The "Hike On!" thread of Hiking and Backpacking


#21

Your kid is my hero.


#22

I did a bunch of hiking lat year around Washington State, but this is the year I’ll progress to some camping.

I just bought this off of REI (50% off). It’s a jetboil-like stove, but has its own integrated fuel container, so it’s perfect for those weekend trips.

https://www.rei.com/product/122016/kovea-refillable-ez-eco-stove

Good, in-depth review here
https://sectionhiker.com/kovea-ez-eco-refillable-canisterless-stove-review/


#23

Permits aren’t too pricey: something like $10/person, but it’s typically a lottery. (One disadvantage of hiking in California is that 40 million people live here and anything you want to do and anytime you want to do it, someone else is bound to be doing it too.) We’re currently trying to organize a Mt. Whitney trip for August for 25-30 people. James is like an uber-organizer; he has a bunch of people all entering the lottery for the same dates and will coordinate entries if we get them. There’s like a spreadsheet and a sheet of instructions, etc.

That said, there are usually cancellations and it’s possible to get a day-of permit. I hiked Half-Dome, including up the cables to the summit last September. I had permits, but we totally could have hiked up to the ranger check-point and just waited for someone to show up with a few extra spots on their permit. There were a bunch of folks doing this, and the ranger said people typically didn’t have a problem getting in, provided they got there relatively early.

That actually looks pretty awesome to avoid having to bring fuel canisters. Hmmmm…


#24

I recommend the review. He goes into all the pros and cons of the stove.

It’s perfect for a day hike or overnight trip. If you plan on a full weekend, you can also bring an extra cannister of fuel just in case, or if there’s two of you.

It also takes butane, which is dirt cheap, or conventional camper fuel for colder weather. Just don’t use pure propane; that would be extremely dangerous.


#25

I like getting away but have never been backpacking. I don’t think anything I’ve done even qualifies as “hikes”, more like nature walks on national park trails (Yellowstone, Glacier, and Denali). I guess a few times get into “day hike” range but that’s it.

I’d be interested in doing some real overnight hikes into backcountry but face some issues: I’m older (40s, yikes), fatter, more out of shape, and sleeping on anything less than a super soft mattress gives horrid back pain.

That being said, I’m loving this thread and the trip reports! Please keep them coming!


#26

Those sound like hikes to me:) “Day hike” just means any hike that’s not overnight. It doesn’t have to take all day.

FWIW I’m 42, and yeah sleeping on the ground ain’t too comfortable on these bones. That said, gotta get out there!

Upcoming PCT section hike this weekend:

This is desert. There are numerous crossings of the Agua Caliente Creek on the route, but it’s usually dry, just a low dusty spot on the trail. It’s been a rainy winter though, and apparently it’s currently thigh-high with swift flow. Should be exciting!


#27

Hike Report: PCT Section B, Leg 1, Warner Springs to Chihuahua Rd.

March 9, 2019
17.8 miles (planned), 19.5 miles (actually hiked)

As posted above, the hike ascends from the tiny cattle town of Warner Springs, up through the Agua Caliente watershed and into the Anza Borrego desert wilderness. Starts at about 3000’ and ends at about 5000’.

This was a section hike so requires shuttling. I did this hike as part of a meetup, and by the morning of the hike, an initial interest of about 25 folks had been whittled down to 16 by fear of creek crossings, other commitments, and flakiness. The plan was to meet at the end of the hike on Chihuahua Rd, then use half of the cars to shuttle 35 minutes away to the beginning of the hike in Warner Springs. I got up bright and early at 4am and drove the two hours up into the unincorporated communities of San Diego County northeast of Temecula. The final 5 miles of the drive were on a sandy dirt road which had been made muddy and washboard with all of the rain we’ve been having this winter. Those 5 miles took me about 25 minutes to drive in my Honda Fit. It was cold up there with mist streaming off of the Santa Rosa mountains to the east and frozen water in the puddles on the road.

