Jun 5, 2008 at 9:20 pm #1229388
4 Days and 70 Miles in Sept 2007
Heading Towards the Western Divide
Bear Paw High Sierra Camp
Porch with a View
View from the Porch
The Great Western Divide
Contrail & Squall 2 at Lake Hamilton
Morning Rays Above Lake Hamilton
Precipice Lake & Eagle Scout Peak
Kaweah Gap & Eagle Scout Peak
Jeremy at the Big Arroyo
Looking Down on the Big Arroyo
Southern View of the Kern Valley
Kern Hot Spring. Funny Disappointment. Slogging 20 miles trying to get to the Hot Spring with sore feet from rock strewn trails, I had visions of soaking like a Japanese Snow Monkey in a huge hot spring surrounded by "hot trail babes". As you can see, hot water, but no hot babes.
Kern Hot Spring. I take it all back. Forget the women, it is sooo nice to be clean!
Trail Above Wallace Creek…Switchbacks out of Kern River Valley
Tawny Point in the Distance & Bighorn Plateau
Crushed by Dehydration/Heat Exhaustion…scared it was altitude sickness
Breakfast at Guitar Lake…cold enough to have ice form in our Platypus water tanks. Approx 11,000 ft.
Late Start on the Trail up to Mt. Whitney
Ridges of Stone on the Switchbacks up to Mt. Whitney
Step by Step into Thin Air
Crystals of Stone
Jeremy's Window to the World
Peering Down the Window…Town of Lone Pine & Death Valley in the distance
Log Book at Mt. Whitney Summit House 3.5 days
Highest Peak in the Continental United States
Jeremy & Tony
Hardcore…guy with red cap just finished the JMT. His buddy bailed out half way due to foot injury. He took the tent foot print and used it as a tarp. He slept on to Mt. Whitney that night out in the open with howling winds. Only slept a few hours. When he arrived at the Whitney Portal store the next day he cried, "I am sooo sick of water. I want a beer!"
Looking Back Where We Came From
Summit House Warning
Inside the Summit House 1
Inside the Summit House 2
Inside the Summit House 3
Spires to the Windows
Lower Hitchcock Lake
Crown of Stone
Jagged Little Trail
Trail Crest 13,600 ft
Below Giants of Stone
Cables & Ice
Water Flowing Under a Sheet of Ice
Mirror Lake & Thor Peak
Climbers Route to the Top of Mt. Whitney
Big Horn Park
Switchbacks to Whitney Portal
Losing the Light Looking Back at the End of the Day
End of the Trail
Whitney Portal Pancake Breakfast
I've been Hiking with the Unibomber
Other photo essays by Tony:
Photo Essay by Linda Vassallo: Mt Whitney Summit Hike: A photo essay
Trip Report & Article by Jeremy Pendrey: Hiking The Diablo Trail: A Conservation Success Story
Photography and Backpacking Article on Hike It. Like It.Jun 5, 2008 at 9:24 pm #1436839
@creachenLocale: East Bay
Hey Tony, Great pictures- what camera did you use?Jun 6, 2008 at 12:07 am #1436856
Believe it or not, I shot all these photos with a 5 year old Canon that is only 3.2 megapixels.
What made the difference was using Photoshop Elements quick photo fix touch up features.
Nothing technical on the touch ups, just clicking two buttons to let the software automatically make the adjustments.Jun 6, 2008 at 2:24 am #1436859
@legkohodLocale: Eastern Europe / Caucasus
Thanks for the pictures. It brought back memories and made me want to get back to the Sierra some day. I'll bet you couldn't get enough of those pancakes at the end! :)Jun 6, 2008 at 6:13 am #1436875
Enjoyed your sharing of the trip
ThanksJun 6, 2008 at 8:53 am #1436882
.Jun 6, 2008 at 10:20 am #1436889
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
And great pictures. You packed a lot into four days, Tony. Well done!Jun 6, 2008 at 4:35 pm #1436971
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
I'll add my 2 bits worth to the rave reviews. You really captured the spirit of the Great Western Divide and the Kern Country on the backside of Whitney, not to mention Whitney,itself. Well done! BTW, that was indeed Tawny Point and Bighorn Plateau. Thanks for sharing.Jun 6, 2008 at 7:10 pm #1436997
Awesome pictures Tony. What pack was that you were carrying? Just curious.Jun 6, 2008 at 10:29 pm #1437023
Thank you for the big compliment.
