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Shortest way out to the Sequoia side?

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  • Calley Ordoyne
    Hi all - I m down to brass tacks on planning my exact SOBO route for the JMT (starting in late August) and I m strongly considering hiking out to the east
    Message 1 of 29 , Jun 30, 2014
      Hi all - 

      I'm down to brass tacks on planning my exact SOBO route for the JMT (starting in late August) and I'm strongly considering hiking out to the east rather than via Whitney Portal - mainly because a friend is interested in meeting me and travelling around SEKI for a couple days.  I'm not familiar at all with SEKI, however - what would folks recommend as the most efficient route out that way?  I'm figuring it will take at least another couple days to hike out to the east, which I can do - I'm just not sure what will be the easiest way.  Or if they're basically all the same distance/difficulty, then what's the most scenic route?

      Thanks!
      Calley
    • Peter Hirst
      Calley: Whitney Portal IS to the east. You mean to the west, to explore SEKI. High Sierra Trail is the usual route, but its more than a couple days. Also
      Message 2 of 29 , Jun 30, 2014
        Calley:  Whitney Portal IS to the east. You mean to the west, to explore SEKI.  High Sierra Trail is the usual route, but its more than a couple days.  Also depends on wether you are going to tag Whitney.  The most efficient route out is the class 2/3 over Pants Pass to nine lakes basin, meeting the HST at Kaweah Gap.  that can be done in a couple of days, but Pants is not easy.

        Meeting up with your friend is not a piece of cake either.  Where would you want to do that?


        On Jun 30, 2014, at 7:50 AM, Calley Ordoyne ordoynec@... [johnmuirtrail] wrote:

         

        Hi all - 

        I'm down to brass tacks on planning my exact SOBO route for the JMT (starting in late August) and I'm strongly considering hiking out to the east rather than via Whitney Portal - mainly because a friend is interested in meeting me and travelling around SEKI for a couple days.  I'm not familiar at all with SEKI, however - what would folks recommend as the most efficient route out that way?  I'm figuring it will take at least another couple days to hike out to the east, which I can do - I'm just not sure what will be the easiest way.  Or if they're basically all the same distance/difficulty, then what's the most scenic route?

        Thanks!
        Calley


      • Joe MacLeish
        I am going out to WP/LP and getting a ride up to Independence/Onion Valley the hoofing it over Kearsarge Pass to Charlotte Lake area and out to Roads end in
        Message 3 of 29 , Jun 30, 2014

          I am going out to WP/LP and getting a ride up to Independence/Onion Valley the hoofing it over Kearsarge Pass to Charlotte Lake area and out to Roads end in SEKI.  Two easy days across.  If you are not going up Whitney you can turn right (west) from the JMT at Charlotte Lake and just go out to Road's end in SEKI.  Cuts a few days off the total JMT.  By the by as noted WP is on the east side and SEKI is to the west.

          Joe

           

          From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com]
          Sent: Monday, June 30, 2014 7:51 AM
          To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [John Muir Trail] Shortest way out to the Sequoia side?

           

           

          Hi all - 

           

          I'm down to brass tacks on planning my exact SOBO route for the JMT (starting in late August) and I'm strongly considering hiking out to the east rather than via Whitney Portal - mainly because a friend is interested in meeting me and travelling around SEKI for a couple days.  I'm not familiar at all with SEKI, however - what would folks recommend as the most efficient route out that way?  I'm figuring it will take at least another couple days to hike out to the east, which I can do - I'm just not sure what will be the easiest way.  Or if they're basically all the same distance/difficulty, then what's the most scenic route?

           

          Thanks!

          Calley

        • cehauser1
          Calley: Hiking out the west side is a great option. I did this last year: John Muir Trail (JMT) southbound and High Sierra Trail (HST) westbound. The Tom
          Message 4 of 29 , Jun 30, 2014
            Calley:

            Hiking out the west side is a great option.  I did this last year:  John Muir Trail (JMT) southbound and High Sierra Trail (HST) westbound.  The Tom Harrison "Mt Whitney High Country" shows this southern area (including the entire HST)... not to be mistaken for his "Mt Whitney Zone" map.   The HST adds about 60 miles from the top of Mt Whitney to the parking lot at Crescent Meadow.  The terrain, elevations, and scenery are about the same as the middle half of the JMT.  There's a wonderful natural hot spring midway on the HST (Kern Hot Spring).  It is a nice westbound option.

            One way to make things a bit easier:  Set up a base camp on the west side of Mt Whitney (at Crabtree Meadow or Guitar Lake).... the next morning use a day pack to summit Mt Whitney, then return to the base camp to spend your second night there, as you start your route west.  Your summit of Mt. Whitney is the official end of your SOBO JMT trip, and the official start of your westbound HST trip (or alternate westbound trip).

            There are multiple ways to hike west of Mt. Whitney.  Not all are the same difficulty or level of scenery.  The HST is probably the most popular (and populous?) route.  Lots of elevation change, but nice scenery.  A big part of your decision is deciding where you want to meet your friends in SEKI:

            There are 3 main developed areas in Sequoia-Kings National Parks... the first 2 are shown on that Tom Harrison "Mt Whitney High Country" map.  (1) The west end of the HST is at Crescent Meadow, which is part of a largest and most developed of the 3 areas, known as the "Giant Forest" (within Sequoia NP)... lots of campgrounds, museums, stores, restaurants, etc.  Lots of activity, reminds me of a flat version of Yosemite Valley.  (2) a much quieter part of Sequoia NP is the Mineral King portion, a section of dirt road keeps out many of the RVs and tourists, so it is mostly backpackers and horse packers.  Mineral King is closer to Mt. Whitney (so closer for you to walk), but it is isolated from the rest of the park so it would be much less convenient for your friends to access.  (3) Kings Canyon is a relatively quiet part of Kings Canyon NP, further to the north of Mt Whitney.  This is the area that Joe mentions... it is the shortest hike west across the Sierras, but it requires backtracking back north on the JMT (or a shuttle on Hwy 395, as Joe mentions, from Whitney Portal to Onion Valley).  Kings Canyon is less isolated than Mineral King, but it would be less convenient for you, due to your backtracking/shuttle.

            I've only hiked on the HST, but other folks on this list have more personal experience with other trails west of Mt Whitney.  My advice:  Get the Tom Harrison map, and perhaps the one to the north ("Kings Canyon High Country" map) so you can see all your options.

            Chris.

            ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <jmacleish@...> wrote :

            I am going out to WP/LP and getting a ride up to Independence/Onion Valley the hoofing it over Kearsarge Pass to Charlotte Lake area and out to Roads end in SEKI.  Two easy days across.  If you are not going up Whitney you can turn right (west) from the JMT at Charlotte Lake and just go out to Road's end in SEKI.  Cuts a few days off the total JMT.  By the by as noted WP is on the east side and SEKI is to the west.

