Jun 25, 2008 at 2:06 pm #1229829
Well I attempted the grizzly lake hike via the hobo gulch trailhead in the trinity alps. The sign at said TH says 17 miles to the meadow. I have heard that the scramble up to the lake adds another two miles but I am unsure of that.
I used the word attempt because I never got to see the lake. My trip was an amazing experience and left me thirsty for more and cutting weight from my pack like crazy.
I left the trailhead at 5:30pm on friday night for my first solo trip. I missed the three way split in the trail and took the low water path at first. After taking off my shoes and crossing I realized that would be a waste of time in the future. I traveled on the trail a few more minutes and came to the second crossing. This one was alot wider and I felt like it was to much for me to tackle being the only person out. I opted to re-trace my steps and try to locate the high trail.
Getting back to the split in the trail I now noticed it was actually a three way split and was able to track down the proper path. Although it was a lose of time and energy in retrospect who doesnt try the low water trail first? I know I will next time I go back.
After all that I ended up around 4 miles down the trail when I knew setting up camp in the dark would happen very soon. I brought my lunar duo and got that setup pretty quick. There was alot of thunder and lightning that only got close as the night rolled on. After coming back from the trip I have now learned obviously of all the fires that lightning storm created all over northern california.
After setting up my tent, gathering a little wood for a small fire and setting up my bear bag rope for later hanging. I got to cook my first dehydrated meal with esbit fuel(bought the $12 cheapy esbit stove to try it all out). I am sold on the system and will be picking up a trapper mug with a new caldera cone asap.
I must say that I slept like a baby. Ear plugs are indispensable now in my kit. Both nights out I slept really well. I used alot of my old gear on this trip because I simply have not been able to scrape together my new ideal setup. I am glad this didnt stop me from this trip which in all my planning I was trying to go as light as possible. Every night out now helps mold my decisions for my future upgrades and my main thought is simplify, simplify, simplify.
It took my 45 minutes to pack up and hit the trail both mornings. I know I could cut alot of that time and thats what I will be working on.
Saturday morning I left camp around 8am. I was only on the trail for about 10 minutes when I came to my first water crossing of the day. It was crossable and with waistbelt undone I took the plunge, shoes and all. I have to say that this decision is what killed my feet the rest of the trip. My feet never had a chance to dry out between that and the next crossing. And after deciding to return back across the second crossing to camp that evening, they never dried. More on that later…
A few miles after crossing the river I came to a cabin assuming it was built by Mr.Jorstad. Quality backcountry living space indeed and remnants of stock pens where still present in the field around the cabin. The outside cooking area was still all setup and has been used by many over the years. I didnt go inside even though its not locked and for some reason someone broke a window on the side of the cabin.
After enjoying a snack I moved on from the cabin and kept truckin up the trail. I was amazed by the forest in this area. It is almost a rain forest in some areas, turning to like a sleepy hollow half burnt forest around the turn. It also has many alpine like traits as well. Between every tree is a view of a peek or a river, waterfalls. The trinity alps truly are a well kept secret. The trails are cut into the sides of steep mountains and it is a rugged place for most of the trail.
After coming to the second water crossing for the day The trail really starts to get a general uphill direction. Leading to this point in the trip it has all been up and downs. This is also farther then any foot traffic on the trail for the season and only animal tracks where my company now. After a few miles the trail really degraded. The amount of fallen timber was impressive. The next few miles I navigated atleast 15-20 downed trees. My body took a beating on some of these but the trekking poles really helped out with overcoming the obstacles. The growing pain from my soggy feet added to my decision to turn around and head back to the cabin for the night. From what I could tell two people on horseback had been through the area before me navigating all the fallen timber and that definitely helped on some of them.
With only 30 minutes to go till I could say I went 24 hours without seeing a single person. I spotted 4 people coming up the trail. I informed them of the deteriorating trail conditions ahead and after learning their plans for the evening I assured them they should have no trouble reaching the creek they where journeying to. Part of me hoped I wouldnt see anyone else while I was out, but it really wasnt that big of a deal.
I got back to the field with the cabin around 7pm that night. I put in by my estimation around 13 miles and can honestly say thats the hardest I have ever pushed myself. Set up camp and bed down a little early. I was extremely tired and my feet welcomed the rest.
Sunday morning I was beat, I still had roughly 9 miles to get out of there and my feet where raw and my shoulders hurt from carrying a 30 pound pack. I experimented by placing a piece of duct tape on all the hotspots on my left foot. An hour down the trail I stopped and taped up my right foot as well. This really did help eliminate the rubbing and helped me blaze trail to the car.