When I got to the PCT crossing precisely at the appointed meeting time of 7am, there was one other guy there. We waited for 30 minutes and no one else showed up. The other guy, Bryan, was able to get cell reception by hiking a few hundred yards up the road to near Mike Herrera’s place and determined that the whole rest of the group had been intimidated by the dirt road, turned around and driven back to Warner Springs to do an out-and-back hike from there. Byran and I decided that since we had two cars, we’d do our own section hike. We’d take my car to Warner Springs and leave his pickup to shuttle back after the hike. Decision made, we got moving and finally got on the trail in Warner Springs at about 8:10am, roughly 20 minutes behind the rest of our group.

There’s been a lot of rain this year, so the creek was running high and the typical coastal riparian landscape in the creek valley was lush and green.


There were some creek crossings to negotiate, but rock and log hopping prevented my feet from getting wet (mostly.)

We caught up with our group about 4 miles down the trail as they were finished up the final crossing of the Agua Caliente creek before the trail ascended up to run along a ridgeline for a bit. With Bryan and I, 12 of us actually made the hike.

As we climbed out onto the ridgeline the vegetation transitioned to the coastal chaparral that characterizes most of the San Diego County wilderness areas. The views were pretty incredible

Stopped for lunch beside a small spring where we ran into some PCT thru-hikers

At this point the 10 folks who had turned around on the dirt road decided they wanted to hike through, so we arranged to do a shuttle after the hike: Bryan would haul 3 people back to the cars with his pickup and they’d return to pick up the rest of us. Kind of an annoyance for me, since I’d done the drive, but it was nice to be able to hike as a group for the whole section.

Hiking up to the Anza Borrego desert, we got some great views of Hot Springs Mountain, with snow coating the trees peeking out from beneath its cloud cap.


And even the desert is pretty green right now. Here you can see Chihuahua Rd (where our hike was to end) winding its way through the landscape.

First sighting of Bryan’s pickup at the end of the hike. The PCT continues on the other side of the road.

Obligatory group photo. I’m the guy wearing a blue button-down and running shorts on the left.

So while Bryan hauled 3 dudes back to town to pick up the cars, the other 8 of us hiked down the road to meet them, adding about 3.5 miles to the ~16 we’d already hiked that day. About 19.5 miles total, which I think is my longest single-day hike ever by a couple of miles. It was a lot of fun, more beautiful than I thought it would be, and a great group to hike with. I’ve signed up to do the next section (a 2-day hike) with this group next month.


#28

Incredibly interesting write-up! Read it while eating dinner last night! Can’t believe that people bailed and also were scared by the road (guess most people there don’t do too much in the way of roads like that), but most convenient concerning was that little shack! The hills have eyes!

I forget, do you use magic sticks on all hikes?


#29

Trekking poles? I typically don’t use them on short and/or flat hikes. I wanted them for this one because I knew I’d be fording a creek several times and I like them for extra stability:

And I’ll use them backpacking because I just bought a tent that requires them for support. I do end up carrying the poles (instead of using them) about 60% of the time. (I actually have stow loops on both of my regular hiking packs, but don’t like to use the loops much because usually it’s more of a pain to stow them than to just carry them. That said, I do stow for 10-20% of a typical hike.) Poles are a tool that you have to develop a “feel” for: when they’re natural and useful to use, when you want them out of the way (they suck on narrow trails lined with brush), ways to handle them, etc. But they can definitely be worth it, especially when you’re tired and/or coming down a steep incline. Darwin Rakestraw, who is a big through-hike Youtuber, has abandoned one of his poles for his current through-hike of the 800 mile Arizona Trail:


If I’m by myself, hiking 6-10 miles (short distances), I tend to jog quite a bit of the hike, and don’t want the poles in my hand.

#30

This is the bulk of my hikes, and why I’ve never gotten poles.

Though a few of the mountains are steep enough that I’ve considered it.


#31

I’m starting to look into some backpacking camping gear.

