Not only do I still have LTE, but there are other backpackers up here. This is Chris and his “queen sized mattress.”
Sierra High Route designer Steve Roper wrote, “The descent from Stanton Pass can prove tricky if the hiker does not find the easiest possible route.” This class 2-3 descent had me up worrying most the night before. Would I be able to make it? The top is a razor’s edge, and up there is a waypost on a nearly-but-not-quite level slab of slate, boulder battlements stacked desperately against the wind and a long fall down. Coming down with a backpack was awkward but fine, until the *very last* talus before I hit snowfield gave way and sent me falling on my head. Oh, one moment, too confident! Once this summit was complete I figured it’d be smooth sailing to Twin… continue reading
If you’re going to go down 650 vertical feet the wrong way in the middle of nowhere headed straight for a cliff that leads to hell, you might as well have fun doing it. I glissaded most the way down, which I suppose afforded me the energy to get all the way back up. WHOOPS. I’m good at this! All said I’m pretty proud of my side venture and recovery. Take note: I am definitely one of the only few stupid idiots who has ever gone reconnoitering the upper upper Lundy Canyon (before it drops off to hell).
Sunday morning, 11,650 feet up in Yosemite. In the distance is the East Ridge of Mount Conness (pictured up close in the last Instagram post from when I climbed down it). Here I’m standing on top of what Steve Roper (the designer of the Sierra High Route) has named “Sky Pilot Col,” after a pretty and fragrant flower which I did not see. Roper said I would see gray-crowned rosy finches eating bugs off the snow and I did. And he said about the last third of the ascent, “Next, a stretch of ever-steepening talus leads up the left side of this bowl to the final indignity, a short but steep scree slope that most hikers will find offensive.” NO… continue reading
Cumulus chasing me down from the southeast and southwest, getting darker and threatening thunderstorms, and I’m doing some snow patch traverses and hopping away down slippery talus in sneakers as fast as I can at 11,000 feet. Saturday was my first day in and I didn’t get anywhere near as far as I thought I would. It took me 3 days to do 25 miles when typically I can bang out 25 miles in one day. This route is not a trail; it’s very slow-going. At the end of my ~8-9 mile day I was absolutely pulverized, and passed out cold by 8pm. This Sierra High Route business has me both piqued and terrified at the same time… Oh –… continue reading