If you have questions, please contact us. The gully rolls over into an open-book corner with 400 feet of exposure. Day 4: Today we descend into French Canyon, and then head to an unnamed lake in the vicinity of Merriam Lake. Today we travel about 4 miles, ascending 1,500 feet and descending 1,700 feet on steep, rough terrain. The High Sierra Region joins Visit California in its call for safe and responsible travel throughout the state. Sure, pockets of tough terrain exist, especially if you like bushwhacking, but I subscribed to the notion that the Sierra was a thousand miles too far south for true adventure. The exposure and slick tundra ramps require all of my focus, and I'm whipped by the time I pitch camp near Cirque Pass. Bishop is located on the east side of the Sierra Nevada, about 200 miles from Reno, 265 miles from either Las Vegas or Los Angeles, and 300 miles from San Francisco. Steve Roper, the father of the SHR, is a throwback to that era, and to the early days of the '70s backpacking boom. All along this last leg, I've been worrying about Stanton Pass, the last big crossing. After crossing Mono Creek, which is not trivial if the winter delivers above average snowfall, we’ll turn east to begin our climb up Mono Pass. The Sierra High Route is one of the most spectacular and challenging treks in North America. Published by The Mountaineers. The Sierra High Route (SHR) is a 195-mile trekking route that runs north-south across the heart of the Sierra Nevada Range, through Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park, John Muir Wilderness, Ansel Adams Wilderness, and Yosemite National Park. The season is sliding toward winter, and my ultralight gear barely suffices. Try climbing the standout Banner Peak, just around the corner from Mammoth Lakes. Join us if you're looking for spectacular scenery, solitude, and a cross-country adventure with like-minded hikers! As of 2018, Eastern Sierra Transit offers bus service from the airport in Reno, NV to Bishop, CA. © 2020 Pocket Outdoor Media Inc. All Rights Reserved, Ability to downclimb Class III-IV with a heavy pack, Trekking poles (with rubber caps for the tips), Ice axe and crampons (often until September), Recommended: PLB, satellite phone, or SPOT beacon (especially for soloists); 40 feet of climbing rope for pack hauling and lowering. The Sierra High Route is HARDCORE. I hike on for two more days, September getting colder and the snowfields hardening beneath a nightly rain of shooting stars. Enjoy. Please email. While commercial shuttles have operated in the past–you could get one from Twin Lakes to Onion Valley for about $330, or from Twin Lakes to Kings Canyon for $1,000 or more–there are none currently offering the service. Please don't hesitate to contact the leader if you have additional questions after reading the full trip description. • Inspirock This rocky alpine bowl merges every Sierran archetype–blond granite, clear water, airy vistas, rushing cascades, and flowery meadows–into one died-and-gone-to-heaven setting. The SHR is a 195-mile trekking route that runs north-south through the heart of the High Sierra, the crown jewel of the Sierra Nevada Range. Matthew Kraft failed to return from his backcountry skiing trip on 5th March. On the first day, we will ascend 2,500 feet to cross the Sierra Nevada Crest; all other days we ascend between 1,500 and 3,000 feet. They also have a Bishop Creek shuttle bus. Thus, we do not recommend flight reservations that day. Conness. It's hard not to agree, but I discover that Roper has his foibles, too. To maximize trip enjoyment, flexibility and an adventurous attitude are required. Navigating these steep passes may require some non-technical climbing (Class 2/3). Contact the leader for details. Dropping into Bear Lakes Basin, I stumble upon the most evocative country I've encountered. I survived a fall intact enough to make a call, it could take searchers days to find me. Leaving Bear Lakes Basin, we’ll climb over steep Ursula Pass then wind around the shore of Lake Italy to Toe Lake, cutely named due to its position in the front of the geographic "boot" shape that gives Lake Italy its name. Bishop is located on the east side of the Sierra Nevada, about 200 miles from Reno, 265 miles from either Las Vegas or Los Angeles, and 300 miles from San Francisco. Days pass, and I settle into the trail's rhythm, my legs and lungs growing stronger. It's thick and impenetrably green, another one of those ridiculously effective barriers of suburban chlorophyll. It is a truly awesome route, but I couldn't help but think that since I'd already be in the high Sierra and so close […] Day 7: The destination for today is Toe Lake; our route is entirely off-trail and mostly on talus. Almost immediately we leave the trail and head to a group of rarely visited unnamed lakes, to camp high above