Aug 16, 2010 at 3:51 pm #1262302
@clbowdenLocale: Berkeley Hills
Hikers: Jack, Ken, Kat, Adan, Dylan and Casey
Day 1: 8.9 miles
Roads End to Upper Paradise Valley
el. 5,035 to 6,940 (climb 1,905 ft)
Day 2: 13.6 miles
Up to Rae Lakes
el. 10,538 (climb 3,598 ft)
Day 3: 8.8 miles
Up to Glen Pass (el. 11,978) then down to Junction Meadow (el. 8,170)
Climb 1,440 ft then descend 3,808 ft
Day 4: 10.1 miles
Down to Roads End
el. 5,035 (descend 3,135 ft)
Day 1: Adan, Kat and Dylan lounging in Lower Paradise Valley at an epic swimming hole. Everyone was AWESOME and I feel lucky to have been part of this great trip and gotten the opportunity to get to know them. As subsequent photos will show, we spent a lot of time relaxing in or near the water, but this was my favourite spot on the first day. However, swimming with the "snakes" near the bridge at Upper Paradise Valley was also pretty fun.
Day 2: Casey on the toilet near the Wood's Creek suspension bridge. Hooray for backcountry toilets.
Day 2: Casey, Adan and Kat between Wood's Creek and Dollar Lake.
Day 2: Adan diving into Dollar Lake (see photo photo below by Kat).
Day 2: Since mosquitoes were few and far between (none of us used DEET or head nets for the entire trip), I cowboy camped at Rae Lakes in this spot with the Painted Lady in the background. In the middle of the night I awoke to find my sleeping bag covered with dew, but it was bone dry by morning. The dew did not collapse the loft or affect the warmth of the sleeping bag.
Day 3: Casey, Dylan and Adan in an unnamed lake at elevation 11,500 ft on the north side of Glenn Pass. At 12,000 feet, Glenn Pass is visible at the top of the photo. We didn't just pose for pictures, but actually swam in the lake, and the experience was spiritual.
Day 3: Dylan, on top of Glenn Pass, pointing to the lake we swam in on the north side of Glenn Pass, in the previous photo.
Day 3: Casey on Glenn Pass with Rae Lakes in the background. To protect my neck and ears against the sun, I wore a dish towel under my visor. With this setup, along with a white, long sleeve synthetic shirt and running shorts, I was able to forgo sunscreen for the entire trip, however I did get a bit red in some areas.
Day 3: Kat, Jack and Dylan on Glenn Pass. After having a rough time on days 1 and 2, Jack came back strong on days 3 and 4, leading the pack up the pass. Right on Jack! During the hike up to the pass, we met a 70-year-old Norwegian man hiking in racing flats! We also were passed by two people running the 41.4 mile loop in a single day! Also on the pass, we met a woman hiking the JMT who didn't know how to read her maps.
Day 3: Dylan and Casey in a lake at elevation 11,500 feet on the south side of Glenn Pass. The pass, at elevation 12,000 feet, is visible at the top of the photo. Casey was so excited to get in this lake, he literally ran down to it from the pass.
Day 3: Adan and Dylan in the sandy wash at elevation 11,000 feet. Go left to Kearsarge Pass, right to Charlotte Lake and straight ahead to Vidette Meadow.
Day 3: Casey in Vidette Meadow, unable to control the urge.
Day 3: Casey sliding above Vidette Meadow at the Death Falls.
Day 3: Casey in the Death Falls spa, above Junction Meadow.
Day 3: Casey standing at the top of the Death Falls. That's my unofficial name for it since, as you can see, if you fall, you die.
Day 3: Casey in the river sitting on a submerged rock, with the photo taken looking up Bubb's creek. When we arrived at this spot, an elderly man was sitting, naked as I am, on the rock. He, a retired USGS Geologist from Menlo Park, has come to the Sierra's every year for the last 65 years, missing only three years during that span due to wars. For his first 50 years, he never treated or carried any water and never got sick. He also said that, during that time period, stock was much more prevalent than it is now.
Day 3: Adan, Jack, Dylan and Kat played with fire-steel, for fun, during camp on the last night. Despite 2 hours of continuous attempts, and very dry conditions, they were unable to start a fire using natural tinder from the area.
Day 3: Alpenglow was no match for the OCD that overcame the group while trying to start a fire with the fire-steel.