            Joe

             

            From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com]
            Sent: Monday, June 30, 2014 7:51 AM
            To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [John Muir Trail] Shortest way out to the Sequoia side?

             

             

            Hi all - 

             

            I'm down to brass tacks on planning my exact SOBO route for the JMT (starting in late August) and I'm strongly considering hiking out to the east rather than via Whitney Portal - mainly because a friend is interested in meeting me and travelling around SEKI for a couple days.  I'm not familiar at all with SEKI, however - what would folks recommend as the most efficient route out that way?  I'm figuring it will take at least another couple days to hike out to the east, which I can do - I'm just not sure what will be the easiest way.  Or if they're basically all the same distance/difficulty, then what's the most scenic route?

             

            Thanks!

            Calley

          • Calley Ordoyne
            Should have added more information about my plans - I do hope to tag Mt. Whitney, and then hike WEST (eiyiyiyi.... directional dyslexia...) through Sequoia to
            Message 5 of 29 , Jul 2, 2014
              Should have added more information about my plans - I do hope to tag Mt. Whitney, and then hike WEST (eiyiyiyi.... directional dyslexia...) through Sequoia to meet up with a friend who wants to meet me at a trailhead. I have heard good things about the HST, but having just spent 220 scenic miles on the trail, at that point I'd be prioritizing efficiency over scenery - the fastest and easiest route west from Whitney is my goal. So yes, I had planned to set up a base camp at Crabtree or Guitar lakes, day-hike up Whitney and back again, and then backtrack as far as Wallace Creek and turn west. It sounds like the easiest route is out via Mineral King - guessing I'd hike up Kern Canyon, then turning at Rattlesnake Creek to go over Franklin pass. I'm hoping it's two long days hopefully without too much crazy terrain changes, as those trails seem to be all along creeks. I have ordered a map of the area, but folks experience with those trails would be welcome.

              Thanks!
              Calley
            • Peter Hirst
              Two really long days. What pace do you hike? Its 40 something from Crabtree to Mineral King over Franklin. Varied terrain? Hmmm. Kern drops down to around
              Message 6 of 29 , Jul 2, 2014
                Two really long days.  What pace do you hike? Its 40 something from Crabtree to Mineral King over Franklin.  Varied terrain?  Hmmm.  Kern drops down to around 7000, and Franklin is at just over 11,700, so yeah, it would be one more big pass.  The Pants Pass route doesn't drop as low (Junction Meadow) or climb as high, but there is that class 2/3 to and over the pass itself, but its a lot easier from the east.  You go down the scree, not up it.  To mineral King, Sawtooth Pass looks like it cuts a few miles off the Franklin Pass trail, but I can't find a good description of it.


                On Jul 2, 2014, at 8:22 AM, Calley Ordoyne ordoynec@... [johnmuirtrail] wrote:

                 

                Should have added more information about my plans - I do hope to tag Mt. Whitney, and then hike WEST (eiyiyiyi.... directional dyslexia...) through Sequoia to meet up with a friend who wants to meet me at a trailhead. I have heard good things about the HST, but having just spent 220 scenic miles on the trail, at that point I'd be prioritizing efficiency over scenery - the fastest and easiest route west from Whitney is my goal. So yes, I had planned to set up a base camp at Crabtree or Guitar lakes, day-hike up Whitney and back again, and then backtrack as far as Wallace Creek and turn west. It sounds like the easiest route is out via Mineral King - guessing I'd hike up Kern Canyon, then turning at Rattlesnake Creek to go over Franklin pass. I'm hoping it's two long days hopefully without too much crazy terrain changes, as those trails seem to be all along creeks. I have ordered a map of the area, but folks experience with those trails would be welcome.

                Thanks!
                Calley


              • longritchie
                Is Franklin Pass the fastest way to any west side trail from Wallace Creek? I wanted to get to a specific trailhead (Crescent Mdw) from Wallace Creek a couple
                Message 7 of 29 , Jul 2, 2014
                  Is Franklin Pass the fastest way to any west side trail from Wallace Creek?

                  I wanted to get to a specific trailhead (Crescent Mdw) from Wallace Creek a couple of years ago. The choices that seemed obvious to me were the HST, Pants Pass and Pyra-Queen Col. I had just walked the HST so that was out. I ended up deciding on Pyra-Queen because it seemed the most direct and I expected Kaweah Basin to be a very nice place (it is). I estimated 38 miles and about 10,000 feet of gain from Wallace Creek to Crescent Mdw going this way. I got to the trailhead at 1:30pm on the second day. I would recommend this route for its scenery, but would add that you really need to like talus a lot. I don't know if it would be any faster than going to Mineral King though. I would guess the answer is no but it would only be a guess.
                • Peter Hirst
                  I think Pants may involve less talus. More of a slab approach and a short talus climb to the ridge as I recall from an account a couple years ago. Approach
                  Message 8 of 29 , Jul 2, 2014
                    I think Pants may involve less talus.  More of a slab approach and a short talus climb to the ridge as I recall from an account a couple years ago.  Approach the south notch of the ridge the traverse to the north for the scree descent that gives the pass its name.


                    This trip was 55 miles from the Portal, and for some reason by 
                    way of Tyndall, so I am thinking significantly under 40 by way of Wallace.  Also a lot less than 10,000 uphill.  Only real climb is from Jct Meadow to Pants  8000 to 12000, a couple hundred over Kaweah, then nearly all downhill to Crescent.  Maybe 5,000 uphill





                    On Jul 2, 2014, at 10:35 AM, longritchie wrote:

                     

                    Is Franklin Pass the fastest way to any west side trail from Wallace Creek?

                    I wanted to get to a specific trailhead (Crescent Mdw) from Wallace Creek a couple of years ago. The choices that seemed obvious to me were the HST, Pants Pass and Pyra-Queen Col. I had just walked the HST so that was out. I ended up deciding on Pyra-Queen because it seemed the most direct and I expected Kaweah Basin to be a very nice place (it is). I estimated 38 miles and about 10,000 feet of gain from Wallace Creek to Crescent Mdw going this way. I got to the trailhead at 1:30pm on the second day. I would recommend this route for its scenery, but would add that you really need to like talus a lot. I don't know if it would be any faster than going to Mineral King though. I would guess the answer is no but it would only be a guess.


