Sierra High Route Here We Come!

Wired, Rockin', and Why Not
Wired, Rockin’, and Why Not last summer on the Tahoe Rim Trail

Today I will be joining Nancy “Why Not” Huber and Erin “Wired” Saver to hike the very challenging Sierra High Route. The three of us made a great team last year and I am really looking forward to hiking with such experienced and good hikers.

The burly, 210-mile traverse we will be hiking crosses 33 passes and barely touches established trails. You can find Alaska-sized scenery, complete solitude, and just enough risk to keep things interesting. It is kind of like the John Muir Trail on steroids.

The route is the brainchild of mountaineer Steve Roper, who sought an alternative to the heavily pounded JMT. With a taste for glacier-polished slab (or what he calls “Sierra sidewalk”), wind-warped whitebark pine, and lonely lake basins encircled by shark-toothed peaks, Roper pioneered a route that hews as closely as possible to the 10,000-foot (3,048-meter) contour in the narrow zone between timberline and talus summit. A portion of its miles piggybacks on existing trail, but mostly the High Route sends hikers off trail to pick their way up jumbled passes and across high-mountain streams. No paint blazes and few cairns mark the way.

My copy of Steve Roper’s book is well-worn and loved. I respect his style of guiding the hiker along the way with gentle warnings, but not so much as to take the sense of adventure away. His language is colorful and a bit entertaining. I am looking forward to sharing some of his quotes in future posts.


Sierra High Route by Steve Roper
Stere Roper’s Sierra High Route Guidebook

A number of years ago I section hiked the entire Sierra High Route over a few summers with my good friend, Arrow. In fact, many of the Sierra peaks over fourteen hundred feet I have climbed while on this route. I have always dreamed of going back and hiking it south to north as a thru-hike with lighter and more comfortable gear. It is a little early in the season, so snow will be covering many of the passes. We are all armed with microspikes and ice axes. It should make for an interesting trek.

Funny… our start date may well be Hike Naked Day!


Sierra High Route Map

Backpacking Food

I continue to have a diet that is gluten, dairy, and corn free and try to eat organic as much as possible. Here is what a basic day’s food looks like:
Breakfast: Shake – pea protein powder, ground chia seeds, cinnamon, 1 scoop of a greens powder by Amazing Grass, via coffee
Mix it up in a Ziplock twist top container.
Snacks: 3 bars per day, variety of nuts and dried fruit, potato chips
Lunch: peanut butter honey packets by The Peanut Butter Company, crackers, via coffee
Dinner: One of my very generous dehydrated dinners, a date, and a fruit snack pack

Last summer I loved all the dinners Stealthy and I individually made with a base of dehydrated quinoa or rice. For this summer, I added to the mix more vegetables with a variety of spices, meats, nuts, beans, and condiments. Every meal is different. It was fun putting flavors together. I also dehydrated chili and homemade spaghetti.


Assembling dinners with bases of rice or quinoa using Harmony House dehydrated vegetables and beans
Assembling dinners with bases of rice or quinoa using Harmony House dehydrated vegetables and beans


I usually organize the food by breakfast, snacks, lunch, and dinner. This system makes it very easy to load resupply boxes quickly.

Food for about 30 days ready to go into resupply boxes
Food for about 35 days ready to go into resupply boxes

Rockin’s Summer 2016 Backpacking Gear

I have added or substituted quite a few items for this year’s trek through the Sierras and Wind River Range. On my gear list below, I have added “NEW this year!” in the notes section for new items. In the spirit of getting outside better and safer, the new gear is either lighter, warmer, stronger, or serves several purposes. For this early season trek in the Sierras I have also sprayed Sawyer Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent on most every thing. Here is an informative video about that product.

