Longest Time Out

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar
jmherrell
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 45
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:41 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Longest Time Out

Post by jmherrell » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:12 pm

My longest backpack was also my first – 15 days. When I was 16 in high school in the 50s, our track coach took some members of the track team on a long trek, mostly cross-country, from Cedar Grove to Giant Forest. The route started at Sphinx Lakes, Lake Reflection, over Milly’s Foot Pass, Wright Lakes, climbed Tyndall, Kern Kaweah River, over Pants Pass, then joined the High Sierra Trail to Giant Forest. The only person we met before the last day was near Hamilton Lake the day before.

Everyone carried Trapper Nelson packs (designed by Tomas de Torquemada himself). Most of us carried about 45 lbs, not enough food for the whole trip. We caught a lot of trout to make up the difference. The majority of days, we had trout for dinner and breakfast, canned sardines, peanuts and raisins for lunch. I could hardly eat any of those for the next 20 years. We just left our food in our packs, there were no bear problems in those days. We didn’t carry water, just Sierra Cups. I carried that Trapper Nelson for the next 4 years until Kelty introduced his hip belt in ’62.

I've never backpacked that long since but I do like longer cross country trips. 11 days (10 nights) seem the best, any more is too much food to carry. This gives enough time to get to the interior of the park and explore the remote lake basins plus some peak bagging.








User avatar
longri
Topix Expert
Posts: 932
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:13 am
Experience: N/A

Re: Longest Time Out

Post by longri » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:49 am

10 days. I just did it a couple of weeks ago. I first walked for a week, resupplied with 12 more days of food, but then exited after only 10 more days because the terrain had beat up my body so much and food was going to be short for the final part. I've been doing the UL thing for the last 8 years and had to do day hikes with a 40lb pack to readjust my body to the notion of carrying more weight. The first time I tried that it was a crushing weight for me (and my knees). It used to be a normal weight.

User avatar
Harlen
Topix Expert
Posts: 450
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:13 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: California

Re: Longest Time Out

Post by Harlen » Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:32 pm

My longest backpack was also my first – 15 days. When I was 16 in high school in the 50s, our track coach took some members of the track team on a long trek, mostly cross-country, from Cedar Grove to Giant Forest. The route started at Sphinx Lakes, Lake Reflection, over Milly’s Foot Pass, Wright Lakes, climbed Tyndall, Kern Kaweah River, over Pants Pass, then joined the High Sierra Trail to Giant Forest. The only person we met before the last day was near Hamilton Lake the day before.
Jmherrel that is the most amazing and ambitious "first hike" we've ever heard of! I too was introduced to the Sierra by a high school coach, but we just poked around Onion Valley, up to Kearsarge, and return. What memories you guys must have from that trip. How did you get from Sphinx Lakes to Lake Reflection? Do you recall? We loved imagining that first trip of yours, Thanks, Ian and Lizzie.

User avatar
jmherrell
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 45
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:41 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Longest Time Out

Post by jmherrell » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:37 pm

How did you get from Sphinx Lakes to Lake Reflection? Do you recall?
Two memorable days. First we crossed the divide over the saddle just south of peak 3929 (aka Mount Francis Farquhar) into the headwaters of North Guard Creek. Then over another ridge into the headwaters of Ouzel Creek where we spent the night. The next day we went to Lake Reflection. I don't remember the route the second day except that we didn't go to East Lake and we dropped directly down to the outlet of Lake Reflection where we spent the night. I wouldn't recommend this route. The route over Sphinx Col to Longley Pass is preferable and more scenic.

Jim

User avatar
Harlen
Topix Expert
Posts: 450
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:13 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: California

Re: Longest Time Out

Post by Harlen » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:48 pm

Wow, your trip is even finer/crazier now that we know how you got from Sphinx Lakes to Lake Reflection! Was your track coach attempting to weed out the unworthy? Or just trying to get you all in great shape?
IMG_6617.JPG
This is one of the larger Sphinx Lakes, looking east. Was your col to cross into the East Creek watershed the very lowest point in the distance, the one to the far left? Looks like a bit of a climb.
IMG_6518.JPG
Here is a photo from Brewer Col, back down toward East Creek, where we'd begun. Was your crossing to Lake R. the low saddle just right of center in the frame? Cheers on your great first trip, Harlen.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
jmherrell
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 45
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:41 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Longest Time Out

Post by jmherrell » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:37 pm

Sorry for the delay, just got back from Yosemite. The route from Sphinx Lakes to Lake Reflection may have been exploratory on the part of our coach. Many of the days were tough but not a lot of mileage except for the last day. We had to hike from Bearpaw Meadow to meet the cars by noon, worst blisters of my life, poor boots and cotton gym socks.

The first photo looks like Sphinx Lake 11010 in the foreground with North Guard in the left center. We stayed at lake 10514. The col that we crossed must be the next one beyond the left side of the photo, the one just south of Mount Francis Farquhar (3929).

I don’t remember the details of the next day but the saddle you point out in the second photo must be where we crossed.

Jim

User avatar
Bluewater
Topix Expert
Posts: 566
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:33 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Laguna Beach
Contact:

Re: Longest Time Out

Post by Bluewater » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:40 pm

My longest stretch without resupply was 14 days. From Reds Meadow to Mt. Whitney via cross country passes. I was using a Zpacks Arc Haul and weighed around 30 lbs leaving Reds (without a canister). Definitely not enough food on that trip! I lost over 20 lbs over three weeks.

User avatar
Shhsgirl
Topix Regular
Posts: 103
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:44 am
Experience: N/A

Re: Longest Time Out

Post by Shhsgirl » Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:40 pm

My longest stretch is always 10 days. I can fit all food into Expedition canister, but it's pretty darn heavy. Now that I am older, I think I will do six or seven days, at most.

User avatar
robertseeburger
Topix Regular
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:53 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Longest Time Out

Post by robertseeburger » Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:41 pm

My longest is 16 days when I was younger in the 70's. I found that you could get that much into your pack and the key issue was volume, not weight.

In recent years, at 60 years old..my most is 14 days solo. I did that on a Whitney region trip two years ago. Starting weight 55 to 57 pounds. Volume planning in the pack is an issue, but manageable. To me though the key issue is just weight. I usually plan lots of layover days, and to be honest, it is my expectation that I do not enjoy the first day out....without question...and often the second day out as well. But once you get the second behind you... having 11 or 12 days out there is....wonderful.

I use the algorithm of "enjoyable days" equals total days minus three for a trip. The first day for me is brutal, and often the second day is just "getting in the area where you want to get to". And. the last day is just putting on miles getting to the car. Hence the 3 day calculation. This is not to mention the hassle of driving up and back. This is what drives me to take longer trips. 14 minus 3 is 11, whereas 7 minus 3 is 4.. 11 is way more than double 4! So a little bit of pain
in the first days of carrying extra food works for me... as opposed to taking shorter trips.

I hope and expect to do a couple of 14 day trips this summer.... trip planning time now!

User avatar
longri
Topix Expert
Posts: 932
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:13 am
Experience: N/A

Re: Longest Time Out

Post by longri » Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:06 pm

robertseeburger wrote:In recent years, at 60 years old..my most is 14 days solo. I did that on a Whitney region trip two years ago. Starting weight 55 to 57 pounds. Volume planning in the pack is an issue, but manageable. To me though the key issue is just weight.
How much of that was food weight?

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot], Harlen, maverick, TahoeJeff and 7 guests