I'm likely to post more questions in the following months about the Sierra High Route (Roper route).
I'm planning on doing the copper creek trailhead to Bishop Pass section (exiting South Lake) of the route.
I have Steve Roper's book and have found a few resources online.
Can anyone tell me what kind of snow cover there will be up on that section of the route in July considering this year's snowfall so far?
crampons and ax required for any of the passes?
The book is unclear on days. How many days will this section take? Where are the recommended camping sites?
And finally, I've only been on weekend trips in the Sierra. I either have sunny weather the whole time or snowy the whole time. In July, what's typical? Afternoon thunderstorms? Snow? Rain? general freezing level?
I'm just looking for ballpark. I understand the mountains can do whatever they feel like. Just looking to get an idea. Speaking of Ballpark, my Mariners might actually win tonight!
Thanks for the help.
(also I'll be looking for a partner or two to join me. All my friends have "real" jobs and can't take the time for a long hike.)
email me if interested: email@example.com
August is just a much better month. I usually go from about the 15th and finish in early september.
August assures that the snow will be gone on the passes. The bugs are all gone and the water crossings are very low and there's no need to even think about when you are doing them. Just much more pleasant and you can devote yourself to things besides slapping at mosquitos all day.
I haven't even researched the beginning and end points, but I'd day about fifteen to 18 for the entire trail. Again, going cross country––dealing with talus slopes instead of switch-backs is hard and sometimes slow work and certainly a little more treacherous.
There's kind of an art to talus hopping––some get it and bounce right along and others just freeze up and this is when crossing it takes a long, tentative time . . .
I'm also not into hauling ass all day, or making major miles. I'm not going to do it in nine days.
Check out this site. Skurka has a good video and he's a nice guy––you can ask him questions and he'll get back to you. (although I think he's kinda out of town at the moment)
2x on the Skurka site. He has a lot of great information on the High Route as well as a nice set of maps you can purchse on CD for $15.
As you noticed, you won't find any information in Roper's book on where to camp. He purposely keeps things vague to keep people from always staying in the same sites and basically turning it into another JMT.
As for days, a good rule of thumb would be to cut your normal daily mileage on a trail in half. You may go farther some days and others less, but overall that is a good guide on what you can expect to do on the High Route.