                  • longritchie
                    ...I am thinking significantly under 40 by way of Wallace. Also a lot less than 10,000 uphill. Only real climb is from Jct Meadow to Pants 8000 to 12000, a
                    Message 9 of 29 , Jul 2, 2014
                      "...I am thinking significantly under 40 by way of Wallace.  Also a lot less than 10,000 uphill.  Only real climb is from Jct Meadow to Pants  8000 to 12000, a couple hundred over Kaweah, then nearly all downhill to Crescent.  Maybe 5,000 uphill"

                      Yeah, right. It's almost all downhill to Crescent. That's a good one. In fact I think I made that very joke to a friend on a trip out there one time.

                      My 10K number came from TOPO! which tends to overestimate elevation gain. Of that, 4500 feet were for Kaweah Gap to Crescent in the "downhill" direction. Elsewhere I have seen an estimate of something closer to 3000 feet gain.

                      In any case, it appears to me that the distance and elevation gain are pretty close to the same for Pants Pass and Pyra-Queen. But would going out to Mineral King be faster?
                    • Peter Hirst
                      I have seen some crazy gain and loss data from TOPO! It apparently counts every time a trail hits a contour, not giving an accurate assessment of overall
                      Message 10 of 29 , Jul 2, 2014
                        I have seen some crazy gain and loss data from TOPO!  It apparently counts every time a trail hits a contour, not giving an accurate assessment of overall trail direction.  Like counting stepping over a rock as gain.  There are two significant dips on the HST below Kaweah:  Lone Pine Creek and Buck Creek, maybe a couple hundred feet each, and one minor climb out of Hamilton drainage into Lone Pine. I think "nearly all downhill" is a pretty fair assessment of the trail.


                        On Jul 2, 2014, at 12:33 PM, longritchie wrote:

                         

                        "...I am thinking significantly under 40 by way of Wallace.  Also a lot less than 10,000 uphill.  Only real climb is from Jct Meadow to Pants  8000 to 12000, a couple hundred over Kaweah, then nearly all downhill to Crescent.  Maybe 5,000 uphill"

                        Yeah, right. It's almost all downhill to Crescent. That's a good one. In fact I think I made that very joke to a friend on a trip out there one time.

                        My 10K number came from TOPO! which tends to overestimate elevation gain. Of that, 4500 feet were for Kaweah Gap to Crescent in the "downhill" direction. Elsewhere I have seen an estimate of something closer to 3000 feet gain.

                        In any case, it appears to me that the distance and elevation gain are pretty close to the same for Pants Pass and Pyra-Queen. But would going out to Mineral King be faster?


                      • longritchie
                        I have seen some crazy gain and loss data from TOPO! It apparently counts every time a trail hits a contour, not giving an accurate assessment of overall
                        Message 11 of 29 , Jul 2, 2014
                          "I have seen some crazy gain and loss data from TOPO!  It apparently counts every time a trail hits a contour, not giving an accurate assessment of overall trail direction.  Like counting stepping over a rock as gain.  There are two significant dips on the HST below Kaweah:  Lone Pine Creek and Buck Creek, maybe a couple hundred feet each, and one minor climb out of Hamilton drainage into Lone Pine. I think "nearly all downhill" is a pretty fair assessment of the trail."

                          TOPO! has it's flaws, no argument there. And that particular section contours along the side of a ridge where the software is notoriously bad. But the trail has more ups and downs than you realize. A lot more.

                          I'm curious, have you walked it?
                        • Peter Hirst
                          Yes I have, and the numbers may even be accurate, but I am looking at the profile right now, and Kaweah to Hamilton is 100% down hill, and between Hamilton
                          Message 12 of 29 , Jul 2, 2014
                            Yes I have, and the numbers may even be accurate, but I am looking at the profile right now, and  Kaweah to Hamilton is 100% down hill, and   between Hamilton and CM, its a a net loss of about 12 or 1500, and of five uphill sections only one, I believe it is Lone Pine  is very significant or even noticeably steep.  Maybe 400 feet.  With the level of detail in this profile, no way is there more than 2000' of gain between Kaweah and CM.  In any event, the actual experience of it is overwhelmingly downhill. Not all like Kaweah Gap to Hamilton, but overall.


                            On Jul 2, 2014, at 6:14 PM, longritchie wrote:

                             

                            "I have seen some crazy gain and loss data from TOPO!  It apparently counts every time a trail hits a contour, not giving an accurate assessment of overall trail direction.  Like counting stepping over a rock as gain.  There are two significant dips on the HST below Kaweah:  Lone Pine Creek and Buck Creek, maybe a couple hundred feet each, and one minor climb out of Hamilton drainage into Lone Pine. I think "nearly all downhill" is a pretty fair assessment of the trail."

                            TOPO! has it's flaws, no argument there. And that particular section contours along the side of a ridge where the software is notoriously bad. But the trail has more ups and downs than you realize. A lot more.

                            I'm curious, have you walked it?


                          • Paul Fretheim
                            I would suggest continuing north on the JMT to Bubbs Creek/Vidette Meadow. It s only about 10 miles or less from there to Road s End in Kings Canyon. On Wed,
                            Message 13 of 29 , Jul 3, 2014
                              I would suggest continuing north on the JMT to Bubbs Creek/Vidette Meadow. It's only about 10 miles or less from there to Road's End in Kings Canyon.


                              On Wed, Jul 2, 2014 at 8:22 AM, Calley Ordoyne ordoynec@... [johnmuirtrail] <johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                               

                              Should have added more information about my plans - I do hope to tag Mt. Whitney, and then hike WEST (eiyiyiyi.... directional dyslexia...) through Sequoia to meet up with a friend who wants to meet me at a trailhead. I have heard good things about the HST, but having just spent 220 scenic miles on the trail, at that point I'd be prioritizing efficiency over scenery - the fastest and easiest route west from Whitney is my goal. So yes, I had planned to set up a base camp at Crabtree or Guitar lakes, day-hike up Whitney and back again, and then backtrack as far as Wallace Creek and turn west. It sounds like the easiest route is out via Mineral King - guessing I'd hike up Kern Canyon, then turning at Rattlesnake Creek to go over Franklin pass. I'm hoping it's two long days hopefully without too much crazy terrain changes, as those trails seem to be all along creeks. I have ordered a map of the area, but folks experience with those trails would be welcome.

                              Thanks!
                              Calley


                            • longritchie
                              Kaweah to Hamilton is 100% down hill 100%? Either you re being silly or you ve forgotten. There are small ups and downs. The most obvious one that I can
                              Message 14 of 29 , Jul 8, 2014
                                "Kaweah to Hamilton is 100% down hill"

                                100%? Either you're being silly or you've forgotten. There are small ups and downs. The most obvious one that I can recall is near that tunnel.

                                Determining the actual total gain is difficult. The minimum step that a human would feel is pretty small (1cm?) but none of the practical methods come anywhere close to that resolution. The map only shows 40 foot intervals and can miss an enormous number of small but significant gains. TOPO! interpolates between the data which, when coupled with a shaky hand and inaccurate trail, usually results in a lot of noise in the profile.