I have camping gear already, but a lot of it is geared toward car camping.

I’m only planning on overnight trips. Mainly warmer weather, too. Going places like this
https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/barclay-lake

I already have an REI Trail 40 backpack.
https://www.rei.com/product/880839/rei-co-op-trail-40-pack-mens

I’m looking at this bundle at REI. It’s a tent, inflatable pad, and sleeping bag that comes in at a total of just under 9.5 pounds.
https://www.rei.com/product/127720/rei-co-op-backpacking-bundle

Ya’ll have already met my stove.

I’m thinking that should do it. Maybe an inflatable pillow? A decent trail towel.

Do I need a bear sack/can?


#32

Great hike last Friday in the Cajas National Park (Ecuador). Only about 6 miles, but the elevation varies between 12,500 and 13,000 feet. Lots of up and down and low air pressure makes it a bit of a challenge. The real attraction is the sense of isolation and the scenery.


#33

That looks awesome! I’d love to do some hiking in the South American high country. I visited Patagonia last year and loved it, but didn’t get to do much hiking (a couple of short 3 milers), but Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia look incredible.


I did a short hike/jog last night in Mission Trails Park (a couple of square miles of wilderness area inside the city of San Diego.) We’re starting to see desert wildflowers from all of the rain:



It’s only green for about 2 months every year. For reference, here’s what it looks like there more typically:


#34

Yep, that’s what I meant. A friend of mine loves them and calls them his magic sticks. I have three sets but haven’t used them really since 2012 and always find a way to ford without issues, though it’s much more convenient to have them on hand. The UL setups that require them make them more persuasive, but I generally don’t do that minimalist, anyway. If I’m snowshoeing into somewhere really gnarly, I’ll bring them, but that tends to be rarer for me these days.

That’s awesome that you also do some jogging—I sometimes do, too! Always get weird looks if I’m spotted.

@Woolen_Horde that much weight would scare me, but as you said, you’re only doing warmer, overnight hikes, so spending tons of money probably isn’t worth it, and with such little mileage and lack of consumables, you probably won’t have any worries. I am personally not a big fan of the vertical seams in my sleeping pads, but I have a friend who swears by them.

Regarding pillows, I made a post about them on my little memories site, located just over 3/4 way down the page: https://hikinginthelight.us/beginners-backpacking-guide/

Actually, disregard. I bet that I can just cross-post here and save the hassle. Let’s see if I can. Keep in mind that I own/have owned all of these over the past 2,000 miles of backpacking.

PILLOWS!

Pillows come in a variety of forms. I sleep with thicker pillows and can’t sleep without a good height. I also like having a pillow to hug and a pillow between my legs. This isn’t possible on the trail, so protip: use gallon ziplocks to compress clothes. Wrap those clothes in a soft garment at night for a leg pillow. Use your puffer jacket to adjust pillow ride height for the head, in the built-in stuck sacks, or as a wrapping.

Air: Air pillows are VERY light and can be adjusted to have the correct sleeping height. They are less durable than other options and tend to be colder, but are often better in wet environments. I used to use the Sea-to-Summit Aeros on all of my hikes.

Best for most people | Sea to Summit Aeros: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HUL4LP2/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Best for me | Exped REM
http://www.exped.com/usa/en/rem-pillow-m-0
This pillow isn’t super light, at almost 6-oz, but it has tie downs that let it anchor to my pad, and it gives the best support and most comfort of any pillow I’ve used. I love it.

Budget |Trekology Ultralight: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071ZPMGQ9/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

And a LITTLE extra | Big Sky International Dream Sleeper Ultra Light : https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0102AFCYQ/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Compressible: Compressible pillows are heavier, warmer, and offer a truer feel to a real pillow. They are far more durable but can get and stay wet. I use the Thermarest Compressible Pillow on trips via air and at home, but no longer use it on the trail, as the weight and space cannot be spared.

