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CiscoCombs - Sierra High Route Journal - 2013

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City: Livermore
State: CA
Country: USA
Begins: Aug 28, 2013
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sat, Sep 28th, 2013

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 824
Journal Visits: 9,076
Guestbook Views: 1,228
Guestbook Entrys: 14

Sierra High Route Map

Post trip thoughts

The Sierra High Route was certainly the most challenging hike I've experienced, even more so than thru hiking the PCT, or Te Araroa in New Zealand. I'd advise not doing it solo, mostly for the security of another body, but it would be more enjoyable to share the experience I'm sure. I rarely saw more than one or two people a day while I was off the JMT. I didn't need any technical gear, not even a rope, but this could change radically if it is attempted early in the season, or after a heavy snowfall year. According to Skurka's databook I covered 118.8 miles on the route, plus the mileage out and back to South Lake, about 20 miles total. Not counting the 8 hours (1 day) to get to South Lake, that's an average of 12 miles a day. Less than I had hoped for, but the best I could do. Had it been earlier in the summer with longer days I might have gotten farther, but it was more energy than daylight that limited me. But hey, I'm 62, so cut me some slack.
This is not a trip for beginners, obviously, but as long as you are comfortable with moderate scrambling, and are willing to SLOW DOWN when the conditions indicate caution, it should be doable. I would definitely suggest trying it in sections, and taking the time to enjoy the beauty of the area, without the pressure to always push on, the Achilles heal of through hiking in my mind.
And a note for lightweight hikers. I found- a canon lens cover, zip off pants leg, new sunglasses, working headlamp, 3 tent pegs, and a few other items, so perhaps you can resupply on the trail. I took them all out.
The book by Steve Roper, "Sierra High Route-Traversing Timberline Country", and the maps from Andrew Skurka
are essential. I spent the 60 dollars to have them printed a Kinkos 11x17, and they were reasonably water resistant, and very easy to read-without my glasses. I always carry a GPS, that's your personal preference. A couple of times I was really glad I had it. Most of the route is not difficult to follow, though you will be making your own route choices all the time. Really quite enjoyable once you get used to it.
So if you are looking for a new adventure, off the well beaten path, this is for you. And if you got this far, sign my guest book please. ....Rich

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Journal Photo

Boulder Hoppin

Cisco on Te Araroa
Te Araroa Website:
Recommended reading:
also Cascade Summer which includes some passages about our 2011 PCT hike. I thru-hiked Te Araroa with my wife Roadrunner in 2012-13.


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