Rating: 5 / 5
Andrew Skurka, from whom the English language gets the word "skurking",
meaning moving quickly over great distances in a lightweight fashion (an
antonym for "lurking"), has given the lightweight community a tremendous
gift in the form of a CD map and data set for Steve Roper's Sierra High
Route. This route, which parallels the JMT, goes from Kings Canyon roughly North--South to Twin Lakes (north of Tuolumne meadows). Unlike the JMT, (with which it occasionally coincides), the SHR is almost always above treeline, much of it off-trail. It's a wonderful experience of isolated wildness, exciting route finding, great beauty, and, occasionally, a fatiguing chance to practice ones scree and talus hopping skills.
The CD contains a complete marked route, which opens in TOPO (you'll need to own TOPO California for this), two complete mapsets, in 8.5 x 11 and 11.5 x 17 format, ready for printing, and trail mileage data in two formats.
Reading along in Roper's guidebook ("Sierra High Route", published by The
Mountaineers) while following Andy's TOPO map brought back memories of the sections I've done, and yearning for those I haven't. The price, including
shipping, is a mere $12.50--cheap at four times the price. I know, because
I've spent hours working out the route using the guidebook and TOPO, and
even then managed to get lost once or twice.
There's no immediate way I can see to improve upon this CD, unless in some
future edition Andy included a raft of photos taken en route.