Sierra High Route June 21, 2016
Summer is here. It’s time to go hiking. Tomorrow I start the Sierra High Route with my friends Wired and Rockin’. A year ago the three of us hiked the Tahoe Rim Trail together and it was a blast. I am really excited to be hiking with these two women again.
The Sierra High Route (SHR) isn’t a trail. It’s a route. That means most of it doesn’t have trail. It’s 195 miles (314 km) running north south thru the Sierra. We will be mostly over 10,000 ft and cross 33 passes. It is going to be HARD, challenging and way less miles per day. The energy expenditure per mile should be in the stratosphere.
Rockin has pretty much done the entire route in pieces over the years. Her experience and skill level make me more confident about our prospects for completing this. Hopefully, riding on her coattails will work for me.
The route was established in 1977 by Steve Roper who wrote a book describing it. When I first started backpacking again in 2005 I bought the book. It sounded awesome but was way over my head and experience level. Hopefully it isn’t now.
Not having a trail to follow makes navigation super important. We have an awesome mapset from Andrew Skurka . Plus we have gps waypoints and maps on our phones. Above treeline where we will be living, landmarks are easily seen. The challenge will be to identify them. I am hoping that this summer ups my navigation game.
Finally, after way too many years of drought there is finally snow in the Sierra. This should make some areas easier….. sometimes walking on snow is easier than walking over loose rocks (talus and scree.) And some areas harder…. steep, scary icy chutes. We are bringing microspikes (mini crampons) and ice axes.
Wired and Rockin‘ have two of the best and most read blogs in the hiking cyber world. Even if I slack in my writing you can read all about my trip by following them. None of us will have Internet access to post every day. We will have to wait until we get to resupply places with wifi or cell service. Wired has a really cool flyover video using Google earth. And her blog has a map showing where we are. Maybe someday my blog will be as cool as hers.
Right now I am on a train to Fresno. The three of us will meet there and drive into Kings Canyon National Park. We start walking tomorrow. 5000 ft to 10,500 and 3 passes. Gulp! In 5 days we hope to be at Parchers Resort above Bishop. Our carrot is their all you can eat Sunday brunch.
If all goes well on this hike the same trio will head to Wyoming for the Wind River High Route.
It’s going to be a very good summer.