Summer 2016 Backpacking Gear
Summer 2016 Backpacking Gear


Extra Gear for Snow and Bear Protection
Extra Gear for Snow and Bear Protection


2016 Gear List

BackpackGossamer Gear Gorilla23lightweight, supportive, comfortable
Pack Liner1fits nicely in pack
ShelterZPacks Solplex Tent with stakes17Light and stormproof
Polycryo Ground Cloth1lightweight and does the job
SleepingZpacks 10 degree with Draft Tube24Warm & comforable Buy one size longer than your height
NeoAir XTherm15Warm comfort
Kitchen/FoodJet Boil Sol Ti8fast boiling, small canister = 22 boils
Cook-N-Coozy Solo1a little oven
Long Handled Spork0.5long handle is perfect for zip-lock bags
Open Country Cup1handy measuring marks
O.P. Sak (Odor Proof)2love the 12 X 20 size
HydrationSawyer Mini Filter3the best filter I have ever used
Sawyer Pouch - 2 liter1buy a 2 liter bag for longer trips
1 Smart Water Bottle2fits on Sawyer Squeeze
First-aid/HygieneFirst-aid kit3*see content below
Tolietries10*see content below
Potty bag3.5*see content below
lavender, peppermint, melaleuca0.5multi-use powerful meds
Swiss Army Classic1twizzers actually work
Duece of Spades trowel0.5get the brightest color
Clothes in PackMarmot Essence Jacket5beads up nicely with long sleeves, great colors
Houdini Wind Jacket3.5essential for layering
TNF Etip gloves1Lightweight and warm
MH Ghost Whisperer7warm and very light, love the hood for sleeping and cold days
Pat. Cap. 1/4 Zip4.5My fav for years
TNF flash tight3.5
Injinji Midweight Crew Toesocks1.5no toe blisters and wear a very long time
Night Socks1.5
Patagonia Active Hipster1dries quickly, fit great
Misc.Rite in Rain Journal2waterproof, great size
Petzl e+LITE1lightweight
maps w/data pages in ziploc3
sit pad cut from foam pad1DIY essential
Lumix LX7 Camera7love the wide angle
FlashAir WiFi cardtransfer pics from camera to phone
iPhone 65navigation, blogging, video, phone
Otter Box Case1durable and slim
Mini Tripod1small, lightweight
StickPic0.5easy, simple pole mount
Anker Astro 6700mAH Charger4.8Dependable, 2 or 3 full charges
Umbrella8sun and precipitation protection
Sea to Summit Bug Net0.5Works
Unshoe4.5Minimalist design
Weight SummaryBASEWEIGHT (oz)185.8
w/o food & waterBASEWEIGHT (lbs)11.6
Items WornMarmot ShirtGotta love plaid
Sage Convertible Pantsfit great, offered in lengths
Dirty Girl Gaitersgreat dirt and sand protection
Columbia Sun Gloveseasy to get on and off, don't show dirt
La Sportiva Bushido Shoesbuy at least a size up, love them!
Insoles - Custom
Injinji Midweight Crew Toesocksno toe blisters and wear a very long time
Buff Scarfsun scarf, headband, beanie
Trucker Hat
Sports Bra
Vibrating Alarm WatchNo more stress not hearing an alarm
Patagonia Active Hipsterfavorite for years
Smith Sunglasses
Fizan Polescompact, strong, lightweight
Extra Gear/SnowSnowline Lite MIcrospikes9Recommend highly
Petzl Summit Ice Axe13Grip when you need it
Dexshell Waterproof Socks3.5
Extra Gear/BearBearvault solo32
Ursack S29 9bear protection for non-regulated areas

*FIRST AID KIT: cuben fiber tape, ibuprofen, benadryl, vicodin, match book, bic lighter, emery board, extra pair of contacts, tough strips band-aids, essential oils, safety pin, knife

*TOILETRIES: toothpowder, toothbrush, dental floss, Dermatone Sunscreen and lip balm, contact case & solution, brush, deodorant, Neutrogena Hand Cream, Dr. Bronners soap

*POTTY BAG: Brawny paper towel sheets, extra ziplock, hand sanitizer, baby wipes, The Deuce of Spades Potty Trowel


Lady on a Rock Reader Exclusive!

In addition to my favorite pack, the Gorilla, many small items I carry and love can be purchased at Gossamer Gear. It is like a one-stop-shop for lightweight gear. Here is a 15% discount code for a one time purchase. Have fun!

Gossamer Gear


  1. Rockin’: I’ll be in Mammoth July 1-5. Where will you be by then? Who’s helping with resupply?

    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      Ah we are just going to miss you! We have boxes sent and we will be there the 6th or 7th.

  2. Look forward to your posts! My husband, a friend and I are hiking the SHR the first few weeks of August so we will definitely be interested to hearing how it is out there. We section hiked the middle portion a few years ago and it is spectacular. Thanks for taking the time to share your journey – I appreciate all your efforts!!

  3. Great post. I love gear so I’ve just been lost clicking on links and going down the rabbit hole. One thing I did not notice was line to hang your food bag; I assume you’ve got that. Of course, you’ve got all the best stuff out there! I surely see that. There are a few things on the list that are on my wish list. Enjoy it all and have the time of your life.

    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      Yes the details. On this trip we are using either ursack s or bear canisters. It is fun to have that wish list going. Glad to have you along.

  4. Margaret Wrights(Big Granny)

    Looking forward to sharing your hike with ‘The Girls’ …. Retired from school bus driving this year and looking forward to being a back seat rider on your and Wired’s journeys!!! Safe travels!

    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      Big Granny, Yes we are “The Girls”! I can’t wait for the fun to begin. Nice to have you along.

  5. Sounds like an incredible trip! Very much looking forward to reading your posts. Be safe out there!

    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      It will be a challenge and so remote and inspiring. Thank you for commenting and following along.

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