In July 2016 seven of us set out to hike the southern part of the Sierra High Route: Anna, Dan, Doug, Irene, Marilyn along with Liz and me (Manrico). We started at the Kings Canyon trailhead and followed the Sierra High Route as far as LeConte Canyon below Dusy Basin as described in Steve Roper’s guidebook of the same name. From there we followed a completely different route, all on trails, back to Kings Canyon. It was an excellent trip except for some drama along the way: two of our group dropped out part way along because of illness.
Irene was not feeling well at the end of the first day which was long and hot. Probably a combination of heat, dehydration, and altitude led to vomiting, diarrhea and a major headache overnight. We took the next day off hoping she would get better. By evening she had not improved and it seemed wise to use Anna’s satellite phone to call for a medical evacuation by helicopter since it was clear she could not walk or ride a horse out. She was re-hydrated with I/V fluid in the Emergency Room at the hospital in Visalia near Fresno and spent a few days resting and drinking lots of fluid at a hotel the before flying home to Vancouver. Irene describes this experience as a difficult situation very well handled by all – very efficient and kind care in the Emergency Room.
A few days before arriving at Dusy Basin Liz started feeling ill with a suspected lung infection. She had a cough and it was getting difficult to breath. So at Dusy Basin Liz chose to exit the trip by hiring a horse packer to take her by trail to South Lake. (We were familiar with that trail having done it in 2009.) Fortunately there was a horse packer already in the area and he was able to take her the next morning. Liz got a ride from South Lake to Bishop. She stayed there a couple of days before taking the bus to Fresno where she met up with us at the end our our trip.
Fortunately both Irene and Liz quickly recovered from their ailments.
We used horse packers two other times for this trip. The first time was on the first day which involved a long, very hot, and unappealing climb up the south facing Copper Creek Trail. We cheated by hiring the Cedar Grove Pack Station to carry our big packs up the trail as far as the high point at “The Lip”. Everyone agreed that was a great decision. We also hired Rainbow Pack Outfitters located near Bishop to resupply our group at Palisade Lakes.
Following are video clips and a slideshow of the trip. The video clips are four panorama views taken from high points at Goat Peak, White Pass, Red Point, and Mather Pass.
Now the photos.