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TR: 81 Days in the Sierra w/Rogue Photonic 7/1-9/19/16

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Re: 81 Days in the Sierra w/Rogue Photonic July 1st-Septembe

Postby alpinemike » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:30 pm

Day 31- Layover
We woke super early to sort out our logistics with Dan. He had to get a permit & to the TH early since he was going up to Frypan Meadow on the 1st Day before us. After getting his permit we made it to the TH around 8 and bade him good luck since it would be hot. Fortunately we had his car to drive around in and take care of our errands. A nice late 90’s 500 series BMW… cool! First we packed up our site & found one at Sentinel right at the entrance. Couldn’t have been better for us. Then we took care of our boxes & sorting through all of that. Lunch rolled around and I ate a Chicken Caesar wrap which was most delicious. After we took care of our laundry I tried to make my phone calls with the pay phone there since there is no cell coverage. I tried both mom & my dad & neither picked up. Amy did so I chatted with her about the status of the business. Then, we dropped off Dan’s car at the Copper Creek TH & tried to hitch back. We had no luck for a while until the ranger gave us a ride back to our campground. From there it was almost dinnertime. Fortunately I figured out the internet secret earlier… Away from the restaurant you could get access to everything more or less. Checked the weather & showed clear. The heat wave is supposed to be over in a few days & the return of our usual wind which means not T-storms in the future. Before dinner we finished the last of our packing & as I tried to write this journal my mechanical pencil broke. Hence, I’ve been writing with a poor wood one that I constantly have to sharpen. Anyways, dinner rolled around & I got a burger, 2 beers and potato salad. It was very satisfying topped off with an It’s IT ice cream. Rogue fat assed it up with a rib plate that was meager so he got a got a burrito from the store and topped that off with a chili dog. Our last good meal for a while surely couldn’t disappoint. I bought 2 Red Bulls & some ravioli stuff in a can for the morning. It was a warm night for us down there in the canyon heat.
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Re: 81 Days in the Sierra w/Rogue Photonic July 1st-Septembe

Postby alpinemike » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:40 pm

Day 32- Cedar Grove to Grizzly Lakes
And so the day finally came when we had to climb 5000 FT off from the canyon floor in the heat with 10 days of food. And it surely & truly was hellacious. We woke up at 5:15 and both of us had to dump a load. After we chowed down, I drank 1 Red Gull and it definitely started to hit me. I don't ever drink energy drinks, nor do I drink caffeine at all. But I figured a little more energy would be good for such a hard day. I was freaking out, whooping & hollering down the road. We got out of camp by 6:15ish & were on the trail by 6:50 A.M. A very good early start. It was right around 4500 FT and the past couple nights were very warm so getting high would be very welcome. The Lewis Creek Trail definitely starts up quickly and climbs via switchbacks right from the beginning. It wasn’t long before it hit me that I really needed to take a dump & thus I did right below the trail. I'll spare everyone the details but it was very painful and I was very concerned that this could turn into an all day event. And as I was yelling that to Rogue a girl happened to be hiking right by… naturally. It was her last day working down in the canyon & we come to find out she goes to school in Montana (her name is Callie). After I came back she left & my ass was still burning good. Oh boy… what a lovely start to this day. Soon my stomach really started hurting me to the point where it became physically painful to walk. This was of course all along the **** up hot, dry, dusty trail to Frypan Meadow. The hillside definitely wasn’t nuked though & there was plenty trees left & growth. We got to Frypan by noon & found Dan there chatting with Callie. We took lunch quickly there & Callie decided to follow us up the Grizzly Lakes “Trail”. Immediately the trail was in shitty condition and climbed very steeply up a dry hillside with much ash & fire debris. As I put it… the ‘trail’ showed no mercy at all… relentlessly steep. Callie soon turned around & headed back. We had no such luxury & continued to press on. The last 1000 FT or so were absolutely grueling given my worsening condition. I many times wanted to puke but never did. I was in some of the worst pain imaginable the whole way up and once we reached the lake I basically collapsed on a rock and laid there. The Grizzly Lakes were a total shithole that were reed filled & stagnant which made for shitty water. Dan & Rogue looked for a place to camp and found one on the other side of the lake toward the back. I just barely got there before collapsing again. I was ridiculously weak & in great stomach pain. The guys went & filtered all the water as I lay mostly motionless on the rock. The camp was very old with an old campfire ring, old files, and cans that were totally rusted. Our camp was pretty annoying with poor water access, poor quality water along with a **** ton of mosquitoes. Why they were still alive is beyond me. I attempted to eat some Mac & Cheese but only managed to eat ½ of it before dumping it on the fire. I would barely drink anything & I knew that whatever was going on would be difficult to recover from. Oh… I also fell coming out of Frypan Meadow straight onto a bunch of dead branches that cut up my right hand pretty good. Overall a really lovely day. I finally tried to go to sleep around 9:30.

