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Sierra High Route Maps!!! Help!!
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Benjamin Keefe
(Bkeefe81) - F
Sierra High Route Maps!!! Help!! on 06/30/2009 14:34:40 MDT Print View

My brother and I are heading out on the SHR next problem, however: we've got no maps! We miscalulated that we'd be able to order them from Andrew Skurka, but he's currently in Alaska and unable to fill orders. We have the Roper book, but that's inadequate. Does anyone one on here have the map set that they'd be willing to sell? We'd pay you the full price, and work out some way of compensating him for his intellectual property, etc. Thanks in advance!

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Sierra High Route Maps!!! Help!! on 06/30/2009 15:07:20 MDT Print View

The Roper book isn't inadequate. Why do you think so?

Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
SHR Maps on 06/30/2009 15:22:14 MDT Print View

These may be of limited to moderate help:

David T
(DaveT) - F
. on 06/30/2009 15:31:46 MDT Print View


Edited by DaveT on 05/17/2015 22:49:28 MDT.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Sierra High Route Maps!!! Help!! on 06/30/2009 18:07:01 MDT Print View

Well if you had the National Geographic maps you could customize your maps for the trips. Considering that you are going to be off trail for most of the hike, I sure hope that you are bringing maps.......

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Sierra High Route Maps on 06/30/2009 18:50:03 MDT Print View

Now with maps ready to purchase I say go now before it gets anymore ruined. People who wouldn't go unless they had a map (barrier to entry)that spells it all out for them shouldn't be back there.

Jim Sweeney
(swimjay) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
River crossings on 07/01/2009 11:05:24 MDT Print View

Hi Benjamin--we talked on the phone the other night, and I just wanted to correct some possible misinformation I might have given you. There IS a potentially difficult river crossing, depending on snow melt, somewhere north of Blue Lake Pass. On Andrew's web site, an account by a woman who did the entire route with two others--you'll recognize the account by its amazing photos--tells how they were turned off route and had to go over Red Peak Pass by a river they couldn't cross. This is all from memory, so read her account.

When I did the route, in August, the river crossing she's referring to was a piece of cake, at 6 in the evening.

Aaron Wallace
(basilbop) - F
Re: River crossings on 07/01/2009 22:25:07 MDT Print View

There are two significant crossings in this area of the SHR: the outlet of Twin Island Lake, and the Lyell Fork of the Merced River, which sounds like the crossing above.

Lyell Fork can be bypassed by taking the trail in the opposite direction (south), toward Isberg Pass, then following the trail down the Merced River to the junction near Merced Lake (all significant crossings are bridged), where the Lewis Creek trail can be taken back to the SHR. (The Roper book has information on bypassing the Twin Island Lake outlet crossing.)

David T
(DaveT) - F
. on 07/02/2009 09:59:46 MDT Print View


Edited by DaveT on 05/17/2015 22:47:49 MDT.

Walter Underwood
(wunder) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Last minute topo maps on 07/03/2009 11:14:40 MDT Print View

The SHR mostly parallels the JMT, so some sets of JMT maps might work.

You don't say where you live, but the USGS has a store in Menlo Park, CA with all the topo maps for the western region. It is open 8-4 weekdays.

Or you can go to and have them FedEx the maps.

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Bridges and River Crossings on 07/04/2009 02:35:36 MDT Print View

How does one determine if a river crossing in the Sierra is bridged or not? Seems like good info the trail-maps should have....

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Bridges and River Crossings on 07/04/2009 09:44:19 MDT Print View

Pretty much you asume that they are not bridged

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Bridges and River Crossings on 07/04/2009 14:56:51 MDT Print View

One way, if a google search reveals no mention or picture of a bridge, there likely isn't a bridge.

Aaron Wallace
(basilbop) - F
Re: Bridges and River Crossings on 07/05/2009 16:35:38 MDT Print View

The USGS 7.5 minute topos generally will indicate backcountry bridges with a "footbridge" notation and symbol. It does seem that only substantial bridges, and not those "bridges" that consist of a permanent log or two with a flattened side, get this treatment. Unfortunately, many of the non-government maps (Trails Illustrated, Tom Harrison) do not indicate the location of bridges. On the other hand, it's not unusual for bridges to wash out in the Sierra in high runoff seasons, and not all that wash out are eventually repaired/replaced.