Thermarest Compressible: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002PWFSEO/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1


Hybrid: Hybrid pillows have both air and foam. They have mixed strengths and weaknesses. I personally sleep with the Nemo Fillo as my actual bed pillow, but I do not take it on hikes.

Nemo FILLO™ Luxury: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SZCWAUI/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Dri-Down Hybrids: These pillows usually feature a dri-down pillow that is very flat with an included sack that lets you put in more dri-down, such as a puffer jacket, or as an alternative, the pillow part can be left, and just the sack and puffer used.

Sierra Designs DriDown:

Also, yes, I would always take a bear bag.


#35

Take me? That’s just stunningly gawjus!


#36

You’ll have to see how you sleep in that. I can’t abide mummy bags, so have taken to using a quilt. Consider that moving around in the middle of the night is super noisy, so you may want something that lets you sleep comfortably without shifting all the time. I’ve found that the quilt is great for this; I move less and sleep better. I’m also gonna be using that Thermarest compressible pillow that @Hal9000 described for single night trips. I have an inflatable for longer trips (pro tip: deflate it halfway and put something like a jacket between it and your head), but a good pillow is worth the weight and space to me for 1 night.

Well there are sizable portions of the lower 48 where no bears prowl. But there might be other wildlife concerns: gophers will happily chew through your expensive gear to get at a protein bar you buried inside. In the Sierras, you’re not allowed to use a bag or hang your food; you must use a bear canister. In any case, you should avoid storing food inside your tent, and should probably only cook in your tent vestibule if you don’t have another option (i.e. it’s raining.)


#37

My problem in the non-bear areas has been the freakin’ marmots, especially above the treeline. I’ve heard that they can be terrible in your neck of the woods, too, but that’s just second-hand info. That said, I typically avoid areas that require canisters, because that usually=heavily trafficked. Some of the places I hike have remote perma-containers installed that are to be used communally, and I like that.

Edit: Also I forgot that some people don’t like mummy bags. I personally always wrap my quilts at home around me like a mummy bag, but you’ve got me thinking about the benefits of the freedom of motion when having to get out in the middle of the night. Never considered that…hmmm…


#38

This is a report that I’ve posted elsewhere, but since we have a thread…fun little hike!

BOMBER MOUNTAIN & GOLDEN TROUT

—Date of Visit: Sep 14-16, 2018

—Notable Features: West Tensleep Lake, Lake Helen, Lake 10,547, Gunboat Lake, Florence Lake, Bomber Mountain, Wreckage of B-17 Flying Fortress nicknamed “Scharazad,” Mistymoon Lake, Lake Marion

—Total Miles: 17.9 miles (sans excursions)

—Elevation Gain/Loss: +/-4708 feet

—Elevation Min, Avg, Max: 9084, 10,022, 11,911

—General Route: West Tensleep Trailhead—>Tr 063—>Off-trail—>Tr 038—>Off-trail—>Tr 038—>Tr 063—>West Tensleep Trailhead

For this trip, I decided to visit Bomber Peak in Wyoming’s Cloud Peak Wilderness, starting at West Tensleep trailhead. I woke up at 0400 on Friday and hit the road. My drive to get there basically takes half a day, so…

I arrived by 3PM and was on the trail by 3:15. The Cloud Peak Wilderness has a lot of regulations—more than the Winds—but they let you camp within 100-feet of water, which is nice. The entire trek to Bomber Mountain is very easy.

The trail starts out by West Tensleep Lake, going through boreal forests, and then goes through some grasslands. You’ll be in and out of trees, cross a stream twice, but the uphill is, at least to me, almost unnoticable. The total vertical climb for this trek was an easy 6081 feet, and the first 6 miles are incredibly gradual. Here are some common sights during the section:

You’ll wander through grasslands often…

But also spend plenty of time in the forest.

As you can tell by all the investments the Forest Service has made, this is a very highly-traveled trail.

And during the right time of year, you’ll find a ton of yummy currants.

