TRI to keep it WILD - Raising funds for Nature Conservancy of Canada

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sierra Backpacking

Last week we did a point-to-point backpacking trip with 5 other guys through King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks for 6 or 7 days, mostly along the John Muir Trail. We entered from the east side at Kearsarge Pass (11,760') and headed south about 50 or 60 miles, exiting to the east at New Army Pass (about 12,300'). We had 2 "rest" days that involved side trips. The surroundings and scenery were awesome and of course the weather was great - gotta love California for that. No one got injured or altitude sickness and the black bear that wandered through our camp the first morning at about 5:30 seemed satisfied just to walk right through without stopping for a snack :) . Nate and Scott conquered Mt. Langley - a fourteener and most of Mt. Tyndall. The highest point for the rest of us was Forester Pass at 13,200'. Nate's dad Jerry caught 4 huge Golden Trout which made a tasty dinner one night. This was my longest backpacking trip with my heaviest ever pack (starting around 40 lbs.) and everything went great, for me and the whole group. It was an amazing trip! I'll try to make a link later to more photos, but here are just a few for now...

This is exactly what we ate for 6 days; subtract the graham crackers and half of the Crown (no space) but add some fried golden trout and cheese quesadillas, courtesy of the Bowens.

Kim and Tracy and half of Jerry at our first pass - Kearsarge, entrance to King's Canyon.

Me, Nate, and Scott at the top of Forester Pass, highest pass on the whole Pacific Crest Trail. That was the toughest day; packs still heavy and a steep, high-elevation climb followed by a REAL long descent.

On a side trip we found a little shangri-la. Kim and Nate are already plotting how to get back here . It's off the trail and no one was around but some fishies. I'm not telling where it is.

Crabtree Meadow: site of crazy early morning eastern European calisthenics and illegal trash-burning (booo!) with Mt. Whitney lit up in the background. Also home to many Marmots and their poo. Great nighttime star gazing here at this busy trail crossroads. Most people come through here with the goal of climbing Whitney. We were too cool for that this time.

Kim getting artistic with the photos at Crabtree Lakes. This is the lake that gave up its tasty trout for us. Thanks Jerry!! Look at that clear blue water!


Mt. Langley... looks like someone got here first, darned USGS!

A Motley Crew: Nate "Trash Pony," Bob the Bullet, Big Fish Jerry, Kim "Spoon Man," Tom "Booze Pony," Tracy "Fish Face," Scott "Gitch Pony," about to head back down from New Army Pass.

7 days without shampoo gives the hair natural body and shine :D

We DID it!