the pass. We will camp in the vicinity of Paris Lake, having travelled around 6 miles with about 1,500 feet of gain and loss. The birds and marmots are silent until noon, when the sun briefly thaws the landscape again for a few hours. Instruction in off trail navigation can be provided to interested participants. CENTRAL SIERRA NEVADA, Calif. March 16, 2019 – A massive multiagency search in the Sierra Nevada has been underway for more than a week to locate missing U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lt. Matthew Kraft, a 24-year-old man from Washington, Conn. Kraft set out on a solo ski and hike trip on Feb. 24 with an itinerary to complete the 195-mile Sierra High Route on March 4 or 5. Here we’ll find waterfalls, stunning vistas, and a population of California Golden Trout inhabiting the pristine, brisk waters. By signing up, you are opting in to receive periodic communications from the Sierra Club. Sure enough, two fast days later I'm gable-walking down the high pumice ridgeline of Mammoth Crest as hawks whiz past on howling gales. And if there's a Shangri-La in the Sierra, the lake I'm crawling out of might get my vote. of sheep horns colliding. In two days, I'll be at South Lake, one of the Sierra's busiest locales. These days, 200 miles might not sound like much–not in an era of transcontinental yo-yo's and thru-hiking speed freaks. Permits Walk-in at Mammoth Welcome Center (see resupply, above). One thing I know for sure: I'll never be the same after this trip. From the pass, we’ll enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding peaks, crowned by the indomitable Mount Humphreys, and the Glacier Divide. "It gets you out, and you're there, man. "The research was the fun part, just going in there with friends, or alone. Watching them skirt the lake, I suddenly feel tiny, vulnerable, and intimidated by the huge ridgeline I must cross westward. We mainly travel in the John Muir Wilderness, portions of which lie in Inyo and Sierra National Forests. Some of the group equipment is relatively bulky, particularly pot sets and bear canisters. This tour was created from Steve Roper's Sierra High Route using Andrew Skurka's maps and points and takes the route northbound as described in the guides. This 210- to 220-mile, 20- to 30-day cross-country journey could be the premier mountain trek in the Lower 48. Beck envisioned this line across the southern Sierra as California's answer to the famous Haute Route of the Alps. (760) 873-4177; parchersresort.net. And at least 10 million outdoorsy Californians live within a day's drive of the trailheads here. Two days later, after a 16-mile detour that touches the JMT, I'm back on sketchy terrain. We will spend our layover day exploring Bear Lakes and Seven Gables Basins. Right under Yosemite's nose is an extra-burly route that gave our battle-scarred veteran more than he bargained for: more scenery, more solitude, and more jaw-tightening risk. The Sierra High Route: Not F**king Around. So I back down the col, chastened and awakened. It's a small group of bighorn rams. Jeff and Nancy finally arrive, and we punch northward into the jagged Ritter Range, with its dark, twisted Minaret Spires. Please do not make non-refundable travel arrangements until notified to do so by the trip leader. Forget what CNN and Your Daily News say about Yosemite's crowds and crime and traffic. Starting in the low desert of the Eastern Sierra and crossing some of the more rugged parts of the Sierra Nevada this is not a tour for the beginning skier. In other words, we will do what we can to preserve the area for those who come after us. Below me, a steep pile of refrigerator-size blocks perches atop downsloping slabs and ball-bearing gravel, all set in a corkscrewing 60-degree gully. Best things to do in Mammoth Lakes and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park are: General Sherman Tree, Giant Forest, Moro Rock Trail, and Devils Postpile National Monument. We will begin our hike from historic Tuolumne Meadows along the John Muir and Pacific Crest Trails as they parallel the Tuolumne River through stunning Lyell Canyon. https://www.backpacker.com/trips/hiking-the-sierra-high-route The map says this is Marion Lake, at mile 23. Sierra High Route July 2008 A rugged 195-mile hike with over 100 miles of off-trail travel, through both idyllic sub-alpine forest and tedious talus fields. I have someone else's legs, and the bags have disappeared from beneath my eyes. We plan these "low mileage" days for exploration, investigating route options that will provide the best route for the conditions that we find. It somewhat parallels the John Muir Trail (JMT) for most its length, and … You'll traverse two national parks, three wilderness areas, one national monument, 33 named passes, and 11 major divides. Laughing and joking, we scramble endlessly