Day 4: Hiking out on the last day, between two very large boulders.
Day 4: Kat and Dylan at the top of the switchbacks, in smoke due to a nearby fire.
Day 4: We saw two bears on the hike out. This particular bear was in the middle of the switchbacks, only 30 feet from us. We also saw bears on the first day, including a Mama and Baby, but were not able to get photos.
Day 4: The hike ends at noon. From the left we have Jack, Adan, Kat, Dylan and Casey.Aug 16, 2010 at 4:30 pm #1637916
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
That Day 3 photo on Glen Pass shows Mount Brewer in the background. It is a little pointy. That would be someplace to climb on your next trip.
–B.G.–Aug 16, 2010 at 4:38 pm #1637917
@kennyhel77Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Great photos Casey! My apologies for a messy house when you and Dylan needed some water when we got back to my house.
Just to clarify here. The rest of the crew continued on the trip while I went back to the trailhead. I have been nursing a back injury and felt that it was not in my best intentions to continue hiking. I drove home and came back Sunday to pick the crew up. We all agreed that I would be at Roads End at 12 noon and to be honest, I thought I would be in for a wait. No big deal, I love this area of the Sierra's and it is always nice just relaxing and waiting. Wellll I did not have to wait. As soon as I pulled up here came the crew. Talk about cool stuff. Anyways I did see 3 bears on my first day up to Lower Paradise so that was a treat. Sorry that I could not continue the trip with you all. The photos look great Casey! Also, athanks to all of you for being so kind to me when I came to pick you guys up! 10 hours of driving yesterday was not the most fun. I would have rather hiked with you all.Aug 16, 2010 at 4:46 pm #1637920
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Great trip guys and gal. I know that area well and from the narrative and photos, I'd say you did that trip in fine style. There's so much to savor, and you all obviously did a bang up job of having a grade A good time in prime Sierra territory.Aug 16, 2010 at 5:02 pm #1637924
Thanks for the report – looks like it was an awesome trip! I'm doing the loop in a couple of weeks and this just makes me more anxious. But your mileage varies from the mileage on the NPS site:
How did you calculate it?Aug 16, 2010 at 5:03 pm #1637925
@kennyhel77Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Tom Harrison mapsAug 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm #1637935
@valsharLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Great trip report and thanks for taking the time to throw up the photos.
Nice to see familar faces having a great time up there.
I see a theme here….you and bathing.
Brave man….I am like a cat and avoid water as much as I can, plus I don't float. :)
Gotta love the fire steel and persistance!
Next time, make your life easy….cotton with some vaseline on it.
Lights up every time for me and will burn for a good minute or two.
-TonyAug 16, 2010 at 5:32 pm #1637937
Would have liked to have joined you for this trip. Great to see what was beneath all the snow that I crossed in May. Safe to assume Kat was pulling everyone along?Aug 16, 2010 at 5:39 pm #1637942
Yeah, Glenn Pass was awesome, Rae Lakes was killer, and the pristine creek flowing through Vidette Meadows took my breath away…..but honestly, I could have hiked anywhere with this crew and it would have been a blast. Truly one of the best hikes I've ever taken, and what made it so great could not be captured in photos. Wow, I'm sounding really mushy here, but I just had to put that out there.
