Open Invite

12:26 a.m. on May 14, 2013 (EDT)
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Like last year, I am planning a good backpacking trip this summer.  I have a permit for an eight day trip out of Mineral King starting Saturday July 27 and exiting Saturday August 3.

The general route is to go over Timber Gap, then up Cliff Creek and over Black Rock Pass to Little Five Lakes/Big Five Lakes.  From there we will drop down Big Arroyo and go all the way to the trail that heads back up Rattlesnake Creek to Forester Lake.  Then north to Lost Canyon.  From Lost Canyon, we will take a day to head up to a lake that I have been looking at on the topo maps for a number of years.  It is remote and off trail, and I would be willing to bet that we will be the first people there in a generation. Then back to Lost Canyon and over Sawtooth Pass to go back to Mineral King.

We will be on a variety of trails, from well used popular trails to the seldom used and rarely maintained trail in Big Arroyo (the SEKI website says that route finding skills are necessary in this section).  And, of course, off trail to the unnamed lake at the east end of the Sawtooth-Needham ridge.  The longest day distance wise will be 13 miles, and the longest day vertically will probably be +3200' and -1400'.

I have a permit for seven, and right now I have four committed to go.  If you are interested, let me know.

Like last year, I have conditions.  If you do not have experience doing multi-day backpacking trips, or any experience at elevation, expect me to ask hard questions.  I have had people bail out on the third day of an eight day trip and it was not a pleasant situation.  If you are unable to continue because you have simply bitten off more than you could chew, I would expect you to be able to self-evacuate over the shortest route.   That may sound harsh, but I only get one good trip each year and it is always a gamble taking on people with whom you have not hiked before because you don't know what their true abilities are.

10:39 a.m. on May 14, 2013 (EDT)
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Sugar Pine,

I think you are asking a lot to go on longer trips with people you don't know.  I have enough trouble with family and friends I have know for decades.

I can car camp for a few days with difficult people.  But backcountry trips of a week really stress some people.  On our last trip in Feb we had a guy with skills, but he turnsed out to have some Compulsive Disorder.  He would unpack all his stuff every morning and organize it.  It took him 3 1/2 hours to get going.

 

5:44 p.m. on May 14, 2013 (EDT)
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Well, that sounds like a great trip!  Unfortunately, I can only go from July 31 to Aug 4th.  Was planning on driving up from San Diego very early on the 31st, then going solo on a Mineral King loop and hiking out the morning of the 4th, then driving back to SD that afternoon/evening. 

9:23 p.m. on May 14, 2013 (EDT)
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Love to join you.  Did that exact trip (minus the lake) when young enough to do it.  GREAT TRIP!  You are going to love it.  Some of the low use trails may be a bit indistinct at times. They were then too.  And we only saw three other hikers for 10 days.


Mark that down as generally strenuous mainly for the length of the walk and the food you have to carry.  Down river on the Kern was sandy like walking on seashore.

I like your style...

9:35 a.m. on May 15, 2013 (EDT)
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If you make this an annual thing, I hope to join you someday! My current available vacation time, finances, and personal fitness level are all barriers that I can't surmount this time around. 

Many thanks for extending the invitation, and best wishes for a fantastic trek! 

PS- I commend you for setting rigid parameters for participation, you are wise and responsible to do so. 

10:33 a.m. on May 15, 2013 (EDT)
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PPine,

You bring up a good point.

Backpacking is fairly social here in the south for most folks (AT and GSMNP anyway). I’ve spent the night next to strangers in shelters countless times, as well as spread out in tent camping areas. I also would say that I mostly encounter really high character folks out in the backcountry. There is always the unknown regarding personalities, peculiarities (like obsessive organization as you mentioned) and so forth but to me that could be just another part of the adventure.  I’m not concerned about it at all. I’m pretty easy going also (or so I’m told).

Speacock,

I like his style too. I’m one of the four committed to go; I’ve had my plane ticket for a while now and I’m really excited to finally see some of the Sierra. I almost took him up on the offer last year but had already committed my time off.

Gonz,

Too bad you can’t make this one…that would be very cool.

11:43 a.m. on May 16, 2013 (EDT)
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I am currently reading Coln Fletcher's book "River" about his solo raft trip down the Green and Colo Rivers.  I could identify with his need to camp away from people.  Maybe it is a highly refined sense of aesthetics that makes so many potential hiking and camping partners incompatible.

I suspect that many people, like the ones on this thread are social by nature and can easily overlook differences in outlook.

 

December 27, 2014
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