Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Help with choosing a trip, early July. Wonderland Trail or Sierra High Route?


Display Avatars Sort By:
Eli Burakian
(eliburakian) - F - MLife
Help with choosing a trip, early July. Wonderland Trail or Sierra High Route? on 05/25/2011 15:45:39 MDT Print View

Hello all. I'm new to this forum, although I've been reading it for a while, I just joined in.

Anyways, I live in Vermont and will be heading out to Portland, OR for a wedding. Prior to heading out to a 5 week backpacking trip in Armenia (I'll post more later) I'm tacking on about 10 days to do something out west.

My dates:
June 27 - July 6

I know everywhere out there has a big snowpack, so whatever I do I (and my partner) plan to bring the appropriate gear for lots of snow travel. Anyways, I've narrowed my choices down to:

Wonderland Trail around Mt. Rainier

Or

Finish the Sierra High Route

Last year I did about 70% of the High Route, so I basically plan on finishing what I skipped, specifically from Red's Meadow/Mammoth - Piute River/Piute Pass and continuing on to Bishop Pass, even though I did that last year.

Any advice or suggestions much appreciated!

Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Re: Help with choosing a trip, early July. Wonderland Trail or Sierra High Route? on 05/25/2011 16:00:12 MDT Print View

I don't know about SHR with the snow this year, but expect Wonderland to look like this:

A

In other words, pretty much all snow travel.

John West
(skyzo)

Locale: Borah Gear
Snow on 05/25/2011 17:23:15 MDT Print View

I would definitely expect both the SHR and Wonderland to be a snow traverse like Chris said. Things around Wonderland probably won't clear up until early late july - early August. This was a bomber snow year in the northwest.

Chris, if you dont mind me asking, what program did you use for that modeled snow depth?

Jeffrey Dunning
(boredomhero) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Previous Wonderland hike on 05/25/2011 21:07:41 MDT Print View

I did the Wonderland three years ago in Aug and there were stretches of continuous snow travel. This year it may never be passable in places. A very short window of hiking here in the NW during 2011.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Help with choosing a trip, early July. Wonderland Trail or Sierra High Route? on 05/25/2011 21:39:32 MDT Print View

Yep, expect snow. A LOT of snow this year on the WT. If it melts out, who knows when. It is still cold here and while some snow is melting we are just not getting the warm days (and nights) needed.

Eli Burakian
(eliburakian) - F - MLife
Thanks for the insight! Still a few questions. on 05/26/2011 15:50:05 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the input.

I guess my question really is, would the Wonderland Trail be totally undoable if it were really snowy, or just much harder? I'm prepared to use crampons and ice axe.

Same goes for the high route. We probably had about 4-5 miles of snow travel over about 120 miles on the SHR last July-August. It was certainly slower, but not a show-stopper.