Sunday, August 22, 2010

Backpacking with Blake

Blake and I tried something new and exciting and went on a backpacking trip to the Inyo National Forest. My uncle Larry organized the trip with the goal of fishing for Golden Trout in the high Sierras.

Blake and I drove through Yosemite and down past Bishop with Allen, Michael, and JD to the trailhead. We slept at, and started hiking the next morning, at about 10,000 ft. The altitude was fairly unforgiving for several in the group.

The first day we went about 5 miles in the heat and sun up to close to 11,000 ft. It was a tough day for everyone and we arrived at the lakes pretty well spent. After some late lunch, Blake had recovered enough that we climbed a smaller peak surrounding the lakes we were camping out and I took this next photo of him. Mount Langley is above his head in background.

The next day we woke up to frost and several in the group were still feeling the effects of the altitude and thought there would be no way they'd be able to traverse the 12,000 ft pass to the next campsite. We put our heads together and scrapped the loop plan for the trip and decided to stay where we were for the day.

Since we had a open day a few decided it would be great fun to summit nearby Mount Langley. Langley peaks at 14,042 feet and is just south of Mount Whitney, which at 14,500 ft is the tallest in the lower 48 states. We had a long climb up - none of it technical - and eventually summited late in the afternoon. Blake was dragging for portions of it but definitely got a bump from the single GU I had brought as we approached the final ascent. On the way back down he commented that he had, "really built some character" that day by making it all the way to the top. For me, it was the highlight of the trip, and really, the summer.

On the summit with Mt. Whitney in the background

Our summit group - Me, Blake, JD, Jon, Rob, and Abbie

We finished the next two days with a bit of hiking and fishing. Blake enjoyed reading in camp, looking at stars and exploring. In all, it was a great trip and something that I'm very happy that Blake and I could do together.

No comments: