Dan's Outside

I go, I see, I do, I walk, I think, I like…

Summer 2007 Starts to Take Shape

(An old article – posted here so as not to lose it during the site transition.)

Every spring (I know, it isn’t spring quite yet) I start to look forward to a summer (and fall!) of trips into the Sierra Nevada.

Some of my favorites are short, relatively spontaneous trips, often lasting only one to three days. Fortunately, I’m close enough to the Sierra that I can actually get to some quite interesting places and back home in one (very long) day. I often do one of these in late May or early June – my so-called “Waterfall Trip” to Yosemite Valley. I’ll likely do something similar once Tioga Pass opens and that part of the high country becomes accessible.

I usually also do at least one longer, more organized trip. This summer it looks like I’ll have at least two of those on my schedule.

The first is a sort of trip I haven’t done since my kids were much younger and would backpack with me. My brother and his wife have three young sons who need to experience the real mountains of the Sierra Nevada. (Yeah, I guess there are some mountains in the state of Washington, too. ;-) They asked me to design an introductory trip for them. My first instinct was to head to the sort of place I like so much – over a 12,000′ eastern Sierra Pass and into the alpine country right around timberline. Fortunately, I thought better of that – small kids with altitude sickness at 12,000′ can wreck a trip quickly – and instead we are going to spend the better part of a week in the area just east of the Minarets and Mounts Ritter and Banner. We’ll do a “base camp trip,” staying at Lake Ediza for a few nights and then shifting over to Thousand Island Lake. These locations will let us explore some very interesting terrain around Ritter and Banner and in the Minarets area.

The second trip is a bit more hard core. The Talusdancers gang are going to enter the Sierra south of Mt. Whitney in the Cottonwood Lakes area and then head north and past the Mt. Whitney vicinity into the upper Kern, eventually exiting over Shepherd Pass. I’ve wanted to get into Shepherd Pass for many years and I’ve come close on the west side of the pass a few times, however the pass has a fearsome reputation as one of the more brutal eastern approaches to the southern Sierra crest. On this trip I’ll get to cross Shepherd… but we’ll use it to exit rather than enter.
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March 1, 2007 - Posted by | Trips

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