I took about 800 photos of the 4 days of the trip…a few are bound to come out well with those numbers. :)
The pack that I used for the trip is a Gregory Z55 (3,100 CU at 3 lbs 3 oz), which I started out at 36 lbs.
Jeremy was carrying a Granite Gear Vapor trail with about 29 lbs at the start of the trip.
Jeremy and I gave ourselves 7 days to complete the trip and carried 6 days of food.
It was our longest trip to date…a prior one in Yosemite being 50 miles as a warm up to this 70 mile trip.
We were both surprised at the mileage that we were able to do….15 miles on the 1st day to Lake Hamilton. We did 20 miles to Kern Hot Springs on our 2nd day and destroyed our feet in the process. (Who put all those freakin rocks on trail coming down into Kern Valley!!!)
The 3rd day was my hardest. I think we did at least 15 miles, maybe 18. Frankly, after doing the switch backs out of Kern Valley, I was a wreck. We had a leisurely/late start and it was high noon by the time we hit the switchbacks. I was baked by the sun and after getting out of the Kern Valley I was having big trouble. I could not find my camera, which was in my hip belt pocket and I thought we were going to Mt. Shasta vs. Mt. Whitney. I was nauseous and concerned that I had altitude sickness. I laid on a rock for about 20 minutes sucking down water and a power bar.
Foolishly, I decided that I was okay to press on…it was slow, painful and I really don't remember much of that part of the trip, but we did manage to get to Guitar Lake by 9:30 pm in the dark that night.
Anyway, Jeremy and I are relatively new at the light weight thing. I fully blame Jeremy for introducing me to BPL and the Backpacking Light Book/Bible, which has resulted me in buying all new/lighter backpacking gear.
Frankly, it would have been cheaper to buy a mule and toss a $40 Coleman tent on it. :)
-TonyJun 9, 2008 at 10:31 am #1437361
Just looking at the forums and found the photos. Some amazing trip in the mountains you had there. Put it to you “wow” trip like that to me in the UK would be a dream walk. The US has so much amazing landscape, I’m envies, and your blessed. I’m going to save hard and come see for my ‘self. Thanks for sharing the photos.Jun 9, 2008 at 3:23 pm #1437427
Thank you and I am really glad that you enjoyed the photos.
I am really just enjoying sharing them with everyone and all of the postive feedback.
Makes the hours and hours of sorting and cleaning them up worth it.
My goal is simply to give people and idea of what my trip was like and what amazing things there are to see out there.
I have some other photos from other trips that I will post up shortly.
-TonyJun 10, 2008 at 3:08 am #1437525
I’ll look forward to that Tom; you have got an eye for a good photo. Maybe I’ll put a few UK Pictures on the forum soon to show what UK has to offer. Its great stuff, but very different than the High Sierra Trail which is something else. I can see why Chris Townsend and other UK walking magazine writers rave about the Sierra range. The photo of Mirror Lake and Thor Peak really is something. Can you wild camp by the Lake in the picture or are there restrictions to where you can and can not camp?
ThanksJun 10, 2008 at 10:43 am #1437589
I spoke to Jeremy and he says the following:
"You cannot camp at Mirror Lake. You can camp lower down at Lone Pine Lake, which is the last lake before the last switchbacks to the trailhead. Lone Pine Lake is so close to the trailhead there is really no reason to camp there. Mirror Lake is not that far above Outpost camp, where you can also camp. The two typical camp spots between the trailhead and tail crest are Outpost Camp and Trail Camp. If advising someone else, I would tell them to plan to camp at one of those."
Jeremy really is the one who deserves credit for this trip.
He planned it, got the permits, and set the agenda.
I was just stupid enough to tag along for the ride. :)
On the first day of the trip about 40 minutes into the trip Jeremy asked me, "So what did you do to prepare for the trip?" (In terms of physical conditioning/training).
