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Re: Cross Country Route

Posted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 11:12 am
by maverick
Dan thanks for chiming in, and Welcome aboard, hopefully we shall now hear from you
more often in the future.

Re: Cross Country Route

Posted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 5:43 pm
by balzaccom
I agree! Thanks Dan!

I had a less exciting but still silly trip when I was that age...into the Yosemite backcountry starting Memorial Day weekend...would have been about 1972 0r 73...

Floundered around for a couple of days in the snow, managed to follow my tracks back out (no snowshoes, and the afternoons were postholing to mid-thigh). But before I did that, I took a long hard look at a roaring creek and tried about three different ways to cross it.

I was solo, and finally decided that I couldn't get across. But man...was I tempted to try....

These days I am a little saner!

Re: Cross Country Route

Posted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:11 am
by East Side Hiker
I go very slow and very deliberate. If the conditions aren't right, I go back toward Death Valley, or find something else to do in the general area. There is so much to do, so many directions to go. The Inyos, the Whites, Death Valley, the Nelson Range, Piper Wilderness... So many mdws to explore. I listen to the national weather reports. I look at the sky and the ground. This year, the ground will be a problem after 1.5 years of heavy snow. Unstable snow bridges, high water, quickly changing weather conditions (look what happened last yast year). It takes years and years of experience to react to what's happening in the high country.

And all this stuff about the possibility of getting hurt or dieing, and SARs. Kinda creepy. My goal is to be in the high country as long as possible without involving other people. Talking to people about what they've seen and where they've been and what they've experienced is one thing. Expecting to push forth with the expectation that others will bail you out is another thing. There is so much to do within 50 miles of any trailhead, its exciting.

Last year with the Sheep Fire and the bad weather coming,I went to the desert. Then, when I thought things were getting better, going over Shepherd Pass in late Sept, it got so freezing that things froze in a few minutes. I bailed asap. Went back to the desert.

If you're careful, you can have great times anywhere in the vast general area of the Sierra. There are so many desert peaks and trails... Be careful, think about others and their plans, and futures and families.

Re: Cross Country Route

Posted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:22 am
by East Side Hiker
And this thing about stepping over a rock and being bit by a rattlesnake and rushed to a hospital. I've been trying to get info on rattlesnake bites in the Sierra. As far as I have heard, its uncommon. In fact, in general, its uncommon in the U.S., and usually involves drunk people teasing rattlesnakes. And how are you going to be rushed to the hospital from the area surrounding Clarence King? or anywhere in the High Sierra? I'd be worried about rock slides after a couple years of heavy snow, freezing, and thawing.

Rescues are not fun and do not make people happy.

Re: Cross Country Route

Posted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 1:18 am
by RoguePhotonic
Yeah that Sheep fire was disgusting. It was in my general view for weeks before I was in the smoke completely.

I did have a couple cold spells on the first and second weeks of September but nothing too bad. Generally 2010 was the most mild summer I ever spent in the Sierra. out of 71 days only had rain on 4 days and thunderstorms on 3 days. Longest stretch with no rain was 24 days. Before that it had been 18 days.

Re: Cross Country Route

Posted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:38 pm
by RoguePhotonic
I've given some thought into resupply locations since they are what dictates my time frame the most and I believe my route is possible even if I get held up. VVR closes mid October, the MTR closes September 18th but I can bypass that. Looking at my route even if Cedar Grove closes before I would get there I can go from VVR to Lodgepole or Wuksachi Lodge which is year round. Silver City Resort at Mineral King stays open until October 27th.

So unless the snow is crazy on June 26th when I plan to leave I will still leave then. When I reach Mineral King I will have crossed Farewell Gap at 10,600 feet. I will also have views of the high peaks around Mineral King. If the snow is too much to want to continue I will linger around the Mineral King area doing small hikes to numerous lakes around the area for a week or so until the snow melts more and I can continue as planned. This of course would push my hike over 100 days and into October but it still could be done as long as the weather permits.

Re: Cross Country Route

Posted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:30 pm
by East Side Hiker
I give up.

Re: Cross Country Route

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:36 pm
by gdurkee
I think it's true cerebral edema is not as common in the Sierra as pulmonary edema probably is but it does happen. Just last year a man had to be air lifted out of the Cottowood Lakes area from pulmonary edema.
HACE is not common, but definitely occurs. I've seen it as low as 9,000 feet. Maybe one case every 2 years or so in Sequoia Kings vs. maybe 2 - 5 per year for HAPE.
You do not need to pick up a snake to get bit. People have been rushed to the hospital many times on the trail because they simply stepped over a rock or log and a snake bit them in the back of the ankle. I myself have almost stepped on a rattlesnake just walking down the trail.
Rarer that HACE. I know of maybe one or two bites in Sequoia Kings in 30+ years. The classic ER visit is a drunk 22 year old male who wants to pick it up and swing it around.

And, although it's hard to resist "we only rescue stupid people" as a motto, most SARs are from something beyond the person's control or, at least, not really something stupid: a fall on the trail; HAPE: illness; heart attack; getting thrown from a horse etc. Increasingly the early and late season rescues, though, do seem to have an element of stupidity in that the people make poor decisions in the face of potentially severe weather conditions and are usually not prepared for those conditions.

In that category, my favorite remains the guys who followed their GPS that pointed the straight line course back to their car (4 miles) over returning on the trail (10 miles). So they went down an increasingly gnarly stream, got hit by a massive multi-day rain/snow storm, and then stuck at the top of a waterfall, where they waited for a rescue.

Still, that's the minority of incidents though arguably takes a huge chunk of SAR costs (aka tax dollars).


Re: Cross Country Route

Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:26 pm
by quentinc
George, do (can) they ever charge people for rescues? Particularly the "stupid" rescues?

Re: Cross Country Route

Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:47 pm
by AlmostThere
Yosemite SAR bills medical insurance for medical services provided. Not sure about SEKI but it wouldn't surprise me if they did the same. Beyond that, I don't believe they do. I've read about places back east that have done so.

Our county search and rescue does not, nor would they ever. Most "stupid" calls are merely due to ignorance - of the realities of what they're trying to do, of their own limits, of what to do when lost....