Sierra Nevada - Mountaineering Traverse in John Muir Wilderness

Duration : 4 days

The John Muir Wilderness is a wonder of the High Sierra - In the Spring, deep snow covers the valleys and passes, making for an epic mountaineering trip.

This is a mountaineering expedition in the High Sierra Nevada which takes place ins the Spring, when the snow still covers much of the area and lakes are solid frozen. You are embarking onto an epic off trail adventure which will take you across passes up to 13,000 ft of altitude in one of nature’s most remote and majestic wonderland. Expect full solitude and solace in this desert of snow, rock and ice.  

Trip members should be comfortable with carrying a backpack weighing 35 lbs, hiking for four consecutive days on rocky, snowy and icy uneven terrain with daily elevation gains/losses of up to 3,000′ at altitude reaching up 13,000ft.
Participants are expected to use crampons / micro spikes and ice axe.  Previous experience is recommended, including backpacking and camping.

We will provide specific individualized training up to 12 weeks before the trip. A good base of fitness is required for this trip.

A great way to find out if you are fit for this trip is to speak to our guides.

Book this trip

$1,890 / per person

Maximum: 5 participants

Upon signing up, You will be contacted to complete your booking

Your Adventure Itinerary

Prior to our trip, we will organize a get-together for fellow explorers and guides to meet. We will provide detailed tips and recommendation on what to bring (backpack, boots, clothing, gear etc..)
In order to make sure you are ready for your trip, we will work on a one-to-one basis. In the weeks and days leading up to your trip, you will be able to communicate privately with our guides via phone and WhatsApp, ensure a personalized experience.
We may lend gear (subject to size and availability).
This trip begins at Apendell, CA, a small alpine community located 4h30min from Los Angeles. You may meet us in Aspendell, CA or carpool with us directly from LA. 

Day 1

We will drive to Aspendell, CA – Carsharing possible. We will camp the night at the North Lake Hiker’s Campground, located at 9.000ft  and acclimate to the elevation.

Day 2

We will hike towards Lamarck Lakes, climbing to 11,000ft through forest, meadows, eventually reaching the treeless high alpine. We will then climb up Lamarck Ridge, a high ridge where we will set up camp. Expect 2,200 ft of elevation gain over 3miles of technical terrain, including seep slopes and boulder fields. Do not be misled by the seemingly low milage of this trip. Off trail miles are 2 to 3 times more energy consuming that backpacking on a groomed trail.

Day 3

We will climb up Lamarck Col, reaching the highest point of our journey at 13,000 ft. Across this pass lies Darwin Canyon, a remote and untouched wonderland consisting of backcountry lakes (frozen solid at this time), snowy valleys, rugged slopes, surrounded by the highest peaks in the Continental US. We will set up camp in Darwin Canyon and unwind in this stunning desert of ice of rock.

This area of the Sierra is virtually unvisited, even in the summer months. Expect full solitude.

Day 4

We will traverse the vastness of the High Sierra, crossing icy lakes and heading up remote snowy valleys. Our goal for the day is to reach our second off trail high altitude point: Alpine Pass, a stunning pass which lies at 12,000 ft and offer the most jaw dropping views of this trip. Our final destination for the day will be Muriel Lake where we will establish camp. This will be our last night in the wilderness therefore we might treat ourselves with whiskey and delicacies. 

Day 5

We will exit the snowy wonderland of the High Sierra in oder to join a trail which will eventually take us down to our car. This day is reminiscent of the day 1. We will regain tree coverage and navigate out of the great alpine back to the trailhead where we initially started.

We will drive back to LA that same day. Expect to return to LA by 6pm

How do I qualify for this adventure?​

This adventure entails carrying a backpack up to 30-35lbs over rocky terrain, high elevation gain and miles. The best way to know if you qualify is to participe to our Mt Baldy Day-hike in Los Angeles or to speak directly to one of our guides.


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We will provide detailed recommendations on what gear to buy. We can lend some equipment based on needs.

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