                                Methods for determining total gain that I know of:

                                1. TOPO! -- usually overestimates, sometimes dramatically
                                2. GPS XY -> elevation -- usually overestimates
                                3. Altimeter with accumulator -- usually underestimates
                                4. Eyeballing the map -- usually underestimates

                                I have an altimeter that accumulates total gain. It has a resolution of 10 feet and a hysteresis of 30 feet. That is, it will not count ups and downs of less than 30 feet. I had it with me this weekend and observed this annoying (but necessary) feature. Many times it accumulated zero additional gain as I climbed over bumps of 10 to 25 feet in height. So this altimeter provides a lower limit in most cases.

                                A friend with the same watch has kept total gain records from trips, including one on the first part of the HST. The total gain on the "downhill" from Kaweah Gap to Cresent was 1850 feet according to my friend's watch. So about 2000 feet of gain is a conservative (under)estimate.

                                That's far less than my shaky TOPO! trace and significantly less than the 3000 feet that I've seen from another TOPO! trace.

                                But 2000 feet of uphill and 6000 feet of downhill is a far cry from "overwhelmingly downhill".
                              • Roleigh Martin
                                I figure the mileage from Wallace Creek to Crescent Meadows TH is 46 to 48.3 miles depending on whether you skip Moraine Lake or not.
                                Message 15 of 29 , Jul 8, 2014
                                  I figure the mileage from Wallace Creek to Crescent Meadows TH is 46 to 48.3 miles depending on whether you skip Moraine Lake or not.


                                  There are two significant uphill hikes in the trail, from bottom of Kern Canyon up and just before you arrive in Bearpaw Meadows.


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                                  On Wed, Jul 2, 2014 at 12:33 PM, longritchie <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                   

                                  "...I am thinking significantly under 40 by way of Wallace.  Also a lot less than 10,000 uphill.  Only real climb is from Jct Meadow to Pants  8000 to 12000, a couple hundred over Kaweah, then nearly all downhill to Crescent.  Maybe 5,000 uphill"

                                  Yeah, right. It's almost all downhill to Crescent. That's a good one. In fact I think I made that very joke to a friend on a trip out there one time.

                                  My 10K number came from TOPO! which tends to overestimate elevation gain. Of that, 4500 feet were for Kaweah Gap to Crescent in the "downhill" direction. Elsewhere I have seen an estimate of something closer to 3000 feet gain.

                                  In any case, it appears to me that the distance and elevation gain are pretty close to the same for Pants Pass and Pyra-Queen. But would going out to Mineral King be faster?


                                • Peter Hirst
                                  To me, the calculated ups and downs are only useful to the extent that they convey the actual difficulty of a section the experience of hiking it. And too
                                  Message 16 of 29 , Jul 8, 2014
                                    To me, the calculated ups and downs are only useful to the extent that they convey the actual difficulty of a section the experience of hiking it.  And too fine a resolution way overstates difficulty.   To peg KG to CM as 6000 down 3000 up to me conveys a completely false impression of how difficult it is to hike.  The Morey contours to me are far more useful in predicting what kid of day I am actually going to have.   I don't notice or count small ups and downs that don't affect my overall experience.   If its not big enough to show up on the (Sierra South) Morey contour, it doesn't exist, because it misrepresents the essential experience of the descent.  The small bumps you talk about to me are a welcome relief, and do not diminish the essential experience of a gradual, gravity propelled descent.  The ones that do show up on the contour are the memorable few, and are probably less than half of the ones recorded technically.  SO I have no problem at all telling people that the descent  from Kaweah Gap to CM is, as a matter of overall difficulty, predominantly a downhill cruise. 

                                     


                                    On Jul 8, 2014, at 11:26 AM, longritchie wrote:

                                     

                                    "Kaweah to Hamilton is 100% down hill"

                                    100%? Either you're being silly or you've forgotten. There are small ups and downs. The most obvious one that I can recall is near that tunnel.

                                    Determining the actual total gain is difficult. The minimum step that a human would feel is pretty small (1cm?) but none of the practical methods come anywhere close to that resolution. The map only shows 40 foot intervals and can miss an enormous number of small but significant gains. TOPO! interpolates between the data which, when coupled with a shaky hand and inaccurate trail, usually results in a lot of noise in the profile.

                                    Methods for determining total gain that I know of:

                                    1. TOPO! -- usually overestimates, sometimes dramatically
                                    2. GPS XY -> elevation -- usually overestimates
                                    3. Altimeter with accumulator -- usually underestimates
                                    4. Eyeballing the map -- usually underestimates

                                    I have an altimeter that accumulates total gain. It has a resolution of 10 feet and a hysteresis of 30 feet. That is, it will not count ups and downs of less than 30 feet. I had it with me this weekend and observed this annoying (but necessary) feature. Many times it accumulated zero additional gain as I climbed over bumps of 10 to 25 feet in height. So this altimeter provides a lower limit in most cases.

                                    A friend with the same watch has kept total gain records from trips, including one on the first part of the HST. The total gain on the "downhill" from Kaweah Gap to Cresent was 1850 feet according to my friend's watch. So about 2000 feet of gain is a conservative (under)estimate.

                                    That's far less than my shaky TOPO! trace and significantly less than the 3000 feet that I've seen from another TOPO! trace.

                                    But 2000 feet of uphill and 6000 feet of downhill is a far cry from "overwhelmingly downhill".


                                  • Peter Hirst
                                    For the HST I would include the climb from the ranger cabin to Kaweah Gap, and discount that little blip up to Bearpaw. the latter is maybe 500 feet while the
                                    Message 17 of 29 , Jul 8, 2014
                                      For the HST I would include the climb from the ranger cabin to Kaweah Gap, and discount that little blip up to Bearpaw.  the latter is maybe 500 feet while the climb out of Kern is 4000 to the ridge above Moraine, and then over 1000 from the Arroyo Junction Cabin to Kaweah Gap.

                                      Right about the mileage as well if you stick to the HST:  the variation is due to discrepancies in the trail signs and book miles between Hamilton and CM.  How it can vary by over two miles is a bit of a mystery, but indeed it does.

                                      The significantly under 40 is the direct class 2/3 route over Pants Pass, which is 50/something  from the Portal by way of Tyndall.


                                      On Jul 8, 2014, at 11:56 AM, Roleigh Martin roleigh@... [johnmuirtrail] wrote:

                                       

                                      I figure the mileage from Wallace Creek to Crescent Meadows TH is 46 to 48.3 miles depending on whether you skip Moraine Lake or not.


