XST 2016 ~ Cross Country Sierra Traverse
Cross Country Sierra Traverse: 25 Passes over 257 miles.
|Alpenglow on Mt. Humphreys|
This year the mountain gods provided a tremendous opportunity. . . a three week window during the prime summer season to explore the High Sierra. Through a series of unplanned circumstances my usual one week trip morphed into a three week epic adventure! After pouring over maps and considering many possible routes I finally settled on a cross country traverse of the High Sierra. . . I stitched together portions of the Sierra High Route, South Sierra High Route, Kings Canyon High Basin Route along with some of my favorite cross country alternatives to create a cross country traverse of the High Sierra.
In the end I climbed 25 High Sierra Passes over 257 miles in 22 days. I started preparing for the trip in January and followed Alan Dixon's training program which included long weekend hikes up to 30 miles per day leading up to the start in July. Some of the climbs and long days were more challenging than I anticipated and the fields of wild flowers at the beginning almost derailed the whole trip. Although I planned on climbing 31 passes over 295 miles I had to skip the sections from the Lyell Fork to Mammoth and Ionian Basin due to allergies. Fortunately I was able to re-energize during a zero day and get back into the wilderness to finish the route.
~ Overview Map ~
For the whole story including photos, maps, route details and gear info check out: