Sept 4-7, 1992As I had a break from medical school, I decided to head west for a few weeks first to visit friends in Metro LA, backpack in the Sierras, and journey to NM to hike with family at the Philmont Scout Ranch. Taylor is an old childhood friend living in LA, who has been on many previous trips out west. We decided we should do a 4 day backpack from Cottonwood Lakes around to Crabtree Lakes, up to Whitney, then out the portal. We chose this route as we were not limited to the quota out of the portal. Jimmy and Brian (old high school buddies whose names appear in other trip posts) joined us for the first 2 days.
After shuttling Taylors car over to the portal, the four of us drove to the Cottonwood lakes TH. It was so beautiful I can still see it in my head.We hiked in to the lakes then up to New Army Pass and cross country toward Mt Langley. We descended down and camped our first night at the upper lake (Upper Soldier?) just south of the Major General. My first, but not last,glacial lake swim; very cold.
The following day Brian and Jimmy returned to their car at the TH, Taylor and I hike through to Crabtree Lakes via Guyot Flats. We spoke with one of the seasonal rangers then continued up and made camp #2 below Guitar lake.
On summit day we slowly made our way to the trail crest and we met an episcopal priest; Joe Frazier from San Fransisco. He and a friend were doing a loop out of Kearsarge Pass. After small talk I learned he knew my college priest (Charlie Hawes), who married my wife and I. We all summited, then made our way down to the Outpost camp. That night, though only a medical student, I had my first patient. While relaxing in camp I heard someone heaving in the distance. I walke dover and found a young woman who had driven up from LA. She parked at the portal and hiked to Outpost camp. She was experiencing AMS I encouraged her to rest and hike out if no better.
The next day we hiked out to the portal, packed our car, and I ate a good cheeseburger at the store. What a beautiful place.