                                      There are two significant uphill hikes in the trail, from bottom of Kern Canyon up and just before you arrive in Bearpaw Meadows.


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                                      On Wed, Jul 2, 2014 at 12:33 PM, longritchie <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                       

                                      "...I am thinking significantly under 40 by way of Wallace.  Also a lot less than 10,000 uphill.  Only real climb is from Jct Meadow to Pants  8000 to 12000, a couple hundred over Kaweah, then nearly all downhill to Crescent.  Maybe 5,000 uphill"

                                      Yeah, right. It's almost all downhill to Crescent. That's a good one. In fact I think I made that very joke to a friend on a trip out there one time.

                                      My 10K number came from TOPO! which tends to overestimate elevation gain. Of that, 4500 feet were for Kaweah Gap to Crescent in the "downhill" direction. Elsewhere I have seen an estimate of something closer to 3000 feet gain.

                                      In any case, it appears to me that the distance and elevation gain are pretty close to the same for Pants Pass and Pyra-Queen. But would going out to Mineral King be faster?




                                    • Roleigh Martin
                                      Peter, I forgot about the climb from the ranger cabin to Kaweah Gap . Thanks for the reminder. ... Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research
                                      Message 18 of 29 , Jul 8, 2014
                                        Peter, I forgot about "the climb from the ranger cabin to Kaweah Gap".  Thanks for the reminder.

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                                        _



                                        On Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 1:51 PM, Peter Hirst peter@... [johnmuirtrail] <johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                         

                                        For the HST I would include the climb from the ranger cabin to Kaweah Gap, and discount that little blip up to Bearpaw.  the latter is maybe 500 feet while the climb out of Kern is 4000 to the ridge above Moraine, and then over 1000 from the Arroyo Junction Cabin to Kaweah Gap.


                                        Right about the mileage as well if you stick to the HST:  the variation is due to discrepancies in the trail signs and book miles between Hamilton and CM.  How it can vary by over two miles is a bit of a mystery, but indeed it does.

                                        The significantly under 40 is the direct class 2/3 route over Pants Pass, which is 50/something  from the Portal by way of Tyndall.


                                        On Jul 8, 2014, at 11:56 AM, Roleigh Martin roleigh@... [johnmuirtrail] wrote:

                                         

                                        I figure the mileage from Wallace Creek to Crescent Meadows TH is 46 to 48.3 miles depending on whether you skip Moraine Lake or not.


                                        There are two significant uphill hikes in the trail, from bottom of Kern Canyon up and just before you arrive in Bearpaw Meadows.


                                        -------------------------------------------------
                                        Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links)
                                        _



                                        On Wed, Jul 2, 2014 at 12:33 PM, longritchie <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                         

                                        "...I am thinking significantly under 40 by way of Wallace.  Also a lot less than 10,000 uphill.  Only real climb is from Jct Meadow to Pants  8000 to 12000, a couple hundred over Kaweah, then nearly all downhill to Crescent.  Maybe 5,000 uphill"

                                        Yeah, right. It's almost all downhill to Crescent. That's a good one. In fact I think I made that very joke to a friend on a trip out there one time.

                                        My 10K number came from TOPO! which tends to overestimate elevation gain. Of that, 4500 feet were for Kaweah Gap to Crescent in the "downhill" direction. Elsewhere I have seen an estimate of something closer to 3000 feet gain.

                                        In any case, it appears to me that the distance and elevation gain are pretty close to the same for Pants Pass and Pyra-Queen. But would going out to Mineral King be faster?





                                      • longritchie
                                        I see, your talking about your own personal subjective impression. What s that got to do with total elevation gain? Perceived difficulty isn t merely a matter
                                        Message 19 of 29 , Jul 8, 2014
                                          I see, your talking about your own personal subjective impression. What's that got to do with total elevation gain?

                                          Perceived difficulty isn't merely a matter of elevation gain and distance. The question "How difficult did it feel to you?" is not the same as "What is the total gain?".




                                          ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <peter@...> wrote :

                                          To me, the calculated ups and downs are only useful to the extent that they convey the actual difficulty of a section the experience of hiking it.  And too fine a resolution way overstates difficulty.   To peg KG to CM as 6000 down 3000 up to me conveys a completely false impression of how difficult it is to hike.  The Morey contours to me are far more useful in predicting what kid of day I am actually going to have.   I don't notice or count small ups and downs that don't affect my overall experience.   If its not big enough to show up on the (Sierra South) Morey contour, it doesn't exist, because it misrepresents the essential experience of the descent.  The small bumps you talk about to me are a welcome relief, and do not diminish the essential experience of a gradual, gravity propelled descent.  The ones that do show up on the contour are the memorable few, and are probably less than half of the ones recorded technically.  SO I have no problem at all telling people that the descent  from Kaweah Gap to CM is, as a matter of overall difficulty, predominantly a downhill cruise. 

                                           


                                          On Jul 8, 2014, at 11:26 AM, longritchie wrote:

                                           

                                          "Kaweah to Hamilton is 100% down hill"

                                          100%? Either you're being silly or you've forgotten. There are small ups and downs. The most obvious one that I can recall is near that tunnel.

                                          Determining the actual total gain is difficult. The minimum step that a human would feel is pretty small (1cm?) but none of the practical methods come anywhere close to that resolution. The map only shows 40 foot intervals and can miss an enormous number of small but significant gains. TOPO! interpolates between the data which, when coupled with a shaky hand and inaccurate trail, usually results in a lot of noise in the profile.

                                          Methods for determining total gain that I know of:

                                          1. TOPO! -- usually overestimates, sometimes dramatically
                                          2. GPS XY -> elevation -- usually overestimates
                                          3. Altimeter with accumulator -- usually underestimates
                                          4. Eyeballing the map -- usually underestimates

                                          I have an altimeter that accumulates total gain. It has a resolution of 10 feet and a hysteresis of 30 feet. That is, it will not count ups and downs of less than 30 feet. I had it with me this weekend and observed this annoying (but necessary) feature. Many times it accumulated zero additional gain as I climbed over bumps of 10 to 25 feet in height. So this altimeter provides a lower limit in most cases.

                                          A friend with the same watch has kept total gain records from trips, including one on the first part of the HST. The total gain on the "downhill" from Kaweah Gap to Cresent was 1850 feet according to my friend's watch. So about 2000 feet of gain is a conservative (under)estimate.

                                          That's far less than my shaky TOPO! trace and significantly less than the 3000 feet that I've seen from another TOPO! trace.

                                          But 2000 feet of uphill and 6000 feet of downhill is a far cry from "overwhelmingly downhill".


