Sunday, August 31, 2014

A piece of the Sierra High Route: Overview

This was a six day backpacking trip along a part of the Sierra High Route that Roper calls "white bark country". We started at the North Lake trailhead and finished at the Pine Creek trailhead.

The days:
  1. North Lake Trailhead to Lower Desolation Lake
  2. Lower Desolation Lake to Puppet Lake Basin via Pilot Knob
  3. Puppet Lake Basin to tarn below La Salle Lake
  4. La Salle Lake to Black Bear Lake
  5. Black Bear Lake to Granite Park via Mt. Julius Caesar
  6. Granite Park to Pine Creek trailhead
Most of our information about the route was from the book "Sierra High Route: Traversing Timberline Country", which I'll just call "Roper" throughout.

Some notes:
  • Due to the number of lakes on the route, we never needed to have more than a liter of water apiece with us. We just stopped when necessary to pump water and refill our bottles. What luxury!
  • Doing our usual lunch strategy for 6 days wasn't going to work, so we tried an experiment: we took lots of snacks (nuts, dried fruit, gorp), some cheese, some salami, and Clif Bars (one each per day). We tend to not be super hungry during the day while hiking anyway, so this frequent-snacking strategy ended up working pretty well.
  • One 230g Primus four-season gas cartridge lasted through the entire trip. It was starting to feel empty towards the end, but we had no problems.

Pack contents
  • Greg:
    • Clothes: three t-shirts, three pairs of socks, hiking pants, three pairs underwear, long-sleeve shirt, long underwear top and bottom, gloves (thin and thick), stocking cap, sun hat, softshell, gore-tex, sandals, boots
    • Bear cylinder
    • Food:
      • three salamis (6-8 oz each)
      • cheese (about 250g)
      • two mashed-potato portions
      • three cous-cous portions
      • two freeze-dried meals
      • 5 oatmeal portions
      • 10 Clif bars
      • snacks: 400-500g each trail mix, peanuts, cashews. 250g each apricots and prunes (those quantities are guessed; neither of us remember the size of the bags and TJs doesn't have an online product list)
      • instant espresso, tea, powdered milk
      • two bars of chocolate
    • Sleeping bag + 2 therma-rests
    • Jet-boil cup, stove, and 100g spare gas cylinder (Andrea carried this at the beginning), Jet-boil skillet (we transferred this to Andrea at some point), kitchen spices
    • 1l water bottle
    • trekking poles
    • orange shovel
    • toiletry bag: lip balm, aloe, lotion, toothbrushes, toothpaste
    • small stuff: leatherman, first-aid kit, fuel cell (never used it), 5m Reepschnur, pak-towel, extra straps, sunscreen, sunglasses, head lamp, watch, iphone, wallet, passport
  • Andrea:
    • Clothes: two t-shirts, long-sleeve shirt, bra, five underpants, three pairs of socks, hiking pants, long underwear top and bottom, fleece, insulated jacket, gore-tex, sandals, hiking boots, stocking cap, gloves, sun hat
    • Kitchen bag: two each bowls, cups, sporks; cutting board; wooden spoon; folding knife; soap; two dish towels
    • sleeping bag
    • tent
    • gas cylinder (243g)
    • 1l water bottle
    • water pump + iodine
    • trekking poles
    • maps (1 A3 print-out per day + overview) and Roper's route description
    • small-stuff: pak-towel, camera+spare battery, mini-tripod, head lamp, sunglasses, contacts stuff, toilet paper, iphone, wallet, passport

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