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Trip Report: Scouting the Yosemite High Route

By Andrew Skurka / September 4, 2018 /

Last month I had two goals for a 9-day backpacking trip in Yosemite National Park. First, to simply enjoy what is likely to be my only solo trip in 2018. This year I will spend about 55 nights out, but the bulk of them will be on guided and private group trips that come with responsibilities…

Gear List: Yosemite High Route || High Sierra in August

By Andrew Skurka / September 5, 2018 /

Last month I went on a 9-day/8-night backpacking trip in Yosemite National Park. My route was more ambitious than the norm: I was scouting the Yosemite High Route, which has monstrous vertical change and extensive off-trail and alpine travel. I tried to avoid popular trails like the John Muir Trail/Pacific Crest Trail and the High Sierra Camp…

Where should the Yosemite High Route start and finish?

By Andrew Skurka / October 10, 2018 /

As a distraction from more time-sensitive and critical work, recently I began drafting the Yosemite High Route Guide, which I’m planning to release in late-winter. This first edition will be about 90 percent right; it will need a revision after double- or triple- checking my work and field-researching some minor areas of interest in summer 2019.…

Do you have 2 days or 2 weeks? Yosemite High Route thru- & section-hikes

By Andrew Skurka / December 1, 2018 /

For the fullest experience, the Yosemite High Route is best completed as an end-to-end thru-hike. For most backpackers, however, it will be more practical to undertake the route in more bite-sized pieces. These section-hikes are: More compatible with family and work commitments; Loops, and therefore logistically simpler than point-to-point itineraries; and, Less physically difficult, due to…

Mix it up: How JMT, PCT, and SHR hikers can get on the Yosemite High Route

By Andrew Skurka / December 3, 2018 /

Thru- and section-hikers on the John Muir Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and Sierra High Route can hop onto the Yosemite High Route in six places to extend their itinerary, change course, or inject their trip with more adventure and challenge.

Almost done (and now available): Yosemite High Route Guide

By Andrew Skurka / February 28, 2019 /

I had self-imposed a deadline of March 1 for publishing the Yosemite High Route Guide, knowing that backpackers are making their summertime plans (and in some cases have already made them). The Guide is not yet complete — it’s about 85 percent of the way there — but today I’m releasing it anyway so that…

Crampons & ice axe: Recommendations for the High Sierra

By Andrew Skurka / May 26, 2019 /

In July I’m running six trips in Yosemite National Park, split between two guide teams: two intro-level 3-day courses, and four more advanced 5- and 7-day trips. We will be hiking sections of the John Muir Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, Sierra High Route, and Yosemite High Route, in addition to other trails and off-trail routes. Because…

PSA | Hazardous High Sierra creeks: List, map & alternates

By Andrew Skurka / June 10, 2019 /

Every spring, creeks in the High Sierra rage with snowmelt. For one to two months, they are a grave danger, especially after wet winters like 2018-19. Backpackers can still hike, camp, and explore safely, but they should be aware of and respect this hazard. Swift and deep creek crossings will be found throughout the range,…

Gear List: Yosemite High Route + PCT/JMT in July

By Andrew Skurka / July 8, 2019 /

For several years my High Sierra guided trips have been in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park in September, when conditions are predictably comfortable (mild days, crisp nights, little precipitation, and no bugs or wildfire smoke) and when there is less backcountry traffic. But for a change in scenery, this year I scheduled them in Yosemite in…