High Sierra Trail: Day 2

Day 2 on the High Sierra Trail was spectacular. Woke up 7:30 am, temperature was about 36 degrees and it all seemed just perfect. Sun was already out and shining, birds chirping and Irwin yelling, “WAKE DAFUQ UUUUUP!” The rest of the crew finally woke up. Fabian treated Daniel’s blister, while the rest of us packed up. Breakfast was light, I had a brownie snack bar and a protein bar. no coffee, this was the hardest part of the day if you ask me. 

DAFUQ πŸ€”


About 1 mile from our campsite, we hit Bearpaw Meadows. A nice cabin is available by reservation, good for rainy or snowy days. The views were ok, due to fog in the air, we could not see too far into the valley. From here, we headed east and started ascending the Great Western Divide. The way to go from here was up, a moderate climb to Hamilton Lake. We arrived to the bridge of Lone Pine Creek, where we took a nice 15-20 minute break before the uphill begun. We were looking to gain some 2,000ft up to Hamilton Lake. The switchbacks were long and felt  never ending as we made our way up Angels Wings; a huge granite wall/cliff. The issue was not only  the distance, the fact that we would gain a few thousand feet only to drop again was mind fucking. Nevertheless, already on the trail, no way to turn back, and the views were well worth it. 

12:05pm, filtered water at Hamilton Creek, right below Angels Wings. We would drink plenty of water while at the source, and filtered about 1/2 liter for the way. Pretty cool how that’s all the water we carried at all times.  

Angels Wings

Around 12:40, we arrived to Hamilton Lake. Not sure if I enjoyed the views, or the break. Packs off, nice long break, but we all decided to save lunch for the next stop; Precipice Lake. I snacked on beef jerky and a protein bar, I was good to go. Another climb was in store for us, about 2,500ft. As soon as we left Hamilton Lake, the trail get’s steep, with some more switchbacks (YAY), only way to go is up.

Fabian and Daniel photobombing shot of Hamilton Lake

 The trail ascending Angels Wings was pretty tough. Views of Hamilton Lake and the Great Western Divide were amazing, I looked back every chance I got. We were hungry and tired, close to 2pm, a quick break was very well enjoyed, time to catch our breath. Closing in on 22miles or so, the best was yet to come. 3:15pm, After a very tough strenuous climb, you are rewarded with crystal clear water, Precipice Lake. Perhaps my favorite spot along the trail. WOW, my jaw dropped. Daniel and I had been making plans to jump in and enjoy a nice swim. All that quickly changed when we took off our shoes and socks, and submerged feet into the burning freezing cold water. Yes, water so cold it would actually burn after a few seconds. It was a bit windy and cloudy, no sun. The time to jump in was then and there; we decided to stay dry and warm, and I tossed on my down jacket instead. Irwin shared a pita bread, salami and pepperoni, lunch was ready quick. After all, he packed sooo much food, every chance he got to get rid of the extra weight was glorious. David took a quick nap, and warmed up water for a dehydrated meal when woke up. Daniel and Fabian had pita bread as well. Chilled for some 45minutes, took pics and got on our way. ​​

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 Bellies full and well rested, time now 4:35pm, our trek continued to the next destination, Moraine Lake, scheduled to arrive between 10-11pm. This was a tough day, and still had about 8miles to go.
 Finally arrived to the Kaweah Gap, 10,700ft elevation, only to drop a few hundred feet into the Big Arroyo Junction trail. From here, it got somewhat easy, no more switchbacks or uphills for a while. At around 6:33pm, we stopped at a junction, quick break before going uphill, again. Along the way, now more acquainted than the previous day, we were all laughs and smiles, someone always had something to say. Fabian, leading this trek would stop and check the map to make sure we were going in the right direction, and also kept an eye out for water sources. Although we were on time crunch, all breaks were very well enjoyed and delayed, some talks/debates would take longer than usual, thus making time get lost in the air. Like I said, well enjoyed much needed breaks. ​

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Sun started setting, and it was time for headlamps. As planned, we arrived to our campsite at around 10:50pm. We knew the drill; all food in bear canisters and prep the 5-billion star room for the night. The night was chilly, about 33 degrees. I slept nice and toasty in my 19 degree bag with only a thermo shirt on. Occasionally, I got hot and uncovered, then mother nature had me covering back with the quickness with mild winds. 

PHOTOS: 

Lone Pine Creek bridge

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Tent Hotel – Bearpaw Meadows-exploring
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High Sierra Trail: Day 1

Wednesday, 6:30ish pm, all packed and ready to go. Ready to embark on what I was promised would be a trip of a lifetime; The High Sierra Trail. Fabian, planned and organized the entire itinerary. Special Guests Irwin, David, Daniel and myself.

Normally, this trip is completed in 7-10 days. We were on time crunch, since we all agreed to finish in 4 full days, as Fabian had planned. Our plan was to haul ass, hike long mile days and traverse Sequoia National Park, and cover 75 miles.

Snapped a picture with the High Sierra Trail head sign, and off to commence our 1st of 5 days in the wilderness. If you are into nature and don’t mind being dirty and hiking long hours, this is a MUST. Talk about views for days. Satisfaction guaranteed. 


DAY 1 – CRESCENT MEADOWS 
Our first day, was not so great; felt extremely long and we all described it best as a death-march. Simply because the 5-hour hike in the dark seemed like a never ending parade. Scheduled for today was 11 miles to Bearpaw Meadows.

At the beginning of the trail, maybe 1/2mile, Fabian spotted bear poop, and out of nowhere the big baboon decided to grab a stick, poke it and smell it. “It smells like berries guys,” he said. We all looked puzzled; with a speck of doubt, smelled it and were surprised, smelled like berries. unfuckenbelievable. The hike continued, we enjoyed a nice sunset behind us before we grabbed our headlamps. 

Sunset over Morro Rock

Before darkness took over, The Great Western Divide was our view for a few miles, mountains we would later be crossing. As bad as we wanted to arrive to our campsite, the 11 mile trek was delayed by a few short much needed breaks. A small scorpion was spotted on the trail, cold from the chilly night, it was unable to move. We gently, at first, removed it with our trekking poles. After a bit of struggle, just pushed it off to the side so it would not get stepped on. Along the way, we had snack bars. And for dinner, I had a burrito taken from the restaurant we had lunch at. 

At around 12midnight, we arrived at our campsite. Bear canisters empty just waiting for us to fill up, and that is exactly what we did. All food stored, sleeping pads and sleeping bags in place, we were ready to call it a night. I was still full from dinner around 10pm, so I had a light snack. Daniel had gotten a blister on his heel, which would be treated in the morning, because all we wanted to do was knock dafuq out. 11 miles down, only about 60 to go πŸ˜…
PHOTOS:


Sun light hitting trees as we begun our trek, kinda like saying “look at me, I’m going away”
About 30min preppin and making sure to pack all needed for 4-5 days
The ultralight of the ultralightest
Unbelievably, Fabian’s pack only weight about 12lbs, while the the rest of us were between 19 – 30 lbs. After all, he emphasizes on nothing but lightweight gear, and is known for being ultralight AF.