My startled reply, "Prepare????"Jun 12, 2008 at 11:57 am #1438018
Thanks for the info and hope to see more trip reports and photos from you soon.Jun 23, 2008 at 9:40 pm #1439770
Tony: Thanks for posting these. It's great to relive the trip through the pics.
For anyone out there who hasn't done the High Sierra Trail, the shorter stepchild of the JMT (they both end in the same place: the top of Mt. Whitney), as you can see it is mile for mile as stunning as anywhere. I'm ready to go back.
Ps. I look way cooler than the unibomber.Jun 28, 2008 at 3:18 pm #1440584
I want to thank you very much for this wonderful photo essay. I just got back last night from a trip to Bearpaw; as an only moderately fit 62-year-old woman, that 12 miles is about as far as I can get! Well, I can get to Hamilton Lake, and about ten years ago I hiked with my family over the Kaweah Gap into the Nine Lakes Basin. I'm so thankful that I did it, and that I have that memory. What your photos did for me is to show me "the rest of the way." Knowing the trail up to a point, I could really follow you and feel that I could imagine and share the journey. It brought me a lot of pleasure, so thanks for that.
Diana Birchall, Santa MonicaJun 29, 2008 at 1:39 pm #1440708
Jolly Green GiantParticipant
Wow. How inspiring. Now if this doesn't make someone want to go backpacking, I don't know what will. Thanks for allowing us to live vicariously through your pictures. Whether it was God doing the painting or Photoshop Elements brightening things, your picturers are really fantastic….they make an east coast guy really want to head west to get out of the "green tunnel".Jun 29, 2008 at 3:56 pm #1440724
@mad777Locale: South Florida
Also as one from the east, these pictures look awesome! You did a really great job with this gallery.
Yes, the east and west are different worlds, both have their individual character. I hiked Grand Canyon about a month ago and experienced that difference. That reminds me, I've got to find time to post my pictures.Jul 10, 2008 at 12:41 pm #1442371
Have you ever tried geotagging your photos. Create a track on your GPS and then take pictures on your hike. You can then download the gpx file and use software like robogeo to put your pictures with location and geo data on a google map.
Then organize them on a hiking map of your choice
I have found some great hikes in California on http://www.recplan.com. I believe you can add hikes like you have described to the mapJul 10, 2008 at 1:05 pm #1442376
Unfortunately, I don't have a GPS unit and I don't plan on getting one in the future. (I am always looking to cut weight).
However, I do have a friend who has one and one some of the trips that we go on I could ask him to give me the coordinates and post them with the pictures.
Thanks for the great idea…will try to incorporate them when I can on future postings.
-TonyFeb 10, 2012 at 11:39 am #1837462
great pics, hoping to do this in August..any tips on bear canisters or packing in and out your waste.Feb 10, 2012 at 3:08 pm #1837611
Glad you enjoyed the pics and makes me happy to know that these are still of value to people.
Regarding bear canisters.
I use a Bear Vault…they make a solo weekender and one larger one for up to 7 days, which I have managed to get 8 days into with some creativity.
Negative is that the large one is 2.4 lbs.
The expensive option is a carbon fiber Bearikade: http://wild-ideas.net/index2.html
Expensive at $195.00 to $275.00, but lighter.
I believe that you can also rent them, which might be an option for you….unless you are going to be backpacking in the Sierras all the time in places that require it.
The Ursack was a great option, but is no longer approved for use in a lot of parts of the Sierras.
New product that is in development, but not out yet:
Looks like a nice price point and weight, but no idea of when it will be out.
Regarding packing out stuff….once you reach Cragtree campsite area, you must uses a wag bag for all your solid waste.
Recommend that you have one or two plastic bags to double bag the wag bag.
You might even go with securing it outside of your pack because it does have a bit of a smell.
If you are at the end of your trip, you COULD put it in your bear canister, but that might gross you out.
Otherwise, for any other garbage, you are pretty much packing it all out with you.
At the High Sierra camp, you might have a chance to dump some garbage, but I would not count on it.
Alternative, that is not LNT is to burn some of it if you have a hot campfire….no metal, foil please…..paper stuff, toxic plastic??? Your call.
Hope that helps….beautiful trip.
If you like that area, check out Deadman's Canyon, which using part of the HST on the last leg of a loop.
I have a photo essay of that one too that you can find here:
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