I had decided to camp at Lake Helen as it appeared to have more trees than the other lakes, and high winds were in the forecast. I reached Lake Helen by 5:15, which is a nice, leisurely pace. It had only been 5.2 miles of hiking, so I was still fresh, but also ready for bed. On the drive up, my stomach had felt a little…off…and I’d thought about turning around. This comes into play later.

Approaching the lake. I cut across to the right and found a place to camp.
I immediately saw a tent, which was there for the duration of my stay. Oddly, I never saw the owner of this tent. Instead of camping by the trail, I crossed the outlet to the east and looked around. Good choice! Tons of places to camp, and all better than where everyone else camps on the other side of the lake. Plus there was no one around my edge.

From my camping spot. A bit smoky due to distant wildfires.

A pond on one side of my camp.

Up goes the bear bag!

After putting up camp, I thought about dinner, but I was feeling wretched. I cleaned up a little, but the wind and cold were out in force, so I quickly retreated into my tent to read some SCPs (think free, Twilight Zone-like writings) and then watch an episode of a historical-based fiction series. I quickly fell asleep to elk bugling.

Waking up at 7, I ate some Further Fuel, which my stomach was mostly OK with. I had a full-day ahead of me of climbing and fishing, and at least 50% of it would be off trail, so I was on the “road” so-to-speak by 8:30. There was no wind at my camp. My toe hurt very bad, to make things worse. It appeared that I had an ingrown nail that was also getting infected.

A calm morning at Lake Helen.

Instead of using the trail, I had discerned that it was better to go through the trees on the east side of the lake and orienteer through a gap in the mountains, which let me see Lake 10,594, an unnamed lake. My route took me through a number of small meadows and was very easy walking Here’s an overview of my entire route for the day, followed by some pictures as I walked along the eastern side of the lake:

You can click it to see more detail. The green Xs are generalized areas with good camping locations off-trail. The red grid is the main crash area.

Plenty of good camping spots on this side of the lake.

Very easy walking. You can see the gap to be shot in the middle of the frame and a couple of miles distant.

I recommend not getting too high as you approach the gap north-northeast of the lake. While it seems wise, it’ll get you in the only section of thick forest. Remain low and you’ll save yourself effort. The gap is located near an inlet by the NE end of Helen; this is less effort that going to the gap by the inlet from Lake Marion a bit further on. Smart decision. The climb was very quick, with only a couple of boulder patches, and mostly it was just ascending grassy ramps. I was at Lake 10594 by 10:00, which included some downtime by a pleasant stream where I drank 80oz of fluid with electrolytes. That made me feel quite a bit better, though my stomach was doing very poorly.

Looking toward Solitude Lake (not visible) during the climb.

Looking back down the gap toward Lake Helen. My camp would be in the middle-left.

I spent a couple of hours catching trout-after-trout at this unnamed lake, which I’m calling 10594 by the elevation I mapped it at. Most of the fish were golden trout, which are not native. Fantastic tenkara fishing. Almost too easy. I often find late August and early September to be the best times for camping, because the temperatures are better and the fishing is the best. Earlier in the season, the trout will often be too content with the excessive numbers of other bugs just pummeling the waters, but in fall they start becoming greedy and stupid.

No fish here.

Absolutely no fish.

None anywhere!

Devoid of life.

Leaving that barren lake.

I listened to some podcasts on metaphysics and also some podcasts on the Mission Impossible series as I headed out under cloudless skies. The rockfield between 10594 and Gunboat Lake is really not a bad one, and I never felt any perilous movement, which is much unlike my previous hike. I was to Gunboat Lake within 15 minutes, and I intersected the trail up to Florence Lake. I tried fishing at Gunboat for a couple of minutes with no luck.

Arriving at Gunboat.

Pretty lake. It was very windy, though, and I could see the wreckage:

Oddly, a tiny stream between Florence and Fortress Lakes has full-sized Brookies. Weird. I wandered around the creek and got some distance away from the very well-built trail, but returned as I exited the parks and got into the boulders.

