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Onion Valley-Matlock Lakes Backpack (Topix trip)

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Postby Ranboze » Mon Oct 30, 2006 10:37 pm

It was a grand time! :D

I arrived at the Onion Valley parking lot on Friday evening to find TrailTrekker enjoying the quiet solitude. A short while later Doug and his son Ryan arrived and it wasn't long before we all crawled into our respective driving machines to escape the cold and bed down for the night. By morning, SnowNymph, Trekker, DodgerBill and daughter Rebecca had arrived.

The north slopes of the peaks to our south were still dusted with snow and made for a nice contrast against the winter colors. Although chilly, it was a beautiful morning, and we all headed up the Kearsage Pass trail a bit after 0900. We snacked briefly at Gilbert Lake before heading off on the trail to Matlock Lake. There was a bit of snow on the trail to Matlock, but otherwise, the trail was dry. After everyone selected their "spot", tents were pitched, lunch was devoured, and then we headed xc to Bench Lake.

It was a pretty chilly night... despite my Marmot 0 degree bag, 4 layers on top (light weight capilene, expedition weight capilene, fleece, and a MH softshell), and 2 layers on my lower extremities I was chilly most of the night. Sooz gave me a thermal pad to try, which stayed warm the entire night (Note to self: add these to my winter camping list).

Come Sunday morning, we said our goodbyes to Doug and Ryan, and Bill and Rebecca who had to get back home, and we welcomed Tomcat who drove up to join us for a dayhike to Mt. Gould. Sooz, SnowNymph, Tom and myself headed for Mt. Gould while Trekker stayed in camp for awhile, feeling a little under the weather.

Boy, was I feeling the altitude on Sunday. I felt ok, I was just suckin' air and feeling the altitude big time. I REALLY appreciated SnowNymph running sweep on the summit ascent and waiting for me to haul my tired self up to the top. I was the only Mt. Gould virgin in the group and was stoked at bagging this one. Again, it was great to be amongst folks who were motivating, positive and supportive. It was a gorgeous day and quite windy and chilly on the summit. The descent down the soft sandy north slope was a total blast... probably the most fun descent I've had!

Since I had taken a daypack, I dumped my beast pack at the Matlock Lake trail junction, so when we arrived back at the junction, Tom and I said our goodbyes to Sooz and Corrine and we headed on down to the parking lot while Sooz and Cori returned to Matlock to pack up their gear.

It was fun meeting everyone and a great adventure!

My photos are here
Walking outside is where I find what's inside.



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Postby Snow Nymph » Mon Oct 30, 2006 11:16 pm

We had a great turnout, and a lot of fun around the campfire (no campfire, but Trail Bud's candle lantern made it feel like one). :D

Thanks to Trailtrekker for picking up the permit. Saved me a trip in the morning.

Turns out Trekker attempted Gould, and came close to the summit. Not sure how we missed passing him on our way down. We saw him as we headed for the Matlock Junction on our way out . He headed out late Sunday night.

Still working on photos. Will post as soon as I can.
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


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Postby hikerduane » Tue Oct 31, 2006 6:55 am

I would have liked to have gone but I am putting too many miles on my old truck and I thought it was on the west side since I didn't recognize the name of the lake and wasn't following the thread. Good turnout for the time of year and expected temps.
Piece of cake.
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Postby Snow Nymph » Tue Oct 31, 2006 8:32 am

Guess we should have put more info in the thread. Sometimes I see trips but if its too far to drive I'm not interested. I'll make sure we add directions next time.
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


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Postby wingding » Tue Oct 31, 2006 9:39 am

Nice pictures R. It looks like it turned out to be a really fun group trip.
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Postby Trail Bud » Tue Oct 31, 2006 9:56 am

Boy I needed that!! :D .
Ryan and I had a good time I wish we could have stayed longer on Sunday, but I'll take what I can get. This was Ryan's first trip out and back carrying a pack, he liked it alot & wants to go again when it's a little warmer. We had alot of fun & laughs (I needed that too). It was a geat to meet everyone. Tomcat, it was good to meet you, I wish there was more time. Everyone elese You're a great group to be with. I'm working on the pictures I'll post them soon. Until next time.
Take care.
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Postby dodgerbill55 » Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:11 am

Rebecca and I had a great time. A big thank you to everyone on the trip for making a couple of newbies feel so welcome. It was a pleasure to meet you and we look forward to hiking with you again.
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Trip Pictures

Postby Trail Bud » Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:17 am

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Postby tomcat_rc » Tue Oct 31, 2006 2:20 pm

good to see those trip reports coming in - sorry I could not come up and freeze with you all on Saturday night. it was fun to hike in Sunday morning and join everyone. wish it could have been longer for all

Doug and Ryan - was great to meet you - thanks for the morning coffee - helped warm the bones - Ryan hope you got your homework done. Bill and Becky - was great to meet you too. Hope the "next generation" gets bit with the bug for lifetime also. As my friend Sierragator always tells me "I can quit anytime I want - I just choose not to want."

The rest of us decided to make a go of Gould. Trekker - wish you could have joined us - I was definately outnumbered by lady hikers that day ( I know guys - your heart bleeds for me) :D

To Sooz, Robin, and Snowy - it was fun hiking with you all again. The peak was fun. if the wind was not blowing so strong we could have all taken our turn hopping up on that summit block. my face and lips are gonna peel from the wind thrashing they took.

would be fun to do another one of those sometimes - maybe next time in Death Valley - everyone could enjoy that.

will post pictures later tonight - started album here:
http://members3.clubphoto.com/tom103807 ... uest.phtml
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Postby Trail Bud » Tue Oct 31, 2006 2:37 pm

Great Pictures Ranboze.
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Postby Rosabella » Tue Oct 31, 2006 3:28 pm

What a fun trip this must have been!!! Great pictures everyone!! There was no way I could have made this trip (my older son got married last weekend) but I'm gonna make one of these forum trips :nod:!
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Postby Trekker » Tue Oct 31, 2006 4:18 pm

I'm with Trailbud...that was a much needed trip! I only got one trip to the Sierra this summer, and really felt like I missed out! I had a great time being with such a fun group of people, and you couldn't have asked for better weather for this time of year!!! :nod: Thanks to Snowy for putting this trip together; she always does such a great job of getting everything coordinated. =D> Thanks to Trailtrekker for her work as well!! :righton: It was great to meet some new friends and see some "old" ones! :unibrow: Bill and Rebecca, glad you could join us! Good to see Trailbud's young 'un getting into the Sierra groove! :) Sorry I missed out on some of the humor on Sat. night (a good part of it at my expense, no doubt!!!) and heading out for Gould on Sunday! Some things are just out of your control (so to speak! :\ ) I did finally start out about an hour and 20 minutes after the group left. Can't believe I missed you up there! Made it to the false summit at 3:30 and saw the true summit just past a ridge I would have to climb; I figured that I wouldn't be able to climb that in the conditions, plus I was sucking wind big time!!! In addition, it was late and I knew that the rest of the group would be worried when they got back. So I decided I was happy to get to within about 50 ft of the summit, all things considered! One of these days, when I do cardio regularly for more than a few weeks, I may actually be able to do this without it feeling like a death march!!!

Great pics by everyone! If I figure out how to do it, I will post mine. I know there's great anticipation for a select few! :D

For anyone that is heading up to the Sierra in the coming weeks, don't believe all you hear about the snow and ice conditions. The rangers had reported that there was hip deep snow at Kearsarge Pass. There was no snow at all on the pass! The best info comes from those who have just been in that area; apparently the rangers don't get the best info! :dontknow

Once again, thanks to everyone for making the trip so enjoyable! :friends
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