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Day 33- Climb Mt. Harrington
I awoke at 11:30 P.M. to take a piss & it was no more than 5 min later that I quickly had to get out of the tent & puke my guts out. Dry heave & all it was all out, including of course the important electrolytes. Fortunately though I slept very soundly after that. Honestly after that it might have been one of the bet nights sleep I've ever had. Nothing quite like feeling like death and trying to sleep and getting all the evil out of you to sleep so much better. So that morning I woke up feeling pretty shitty but no more stomach pain hoping that whatever was going on was done with. The most conclusive thing was some greasy food, the Red Bull, & the physical exertion along with heat exhaustion. Needless to say but I gave Rogue my other Red Bull. And I’ll likely not be drinking any more anytime soon. Apparently before I puked, the guys heard Bigfoot banging logs around. I guess we'll never know what it was. Needless to say but the Grizzly Lakes certainly have a remote & interesting vibe. So, that morning I tried to get as much food in me as possible so I could regain my strength. And then we headed up Harrington Pass to climb Mt. Harrington. A steepish in parts pass but overall easy with a great view to the North across the Middle Fork. We could see Tehipte Dome 1000’s of feet below. The climb up Harrington was relatively easy with short but fun Class 3 sections. It was Dan’s 2nd real Class 3 peak after Castle Peak so he had some interesting fun climbing it. We were on top by lunch enjoying the view, but we still had plenty of smoke to the South pervading our view. We can only hope it will get better sooner rather than take weeks. The rest of the day was pretty uneventful & I still felt shitty but better than the day prior. I still couldn’t eat much for lunch or dinner but at least I was eating something.

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Re: 81 Days in the Sierra w/Rogue Photonic July 1st-Septembe

Postby alpinemike » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:51 pm

Day 34- Grizzly Lakes to Lake 9,599 FT
Today we climbed up & over Harrington Pass en route to the Swamp Lakes where we hoped for better camping, lake, & general environment. I woke up feeling about 85% & throughout the day I continuously felt slightly better. We changed our route on the fly planning to traverse the ridge to Tenderfoot Peak and potentially climb the peak higher to the South. After a very tedious traverse with lots of trees we climbed up to the top where we had to do plenty of Class 3 with our full packs on. Annoying but doable with Dan following along. We scampered along & climbed all the way to the top & enjoyed great views of everything to the North & saw our lake with a beautiful granite setting giving us high hopes. There was no cairn or register but it’s undoubtedly been climbed. So we had lunch and my appetite sill wasn’t quite there but slowly returning. From there we went to the saddle where we dropped our packs & climbed a fairly easy ridge mixed in with good Class 3 to Tenderfoot. More great views down into the canyon of the Middle Fork. Soon after we dropped down the slope; after Dan dislodged a large boulder down toward Rogue. A huge boulder by all standards. It's a good thing there was time before it picked up speed so that Rogue got out of the way. We went down a fairly easy slope where Rogue chose a shitty Class 4 crack naturally. Dan and I found an easier way. From there we cruised to our beautiful lake, which truly was and is a gem of a lake in this whole area. Magnificent swimming was had there & we walked out onto the island. Camping was not established anywhere so we made a great site with fire pit & all. I finally started to feel hunger for dinner and enjoyed some grilled tortillas. Lots of clouds had built to the North & as we went to sleep they were still out so we expected a potential for rain.