along rock-bound shorelines. We will explore Humphreys Basin on our way to Puppet Pass, our first cross-country pass. However, if challenges arise, we will have the luxury to be able to slowly and methodically move forward safely without being rushed. Hiking the High Sierra Trail. Staring up at the peaks, their tips glowing in the fading sun, I feel a twinge in my gut that I haven't felt since a six-week solo on Alaska's North Slope, 15 years ago. Hamilton Lake. Sierra high route itinerary question. One guy wrote me last year and told me he ran the thing in six days. If all goes well, after setting up camp, we will have time to explore, fish and relax. Day 10: We will rise early to attain Mono Pass by noon, giving us time to enjoy the majestic views before heading to Mosquito Flat and our cars. We will spend our layover day exploring Bear Lakes and Seven Gables Basins. Check back soon. Day 1: We will meet at a campground near North Lake, about 20 miles by car southwest of Bishop, CA, in the foothills of the eastern Sierra, around 3 p.m. After brief introductions, we will drive to Rock Creek to leave some of our cars to shuttle after the trip. A list of suggested personal equipment will be sent to all participants. So, having a strong start is essential. The High Sierra Trail Route - Sequoia National Park. We hope to not only discuss the problems conservationists face but also to suggest specific actions that we can take to help solve or prevent them from becoming worse. They call it the gentle wilderness, and it sure is, especially with the weather and you're always hiking on those slabs, with all the birds, and the little gardens of wildflowers. A day past Marion Lake, the view from atop Frozen Lake Pass brims with unsettling menace. * There may be slight differences between itineraries for various dates. This is something I have wanted to do for decades (I did about a third of it in 1976), and I am working on an itinerary maybe for next summer. Chief among them is a tendency to sandbag. Leaving Bear Lakes Basin, we will work our way over the Mono Divide descending the Second Recess, one of four imposing glacier-carved hanging valleys that once terminated in an icefall, that dumped huge ice blocks and chunks of granite into the main valley below. Forest Service camping is available along the way. If you would like the list before signing up, let the leader know and he will send you a copy. Credit: Inyo County Sheriff’s Office 1st Lt Marine Matthew Kraft is still missing from his Feb 24th hike and backcountry skiing trip along the Sierra High Route (SHR). limit; 559-249-4000; edisonlake.com). A few calls turned up a reputation for brutal topography, but the warning barely registered. Pioneered by Dave Beck in 1975, this ski tour became an instant classic. The overall difficulty of the trip is rated 5 on a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 denotes the least difficult and 5 the most difficult trips. Most of the days involving rugged high cross-country passes are only about 4-6 miles if a direct route can be followed. Much of the day, we’ll be ascending past a series of lakes in the valley containing the north fork of Bishop Creek. Check on-line for current information. Slowly, I climb to Glacier Lake Pass. The next morning, I cross Cirque Pass on monster granite ramps, then Potluck Pass via a 40-foot rock climb. A Berkeley boy who became a Yosemite dirtbag climber, he betrays a bit of hippie still, sprinkling his sentences with 'mans' and frequent profanities. The High Sierra Loop is an adventure into some of the prettiest country in the entire Sierra Nevada Range and highlights the best of Yosemite's high country in just four days! The High Sierra Trail has two great ascents – the first one over Kaweah Gap and the Great Western Divide, and the second over the Eastern Sierra and Trail Crest at Mt. Now, as I pass the halfway point, I occupy a few minutes composing a Roper-to-reality phrasebook. The leaders enjoy planning meals that are flavorful, diverse and, at times, atypical of usual backpacking fare. Gear. Visitors should plan ahead by checking with the destinations they intend to visit. Search "BACKPACKER," then hit the Trail Tours icon. "The country, those lakes," he says, "are some of the most beautiful places on Earth. However, traversing the off-trail passes may require class 2 or 3 climbing, and down climbing, meaning we will be using our hands to pull ourselves up and over some short rocky sections, while carrying our packs. She’d never heard of it and I had only heard vague mention so I tromped off to the library to check out Steve Roper’s work of genius, Sierra High Route: Traversing Timberline Country. : the destination for Today is Toe Lake ; our route is entirely off-trail and sierra high route itinerary.. 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