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Ropers Sierra High Route
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Maia Jordan
(maia) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Ropers Sierra High Route on 08/06/2013 21:58:49 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Ropers Sierra High Route

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Ropers Sierra High Route on 08/06/2013 22:37:16 MDT Print View

Thanks for posting this.

I'm leaving to do a section of the route in two days. We are taking it pretty slow and enjoying ourselves, probably about 80 miles over 8 days.

Manfred Kopisch
(Orienteering) - F
Great Trip Report on 08/06/2013 22:51:12 MDT Print View

Hi Andrew,

thanks for the great trip report. That brings back a lot of memories. Now I understand why your TR took so long. Last year you posted on my SHR TR that you would soon publish yours too. I was eagerly waiting for a while and then thought you just didn't find the time to write it. This report made the long wait worthwhile.



Daniel Pittman
(pitsy) - M

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Ropers Sierra High Route on 08/06/2013 22:59:52 MDT Print View

Holy cow, what a great trip! Thanks for the excellent photography and vivid descriptions.

Shawn Bearden
(ShawnB) - F - MLife

Locale: SE Idaho
Congratulations on 08/07/2013 10:54:35 MDT Print View

Great report and thanks for all the wonderful pictures!

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Ropers Sierra High Route on 08/07/2013 11:14:21 MDT Print View

Great report Andrew!

Kevin Sawchuk
(ksawchuk) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Re: Ropers Sierra High Route on 08/07/2013 12:09:15 MDT Print View

Very nice article that brought back great memories. Those memories definitely included gorging on burgers and a huge shake at Red's Meadow while on the route. I've done the Sierra High Route three times--twice straight through (once solo/once leading friends) and once in four sections leading Sierra Club groups.

The Sierra High Route is simply the best backpacking trip for an advanced backpacker I've ever been on. I've done a few variations on the route as well. (These include a non-trail variation of the LeConte Canyon section, a route east of the Palisades and pushing the route further south).

Congratulations on finishing a classic! Thanks for the article!

I'd like to do the route again in a year or two.

Here are more photos from the route:

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Ropers Sierra High Route on 08/07/2013 12:35:40 MDT Print View

One word: Excellent

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: Ropers Sierra High Route on 08/07/2013 13:25:18 MDT Print View

That 2nd picture is amazing.
best picture in the sierra's I've seen.

Mike Feldman
(MikeF) - M

Locale: SE USA
Excellent on 08/07/2013 15:13:53 MDT Print View

Thank you Andrew, what a trip. I am doing a couple sections leisurely 8 days on the SHR beginning 9/7/13. Great photos, loved your commentary..

Mark Westermeier
(mwestermeier) - MLife
Thank You! on 08/07/2013 21:21:14 MDT Print View

Andrew, thank you for such a wonderful and compelling account of your adventure. This evening while reading your story and looking at the pictures I was inspired and hope to have such an adventure in the future! mark

Edited by mwestermeier on 08/07/2013 21:22:02 MDT.

Andrew Wolff

Locale: Chattanooga
Ropers Sierra High Route on 08/07/2013 21:55:32 MDT Print View

Manfred, thanks, as I remember it you guys where just 2 days behind me and almost exactly mirrored my itinerary. Yes the article took a while to come together, I think I first pitched it to BPL back in January but its finally seen the light of day.

Kevin, your solo TR was one I read up in the planning stages of my hike. I also would be very interested in going back and trying some variations of the route, I often found myself examining other possibilities on the map-set. Also I bow to your speed, I've never seen another faster solo unsupported thru documented.

Andrew Wolff

Locale: Chattanooga
Comment replies on 08/07/2013 22:06:25 MDT Print View

Nick, I've read a lot of your writing over the years so that comes as high praise.

Aaron, thank you, that picture is interesting to me for the amount of relief it shows in the landscape. Personally I really liked the one shot back south from Sky Pilot towards Conness as it shows a very direct view of a long section of the route as it climbs and crosses a number of large ridgelines.

Mark, go for it. Not to many years ago I would not have contemplated such a trip. I learned how reading other what others have written here and then getting out and practicing it.

Adam Klagsbrun
(klags) - MLife

Locale: Northeast US
Lakes on 08/08/2013 12:22:14 MDT Print View

Great trip report! Those lakes look amazing. Were they all as full of trout as they are in my imagination? :)

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: Ropers Sierra High Route on 08/08/2013 19:13:49 MDT Print View

Half redneck + half Ozzie = hiking and trail reporting machine. Well done.

Andrew Wolff

Locale: Chattanooga
Fish on 08/09/2013 08:43:33 MDT Print View

Adam, I'm not much of a fisherman but I imagine there's some trout in there. Isn't there an area called the Golden Trout Wilderness in the Southern Sierra?

Adam Klagsbrun
(klags) - MLife

Locale: Northeast US
Fish on 08/11/2013 22:41:33 MDT Print View

I wouldn't know about the secrets of the high sierra unfortunately, I've never made it over there for backpacking :(

Hopefully I can change that in the not so distant future!

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Fish on 08/11/2013 22:53:32 MDT Print View

Part of the difference is that there is virtually no fish stocking inside the national parks, but there is some outside in the national forests, especially in the Golden Trout Wilderness.


Jim Sweeney
(swimjay) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
altitude preparation on 08/12/2013 12:40:23 MDT Print View

Thanks for the great article, and wonderful pictures, Andrew.

What did you do to prepare for the altitude? (I think one gains about 6000' almost immediately.) Did you spend some time at altitude, hiking, before beginning, or just rely on your general fitness? And what altitude do you live at? (I once met a hiker and his wife on the first leg of Roper's route who lived at 6000' +, in New Mexico. I imagine that 11,000' to me felt like 5,000' to him).

It always takes me several days to start feeling alright, no matter how hard I train at home - I live at sea level - and I've sometimes wondered if I should try Diamox, which I think Bob Gross mentioned in another thread. Mostly what I experience is very elevated, thready pulse, and a desire to go to sleep, no headaches or lung stuff. Then, on the third or fourth day, I start to feel alright. Might be better, though time-consuming, to spend 3 or so days before-hand day-hiking high, and sleeping lower.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: altitude preparation on 08/12/2013 13:37:56 MDT Print View

"Mostly what I experience is very elevated, thready pulse, and a desire to go to sleep, no headaches or lung stuff."

Jim, that sounds like the mild symptoms of altitude. It isn't going to kill you, but it makes you feel pretty scroungy for a day or two. I suggest a few things. First, go up to the mountains earlier and sleep an extra night near the trailhead. Monitor your vital signs, and you can tell if you are getting better or getting worse. Try not to start up the trail until you are getting better. No alcohol.

Discuss this with your physician, and he might give you a prescription for Diamox. Since the elevations are not that severe, a half-dose of it started the day before you arrive in the mountains might work nicely. That won't prevent any problem, but it will just give you a wider safety margin. At least make sure that your symptoms aren't just from anxiety. I've seen that in climbers, and I've treated them successfully with a placebo.