Cant wait to hike with you guys again.Aug 16, 2010 at 7:09 pm #1637966
Great report and makes my last hike a couple of weeks ago pale in comparison. A good group and a stellar location is a sure recipe for a fabulous time. Where is next on the list?Aug 16, 2010 at 8:01 pm #1637986
My pictures will follow in the next two days. This was truly an amazing experience. Thanks.Aug 16, 2010 at 10:17 pm #1638008
@eugeneiusLocale: Nuevo Mexico
Oh man! What a great post and set of pictures, those swimming holes are unreal, please send a little bit of that in my direction. Thanks for sharing.Aug 16, 2010 at 10:27 pm #1638010
There are so many stories to tell about this trip, it's kind of hard to even try. During the different days and different stretches, we hiked in different combinations of people. Sometimes in pairs and one solo, sometimes threes, and every other way. We got to know each other in camp, while huffing up the mountain; saw different diving styles, shared food…. We got to know each other during stress too. I think the others are letting me be the one to introduce this subject. After coming down from Glen Pass all elated and feeling strong and high, I began to feel pain in my chest while breathing. This only increased as the evening wore on. Around midnight I woke up with fairly strong pain in my chest, especially when trying to take a deep breath, and I began to worry. After some time I reluctantly walked over to Dylan's tent ( he is a nursing student, hence the choice ) and woke him. I knew our resources were few in such a remote place, but I needed some help. Dylan stayed up most of the night, checking my pulse, going through all the questions related to IM, giving me an aspirin to prevent clotting, reassuring me, going through the medical lectures in his head, weighing the very few options in case I got worse. There is a lot to this story, so I'll skip to the morning when we informed the rest of the group of my condition, which was a little better by now. We made a plan of hiking together, everybody shared the contents of my pack, I set the pace, plans to possibly split up, if someone had to get help. I am usually really healthy, keep going, no pain- I am feeling good, and being the one to set this sombering tone to our last day was not easy. We actually went at a good pace, saw two bears, had a good time. I continued to have pain while breathing, but was getting better. Skipping to the drive back to Santa Cruz, Dylan strongly suggested I get some medical attention even though I was in a lot less pain, so after getting my car I drove myself to the hospital. X rays showed a partially ( very little) collapsed left lung. I inhaled a lot of Oxygen and now I am back to normal. That explained the pain in my chest at each breath, with no other cardiac symptoms. I cannot thank Dylan, Casey, Adan and Jack enough for their help and their genuine care. Dylan shared some very scary moments with me and there is no way to describe or repay what he took on that night.
Now onto some of the beauty we all shared.
Dylan and Adan at Mist Falls
A meadow between upper Paradise and the ascent to Dollar Lake
Casey, probably wondering how long until he can jump in the water again.
Adan, always a new and interesting way to get in the water. Here at Dollar Lake.
Casey and Adan, nearing Rae Lakes.
Adan's tarp, always pitched with interesting branches found along the trail. This guy is so at home in the wild, he inspired all of us.
Cooking and hanging out at Rae Lakes. Casey made the tastiest meals and generously shared his fare and his techniques with all of us. His quick humor kept the good times going.
Jack coming up Glen Pass. He kept surprising us and increasing his pace as the days went by. Apparently his snoring subsides with altitude, as ear plugs were not necessary on this trip.
Looking back on the way up to Glen
Casey basically running down from Glen Pass, to the Lake where he will, once again take a swim.
Casey and Dylan in the water again
Wildflowers, nearing Vidette Meadow. Tiger Lilly, Larkspur , and I can't think of the name of the yellow flowers…..
Thank you all.Aug 16, 2010 at 10:37 pm #1638012
@truenorthLocale: San Francisco, CA
I'm leaving for Baja tomorrow morning, I'll post pictures when I get back next week.
Everyone was AMAZING! This was truly the best backpacking experience I have ever had and most of that was because of the company. What an awesome bunch of people, I feel really lucky to have participated.Aug 17, 2010 at 11:33 am #1638121
@valsharLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I am just glad to hear that you are are okay.
Being asthmatic myself, breathing issues and chest pain out there can be some very scary stuff.
More than anything, it is heartwarming to see the care and concern your fellow BPLers showed to you.
As much as backpacking it about hike your own hike and having your own experience, having friends to cover your back and look out for you is a beautiful thing to see.
Great trip, glad that you are okay, and inspiring to see how everyone took care of each other.
Some of the best people I have met have been on the trail.
-TonyAug 17, 2010 at 4:30 pm #1638192
Our Neighbor at Rae Lakes
Want Some Tuna Mac?
Cute but Tough
Aug 17, 2010 at 8:30 pm #1638264
@tomclarkLocale: East Coast
Looked like great weather, scenery, & friends!Aug 18, 2010 at 5:41 pm #1638542
@tacedeousLocale: East Bay, CA
really beautiful country, wish i could have joined you guys (and gal ;) I'll be there for the next one!Aug 19, 2010 at 6:41 am #1638631
Thanks for these terrific reports and photos. I am doing this hike in a couple of weeks (as my first light backpacing trip), and it has been very helpful reading the observations here, especially about the lack of mosquitos.Aug 19, 2010 at 9:55 pm #1638905
@jumpbackjackLocale: Armpit of California
Sorry guy's it took so long to post. I got home Sun. afternoon to a house with no air conditioning, and it still isn't fixed, and we've had 100* plus days all week, then I tried to up load pics on Wed. and my computer kept crashing, WHAT A WEEK!!!!! I wanted to thank everyone for a great 4 days of hiking and hanging out in some "EPIC" scenery. I wish I could have jumped in the rivers and lakes like you guys, but I think it was so cold my heart would have stopped, and you dont need to carry out an old fat guy on a trip like this. HA!HA! Adan thanks for the Cheese Burger on our way out it tasted like a million bucks! I really loved hiking with everybody, Kat I hope your doing ok. BOYS!! I'm here to tell ya, Kat is one strong hiker, and a great human being, I'm glad we could all pitch in and help you on the last day. I took it as a lesson for myself, that we should never be ashamed or to proud to ask for help. OK how about some pics.
