Mountaineer’s Route up Main trail down 8/16

Posted by: joeybones

Mountaineer’s Route up Main trail down 8/16 - 08/20/19 03:25 PM

Conditions were similar to recent posts by Sam123 (8/6/19 and BFR (8/7/2019) but less snow.

Hiked with one friend; both of us are in decent shape. Completed acclimation hike the day before to Lower Boy Scout Lake.

There were still a few spots of snow (~15 ft across) but were easy to cross using poles or avoid (below Iceberg and in the chute). Two groups of 4 were descending the chute while we were ascending which made it more risky given risk of rock fall. Final 400 ft had a clear, snow/ice free path to the top up the main route. I got my feet wet in the 2nd stream crossing before the ledges both on the prep hike the day before and during the hike as well as on the big creek crossing to the big slab between LBS and Iceberg – bring extra socks!

Used several of the alternate routes discussed on this forum to cut some distance. Strava says route took 20.94 miles (7,166 ft of vert) and Gaia says route took 16.79 miles (6,356 ft of vert); routes are much more jagged in Strave and Gaia than BFR’s – iPhone may not be the best tool for GPS accuracy; definitely shows some loops and back and forth that I did not do.

Timing: started at ~5am, made it to LBS in 1:45, rested for 15 minutes (sunscreen, water), made it to Iceberg in 2:15, rested (sunscreen, lots of water, etc.) for 45 minutes, made it to summit at ~12:30pm; left summit at 1pm and made it down to trailhead by 5:30pm

Weather: was great (not too hot or cold) – wore hiking pants, short sleeve shirt and sleeves the entire time (carried down jacket, windbreaker and emergency poncho but never needed them); wore trail running shoes and used hiking poles, headlamp and Squeeze filter for water with Smart Bottles to save weight (no crampons or micro spikes needed). Would recommend a helmet for the chute.

Water: drank ~5L (~1.6L at trailhead, 2.4L on way up, 1 liter on the way down); filtered at LBS and Iceberg to save weight but this ended up costing time.

Food: ate ~2600 calories (lots of Trail Butter, energy gels, clif bloks) + raspberries for breakfast before trailhead
Posted by: DQ922

Re: Mountaineer’s Route up Main trail down 8/16 - 08/21/19 12:56 PM

Very quick trip, I wonder if you can share your Gaia track with us, it will be very helpful. My three friends did this to have 14 miles only for the ascent part, and total over 30 hours car-to-car.
Posted by: joeybones

Re: Mountaineer’s Route up Main trail down 8/16 - 08/21/19 01:53 PM

Sure. Send a PM and I will send you the link.

Or if anyone knows how to display the Gaia summary information in the forum, please let me know.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Mountaineer’s Route up Main trail down 8/16 - 08/21/19 02:16 PM

Take a picture of it, and I can post the picture. Send the picture to the contact us link below

Everyone should know, though, that most GPS tracks in the North Fork, and in the lower section of the Main Trail can get really wild, due to your being in a fairly deep canyon with high walls. The gps locator system, to be accurate, needs to "see" quite a few satellites, and the high canyon walls block many of them. So when your path looks crazy-jerky, that is why, and the distance traveled will be out of whack.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Mountaineer’s Route up Main trail down 8/16 - 08/21/19 11:46 PM

Here are the Gaia pics from joeybones:

Posted by: DQ922

Re: Mountaineer’s Route up Main trail down 8/16 - 08/22/19 06:38 PM

Thanks Steve and Joey for such a great info. , especially for the explanation of those bounced around track on the device display. It seems to me the hikers' experience plays a great role of route finding.