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Help me Design several weeks in the Sierras!

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Hey CC, I am looking for some help/resources for planning a trip lasting around a month that takes me into the Sierras for hiking and climbing. I am graduating from college and want to take this opportunity to see California's mountains a bit closer, however I have not done any alpine climbing in this range. After visiting Yosemite Valley last spring and seeing off into the higher sierras on a nice sunny day, i do believe this area will be awesome to explore some more!


My intentions on such a trip are to do some basic climbing/scrambling of peaks in the high sierra while also *seeing* as much as possible along the way. In other words, I am not trying to do the most technical routes and I am looking more along the lines of awesome loop hikes with peaks to mount along the way. An example of this would be doing the John Muir Trail with side trips to summit some peaks, or perhaps just segments of the JMT that contain a plethora of outstanding peaks.


My goal is to go moderately light, sometime in spring to summer (suggestions? I'm not afraid of snow but extended periods of camping on snow gets to me...), with one or two friends and spend as much time as possible in the wilderness. Because I would like to do longer sections of trails I am looking to minimize technical gear required, so routes involving lots of trad gear are not ideal ( i also don't have a rack... thats more the reason).


So help me out if you can! I am looking into purchasing some literature I found in an older post in this forum (perhaps THe High Sierra, by Secor?). Know of any similar Trip Reports you could link me to? Any suggestions are useful!




P.S. hope posting in the route reports section is cool, i didn't spot a better option....

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Minaret area(see also Banner Peak) starting in Mammoth and hiking to Silver Lake (June Lake) is a great 20 mile loop with nice camping along the way but mild enough elevation you can do it in a day.

Thousand Island Lakes is beautiful.

Anything in the Palisades


Peak Bagging-

Banner and Dade are easy enough that my Bulldog could join me and are both great summits.


Easy Alpine Rock-

Bear Creek Spire 5.8

Mt. Humphreys 5.7

Mt. Sill 5.7

all very enjoyable climbs at high elevation


A little bit harder-

Mithral Dihedral 5.10- one of my all time favorites at 14,000+

Sun Ribbon Arete on Temple Crag 5.9

Matthes Crest 5.6

Red Dihedral (Incredible Hulk) 5.10+

All classic.


Im jealous, I sure miss that area, especially this time of year in the PNW. Have a great time and just remember to wear your sunglasses :)


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A good loop climb/hike would be Mt Whitney, up the Mountaineer route and down the Mt Whitney trail in 3 or 4 days depending on your acclimatization. If you want to do this get the permit now because otherwise you have to get it the day of the climb on a lottery system which is sometimes hard to win.


There is also a nice cross country trip everyone raves about from Toulumne to Whitney like 150 miles? Maybe you can just do part of it.


There's also the Evolution traverse which again you might want to do part of it if you don't want to take too much rack. But the best time for this starts in July.


There's a 14er behind the Palisades and the easiest ridge on the Palisades is like 5.7. It's also problematic to get a permit here.


Check the super-topo books and Crofts best-of-Sierras are really good.

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