Green Green love to play wish I could stay here every day.
Wild life so close you could touch it.
Can you say log jam, were's a beaver when you need one?
Adan looking for the Urban Myths he had a few
Big open sky, big mountains. Adan where are we?
The money shot
I'm glad I dont hike like this any more. Thanks BPLAug 20, 2010 at 9:28 am #1638969
@clbowdenLocale: Berkeley Hills
Base Weight = 11.0 pounds
This includes everything except clothing worn, trekking poles, water, food and fuel (denatured alcohol). My major gear, but not all of my gear, is listed below.
Pack: Gossamer Gear Mariposa with hip belt cut off
Tent: Tarptent Rainbow
Bag: Western Mountaineering Megalite with 2 ounces overfill
Pad and Pillow: See photo below
Bear Can: Bareboxer (1 lb 11 oz)
Clothing Carried: See photo below
Cookset: 0.9-liter Evernew Ti pot/lid with homemade Redbull stove/windscreen and Fuel Bottle (9.3 oz)
Water: Two 1-liter soda bottles plus Aqua Mira drops
Bugs: BPL Mosquito Headnet and 1oz spray bottle of 100% DEET
Here's my Western Mountaineering Megalite, Montbell pillow (2.5 oz), Montbell Pad (13.8 oz) and foam pad (3.6 oz). The Montbell pad is a 1.5" thick pad shortened to 35" by Bender of KookaBay.com. The 1" thick Montbell pad of the same length weighs 11.1 oz, so I have an extra 1/2" of padding for 2.7 oz.
Clothing worn is on the left and consists of: dishtowel to protect ears and neck, visor, white long sleeve synthetic shirt, running shorts, Smartwool ankle socks, Dirty Girl gaiters and running shoes (not shown). Also shown are Iniji toe socks, which I bring as backup socks in case I start to develop toe-to-toe blisters; for this trip, they stayed in my pack. Warm clothing is in the middle and consists of: fleece hat, Montbell UL Down Sweater, fleece mittens, silk PJ bottoms, boxer briefs (not shown) and wool sleep socks. Rain gear, consisting of a 3M Porepro jacket and Tyvek pants are on the left. All clothing carried weighed 1 lb 9 oz.
LESSONS LEARNED / CHANGES
1. Bring nose spray. Camping above 10,000 feet, my nose got stuffed up, leading to a poor nights sleep on day 2 at Rae Lakes.
2. Ditch the boxer briefs. They weight 3.3 ounces and I never wore them, except when Kat borrowed my other clothes to go swimming, but that's another story.Aug 20, 2010 at 9:35 am #1638973
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
"2. Ditch the boxer briefs. They weight 3.3 ounces and I never wore them, except when Kat borrowed my other clothes to go swimming, but that's another story."
Those are the kinds of stories that Hollywood screenplays are made from. Think Bogie and Hepburn.
–B.G.–Aug 20, 2010 at 10:19 am #1638994
now, now, Bob Gross..Aug 20, 2010 at 10:50 am #1639006
@vladimir_ekLocale: New York
We passed through the area around august 12th on the JMT. It was beautiful but sooo crowded….. Did you do any fishing while there?Aug 21, 2010 at 10:24 pm #1639421
My lessons learned
take your time picking swimming spots, the highest cliffs are always on the opposite side.
All foam sleeping pad uses too much space in the pack and i still have to put my pack under my feet. Casey's system may be perfect for me.
I rarely end up wearing any of the clothes i carry, bring a pillow instead.
get casey's tuna mac recipe and vary the hiking snacks more. more mangos.
bears wait for your camera battery to die, foil them by taking it easy on the ansel adams stuff early in the trip.
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