Friday, December 24, 2010

Making Plans for Steve

Posted By on Fri, Dec 24, 2010 at 7:00 AM

I have some reading to do, too.
  • I have some reading to do, too.
So what do outdoor guys do when the weather turns, the trails close, the snow piles up and warm weather becomes a distant memory? Well, besides skiing, they go into plan mode. There isn’t a day that goes by where I’m not thinking about what trips I can look forward to doing in the upcoming seasons. Everything from working on my gear lists—trying to get that base weight down below 6 pounds—to staring at maps for new routes that will take me to lakes (that I’m sure have the biggest baddest trout in the land), to making arrangements for travel to somewhere that will give me a new perspective.

I’m doing all three. I’ve got my equipment strewn all over the bonus room, as I’m weighing gear and deciding how light I can go while still being well equipped. I’m trying to get it all down for a possible foray out onto what might be the most intense and difficult trail in all of the United States. It’s called the Sierra High Route, and it basically goes through the Sierra Nevadas from Kings Canyon to north of Yosemite. It's about 200 miles long and half of it doesn’t have a trail. It climbs over so many 10,000- 11,000- and 12,000-foot passes that I’m breathless just thinking about it. Many hikers need a month or more to get through it—my team is looking at two weeks or even less. Like a trip into space, every ounce is going to be critical: routefinding, map reading, physical conditioning is all going to be important.

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