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Sierra High Route MODIFIED - Detailed itinerary / Databook
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Brent Mahan

Locale: Southern New Hampshire
Sierra High Route MODIFIED - Detailed itinerary / Databook on 05/30/2012 16:24:37 MDT Print View

I will be backpacking the entire Sierra High Route solo starting July 13th. Pretty psyched about it.

Roper's SHR is one that has excited me since I first learned of it. It is a truly awesome route, but I couldn't help but think that since I'd already be in the high Sierra and so close to many great peaks, that it would be worth modifying the route somewhat to incorporate some peakbagging and some other notable sights.

I've read Roper's book, bought Skurka's map set, and spent MANY hours reading trip reports and studying Google Earth to come up with a modified Sierra High Route that incorporates some alternate routes I came up with and around 30 named peak summits.

This modified SHR works out to 237 miles (versus the standard 195), quite a bit more elevation gain, and I am hoping provides for a little extra excitement, difficulty, and reward.

For anyone else who wants to utilize this databook, go for it. Consider it a free companion to Skurka's map set ($15 very well spent. You can get the maps on his website).

I'd love it if people here would review my itinerary and provide me with some feedback (positive or negative) on the changes I've made. I've never been to the Sierras before, so all of this comes just from what I've gleaned off of other sources. Would love to hear some first hand experience.


Link to the .pdf of my itinerary
(set up to print on one double-sided 11x17 sheet like Skurka's maps)

Link to the .xls Excel file

I'll be sure to post a good detailed trip report probably in early August.

Edited by thenerb on 05/30/2012 18:35:38 MDT.

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: SHR Itinerary on 05/30/2012 17:20:13 MDT Print View

That is a very ambitious itinerary. As I am sure you have read, there are lots of trip reports around of people underestimating the difficulty of the High Route and subsequently bailing. Given that your previous posts state that you have not hiked in the Sierra, and have not been on a trip longer than 2 nights, I would say it would be an exceptional feat if you were able to accomplish the itinerary that you have posted. In fact, it would be an exceptional feat for anyone regardless of experience to do that much peak-bagging and hiking in 18 days. Maybe Bob Burd could do it. I would recommend that you have a good plan for modifying your itinerary if you find your original plan too difficult so that you can still accomplish some of your goals instead of bailing altogether. And bring a SPOT.

Brent Mahan

Locale: Southern New Hampshire
re: SHR Itinerary on 05/30/2012 18:34:57 MDT Print View


Thanks for the comments.

Yes, I have read other trip reports and have heard from many experienced hikers that the SHR was far harder than they had anticipated. Certainly realize that this itinerary may be too ambitious, and if so, there are ways I can reduce the mileage/intensity if need be. I hope I won't have to do that, but if I do, I'm ready for that possibility.

I'm thinking my fitness is where it needs to be. I did 60 miles on the AT in the Smokys in a weekend 2 weeks back and have been hiking a lot in the past few months. I also do a good amount of running (trail and road), cycling, racquetball, and weights. If the elevation, terrain, or bad luck kicks my ass, I'll still have a great trip out there. It's really all about experiencing the grandeur of nature and being humbled by my surroundings. I love an extreme challenge, especially in the outdoors.

I'm also carrying with me a DeLorme InReach (similar to a SPOT, but more reliable and can do 2-way text messaging).

Bob Burd is truly awesome and inspiring. His trip reports and photos have been one of the most valuable resources I've had in preparing for my trip and putting this itinerary together.

Can't wait to get out there.

David T
(DaveT) - F
shr on 05/30/2012 19:19:20 MDT Print View

Definitely an ambitious plan with all those side summit attempts! When I did the SHR (in lots of snow) we were so tired out that we only ended up doing one side summit bag: Banner Peak (highly recommended).

No other comments other than to have a great time, and to BE SAFE. Hurrying to do miles + hiking when you are tired + solo + endless talus can be a recipe for problems. Be careful in all that big (and sometimes tippy) talus!

It's beautiful out there.

Edited by DaveT on 05/30/2012 19:22:07 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: SHR Itinerary on 05/30/2012 20:25:46 MDT Print View

"I would recommend that you have a good plan for modifying your itinerary if you find your original plan too difficult so that you can still accomplish some of your goals instead of bailing altogether."

+ 1

To your whole post, in fact.

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: SHR on 05/30/2012 20:49:42 MDT Print View

Brent, sounds like you are as prepared as you can be. I would recommend that you sleep at least 1 night around 5,000 ft and don't push yourself to 100% on the first day so that you can acclimatize to the altitude. And don't bail! Even if all you do is hike resupply to resupply on the JMT you will have a great trip. Don't shortchange yourself on the 18 days and you will be guaranteed to have an adventure. It is easy to get to Bridgeport from any Eastside trailhead so you certainly won't be in danger of missing your return flight even if you come out somewhere unplanned.

I am hoping to do 2 weeks of the SHR solo later this year. I have crisscrossed through a few miles of it a number of times but haven't done any official sections. It is a trip worth aspiring to.


Brent Mahan

Locale: Southern New Hampshire
Acclimitization on 05/31/2012 07:13:29 MDT Print View


Great point on the acclimitization period at the front end of the trip. My flight lands at 10:30PM in Fresno. Think there's any chance of me finding a driver on Craigslist willing to pick me up that late and drop me at Road's End that night so I can sleep at ~5,000ft? My original plan was to stay in a motel after landing and get picked up the following morning and driven to the TH, but if I could get a driver the night before, that might be better. Think there's anyone on here that would want to make some $$ and do it?

Good luck on your SHR adventure too. Really looks like an amazing place to "get lost" for awhile.

I appreciate the comments and feedback.

Brent Mahan

Locale: Southern New Hampshire
Flying out tonight on 07/12/2012 06:28:40 MDT Print View

Flying out tonight to Fresno to start this whole adventure.

Can't believe it is finally here. Can't wait.

I'll try and post some pics and a trip report at some point in August.

Wish me luck!

Jeff Issenberg

Locale: SF Bay Area/Sierras
How did it go? on 04/12/2013 19:21:33 MDT Print View

I'd love to hear how it went. I'm planing to do the SHR this summer, not solo though. I've posted here on BPL:
if anyone is interested in joining us.