“The way she looked at the mountains said everything. Her body positioned directly in front of their towering peaks as if whispering, “take all of me.” No other love would come close to the bond she had forged upon their snow covered ridges. Any man who wished to compete would surely face the unrelenting granite fortress which tenderly held the key to her heart. No, this was not a competition. This was a proving ground. For the fresh air of the wilderness cocooned her body with the purity of clear flowing water. If he wished to remain, he knew he must let her go. Falling in love with her meant that she would always yearn for the unpredictable nature of the outdoors to nurture her soul. She was born without ties to the suffocating man-made cities of despair. The very stands of her DNA were rooted deep in the soil like the tallest trees of the forest. She belonged to the land and in return it loved her dearly. When mother nature sweetly called her name, she answered with a resounding yes which echoed off the canyon walls with glee, bouncing with the joy of a child. She was forged with the same searing heat that formed the tallest peaks and the lowest valleys. Her passion for the Earth and it’s familiar untamed beauty sang ballads which the soaring birds tried to replicate. No, this was not a competition. All he could do was love her fiercely with the same enthusiasm that she bled for her mountains. And all the while, as he let her disappear among the dancing wildflowers, he knew she’d come back into his arms. And with her she brought a passion that was so raw and primal that he loved her all the more. For as much as she loved the land, she needed the strong grasp which could only be found in his embrace. And when she stared deep into his eyes they perfectly reflected the infinity of those billion star nights that she had been cradled in… and she knew she was home.” – Sara C Fry
Folks, here’s the newest Video Trip Report with live footage of Sierra Mapping Project’s first trip from South Fork Campground to Mt. Whitney. As of today there is only 7 days left in the Kickstarter Campaign. This wholesome Non-Profit is badly needed. If the base goal of $2,500 is not reached than none of the pledged funds will be received.
Sierra Mapping Project benefits everyone. Free accurate mileages, elevation profiles, and water sources will be available to download for everyone. EVERY trail in the HIGH Sierra will be mapped and available to YOU free of charge. If you can spare a few dollars (roughly the price of a map) I highly encourage you to donate.
Please enjoy and share! PS- if you click directly on the Vimeo link the video quality is MUCH better!
“From the very beginning I knew I’d be hiking into a weather system. I was supposed to leave for my starting point at South Fork Campground on Tuesday May 12th, but I ended up holding off until Friday in hopes of bypassing some of the larger storm systems which were scheduled to hit the Sierra.
My Mom drove me the hour and a half to the beginning of Sierra Mapping Project’s first leg at South Fork Campground roughly 45 mins outside of Visalia, CA. Every pothole and bump in the dirt road was felt as her white Camry tried it’s best to avoid major divots. We arrived at a the same spot I’d rung in the New Year with. A fitting location to begin the first of many new trips.
My mom and I got out of the car, took a short walk down to the river, packed up the rest of my belongings and then said our goodbyes. Without hesitation my mother insisted one last time… “Are you sure there’s no one that can go with you? What about that girl hiking the Theodore Salomons Trail? I just wished you would be going with other people.” With difficulty I tried to refrain from telling her for the umpteenth time that most all of my miles have been logged solo. I would love to have others out with me, but it’s easier said than done. My mom and I embraced for one last hug before she took my photo and I began the first stretch of trail to be GPS’d for Sierra Mapping Project. “
Click on the link to read the full article!
A couple weeks ago I went public in my launch of Sierra Mapping Project. I immediately had many people express their excited interest for mapping every trail in California’s iconic High Sierra. Friends approached me with the idea to launch a Kickstarter for SMP.People realize the need for an accurate, but most importantly current inventory of our trail systems.
A couple days ago I launched the Sierra Mapping Project Kickstarter Campaign. In just a few short days, the community has backed over $650 out of the minimum goal of $2,500. The campaign will run for 40 days… of which we’re now down to 35.
I founded Sierra Mapping Project out of a dire need to have current and accurate information on the trails ALREADY in place in the Sierra Nevada. There were many instances when I would be going into the backcountry and the information I was receiving from our forest service was terrible at best. Now, this is through no fault of their own. Budget cuts, current funds running low, and a lack of personnel has made it near impossible for our beloved FS to do their job. Thus I began scheming my brain child… Sierra Mapping Project.
The main goal of SMP is to provide current conditions and an inventory of our cherished trail systems FOR FREE to the community. These are OUR trails and we should have access to this information. I will be GPS’ing EVERY trail in the High Sierra and creating a GPS track which will be available for download free of charge for YOU. In addition to a GPS track, you will have access to elevation profiles, water sources, and current conditions.
In recent years, our treasured Pacific Crest and John Muir Trails have received an overwhelming amount of traffic which can be detrimental to the trail system. With the sudden influx of day hikers, backpackers, and horse packers the infrastructure of these trails have been degrading rapidly. By GPS’ing EVERY trail in the High Sierra it is my hopes to relieve some of the congestion off the JMT/PCT and get people into other areas that our Sierra holds for us. By bringing a voice back to these networks were securing our trail systems and showing the government that we need to have these areas available/maintained for use. The more people that show an interest in our backcountry the bigger impact we can have of protecting OUR land for not only us but future generations as well.
The money raised from the Kickstarter Campaign will go towards GPS instruments, GIS software, non-profit fees, basic operational costs such as gas, batteries, gear repairs, etc. Sierra Mapping Project will be a non-profit and will be around for years to come, collecting current conditions as well as updating old information. This is THE SAME information that our Forest Service is supposed to be collecting, but since they’re unable to it’s time for the community to step up to the plate and preserve the wild land which we hold so dear. Remember, Sierra Mapping Project will be a tax-write off!