The first day and a half it was overcast, raining(never needed my jacket) and lighting filled the air. I got hailed on and eventually a little tan from the sun. The final day with the sun out, the forest took on a whole new look. I enjoyed my trip and have already planned my return with one extra night to make sure I reach the lake next time. After talking to a friend who has done the shorter trail to grizzly(I passed that trailhead on saturday) he informed me I was only a mile or two from the meadow when I turned around. I think if friday would have been a morning start instead of a 5:30pm start, my chances will be better next time.
My feet recovered fine the next day and now I need to adjust my plan of attack for this scenario in the future.
I really do recommend to anyone to get out and enjoy the trinity area. Wildlife included three deer, countless birds and reptiles including the biggest lizard I have ever seen. Easily 2 foot long with tail. All the wildlife was to fast for my camera but I did manage to take alot of pictures.
I will upload those a little later when I get somemore time…Jun 26, 2008 at 5:16 am #1440225
First water crossing
Crossing I did not attempt
Random shot, A little snow up there
River crossing number two
Middle of the river shot
The outdoor cooking area
More around the cabin
a downed tree in the way, about 3 foot diameter
an idea of how dense, downed and burned the forest can get
couple of downed trees in a rowJun 26, 2008 at 6:11 am #1440235
Thanks for the trip report and photos! I am looking forward to heading up that way next month, with the hopes of getting to Grizzly lake myself. Glad you had no trouble with the storm. It was an impressive light show here along the coast looking at the hills. The Trinitys are awesome, you can still get away from it all up there. No Bigfoot sightings? Which way do you go to get there from where you live and how long does it take you?Jun 26, 2008 at 9:00 am #1440265
@sharaldsLocale: Gallatin Range
Thanks for the trip report, Jeff. It was nice to hear your down-to-earth descriptions of your gear and abilities.Jun 26, 2008 at 10:30 am #1440294
Unfortunately I didnt see bigfoot. I was keeping an eye out though….I was in the town of Redding before the trip. Going highway 299 west it took me approximately 1:15 min. to reach E. Fork Road(just past the town of junction city) which is the turnoff from 299. Hobo gulch road is a dirt track about 2 miles up that road. It is well signed. Sign says 12 miles from there and takes 45 minutes to drive. Only place on the dirt road its not obvious is when you peak at the top of the mountain. It is unmarked and the road splits. Do not take the uphill route at this point. I did not, its kind of obvious but would like to point it out. Their is a shorter trailhead to access grizzly but going to that trailhead takes alot more driving. On maps look up the China Gulch trailhead.
Thanks Sam….I try to Keep It Real lolJun 26, 2008 at 3:31 pm #1440338
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> I have to say that this decision is what killed my feet the rest of the trip.
Most unlikely. We travel with wet feet a lot of the time, with no problems. Being wet is not a problem.
What you described is very common. Try shoes a half size larger, with good wool socks.
CheersJun 26, 2008 at 3:55 pm #1440342
I already sized them an extra width to begin with. The toes of my feet where not crammed in the front. My feet where definitely water logged, wrinkled and sensitive from being wet all day. I will say my feet are not conditioned to being wet like this in any way. Maybe hydropel or some kind of lubricant coating would help the situation? I have never had major foot pain like this before and the only change was the water. I used two different pairs of socks over the trip, one of them a smartwool. Maybe a two layer sock system would help with a liner sock of some sort. I am open to all ideas thats for sure.Jun 27, 2008 at 4:16 pm #1440494
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
OK, lets start with whether it hurts feet to be wet on the outside. Please note: inside that very thin outer layer of dead skin cells your feet are completely wet inside anyhow.
This is from one of many may trips we have done river walking. That's right: we walk in the river. (You should see the scrub on the banks.) Our feet are wet all day. We wear thick wool socks mostly, and very light joggers with a generous size. I wear a liner sock as well, but my wife doesn't.
No problems doing this, apart from sand collecting inside the shoe. That reduces the available volume inside the shoe, so we wear gaiters and periodically empty the sand out.
Yes, we have had foot problems 'a few times'. In France my wife had a severe problem at one stage when her joggers dried out (much rain …) and the leather trim on the outside shrank. That reduce the effective internal width of the shoe. She got bleeding inside the foot from the compression grinding the bones and ligaments together.
You can see where the internal bleeding came to the surface at the ends of the blue lines. It was solved completely by buying some new joggers a size larger. (I was amazed that she survived, but she recovered quickly.)
CheersJun 28, 2008 at 7:06 am #1440546
I understand Roger. I have recently been on 11 mile day hikes prior to this trip. No problems whatsoever. Maybe the added pack weight and scrambling where enough of a change alone to tear my feet up. I am coming from my experience of not being wet to being wet. I think a few more times out with water crossings will help me figure out my systems. Thanks for opening my eyes to look for other factors.
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