                                        • longritchie
                                          you re, not your Dang, I wish this yahoo thingie would allow edits for typos.
                                          Message 20 of 29 , Jul 8, 2014
                                            you're, not your
                                            Dang, I wish this yahoo thingie would allow edits for typos.
                                          • Peter Hirst
                                            OK, glad you asked. What s that got to do with total elevation gain? Very interesting question. Let me put it another way what does total elevation gain
                                            Message 21 of 29 , Jul 8, 2014
                                              OK, glad you asked.  "What's that got to do with total elevation gain?"  Very interesting question.  Let me put it another way "what does total elevation gain have to do with someones experience of  the section"?  Or what practical information does total elevation gain convey?

                                              Or yet another way, what do you mean by total elevation gain?  

                                              We have both said , in different ways, that at some point the little ups and downs don't count, "little" meaning  somewhere between 1 centimeter and a few hundred feet.  We are  really just talking about where that point is.

                                                I am not talking about  either an entirely subjective impression or entirely about mathematical measurement. I am talking about  the relationship between the two, and they have everything to do with each other.  Bear with me here.

                                              As you have noted, we can probably detect a gain or loss of a cm or so in any given step. And there is certainly a measurable  energy expenditure or savings or loss associated with even that small a gain or loss.   But as I think you have acknowledged at some point the granularity of the measurement becomes meaningless.  

                                              You have also observed that TOPO! tends to overstate gains and losses, and that other methods, altimeters I recall, tend to understate them.

                                              So I am asking you first:  what do we mean by overstatement and understatement?  Neither of us is saying that TOPO is inaccurate, are we?  I know I am not.  And neither of us doubts the accuracy of the altimeter.   So both methods are accurate:  why do they give us such apparently  different results?   If  TOPO is completely accurate, how can you say it overstates gain or loss? 

                                              When you say that TOPO! overstates gain (or loss) what do you mean buy "over states"?  That it is not accurate?  I don't think so. TOPO! takes presumably accurate measurements from very accurate data bases, no?  Isn't   what what you are really saying  that it measures  gains and losses that don't matter?  Crossing over 40 foot contours that no one hikingnthem really notices?  That is a matter of precision, not accuracy. What it is overstating is not the gains or losses: those gains and losses are real and accurately reported.  What it is overstating is the importance of the gains and losses. 

                                              Which is what I am saying about TOPO! AND your altimeter.  They are equally accurate, but they are both more precise than is required by any meaningful description of a given trail segment.

                                              The Morey (Sierra South) profiles are just as accurate as TOPO!  They are derived from the same data.  But they have a far more practical and useful level of precision  than either TOPO! or an altimeter that is calibrated to 10 feet and limited to 30.  
                                                



                                              On Jul 8, 2014, at 2:57 PM, longritchie wrote:

                                               

                                              I see, your talking about your own personal subjective impression. What's that got to do with total elevation gain?

                                              Perceived difficulty isn't merely a matter of elevation gain and distance. The question "How difficult did it feel to you?" is not the same as "What is the total gain?".




                                              ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <peter@...> wrote :

                                              To me, the calculated ups and downs are only useful to the extent that they convey the actual difficulty of a section the experience of hiking it.  And too fine a resolution way overstates difficulty.   To peg KG to CM as 6000 down 3000 up to me conveys a completely false impression of how difficult it is to hike.  The Morey contours to me are far more useful in predicting what kid of day I am actually going to have.   I don't notice or count small ups and downs that don't affect my overall experience.   If its not big enough to show up on the (Sierra South) Morey contour, it doesn't exist, because it misrepresents the essential experience of the descent.  The small bumps you talk about to me are a welcome relief, and do not diminish the essential experience of a gradual, gravity propelled descent.  The ones that do show up on the contour are the memorable few, and are probably less than half of the ones recorded technically.  SO I have no problem at all telling people that the descent  from Kaweah Gap to CM is, as a matter of overall difficulty, predominantly a downhill cruise. 

                                               


                                              On Jul 8, 2014, at 11:26 AM, longritchie wrote:

                                               

                                              "Kaweah to Hamilton is 100% down hill"

                                              100%? Either you're being silly or you've forgotten. There are small ups and downs. The most obvious one that I can recall is near that tunnel.

                                              Determining the actual total gain is difficult. The minimum step that a human would feel is pretty small (1cm?) but none of the practical methods come anywhere close to that resolution. The map only shows 40 foot intervals and can miss an enormous number of small but significant gains. TOPO! interpolates between the data which, when coupled with a shaky hand and inaccurate trail, usually results in a lot of noise in the profile.

                                              Methods for determining total gain that I know of:

                                              1. TOPO! -- usually overestimates, sometimes dramatically
                                              2. GPS XY -> elevation -- usually overestimates
                                              3. Altimeter with accumulator -- usually underestimates
                                              4. Eyeballing the map -- usually underestimates

                                              I have an altimeter that accumulates total gain. It has a resolution of 10 feet and a hysteresis of 30 feet. That is, it will not count ups and downs of less than 30 feet. I had it with me this weekend and observed this annoying (but necessary) feature. Many times it accumulated zero additional gain as I climbed over bumps of 10 to 25 feet in height. So this altimeter provides a lower limit in most cases.

                                              A friend with the same watch has kept total gain records from trips, including one on the first part of the HST. The total gain on the "downhill" from Kaweah Gap to Cresent was 1850 feet according to my friend's watch. So about 2000 feet of gain is a conservative (under)estimate.

                                              That's far less than my shaky TOPO! trace and significantly less than the 3000 feet that I've seen from another TOPO! trace.

                                              But 2000 feet of uphill and 6000 feet of downhill is a far cry from "overwhelmingly downhill".




                                            • rnperky@sbcglobal.net
                                              Huh?
                                              Message 22 of 29 , Jul 8, 2014
                                                Huh? 
                                              • longritchie
                                                Please don t put words in my mouth. Although we currently have no practical means for measuring them, the small changes matter. Whether they are lumped into
                                                Message 23 of 29 , Jul 8, 2014
                                                  Please don't put words in my mouth.

                                                  Although we currently have no practical means for measuring them, the small changes matter. Whether they are lumped into total gain or trail roughess or some other metric, they are meaningful.

                                                  > When you say that TOPO! overstates gain (or loss) what do you mean buy "over states"?

                                                  What I mean is that at a relatively large resolution compared to a human, say 1 or 10 feet of elevation gain, TOPO! tends to calculate too large a number and altimeters tend to calculate too small a number.

                                                  To say that TOPO! and altimeters and eyeballing the map are all equally accurate displays an ignorance of the term accuracy.

