When I was young, strong, and athletic (like 18-19 - 40 years ago), I ventured into that country a few times only because my friends and I were Clarence King fans. We adored his book, and his reported exploits and explorations (though it is somewhat controversial). You should really consider and study the old maps, not rely on modern medias. You could get into real trouble you would not expect to. The area is awesome, to be sure, but to discount the snow situation and the terrain would be a big mistake. The area around Clarence King is not the "gentle wilderness" (even though the lakes are awesome).

I wouldn't touch the whole dieing thing with a 40 foot pole, and it hasn't really been a healthy or productive thing to be talking about publically. But if you really aren't that concerned, and you think people invovled in a SAR would somehow gain experience or benefit (or get enjoyment - I know you didn't say that, but there seems to be an implication) from a rescue event, you better make a lot of phone calls to people who know, and listen to and consider what they have to say. Rescuing someone from a car accident is not even remotely comparible. I'm currently a fire fighter, and I've been through a lot of SAR training, and the comparison is incredible. No one would be happy doing a SAR for you, especially once they read what's been written in this string.

After two heavy snow years in a row, you better know about snow packs and how to dig a pit and read the snow profile. An ice axe will do you no good in an avalanche, or rock slide. Neither will the ice axe do you any good unless you acutally know how to use it - have you ever arrested yourself? Have you practiced arresting yourself? I cannot understand your assessment of the reality of the snowpack (or the terrain). Its unrealistic considering the past winter and a half (I don't say two winters, because this winter is not over).

It seems that you have pretty much admitted that you're not "that" experienced. Doing trail work on the PCT is not "experience." In fact, if I were you, I'd get rid of that logo - I bet by now many people reading this string are bummed by seeing it.

Why not wait for a few years and scope out this idea of yours?

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Re: Cross Country Route

Post by RoguePhotonic » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:54 pm

I do respect everyone that goes out searching for people and the efforts they put forth. I'm glad they are there to help people out. But to say I should not challenge myself because I may get hurt and there is nothing I can do to stop people searching for me is crazy. They choose to take risks just as I do. They accept the possibility they may get injured in the process just as I do. It's what they signed up for. You really think they say please don't get hurt because I don't want to have to look for you because it's dangerous? I doubt it.

Lucky for them if I do get hurt along the way I wont even be considered missing until late October which would probably mean I was dead. So in other words if at any time along the way I need help it will be up to me alone to get a message out. The down side is that means the search area will be my entire hike. Believe me that if I could sign a form that says if I am missing that no search will ever be conducted I would certainly do so.
You have a lot to learn if you think Class 2 means trails
I didn't say that but considering what can often pass as class 2 I think most steep switch backing trails with high check dams could easily qualify as class 2. As I said classes can range quite greatly. Class 3 for example can be a nice boulder climb or a verticle climb such as the short section of Mt. Williamson that is class 3.

I disagree completely about being able to do this hike later because for one I think the chance of me living to be 60 is non existent. I am amazed to be alive today and I am 26. And if by some literal miracle i lived to be 60 I doubt I would be able to handle a 1000 mile hike of this nature.

and it hasn't really been a healthy or productive thing to be talking about publically]
It's ok because I don't speak to people online to make friends anymore. I enjoy a good conversation about the Sierra because I don't know anyone that hikes in person. The only two people I can get into the backcountry aren't that into it.

I certainly don't discount the terrain or snow, that is why I came here to get information on it and if I can find none then the best thing to do is go find out for myself. After all every route in the Sierra had to be hiked the first time with no help at all.
have you ever arrested yourself? Have you practiced arresting yourself?
I have not had the chance for practicing self arrest although I would like to. As for needing to do it in the backcountry I wouldn't say so. I've used it for glisading and I once was climbing down New Army Pass in early June while it still had tons of snow. I was climbing down a slope steep enough where I was only comfortable going down backwards. My leg then went through the snow next to a rock up to my knee and I fell backwards onto the slope. I had to use my ice axe to stop myself from going head first down the slope but it wasn't exactly a self arrest.

As for avalanche and rock falls that is another matter. Although reading the snow for avalanche danger is easy enough a rock fall is just bad luck IMO.

And yes I do admit I am not "that" experienced. I only started backpacking in 2006 and did not get into it heavy until 2008. I also do not drive so I cannot get into the mountains half as often as I would like.

I don't think the PCT logo should be used by only people in certain situations. I like to advocate for the trail to try and get more people out working on it since there are so few.

