This weekend Toshi, Jeremy, Sachin, and I will be heading out on a quick two day trip to explore a small section of the High Sierra Trail. What I am most excited about is to break through some new boundaries which include some mountain XC running and scrambling.
We are driving up to Tuolomne Meadows after work on Friday. There are some forest fires outside of Yosemite so we will need to take an alternative route, likely HWY 140, and will get in around midnight. From there we will get some sleep and start our adventure at 5:00am on Saturday.
On Saturday we will be following the High Sierra Trail from Tuolomne Meadows to Lake Catherine. This is a 30 miles section of the HSR, where the first 11 miles are on marked trails. As we progress past Vogelsang though, the HSR will turn into a fun and exciting x-country journey until we make our way to Lake Catherine. With two Engineers (NASA and TESLA) and a Barker, I’m confident we will find our way just fine. Once we hit Lake Catherine, we will set up camp for the night to rest for what will be the “BIG DAY!”
Its hard to say Sunday will be more Epic than Saturday, but it will be. We will wake up at 5:00am and start heading up the saddle between Banner Peak and Mt. Ritter. First we will scramble up Banner on our Left, then come back down to the saddle and scramble up Ritter on our right. Ritter definitely provides a bit more technical scrambling than Banner . We will then descend Ritter, traverse around thousand island lakes to the JMT and run 21 miles back to Tuolomne.
There is no doubt this trip will generate some amazing stories and experiences!
Leor has a good write up of a similar trip he did - http://pantilat.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/ritter-banner-loop/