Thank you very much friend. You bet "Never give up, never give in!" to my last breath!
And great pics Marc!
How much did your pack weigh? Perhaps we need to work on that, not your stamina. Your pack shouldn't be heavy!
Thank you very much Chad. I figure my pack weighed only 40-45 pounds. I know that's really nothing, but for an out of shape old man like me it was a lot. I already know how to pack light. I did that for thirty years, no sleeping bag, no tent, no stove, very little food, no water filter, no water to carry, drinking from creeks and lakes over 10,000 feet, etc.etc.etc. I also remember coming very close to having hypothermia on top of Whitney where I spent a night in -5 F. Oh well, those were the days.
I remember your 12.5 pound multi-day pack. I wish I was 35 again. Enjoy your youth my friend. You blink and it's gone. I guarantee you can walk backwards faster than I can run. But, I appreciate your optimism.
Holy smokes! Well if I had 40-45 pounds I would have been suffereing just as you were Marc! I was a bit pissed last weekend as my pack was 13 pounds when I finished. I've done a couple trips lately where I got to 9.6!
I don't ditch the sleeping bag!
Ah well... I'm glad you went out and got the photos to share!
9.6 lbs? LOL Chad, my bear canister alone was that! But, I wasn't trying to go light either.
I have a question though, what do you say when the rangers ask about your method of food storage? Do you hang your food, toothpaste, sunblock, etc.etc.etc? Do you use a
Yer Sac/bag with or without the aluminum inner wall?
I tell them whatever they want to hear!
But really, I don't get the permits too often nowadays. If all my stuff is small enough to fit into a daypack, then no one is going to expect me to have an overnight permit anyway. Also 9.6 pounds would be without food. So add about 2 pounds per night.
I have a Ursack bag I have used, but not recently, and when I do take it I do not use the aluminum liner. And if I was down below treeline or in Kings Canyon proper I would need to take something like that or use the existing lockers they have everywhere.
If I camped at the lakes you mentioned, I might take the Ursack without the liner. Otherwise for example if I head straight into Dusy Basin or even to Bishop Lakes I won't take anything, well just some cord to hang the food off a boulder. I hang it about 4-6 feet off the ground on the side of a vertical rock so mice and marmots don't get to it, and in the years since I've started that it is never a problem. Last weekend I was above 11000 feet each night, and the weekend before that I bivied on a summit at 12400 feet. There just aren't any bears up there. I've seen 11 so far this year, but none of them even remotely close to one of my camps.
If I go light I can go far enough to pass the crowds (and treeline), and then the bears are left behind too!
Thanks for the detailed answer.
I totally agree, if your pack is small, you don't even get asked about a permit.
Your strategy on keeping your food from bear attack is also very smart. Go light and fast and stay above the crowds, rangers and animals is the best way to go.
Too bad I gave my Ursack to a friend. They were not legal at the time. Now we have this heavy, bulky plastic canister that I carry. Sometimes I just want to take it out and roll it right down the mountain!
Don't worry, it won't take long to get back in shape ;)
Thank you ywardhorner. Glad you enjoyed the TR. Getting back in shape goes at a slower pace at my age, but I am going to try. Thanks again.
Gordon, nothing makes me happier to know that you enjoyed reading my TR and you found it to be inspirational. Thank you.
Well, it's true that a certain amount of work goes into planning and executing a backpacking trip, and no one is more qualified to do that than yourself. If your wife and son are eager to accompany you into the wilderness for an overnight trip, I would jump on that and give them the guidance that they need. Your son will remember these kinds trips for the rest of his life, and your wife will either hate or love you for it. I would take them for a short overnight hike and get a feel for what they like and what they hate. Fortunately, the Eastern Sierra trailheads start at such a high altitude that it doesn't take much to be in the heart of the wilderness.
Oh yeah, I forgot, LOL about "practicing in the backyard."
Enjoyed the report on one of my favorite sections of trail. I'm creeping up on 57 now, and having to really re-think what goes into my pack!
Thanks Myles. I'm glad you enjoyed the TR. I figure our days of heavy packs and multi-day/week expeditions may be over. But, having more experience we can cheat more.
I think we'll hire a horse to carry our packs next time!
In your wonderfully self-effacing style, you put it out there that there can be no excuses for not venturing into the beauty of the high Sierra as long as you can walk and endure a little discomfort.
Thanks Augie. No, "No Excuses," as you have put it best. If we begin to look for excuses because of age, then we'll have even more excuses in the future. The love for the outdoors should win over any kind of excuse.
We want to go, do things like we did just yesterday, feel the mountains again and be young...thanks for having the courage to write about it just as you experienced it. Penelope and I know the feeling very well. It gets harder every year. But stopping my friend is much worse. So let's keep doing and going. Thanks for the
wonderful TR and we wish you many more. Cheers, Alois.
Thank you very much for the encouraging words Alois. It seems that climbers who have been at this game for decades and have survived the ravages of time understand our situation best. When we are young we think it will never end. It's ironic that even now I think I should be able to do things that I can do now ten years down the road. May be positive thinking was a survival tool evolved in us as humans. In any case, I will continue going into the mountains and enjoy however short time that I may have left on this earth.
Cheers, and thanks again,