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Last edited by alpinemike on Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 81 Days in the Sierra w/Rogue Photonic July 1st-Septembe

Postby alpinemike » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:54 pm

Day 35- Lake 9,599 FT to Upper Swamp Lakes
And sure enough the this morning I was awoken to a pitter patter of rain drops & a clap of thunder at 5:30 A.M. Our laundry was out so I rushed out, brought it inside and tried to go back to sleep. But… the guys seemed to rustling a lot & got up way earlier than I wanted so by 7:30 I had to get up. The rain was light & didn’t last for long. We packed up amid mostly cloudy skies but as the day wore on they dissipated mostly in our area. I figured this was the disturbance that was forecasted to be in the North. It only took 2 hours to get to the Upper Swamp Lakes. The views were pretty cool going around up into the Upper Swamp Lakes. The lower lake was very pleasant with an island but overall there’s nothing too spectacular here & it’s pretty much certain I’ll never be back. The upper lake was more grass lined but still much nicer than the Grizzly Lakes. At first I really wasn’t into the area, but it’s been growing on me. We had an early lunch after Rogue found a really nice place to camp. The lakes are all similar in that there’s no inlet/outlet flowing, yet the water has been fine. We lounged all day today… catching up on the journal & chatting. We had a nice fire & finally my full appetite appeared at dinnertime. More roasted tortillas were quite satisfying. My cheese cloth got a little weird so I got rid of it but the cheese is in great shape & most delicious. It was a much cooler & pleasant night since all the clouds cleared.

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Re: 81 Days in the Sierra w/Rogue Photonic July 1st-Septembe

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:06 am

Oh the Murro Blanco. You can just sum it up by saying it was a horrible experience.

I had forgotten about big foot at Grizzly Lakes lol Mike slept through it but it sounded like someone was hitting a tree with a baseball bat over and over again. I have never heard anything like it before.
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Re: 81 Days in the Sierra w/Rogue Photonic July 1st-Septembe

Postby fourputt » Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:36 am

I have the dubious distinction of descending Muro Blanco twice in one wet summer; late July 93 to scout and an early September group trip. Smiling faces in early group trip shots, tense camping mid-MB. Incredible flowers near Kid Creek in July with shoulder-high delphiniums. There's a great open group campsite with a 50' sitting bench about a mile above Kid where I found a horseshoe. (Bolton Coit Brown's poor "Jack"?) At the campsite my July buddy told me he saw someone hiking up-river on the other side unable to cross so there were stupider people than us apparently ... but he might have been hallucinating. And yes, unbelievably it just keeps getting worse till a mile above Paradise.
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Re: 81 Days in the Sierra w/Rogue Photonic July 1st-Septembe

Postby oldranger » Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:54 am

Thanks for reminding me of how nice lake 9599 is. Visited it solo on my days off in 1981. hit the hot trail after work in Grant Grove about 4:30 or 5 and stoped for the night, in the dark at Frypan meadow. Took the easiest way I could find and I don't remember anything harder than easy class 2 going over the divide. The view down the Gorge of Despair was really cool. I camped above the big slab on the right shoreline in Mike's pic from the outlet looking s. The next day I explored the lakes to the east. My last day was the reverse and back to work at 4PM. Wish I could do that kind of hike now (I can but just not in the same time frame).
Mike

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Re: 81 Days in the Sierra w/Rogue Photonic July 1st-Septembe

Postby hiac » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:02 pm

RoguePhotonic wrote:Yeah this whole start was something. One of the most difficult fords I ever have done at Mono Creek, Crazy ice climbing on Abbot and then the out of control glissade. Then combine with never going below 11,000 feet. Getting totally sun burned. Massive high winds. And bathing in a lake half frozen.


and you didn't get sick despite all of these :) ?
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Re: 81 Days in the Sierra w/Rogue Photonic July 1st-Septembe

Postby hiac » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:57 pm

RoguePhotonic wrote:Lol the VVR trips were almost comical last year. We were always the first in the restaurant and the last to get served. I think the poor chicken night was the time we both ordered and he got his chicken bone and I had ordered a new york steak. After everyone else in the place had eaten and some even that came in after I ordered had already left I was given a steak that was half the size of what hit everyone else's plate. I think the very last crappy one they had since it was removed from the menu at that point.


Love the post, you two's writing style say a lot about your personality :)
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Re: 81 Days in the Sierra w/Rogue Photonic July 1st-Septembe

Postby RoguePhotonic » Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:34 pm

The only sickness other than diarrhea I have gotten in the mountains yet was having something wrong with my throat where I half lost my voice for about 3 days. Was that this year? I don't know since it's starting to blend together.
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