I’m searching for an experienced, certified and professional guide to take a group of 4 avid outdoor people on a 3 to 5-day guided hike of the High Sierra and Mount Whitney.
Who we are: mid 30’s, hike often but do not own specialized gear for this trip, looking for something more interesting/authentic than what we could book through a tour company - without sacrificing quality.
Who you are: experienced outdoor guide, local to area, who can manage end to end logistics and planning for us (from suggesting an itinerary to actually coming with us on the hike), you can provide most of the specialized gear that we will need (beyond tents, packs, poles, etc).
Willing to pay up to $200 per person per day for the right guide. Looking to build an ongoing relationship with someone who can continue to challenge us.
If interested, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with: Proposed itinerary About you (qualifications & experience) Your online profile (social media, flickr, vimeo, etc)
It's possible that you might find what you're looking for, maybe even on the terms you've set forth. And I hope you are successful in this endeavor.
However, you should be aware that permits for the High Sierra, Sequoia Kings Canyon NP, Inyo National Forest and especially Mt. Whitney / Mt. Whitney Management Area are competitive and can be difficult to obtain. All commercial operators must obtain a Commercial Use Authorization from SEKI and a Special Use Permit from Inyo.
I mention this because the National Park and National Forest award what are known as Commercial Service Days (CSD) that are distributed among commercial operators and are in short supply. So I think what you're hoping for is that some guide service has 12-20 spare CSDs for your group.
If for some reason you come up empty and would like a less interesting / authentic experience summitting Mt. Whitney, consider joining our trip.
There are other ways to Whitney but these are the most direct (from the 'back side'). These will give you something to chat about with your guide. Might be an alternative from not getting a pass for the 'normal' East Side route.
There is another option. Hire a packer to pack you in and pick you up. They can carry your packs, make your meals and kick you out in the mornings. Probably will arrange a return to your car as well. Packers from West side as well as east side of the Sierra. You pay for a horse and rider, pack animals. Might be cheaper than $200 a day each (not much less) and you have an expert too.
Better time of year is end of July start of August if a normal snow year. This is NOT a normal snow year.
These are trails that are well marked or followed, I've always wanted a bring a long a geologist, botanist, good story teller, etc. I don't know of others who have used a guide here. Just have to follow the rules on securing food and you will have few problems with bears. You will see many on the trail. You will not be alone. Do NOT carry a weapon. 20F bag and pad in a tent will keep you dry and bug free. You can expect 32 degree or cooler on any day/night. Lots of mosquitoes so wear long socks, hood and a bottle of REI Bug Juice. have a 200 polartec or better fleece handy on top of back pack to put on when you stop on passes. It will be windy and cool there. For summer a Marmot Precip will keep you dry and bug free. Long shirts/pants UV lotion, dark glasses and brim hat will keep you from being a crispy critter. It is high altitude walking.
Plan to be off high passes and tall mountains after lunch...or don't go there if thunder/lightning or cumulus clouds forming. Weather with rain, hail and snow come up quickly and disappear as well. Check out long range weather before you start out. Go slow first couple of days. You will be above 10,000' most of your trip. Diamox (rx from a doc) will help you sleep if you are prone to high altitude apnea.
Before you get to the trail head, you should be able to jog 20-30 minutes and carry on a conversation with your running mate. These are strenuous high altitude aerobic adventures and challenges - it would be hard to over train . Start now as well as being a gym rat. From Lone Pine, five days can make a very nice walk from Horseshoe Meadows, to Cottonwood Lakes, over New Army Pass then down to the Pacific Crest Trail then up to Crabtree Ranger station then to top of Whitney from back side, then exit out to Whitney Portal and a ride to pick up the vehicle left at Horseshoe Meadows.
From Independence CA, to Onion Valley trail head over Kearsarge Pass down to John Muir/Pacific Crest Trail up Bubbs Creek, over Forester Pass (13,200') to Tyndall Creek (wonderful view of the entire drainage from Shepherd Pass) then across Bighorn Plateau across Wallace to Crabtree and over Whitney.
From Giant Forrest (Crescent Meadows) to BearPaw Meadow, past Hamilton Lakes and up Valhalla to Nine Lakes, then down the Arroya On High Sierra Trail to Morain Lake (or better) up to Chaggopa Lake then down, Funston Creek to the 'ditch' of Kern Lake, then up pass Funston Meadows up to Kern Hot Spings for a hot bath in a concrete bath tub. Follow up the Kern (keep looking back at a "poor man's Yosemite Valley) up Walllace Creek to join up with the JMT to the end of the Sierra High Trail at top of Mt Whitney.