While you can use either the west or east side of Florence to access the mountain, I think that the east side is easier, as there are more granite ramps to follow, rather than pure boulder fields. (Best hikes to avoid boulder fields in the Bighorns are the Powell or Middle Cloud Peak Lakes.) On the eastern edge of the lake, past the outlet, you’ll also find a memorial to those who lost their lives in the crash. It’s on the eastern face of a rock by the trail, and often marked by a cairn. I also climbed up the grassy ramp to the south of Florence to look down toward Soldier Park. It was pretty enough. I’ve been on those trails, too.

Notice the brook trout in this minuscule stream.


Looking down toward the Powell Lakes access trail, 7-Brothers access, and Soldier Park. I’ve been to them all and used all the various trails available to access them, including some off-trail methods.


A memorial to the greatest generation.

Soon enough I was climbing Bomber Mountain, and I was at the wreckage within 40 minutes, with a vertical climb from 10,875 feet to 11,946’, which puts it at a fairly low elevation and easily accessible to anyone in decent shape. Again, a leisurely pace as I just didn’t feel all that well. I felt very sad at the wreckage, and even sadder when I found a memorial to a young kid who had died. He had always wanted to hike to Bomber to see the downed aircraft, but he passed away before he could. Truly heartbreaking.

Climbing. The drainage from Golden Lakes is barely visible of the left-ish.


Looking back. You can see the rockfield between Gunboat and the unnamed lake.

Fairly barren.

Sadly, much of the wreckage has been defaced by chuckleheads who have to put their signatures on everything. I find it highly grotesque. The rubber parts of the plane are in exceptionally good condition. There is even still oil in them.

I appreciate Acts 2:38, but it doesn’t need to be defacing what amounts to a grave.

Instead of returning the way I’d came, I decided to navigate around the “peak,” if that’s what you can call the boulder-strewn hellscape, and descend via an unnamed chute and Mistymoon Lake. A smiliar approach last year had saved me 18 miles (don’t ask) coming off of Goat Flat outside of Dubois, WY, which, by the way, is a similar alien hellscape. The contour lines for my planned route were just on the verge of being unsuitable, but I figured that I’d give it a shot.

As I made my way up and around, the drainage to Lake Solitude came back into view. To my right was…more wreckage! How??? Did the Army blow it up after they found it? I know that such used to be a common practice, but I can’t figure out how the pieces came to be so widely scattered. I inspected the bits that I found while listening to the Flop House’s Godzilla review, then aimed down along the path of least boulders. Cell service here was excellent and I messaged my girlfriend that I was safe.

Cresting the boulder-strewn hellscape instead of going back the way I came.

Lake Solitude comes into view. Spectacular!

A vast land. Use the grassy ramps to the left of frame for an easier hike down.

Rock formations going down.

Looking back up. Don’t roll your ankle.

Eventually I was getting near a pseudo-precipice, and my inclination was to follow some grassy ramps off to the left, instead of taking the chute down. I had a hunch that I could perhaps even find a straight show down with grass if I went beyond the view-horizon. Despite this hunch—which I would later find to be absolutely correct—I decided to navigate to the right of the main chute, which had some grass, but was still mostly scree, talus, and shifty boulders on an incredible angle. I mostly did this because I thought that the view was worth the extra time spent picking my way down (I’m a rock nerd), and it was.

Soon enough I was at a creek where I drank three, 32-oz servings of water and electrolytes. I then walked on down the draw, keeping to the right, and crossed the creek closer to the bottom. I saw a small game trail through the rocks that simply started and ended in nothing, along with a panoply of pikas. While I expected that I might have a lot of uphill as I angled over to the left, such was not the case, and the walking, other than a couple of spring-fed marshes, was easy. I observed that my hunch about the grassy-descent on the far side of the mountain to be spot on as I rounded the hillside.