                                                  Are you just trolling me? You're doing a good job.
                                                • Peter Hirst
                                                  Longritchie; No I am not trolling you and believe me I am VERY sensitive the the subject of putting words in someones mouth. Happens to me all the time: I
                                                  Message 24 of 29 , Jul 8, 2014
                                                    Longritchie;  No I am not trolling you and believe me I am  VERY sensitive the the subject of putting words in someones mouth.  Happens to me all the time: I am with you. Trying to establish an appreciation of the important difference between precision and accuracy.

                                                    You implicitly acknowledge your appreciation on this when you  say "at a relatively large resolution compared to a human, say 1 or 10 feet of elevation gain, TOPO! tends to calculate too large a number and altimeters tend to calculate too small a number."  

                                                    That is about precision (measuring in smaller or larger  increments) rather than accuracy, measuring each increment correctly .

                                                    I think you are saying that TOPO overstates because it measures too many small bumps and the altimeter understates because it measures too few.

                                                    But too many or too few based on what standard?  Human scale, right?  But what is human scale?  To me it is what affects my experience of the trail: a couple hundred feet.    To you? Don't let me put words in your mouth , let me quote  -  "1 - 10 feet?"  Why? Isn't that your subjective experience? 

                                                    So I just think that too small or too big depends on a different standard:  not what seems in proportion to the human body but to human perception: I don't think it its  big a deal to go up or down 25 or fifty or a couple of hundred feet, although it is certainly measurable and mathematically significant.  So in evaluating ups and downs on a section of trail, I am looking at Morey's profiles, which do not register for example the dip around the Hamilton tunnel.   

                                                    So bottom line:  say  I pick a level of precision around  200 feet, because that is all I care about based on my experience, and you pick a level of of precision of say 10 feet because it relates to the height of a human body and somebody else picks a level of precision of around one foot because they want to  do the whole trail by prostrations, we are each going to get very different measurements of total gains and losses.  We can each take our measurements with the same instrument, which records -  with absolute, perfect accuracy  - in inches. I am not going to to pay any attention to variations of less than 200 feet and you are not going to pay attention to variations of less than 10 .  We are each going to get radically different total gains and losses,  and each will be 100 percent accurate and suitable for our respective purposes.

                                                    So any measurement of gains and losses has to be stated in terms of scale and precision, just like maps.




                                                    On Jul 8, 2014, at 7:21 PM, longritchie wrote:

                                                     

                                                    Please don't put words in my mouth.

                                                    Although we currently have no practical means for measuring them, the small changes matter. Whether they are lumped into total gain or trail roughess or some other metric, they are meaningful.

                                                    > When you say that TOPO! overstates gain (or loss) what do you mean buy "over states"?

                                                    What I mean is that at a relatively large resolution compared to a human, say 1 or 10 feet of elevation gain, TOPO! tends to calculate too large a number and altimeters tend to calculate too small a number.

                                                    To say that TOPO! and altimeters and eyeballing the map are all equally accurate displays an ignorance of the term accuracy.

                                                    Are you just trolling me? You're doing a good job.


                                                  • longritchie
                                                    Perhaps you can forgive me for thinking you were pulling my leg. You claimed that TOPO is equally accurate as an altimeter/accumulator after first writing
                                                    Message 25 of 29 , Jul 9, 2014
                                                      Perhaps you can forgive me for thinking you were pulling my leg. You claimed that TOPO is "equally accurate" as an altimeter/accumulator after first writing that TOPO can produce a "crazy gain and loss". Say what?

                                                      > That is about precision (measuring in smaller or larger  increments) rather
                                                      > than accuracy, measuring each increment correctly .

                                                      You're confusing precision with resolution. Precision is an indication of the repeatability of a measurement. Resolution is the smallest increment that can be read.

                                                      The precision of TOPO is often quite bad. There are several reasons for this but it suffices to use the Kaweah Gap to Crescent Meadow section as a stark example. Two people drew traces and one got 4500 feet and the other 3000 feet. In contrast, an altitude accumulator watch will have much better repeatability over the same stretch of trail.

                                                      > I think you are saying that TOPO overstates because it measures too many
                                                      > small bumps and the altimeter understates because it measures too few.

                                                      I contend that TOPO has higher and wildly varying estimates not because of its finer resolution but because it is inherently noisy. Even the TOPO user manual acknowledges this. It recommends using net elevation as a more reliable metric than the TOPO calculated total gain.

                                                      If we had near-perfect instruments we'd have to face the question of how fine a resolution to use when adding up the total gain. But we're nowhere close to sizing up rocks on the trail. We're relieved of the issue, for now. That is unless you think that anything smaller than a 200 foot gain isn't any different than a flat trail. We can measure better than that.

                                                      You're of course free to think of a series of ups and downs less than 200 feet tall as "no big deal". But I suspect you're in the minority. I'll bet most people feel those bumps and think of them as uphill walking, especially when tired or carrying a large pack.
                                                    • Peter Hirst
                                                      OK: resolution then. Principle is the same: at some point resolution becomes too fine to matter. Actually, the Morey contour charts are much finer than 200
                                                      Message 26 of 29 , Jul 9, 2014
                                                        OK:  resolution then.  Principle is the same:  at some point resolution becomes too fine to matter.  Actually, the Morey contour charts are much finer than 200 feet:  I just used that as an example. The scale marked in 1000' intervals, and the smallest deltas seem to be maybe 50 feet. Whatever the resolution is, its what works for me in sizing up a route. And it shows zero uphill from KG to Hamilton which is how I experience things.  But that point of usefulness is reached by different people at different times.  

                                                        I understood the TOPO problem to be a matter of resolution:  noise would indeed  be a different matter.  Is it something like measuring every time a path crosses a 40' contour, rather than two contours?


                                                        On Jul 9, 2014, at 10:40 AM, longritchie wrote:

                                                         

                                                        Perhaps you can forgive me for thinking you were pulling my leg. You claimed that TOPO is "equally accurate" as an altimeter/accumulator after first writing that TOPO can produce a "crazy gain and loss". Say what?

                                                        > That is about precision (measuring in smaller or larger  increments) rather
                                                        > than accuracy, measuring each increment correctly .

                                                        You're confusing precision with resolution. Precision is an indication of the repeatability of a measurement. Resolution is the smallest increment that can be read.

                                                        The precision of TOPO is often quite bad. There are several reasons for this but it suffices to use the Kaweah Gap to Crescent Meadow section as a stark example. Two people drew traces and one got 4500 feet and the other 3000 feet. In contrast, an altitude accumulator watch will have much better repeatability over the same stretch of trail.

                                                        > I think you are saying that TOPO overstates because it measures too many
                                                        > small bumps and the altimeter understates because it measures too few.

                                                        I contend that TOPO has higher and wildly varying estimates not because of its finer resolution but because it is inherently noisy. Even the TOPO user manual acknowledges this. It recommends using net elevation as a more reliable metric than the TOPO calculated total gain.

