Well, it’s been quite a summer. In the last 6wks Rockin’, Why Not, and I completed the Sierra High Route, High Sierra Trail, and Wind River High Route. Rockin’ has to go back to work (teacher) and Why Not is now home in Sacramento. I still have one more high route I’d like to attempt, the Kings Canyon High Basin Route. Fortunately, I have one of my most compatible hiking partners for off trail hiking available to join me…it’s E who I hiked the GDT with last summer! Here’s a link to a post with some background on E if you’re interested.
These last four days went by pretty fast. It took 2 days to drive down to Tehachapi and I’ve had two full zero days to get my act together before the KCHBR. Sadly, I did not get down time to watch any shows. It really is amazing how much time town chores take. In addition to the usual gear cleaning, laundry, and resupply stuff, I had much to update on the blog, emailing and phone calls to make, and I’m still dealing with that visa for New Zealand, which has requested more info in the second round. Fingers crossed that by the time I get out of this hike, I’ll have that visa approved.
Tomorrow, we set off for the Kings Canyon High Basin Route. This one is kinda new. Andrew Skurka released the guidebook and maps for it last summer, but then there was a fire and no one was able to hike the full route. The areas themselves are not untraveled, and there are guidebooks for where we will be going, but this is the first route to link it all together to create a possible thru-hike of sorts.The KCHBR is very similar to the Sierra High Route we did at the beginning of the summer with 2/3 of the route being off trail travel. It does overlap the SHR slightly (14mi of trail, 8mi off trail) and I find it fitting that I will be ending this summer of high routes at the exact trailhead that I started, Roads End.
This past winter, I made a GoogleEarth flyover video of the KCHBR that gives an idea of what we’ll be doing. There are three main changes to the primary route since then that are not featured in the video. They are slight changes that parallel the route, but Skurka now believes to be more preferable over the initially given route. For those that know the area well the three main changes are:
- White Fork Creek instead of Arrow Basin
- Amphitheater Pass and Cataract Creek instead of Observation Peak Pass and Adventurer Col
- Upper Goddard Creek instead of Enchanted Gorge
I’ve had time to study up on this one, and I know there was a lack of quality (in the details) in the Wind River High Route guide from Skurka, but I have high hopes for this one. His SHR maps were done quite well and were great paired with Steve Roper’s guidebook. The maps are great, I feel comfortable with the quality of the content in the guide, and it seems to go to some really great places. Just hoping the surrounding fires don’t spread.
So the plan is to start the evening of Aug 5th and be done by the 18th. I won’t have service while out hiking, so all the posts will have to go up after the hike. Feel free to check out the Where’s Wired tab to follow our progress on the awesome interactive map I have provided by Trackleaders. Alrighty everyone! We’ll see you on the other side!