I had picked up an old trail, and I honestly don’t know what it had been used for. It was mostly grown over, but still deeply rutted. Never seen the likes of that before. I shot past a couple of meltponds and through a gap to find myself overlooking Mistymoon, Marion, and Helen Lakes. It looked like a short jaunt, but I knew that I still had 4 or so miles to go, and it was getting dark, with the sun below the mountains. Unfortunately, getting this view meant that I was away from the trails, so I had to cross more boulder fields to find the trail back. This same trail goes down to Lake Solitude, and a branch goes over by Lily Lake and to Battlecreek trailhead, which I used earlier this summer to access the Middle Cloud Peak drainage. Oddly, while the trail shows up on the map, and I could see it faintly from high up, I was never able to locate it when I was on the Solitude/Grace Lake trail. My suspicion, based on some discrepancies that I noticed back on my birthday, is that it as “moved” approximately 1-1.5 miles from its original intersection. I might check that out one day.

A little pond at the bottom. I ended up in some marshes from springs which feed this pond.


Somewhere there’s a trail which goes to Solitude.


The old trail…to where? Well Mistymoon. Not sure where exactly it was made to go to the other direction.


Approaching Mistymoon. If you see this view, you went the wrong way.


Lake Helen a few miles distant in the back. I could tell that I’d be getting in after sunset.


Looking back at the gap I shot to Mistymoon. Do not take that gap. It’ll slow you way down.
The trail back to camp featured some undulation, which I hate, and moose, which I despise. I also saw about 6 tents, so obviously a lot more people had arrived. This time I went to the west of the Helen because a.) I didn’t want to encounter a moose in the increasing gloaming, and b.) I wanted to see how great the trail was. Suffice it to say that it is much easier to travel off-trail on the east side of the lake.


Three moose which I skirted around at a distance. I’ve been chased by them before.


The trail back. Saw a bunch of elk.

I arrived and grabbed a chilled Coke which I had brought along. A first for me! It was very cool from being in the lake. My tummy still hurt, but I tried two bites of food…couldn’t do more. Drank a bunch more fluid, too. It was very warm and still, being perhaps even in the 60s, so I stripped down and bathed myself. Felt so good. Thoroughly washed my hair, too. My toe was in bad shape by this point.


Ingrown and then ripped off. Ended up filled with pus.

By this time, it was quite dark out, so I watched TLT and read some SCPs, then fell asleep. I woke up at 6, fell asleep again until 7:30, and was on the trail out by 9:08. With stops (people coming in wanting to chat), I was back at my Jeep by 11:12.

See ya later, CPW!

The following week I met up with my mother to hike to Frozen Lakes and Lake Angeline. It was below freezing and very windy, but a very interesting hike meteorologically. More on that some other time.

Very good, fun, historical, and easy hike!

⭐⭐⭐⭐ ☆ (4 stars)

With love, always,

-HAL

Detailed explanation:

—Beauty. This hike is pretty, but it has no soaring spires or roaring rivers. It’s mostly fields and forests which give way to rockpiles as far as the eye can see.
—Camping spots. There are numerous camping opportunities if you depart the trail at Lake Helen and hike for 1 mile or so around the eastern edge of the lake. Camping spots become limited the farther you go on the trail, and also less protected by tress.
—Crowds. This is an incredibly high-use trail system. Expect to see many people on the main trail. I went late in the season and encountered tons of people, but saw no one during my off-trail orienteering nor during my climb to the bomber.
—Difficulty. I believe that this is an easy hike. There are only two areas which have much sudden change in elevation, and they can be taken at an easy pace. Even being ill, I was never exhausted or sweating.
—Fishing.
—History. The bomber is well worth the visit. RIP.


#39

Yeah, I had a buddy whose $300 pack got ruined when he set it down to eat lunch for 20 minutes. They’re everywhere in the high Sierra.


#40

I’ve lost lunch and a bag containing it to them, but never anything “big.” Can’t imagine losing a bag.

Also, are the quilts as warm as the mummy bags? Now I’m wondering if maybe I should only use the mummy bag during shoulder season. : - / Might be able to save some weight…