Klas Eklof
(klaseklof) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
shr maps on 07/06/2009 14:55:02 MDT Print View

I totally agree with Dave T. I got topo maps, sat in my arm chair at home, read roper, and traced the route onto the maps. I don't consider this an entry barrier, just smart preperation. And it easily saved me many hours on the route.

I don't consider any of the route-finding difficult. It's true: I didn't locate the proper place to leave the trail for the climb to Merriam Lake, and I walked up the trail-less forest, not knowing exactly where I was, but knowing that I would get to where I needed to be. Don't expect to be perfectly on-route every step, but often you can see the route for miles ahead...

I used Tom Harrison Maps,
- Kings High Country
- Mono High Country
- Mammoth High Country
- Yosemite High Country
- Hoover

But, I think the topos in roper's book would, in fact, be plenty adequate.

Have a safe and wonderful journey, and we'd love to see a report when you return.

- Klas

Andrew Skurka
(askurka) - F
Mapsets shipping again on 07/16/2009 13:06:43 MDT Print View

Benjamin -

Apologies for the distress I may have caused by not fulfilling orders over the last month. I'm based out of MT this summer (where all the BPL school courses are being run out of) and unfortunately I don't have any friends in town who owe me favors like I have in CO, which is how I managed to still fulfill orders back in Feb & March while I was on the Hayduke and Grand Canyon Traverse for a month.

I finished my big AK trip yesterday (lots of epic stories but I'll save those for another post or trip report) and am shipping mapsets again for anyone who wants one. I've updated the shipping dates on my website too to reflect some changes in my schedule.

I was interested in reading the comments on the implications of my mapset being available. I agree with those who have some concerns about what the lack of a "barrier to entry" will do to the SHR -- it's not going to become the JMT anytime soon, but I think there defintely will be an increase in traffic on the route. I'd be interested in hearing whether that ends up being the case from those who are out there this summer -- let me know. I suppose the question for me in making the mapset available was, "What is the societal cost of making the mapset available versus the societal benefit?" And I concluded that overall it's a net gain for the hiking community -- the SHR goes through some awesome country and I'd like more people to see it, in the hopes they value it more, and are more willing to fight for the protection of those areas and areas like it. The SHR is through a well protected corridor but there are still many environmental issues that affect it (e.g., climate change) and other areas connected to this corridor. Moreover, given the declining level of backcountry engagement (i.e. more people day-hike now, but far fewer backpack), I am hoping the mapset is able to reverse some of this unfortunate trend.

The other sentiment I heard was the "I call it doing your homework" feeling. I agree with this one too -- I personally thoroughly enjoy this aspect of trip planning and believe that it makes a trip ultimately more rewarding. But, again, this time commitment is essentially a tax on usage, and I'm hoping the mapset reduces it. If someone still wants to prep for the SHR "the old-fashioned way," they certainly don't need the mapset...but, I'd offer the suggestion of getting the mapset, doing the SHR, and then spending the time you would have spent on SHR prep on prepping for a route that has no guidebook or mapset!


Bill Law
(williamlaw) - M

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Mapsets shipping again on 07/17/2009 13:52:53 MDT Print View

While there's some truth to the theory that "the more they experience it the more they'll want to protect it" my belief is that holds more in the large than when applied to this specific route. I doubt anyone is going to hike this route without already possessing a considerable desire to want to protect these wilderness areas.

My impression after reading
Roper's book (and spending considerable time in the Sierra, both on and off trail) is that an important part of the "essence" of this route is the fact that it *is* somewhat vague. I think Roper says so himself, more or less.

A set of maps pointing out detailed routes is likely going to increase the number and reduce the faintness of use trails through the areas and that's counter to the spirit of the SHR, in my opinion.

Not that it will have a material effect. I'm more worried about the experience of those using the maps. Ironically, by relying on the maps they may not be hiking the Sierra High Route after all.


David T
(DaveT) - F
. on 07/17/2009 20:11:53 MDT Print View


Edited by DaveT on 05/17/2015 22:56:16 MDT.