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Re: Cross-country route planning

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Cross-country route planning
February 17, 2020 09:52AM
Say you look at a topo map and find a cross-country route that strikes your fancy. How do you "do your homework" to make sure that it's passable? I've gone cross-country a few times, but once it turned out to be more difficult than I expected and eventually we turned around and went back.
Re: Cross-country route planning
February 17, 2020 01:18PM
That's what happens. We look at the topo map, maybe see what we can find on Google Earth or on hiking message boards...and then decide. And yes, we've found a few routes that we abandoned for one reason or another. It's all part of the process...



Balzaccom

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Re: Cross-country route planning
February 17, 2020 01:37PM
So I guess you make sure to have a backup plan.
avatar Re: Cross-country route planning
February 18, 2020 09:31AM
Unless it's a trivial route you won't know unless YOU go with YOUR group. You should always be prepared to
turn around, scope out ahead for your group, help your group through difficult sections, and decide enough
is enough. You should also take care of everyone in your group and know exactly
where you are at all times (there's no excuse really for this in this day and age imo anymore).
Conditions change yearly and weekly depending on elevation and previous snowpack.
So... you just go with an idea and play by ear. It's best if you've been in the area before and have
done some of the route.
By the way, this is applicable to any trip... trail or no trail!
But yeah, you look at the topo maps and satellite imagery and maybe you can make it.
But it depends on elevation and what is really there and what you are comfortable doing.
Because it all looks easy from here.
smiling smiley

This is how I work. I have too many ideas in my head... We start hiking and I say I'm going to
say I'll stay on the trail... after 1/2 mile something catches my eye and we skip the trial for fun.

smiling smiley

Curious what you are thinking. And what made you turn back. Personally I've done probably
2000 miles of off trail stuff in Yosemite... and the stuff that really slows you down is
the shrubbery...


Have fun. Be safe



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Cross-country route planning
February 18, 2020 11:12AM
The whole story of that trip is here (see day 3). What made us turn around was (a) the slope being steeper than I'd expected and (b) my companion's fear of heights, especially descending exposed rocky slopes.

Thanks for the advice, all! I guess my mistake on that trip was "preparing" by doing more research instead of having a backup plan and being flexible. (We did come up with an alternate route and it was great, but much more stressful than it had to be.)
Re: Cross-country route planning
February 21, 2020 02:57PM
The obvious back up plan is to back up--go back the way you came. You know that works ..



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
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