                                                        If we had near-perfect instruments we'd have to face the question of how fine a resolution to use when adding up the total gain. But we're nowhere close to sizing up rocks on the trail. We're relieved of the issue, for now. That is unless you think that anything smaller than a 200 foot gain isn't any different than a flat trail. We can measure better than that.

                                                        You're of course free to think of a series of ups and downs less than 200 feet tall as "no big deal". But I suspect you're in the minority. I'll bet most people feel those bumps and think of them as uphill walking, especially when tired or carrying a large pack.


                                                      • longritchie
                                                        ... It matters. We just tend to call it something else, like roughness . ... You re getting closer to agreeing with me. :-) ... TOPO uses a digital elevation
                                                        Message 27 of 29 , Jul 9, 2014
                                                          > ...at some point resolution becomes too fine to matter.

                                                          It matters. We just tend to call it something else, like "roughness".

                                                          > ...maybe 50 feet.

                                                          You're getting closer to agreeing with me. :-)

                                                          > Is it something like measuring every time a path crosses a 40' contour,
                                                          > rather than two contours?

                                                          TOPO uses a digital elevation model from the USGS. My (limited) understand of this is that the contours and other elevation data are used to generate a set of elevation/location points, kind of like pixels. The horizontal spacing of these points and the associated elevation resolution depends on the source data. That's why in some situations TOPO has finer resolution than in other places. Note that the model does some sort of interpolation between actual data. So the model will smooth over bumps, just like a map does. You can't see the 30 foot cliff on a map with 80 foot contours, but the cliff is real.

                                                          The sources of error in a TOPO profile are due to uncertainty in the underlying elevation data and associated model, the imprecision with which a trail is represented on the map, and the difficulty in precisely tracing that trail. This last part becomes very problematic in a situation like the route from Crescent to Beapaw where the trail traverses a steep hillside. Tiny deviations from side to side produce relatively large anomalous elevation changes.

                                                          In addition, TOPO has some quirks. For example, if you generate a profile of some route in two different display modes you'll get two different profiles.
                                                        • James Ringland
                                                          Various comments on this thread . Peter Hirst, To mineral King, Sawtooth Pass looks like it cuts a few miles off the Franklin Pass trail, but I can t find a
                                                          Message 28 of 29 , Jul 9, 2014

                                                            Various comments on this thread …

                                                            Peter Hirst, “To mineral King, Sawtooth Pass looks like it cuts a few miles off the Franklin Pass trail, but I can't find a good description of it.

                                                            Sawtooth is not a wonderful pass if you prefer straightforward trail hiking.  The east side above Columbine Lake is at least partially a cairned route over moderately rough rocky terrain.  The west side from the pass down to Monarch Lake – about 1200 vertical feet -- isn’t really trail.  It’s a steep sandy slope with lots of footprints.  You just sort of walk/slide down, hopefully avoiding spots with a thin layer of sand over a rock outcrop.   I heard there were ways to limit the sand by first heading more north (away from Monarch Lake) and then dropping, but I never saw a trail doing so when I was on the spot.  I’ve done it once.  I’ll not do it again.

                                                            Calley Ordoyne:  “It sounds like the easiest route is out via Mineral King - guessing I'd hike up Kern Canyon, then turning at Rattlesnake Creek to go over Franklin pass.

                                                            I’ve not done this route, but note you have to go way south down (not up) the Kern at relatively low elevations – it can be hot down there -- and then do the 5000+ climb from Rattlesnake Creek up to the pass.  I map it out at about 38 miles, 6000 feet total up, and 9300 feet total down.

                                                            Paul Fretheim, July 3:  “I would suggest continuing north on the JMT to Bubbs Creek/Vidette Meadow. It's only about 10 miles or less from there to Road's End in Kings Canyon.” 

                                                            I agree this is the easiest way out to the west, but it would still be two big days to go from Crabtree to Roads End.  I clock it at 35 miles, 4000 feet total up, 9600 feet total down.  Not a lot shorter than the Franklin Pass / Mineral King exit, but less elevation gain and cooler.  

                                                             

                                                            I’m not much of a cross-country person, so I can’t say anything about the Pants Pass route.  The HST is considerably longer.

                                                            Jim Ringland

                                                          • Dave Park
                                                            No matter how much you discuss it, the trail remains the same. I think it s perfectly valid to say, for example, It s all generally downhill, but there are a
                                                            Message 29 of 29 , Jul 9, 2014
                                                              No matter how much you discuss it, the trail remains the same. 

                                                              I think it's perfectly valid to say, for example, "It's all generally downhill, but there are a few notable climbs on the way down that make it more work than would appear."

                                                              Dave


                                                              On Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 4:32 PM, 'James Ringland' jtringl@... [johnmuirtrail] <johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                                               

                                                              Various comments on this thread …

                                                              Peter Hirst, “To mineral King, Sawtooth Pass looks like it cuts a few miles off the Franklin Pass trail, but I can't find a good description of it.

                                                              Sawtooth is not a wonderful pass if you prefer straightforward trail hiking.  The east side above Columbine Lake is at least partially a cairned route over moderately rough rocky terrain.  The west side from the pass down to Monarch Lake – about 1200 vertical feet -- isn’t really trail.  It’s a steep sandy slope with lots of footprints.  You just sort of walk/slide down, hopefully avoiding spots with a thin layer of sand over a rock outcrop.   I heard there were ways to limit the sand by first heading more north (away from Monarch Lake) and then dropping, but I never saw a trail doing so when I was on the spot.  I’ve done it once.  I’ll not do it again.

                                                              Calley Ordoyne:  “It sounds like the easiest route is out via Mineral King - guessing I'd hike up Kern Canyon, then turning at Rattlesnake Creek to go over Franklin pass.

                                                              I’ve not done this route, but note you have to go way south down (not up) the Kern at relatively low elevations – it can be hot down there -- and then do the 5000+ climb from Rattlesnake Creek up to the pass.  I map it out at about 38 miles, 6000 feet total up, and 9300 feet total down.

                                                              Paul Fretheim, July 3:  “I would suggest continuing north on the JMT to Bubbs Creek/Vidette Meadow. It's only about 10 miles or less from there to Road's End in Kings Canyon.” 

                                                              I agree this is the easiest way out to the west, but it would still be two big days to go from Crabtree to Roads End.  I clock it at 35 miles, 4000 feet total up, 9600 feet total down.  Not a lot shorter than the Franklin Pass / Mineral King exit, but less elevation gain and cooler.  

                                                               

                                                              I’m not much of a cross-country person, so I can’t say anything about the Pants Pass route.  The HST is considerably longer.

                                                              Jim Ringland


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