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Sierra High Route Gear List
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Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Sierra High Route Gear List on 03/10/2011 12:17:29 MST Print View

Hello everyone,

I am planning on hiking the Sierra High Route this summer from August 15-September 10. It looks like it will take me about 22 days on-trail, with resupplies in Bishop, VVR and Tuolumne. I will be hiking solo. I've never been on a trip longer than a week, but I have lots of mountaineering experience in the Sierras so I think the technical portions of the route should be in my comfort zone.

I expect that the majority of the days will be in the 60s-70s with lows around 30F most nights, though I will often be sleeping around 10,000' and I expect a handful of nights it will get down to 20F. My main concern is that my Summerlite won't be warm enough. I can bring an REI Sub Kilo instead, with 4 more ounces of down, but at a weight penalty of 10oz. Let me know what you think.

I am also considering swapping the NeoAir for a 72" Ridgerest Solite for durability issues. The weight is the same, but I am worried about the Ridgerest being bulky for scrambling and I don't find it very comfortable.

I will be carrying 7 days/10.5 lbs of food at the most for a total pack weight of about 26 lbs.

Gear List

Sorry, don't have the weights for my worn clothing, but here is a list:
Patagonia Capilene 1 L/S tee
Patagonia Capilene 2 boxers
REI nylon sun hat
Arcteryx Palisade pants
Smartwool PhD running socks
Scarpa Epic approach/trail running shoes


Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Sierra High Route Gear List on 03/10/2011 12:36:12 MST Print View

Hi Andrew,

Your list looks solid for typical high Sierra hiking, presuming you don't get caught by a persistent late summer storm from the east (it happens). A warmer bag might be prudent but it could be more weight-effective to carry a warmer down jacket than the MB and rely on that to extend your WM's range. As to the Neoair vs. Ridgerest, I'd go with the Neoair, especially considering you're including a patch kit. I don't sleep well on thin foam pads above treeline, and find the Neoair ideal (and after two seasons, tough enough).

Considering a GPS? I don't have firsthand SHR experience other than a few coincidental overlaps, but trip accounts I read seem to share routefinding problems at several of the passes. Maybe you've scouted them well enough to avoid the traps, but for soloing I'd think a GPS could be a big time and energy saver.

An excellent start on what should be an excellent adventure!



Kevin Lutz
(mtntrailrunner) - F
Structure? on 03/10/2011 20:37:57 MST Print View

What holds up your Contrail? I don't see hiking poles listed and the weight you show for the Contrail (24.5 ounces on Henry's site) is without the optional pole.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Sierra High Route Gear List on 03/10/2011 21:57:21 MST Print View


On a 3 week trip there is no way you can forecast the weather. I would do a historical search and get a sleep system for the worst case scenario, which could include a couple days stuck in a shelter.

I have been in snow storms in late August at 7,000 feet.

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: on 03/10/2011 22:36:04 MST Print View

@Rick: I have an old Garmin that weighs 3 oz or so that I am considering adding to the list. I found GPS waypoints online for the whole route. I don't think I would use a GPS every day, but I am sure to get off route at some point and I bet it would save a whole bunch of time / frustration.

@Kevin: I have a pair of REI Peak UL carbon fiber poles that I will be using. Sorry, forgot to add that to the list.

@Nick: Do you have a resource that you use for historical weather? I found historical records for the last few years for a few weather stations scattered throughout the Sierra, but no record highs/lows for anything outside of major weather stations like Road's End, etc which are all at relatively low elevation. From the data I found, it looks like I need to be prepared for nights down to 25F with the average overnight low being around 33-35F. The only place that was colder than that was Charlotte Lake, which got down to 19F but only for one night out of the last 4 years.


Edited by andrew.f on 03/10/2011 22:36:48 MST.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: on 03/10/2011 22:53:05 MST Print View

"I found GPS waypoints online for the whole route."

Make certain that you have the coordinate system and datum matched to your receiver.


Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Weather on 03/10/2011 23:49:37 MST Print View


Not off hand, and I am not saying there is data to suggest a sub-zero bag, but I would do more research on the Internet and see what data you can come up with. Someone will probably pop up with an idea. Since you are solo, which I highly approve, and trip like this especially after Labor Day may require and little more risk avoidance.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
summerlite on 03/11/2011 18:08:00 MST Print View

I owned a summerlite and found it's rating was very accurate- w/ the addition a UL inner AND a R1 hoody (in addition to your base layer) I think you should be fine to the mid and even low 20's, unless you sleep on the cold end of the scale- you can also add the Triumph to the mix if need be

I would consider a wool or syn beanie- a couple of ounces well spent IMO

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: summerlite on 03/11/2011 21:06:24 MST Print View

I have no experience in the Sierras but I tend to agree with Matt, with your R1, UL Down Parka, etc., you would probably be OK with the Summerlite. You might be pushing it on a few nights though. I will be on the JMT/SHR for a week starting on Sept 11 this year. Have a great trip!

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Summerlite on 03/12/2011 00:52:10 MST Print View

Thanks guys. I've thought about it some more and I think I need a warmer bag in case the temps get down to the low 20's. I posted a separate thread in GEAR about it.

Bob- I looked around for half an hour on the Trimble Outdoors website trying to figure out which datum they used, then I realized that you could select any datum you wanted on the page with the GPS coordinates and it would convert them for you. Duh...


Joel Waddell
(TenderPaw) - F

Locale: Lake Tahoe
noaa weather radio on 03/15/2011 16:20:17 MDT Print View

Andrew, I know it adds some weight, but a handheld noaa radio would allow you to get a regional forecast while in the high country. I will be hiking solo almost parallel to the SHR around the same time as you and mostly x-country. That being said I just picked up a Midland HH54 handheld NOAA radio. It's not much bigger than your typical handheld and I haven’t put it on the scale yet (I'll get that to you if your interested). I
If I wasn’t hiking into October I wouldn’t take this extra gear, but having access to an accurate weather forecast could mean the difference from getting out of the high country before the snow falls or having to hunker down for an undetermined period of time. It's worth the weight in my opinion.


Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
SHR List on 03/15/2011 16:27:34 MDT Print View

There is nothing special about the SHR in regards to sleeping pad. I would carry the neoair. Be careful relying on waypoints that you find on-line. You will get every bit as lost as the person that made the waypoints. I would at a minimum walk through the book and you gps software to make sure they make sense. I am speaking from personal experience on this one! But the good news is that you aren't ever really lost, you're just not on the way to the next route description in Roper's book.