Another aspect of Sierra Mapping Project is to scout for new loops, routes, and thru-hiking alternatives. I am the biggest proponent of wild and adventurous exploration. Therefore, all routes will be minimally documented with the exception of a short summary to uphold the integrity of off-trail adventure and purity.
I am working in collaboration with Tom Harrison; California’s great cartographer who produces top-notch maps. I’m sharing my findings with him to make his information as accurate as possible for backcountry enthusiasts.
I leave tomorrow, May 12th, on the project’s first ~350 mile venture. I will begin at South Fork Campground, travel up through Mineral King, meet up with the High Sierra Trail and take that to the PCT at Bighorn Plateau, from there I’ll stay on the JMT/ Sierra High Route until I get to Devil’s Postpile where I’ll take our San Joaquin River Trail back to Clovis.
I’m jazzed to be able to share my findings with YOU! The Sierra’s are my backyard and I’m beyond thrilled to be sharing her beauty with the community. It’s going to be cold, snowy, and steep, but the mountains are calling me home.
Sierra Mapping Project is for the public by the public. Please share with everyone! The more people who know about this meaningful and worthwhile project the better. Anyone who visits the High Sierra will benefit from Sierra Mapping Project. Become a backer today!
A huge thanks to Sierra Mapping Project Sponsors – the dedicated folks who see the need for this venture: ULA, Western Mountaineering, Bedrock Sandals, Tom Harrison. Sierra Mapping Project is actively seeking sponsors… it’ll be a tax write-off!
Have a beautifully organic day,
Sara “BloodBank” Fry
Founder of Sierra Mapping Project
It is with great pleasure I present you with something I’ve been hard at work on:
What is he Sierra Mapping Project?
The Sierra Mapping Project: To determine the condition of our current trails and provide an in-depth analysis for recreational use in the High Sierra. The Sierra Mapping Project will provide a highly detailed description of trails and routes for the ever-growing popularity of backcountry exploration. Each trail will be hiked, GPS’d, and thoroughly documented with photos of current conditions. Trails will then be categorized into tracks which will be available for download to the public at no cost.
The Sierra Mapping Project will provide much needed relief to heavily populated trails such as the Pacific Crest and John Muir Trails. All trails will be classified according to distance, difficulty, loops, spurs, and thru-hiking alternatives. Bringing a voice to these forgotten paths will increase tourism, generate revenue for neighboring towns, but most importantly decrease sedentary lifestyles while providing the public with information to explore their native land and increase their physical, mental, and emotional health.
The Sierra Mapping Project will be conducted over a 5 year period for the entirety of the Sierra trail system- thousands of miles between Kennedy Meadows South (the beginning of the High Sierra) and Kennedy Meadows North (Sonora Pass/Tahoe). Highly detailed data/guide books will be published according to regional boundaries. Books will include maps, tracks, waypoints, elevation profiles, water sources, and a summary of all loops, spurs, and thru-hiking options available in said regions. Guide and Datebooks will be made available to the mass public every calendar off-season. In addition to hard copies, a phone application and downloadable track will be made available for purchase based on length of trail and region.
With the sudden but steady influx of backcountry recreational activities the Sierra Mapping Project will be highly sought after and utilized in its totality. This trend will continue to soar given the growing awareness of backcountry activities in-part attributed to mass-media coverage being received from Reese Witherspoon’s “Wild” and Robert Redford’s upcoming red carpet release of “A Walk in the Woods.” The demand for hiking alternates is more prevalent now than ever before.
The knowledge of the Sierra’s elaborate trail network needs to be available for public use to lighten the wear and tear on our more heavily traveled trails. The Sierra Mapping Project will be lead and conducted by Sara Fry, an avid outdoor enthusiast and documenter. Sara has over 10,000 trail miles under her feet and is eager to share her detailed findings with the public. Her project will not only motivate and encourage a healthy lifestyle, but also promote geotourism in the state of California. Sara frequently gives public talks on long-distance hiking and other trails she has pioneered. She is eager to bring the beauty of the great outdoors into the homes of millions worldwide. Her extensive experience in backcountry travel and zest for connecting the community to nature drive her to produce top quality results that will become the Holy Grail of California’s iconic High Sierra.
Sara believes education and information should be free for all to utilize and enjoy. Therefore, she will provide downloadable tracks free of charge for the public. Due to it’s costly nature the Sierra Mapping Project is actively seeking partners and sponsors. Give back to the community. Give back to the trails.
To learn more visit: www.sierramappingproject.org
At the very least the ©Sierra Mapping Project will provide the community with highly detailed guide/databooks about ALL of the trails in California’s High Sierra. In addition to free downloadable tracks which will be available to the public. Thousands of miles of loops, spurs, thru-hiking options, as well as new routes similar to that of the Sierra High Route and Andrew Skurka’s latest endeavor of the Kings Canyon High Basin Route.
Trails encompassed in the Sierra Mapping Project include everything between Kennedy Meadows South (the beginning of the High Sierra) and Kennedy Meadows North (Sonora Pass/Tahoe). This means that thousands of miles of trails will be documented both with GPS as well as physical photos and videos to show current conditions.
The ©Sierra Mapping Project is actively seeking partners and sponsors. Give back to your community. Give back to your trails.