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.
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
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.
I usually organize the food by breakfast, snacks, lunch, and dinner. This system makes it very easy to load resupply boxes quickly.
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.
2016 Gear List
|Backpack||Gossamer Gear Gorilla||23||lightweight, supportive, comfortable|
|Pack Liner||1||fits nicely in pack|
|Shelter||ZPacks Solplex Tent with stakes||17||Light and stormproof|
|Polycryo Ground Cloth||1||lightweight and does the job|
|Sleeping||Zpacks 10 degree with Draft Tube||24||Warm & comforable Buy one size longer than your height|
|NeoAir XTherm||15||Warm comfort|
|Kitchen/Food||Jet Boil Sol Ti||8||fast boiling, small canister = 22 boils|
|Cook-N-Coozy Solo||1||a little oven|
|Long Handled Spork||0.5||long handle is perfect for zip-lock bags|
|Open Country Cup||1||handy measuring marks|
|O.P. Sak (Odor Proof)||2||love the 12 X 20 size|
|Hydration||Sawyer Mini Filter||3||the best filter I have ever used|
|Sawyer Pouch - 2 liter||1||buy a 2 liter bag for longer trips|
|1 Smart Water Bottle||2||fits on Sawyer Squeeze|
|First-aid/Hygiene||First-aid kit||3||*see content below|
|Tolietries||10||*see content below|
|Potty bag||3.5||*see content below|
|lavender, peppermint, melaleuca||0.5||multi-use powerful meds|
|Swiss Army Classic||1||twizzers actually work|
|Duece of Spades trowel||0.5||get the brightest color|
|Clothes in Pack||Marmot Essence Jacket||5||beads up nicely with long sleeves, great colors|
|Houdini Wind Jacket||3.5||essential for layering|
|TNF Etip gloves||1||Lightweight and warm|
|MH Ghost Whisperer||7||warm and very light, love the hood for sleeping and cold days|
|Pat. Cap. 1/4 Zip||4.5||My fav for years|
|TNF flash tight||3.5|
|Injinji Midweight Crew Toesocks||1.5||no toe blisters and wear a very long time|
|Patagonia Active Hipster||1||dries quickly, fit great|
|Misc.||Rite in Rain Journal||2||waterproof, great size|
|maps w/data pages in ziploc||3|
|sit pad cut from foam pad||1||DIY essential|
|Lumix LX7 Camera||7||love the wide angle|
|FlashAir WiFi card||transfer pics from camera to phone|
|iPhone 6||5||navigation, blogging, video, phone|
|Otter Box Case||1||durable and slim|
|Mini Tripod||1||small, lightweight|
|StickPic||0.5||easy, simple pole mount|
|Anker Astro 6700mAH Charger||4.8||Dependable, 2 or 3 full charges|
|Umbrella||8||sun and precipitation protection|
|Sea to Summit Bug Net||0.5||Works|
|Weight Summary||BASEWEIGHT (oz)||185.8|
|w/o food & water||BASEWEIGHT (lbs)||11.6|
|Items Worn||Marmot Shirt||Gotta love plaid|
|Sage Convertible Pants||fit great, offered in lengths|
|Dirty Girl Gaiters||great dirt and sand protection|
|Columbia Sun Gloves||easy to get on and off, don't show dirt|
|La Sportiva Bushido Shoes||buy at least a size up, love them!|
|Insoles - Custom|
|Injinji Midweight Crew Toesocks||no toe blisters and wear a very long time|
|Buff Scarf||sun scarf, headband, beanie|
|Vibrating Alarm Watch||No more stress not hearing an alarm|
|Patagonia Active Hipster||favorite for years|
|Fizan Poles||compact, strong, lightweight|
|Extra Gear/Snow||Snowline Lite MIcrospikes||9||Recommend highly|
|Petzl Summit Ice Axe||13||Grip when you need it|
|Dexshell Waterproof Socks||3.5|
|Extra Gear/Bear||Bearvault solo||32|
|Ursack S29||9||bear 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!