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Lamarck Col/Darwin Canyon

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Re: Lamarck Col/Darwin Canyon

Postby guenthej » Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:09 pm

Will do!



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guenthej
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Re: Lamarck Col/Darwin Canyon

Postby guenthej » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:39 pm

Hi there.

Sorry for taking so long to post after our hike.

We completed our route largely as planned and did not require the use of crampons. Two of the six members of our party refused to bring hiking poles and did not fair too badly for the omission. There was a fair amount of slipping on the snow-covered north side of Wanda Pass, though.

We made a couple foolish mistakes and were punished for them.

1. We drove all the way from Berkeley to North Lake and then hiked to Upper Lamarck Lake on the first day. This was an elevation gain of > 11,000', and four of us felt queasy. One became so sick that he had to turn back after a sleepless night of reverse peristalsis. After sleeping for two days in Bishop, he and his girlfriend were able to hike in over Bishop Pass, and we met up with them in Le Conte Canyon.

In the future, we should make certain to camp at a lower elevation to acclimatize to the altitude.

2. We didn't bring adequate eye protection. Of the four of us who completed the semi-loop route, only one brought sunglasses. Two others had prescription glasses that blocked > 80% of direct UV light, and one had no direct eye protection. The one without any glasses became snow blind after the day we spent ascending the completely snow-covered northern slope of Wanda Pass. It took 2+ days for his eyes to recover to the point where he could hike again. Fortunately, we we able to escape from the Ionian Basin via Solomons Pass, and we didn't even run out of food.

In the future, we will all bring UV-blocking, polarized, darkening eye protection.

All told, it was a good trip, and a beautiful one. I really want to get back out in the mountains, but that will need to wait until next summer.

I don't have time to figure out how to create a trip report right now, but I may try to do that at some point.

Thanks for all your help!
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Re: Lamarck Col/Darwin Canyon

Postby paul » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:13 pm

Here's an idea for your next trip to help with the acclimatization. I leave the Bay Area the night before about dinnertime, drive up to the mountains (usually no traffic then, by the way). if I'm going to a closer westside trailhed, I'll drive to the trailhead before sleeping either in the car or next to it, and head out in the morning. If I'm going to an eastside trailhead, I'll drive to someplace high enough, like 7 or 8K, and pull over and sleep there. I've slept a couple times right at Monitor pass, for instance. Then in the morning, I finish the drive to the trailhead and take off. This gets me one night at altitude before the trip starts, and it works great for me. That and drinking LOTS of water on the drive up and on the trip.
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Re: Lamarck Col/Darwin Canyon

Postby guenthej » Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:05 pm

Thanks, Paul.

Yours are definitely good ideas. If we had simply stopped at the North Lake trailhead the first night, I think most of the altitude suffering could have been avoided.
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