A further note on the snow pack though is I am of course going to monitor the melt as the dates get closer. There are many fine Sierra webcams to give me an idea of where it is at and if things are bad enough I will set back the trip by a little if I have to.

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Re: Cross Country Route

Post by rlown » Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:15 pm

And yes I do admit I am not "that" experienced. I only started backpacking in 2006 and did not get into it heavy until 2008. I also do not drive so I cannot get into the mountains half as often as I would like.
Umm.. Any of the feedback getting through?

If you're gonna do it, do it. Don't tell us about it anymore, because you've been warned. And you get to pay for a SAR rescue/recovery. This is not ok. If I was admin, I'd lock this thread.

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Re: Cross Country Route

Post by RoguePhotonic » Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:27 pm

If the usefulness of information passed has reached an end then we can close the discussion. The fact remains that none of the risks people are trying to warn me about I don't already know. I appreciate you all being respectful mountain hikers trying to give the best and safest advise possible especially to inexperienced hikers that need it. But as we all know "the mountains are calling and I must go".

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Re: Cross Country Route

Post by almostpicasso » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:07 pm

To concur with the previous posters, I have been on two sections of the proposed route:

1. Disappearing Creek (bottom of the Enchanted Gorge) to Simpson Meadow: This is BRUTAL hiking -- solid buckthorn and rattlesnakes every 30 yards -- prepare to have your pack and clothes shredded on this section. Fording the Mid. Fk. Kings early season this yr may be semi-suicidal.

2. Coppermine to Colby Pass: I have done this in winter skiing. The col going up to the pass n. of Triple Divide Peak from Glacier Lake is do-able, but will be snow-filled all this yr. (take an ice axe). The backside going into the Kern Drainage is cake.

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RoguePhotonic
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Re: Cross Country Route

Post by RoguePhotonic » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:24 pm

1. Disappearing Creek (bottom of the Enchanted Gorge) to Simpson Meadow: This is BRUTAL hiking -- solid buckthorn and rattlesnakes every 30 yards -- prepare to have your pack and clothes shredded on this section. Fording the Mid. Fk. Kings early season this yr may be semi-suicidal.
I have read about some of these places being choked by nettles also. Honestly I think if I actually make it this far I will be looking forward to some bad bush wacking. After all I would have been on the trail for over 80 days. It will be Mid September for the river crossing so it shouldn't be too bad.

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Re: Cross Country Route

Post by gdurkee » Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:05 am

A map is not the territory it represents, but if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness.
Philosopher and scientist Alfred Korzybski, 1931
Well, since you're cheerfully not heeding the voices of experience here, I think the main hope is that you'll find the snow conditions and stream crossings such a major thrash that you'll rethink the trip very early on. I'd strongly urge you to have a Plan II in mind -- something lower elevation or even a base camp somewhere until maybe late July.

And even if you get past the secondary streams, I can't imagine crossing the Kern at Junction Meadow then. You get all the way over there, then what? You'll feel so committed from the effort to get there, you try to cross (and likely die) rather than turn around. Same with going over Junction (really high angle snow) and getting to Cedar. Bubbs Creek won't be crossable when you get there.

But to even get there, you'll be crossing a lot of snow and sun cups. There's a very slight chance it'll be a super-warm spring and it'll melt off quickly, but that also means high water.

Consider starting way south at Tunnel Meadow or somewhere. Nice meadows and few dangerous crossing. Work you way north and stay on the JMT until the conditions feel right and you're confident with snow and the stream crossings are manageable, then you can leave the trail. Early season this year, that'll really be adventure enough.

But anyway, a map is nice to look at and plan. We all get pretty excited by that sort of thing. You just really have to remember it's not post-holing up a steep slope in bad spring snow and trying to cross really bad streams & rivers. I don't think you're imagining this in a very realistic way. In some ways, there's nothing really wrong with that. You just have to have a Plan II so that when you realize the conditions well exceed your experience and skill, you turn around or stay in one place until you can safely continue.


George

OH. PS: Regarding the "I don't care if I die" stuff. I have never, ever, never, never, never been on a rescue where the person said "throw me back, I'm OK with dying." Every single person has been very happy to see us and be found. Every one of them. Again, looking at the map of your philosophy is very different from lying in the snow with a broken femur after punching through a snow bridge. Heck of a time to rethink your views on death... .

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Re: Cross Country Route

Post by almostpicasso » Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:19 am

My son-in-law does SAR here in the N. Cascades -- his motto is "We don't rescue smart people."

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