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A Sierra Crossing

SFGate’s Tom Stienstra reports on his Sierra Crossing – an east-to-west pack trip across the southern Sierra from Horseshoe Meadow to Mineral King.

We proposed an expedition into the heart of this landscape: a 70-mile crossing of the Sierra Nevada from east to west, as the first pioneers and trailblazers would have seen it. We would start at the flank of Mount Whitney in the eastern Sierra, hike up the Sierra Crest and down canyons to the Kern River, and then trek up and over the Great Western Divide and down to Mineral King at the foot of the western Sierra.

Of interest to me, Stienstra began his trip at the same trailhead where I began my early August trip this year, Horseshoe Meadow. He covered quite a bit of ground that I’ve been across at one point or another during my backpacking “career” – the PCT trail between Crabtree Meadow (east of Mt. Whitney) and Wallace Creek (where I camped last week), the descent to Junction Meadow on the Kern River and south before exiting to Mineral King over the Great Western Divide. A lot of memories there – I was on parts of his route last week; I was last on other portions several decades ago.

(A quick summary of my trip, with more to come later: We started at Horseshoe Meadow on August 5 and crossed 12,000+’ New Army Pass the next day. From Soldier Lake we took a cross-country route into Miter Basin where we stayed at Blue Sky Lake before following the cross-country route over 12,600′ class 2 Crabtree Pass to Upper Crabtree Lake. We rejoined civilization at the JMT at Crabtree Meadow, then heading north into the upper Kern and camping at Wallace Creek and Tyndall Creek before exiting east over 12,000′ Shepard Pass on August 11.)


August 15, 2007 - Posted by | Trips

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