TR Lillian Lake Loop, our first trip ever | High Sierra Topix  

TR Lillian Lake Loop, our first trip ever

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar

TR Lillian Lake Loop, our first trip ever

Postby RobertD » Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:51 pm

Well, we made it through our trip, and what a blast it was. A ton of fun, and excitement to be had and some sore feet for everyone.

So, my first TR, so bear with me.

Sunday night: Arrived at Clover meadow, to camp and get used to the altitude before we left on Monday. Arrived at about 245, met the ranger, got our permit and it started to rain. It didnt stop raining unti after 8 pm. Set up camp, ate dinner in the rain, and sat there while it rained. Went to bed about 9PM, and had the WORST night of sleep we could ever imagine. Cold, damp, dogs, all crammed into tent. Thank the Good Lord, before I left i bought a real thin painters tarp. I had cut it in two, and one half was on the roof of the tent, and one under all our stuff on the floor. That would come in SUPER handy later in the trip.

Monday morning, finally get onto the trail at 11 AM out of Fernandez. We thought (hahahaha) we were in shape for this, or at least somewhat ready. Nope. It was tough, packs were heavy and we knew this was no stroll around the local park with our packs on. Big change from 500 foot to 8000 feet for air. Takes us a couple hours to get to the top of the mountain, and we decide to go the more easterly route towards Rainbow and Rutherford. We make it down to Madera creek, and I am suffering, and shortly my wife, from altitude sickness in a huge way. We made camp at Madera Creek, and had the only beutiful night of the trip. Nice fire, plenty of water, and rest, we figured we would be all better by morning. Wrong again...

Tuesday morning we headed towards Rainbow and the going was much faster, we were more used to the terrain and packs. We really had a great day hiking that day, not a single other person out there. It was about 2pm when we reached the junction, either north to Rainbow or west to Lillian. The sky was most threatening, so we decided to head to Lillian. Excellent choice as in one hour it started to rain again. We barely had the tent up when it started coming down. And down. I have never in my life been IN a thunderstorm, and the lightning/thunder combo was quite exciting, in fact, the thunder was so loud and powerful the ground was shaking under us. The dogs were pooped so they barely even noticed.

Wednesday morning, very sunny, beutiful day. Fished Lillian, and caught fish on every third cast on a spinner. I bought a little rod, and it worked perfect. Of course, by 1 PM, more clouds so we headed back towards camp. We had camped on the Norheast side I guess, up against a large granite wall. Spoke to another packer, and we discussed the wonderful light show and thunder the night before. At about 2 pm, started to rain again. It was off and on for about 2 hours, so we grabbed a quick dinner and collected firewood, since it looked like it was clearing, other than that ominous cloud gathering to our north. At about 5 or so, it started to rain again. And then, it hailed. And thundered and flashed. And after the hail, it rained harder than i have ever seen in my life. Which, melted all the hail, and our tent became a boat. That plastic tarp I mentioned earlier, saved our butts huge, since even though we were almost afloat, nothing got we inside the tent and we all slept.

Thursday we decided to call it a day early and try and head out, since we were sick of 6 hours of sun and hiding in the tent for 16 hours. Hiked out past Vandenburg lake and back to the Fernandez trail head. Only took us about 4 hours to hike from Lillian to the trail head, and we were on the way home.

All in all, we loved it. Had an excellent time, learned a lot, what to do, what NOT to bring along, how to pack and all that. Now my wife, who developed quarter size blisters on the back of her heels, and walked all the way out not saying a word, I have to give huge props to. She was in serious pain, and those blisters were mangled when we got out, and she is bugging me when we are going to go again!

Dogs were awesome, they had a great time, and led the way the entire time.

Thanks everyone for the tips and advice! (35 degree bags were NOT. Even with thermals, they sucked, we were cold.....)
Attachments
max.jpg
robnsydney.jpg
thetrooper.jpg
hail2.jpg
hail1.jpg
fishing.jpg
IMG_1185.jpg
camp.jpg



User avatar
RobertD
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:31 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: TR Lillian Lake Loop, our first trip ever

Postby windknot » Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:03 pm

Thanks for the report and pictures! I'm glad to hear you guys had a good first trip, and came prepared. Hope you can continue to do backpacking trips in the future; it won't always be raining/snowing, and the effect of blisters and altitude sickness can be diminished if not completely eliminated.
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
User avatar
windknot
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1348
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 10:07 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: TR Lillian Lake Loop, our first trip ever

Postby RobertD » Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:06 pm

We did blow it by not getting her liner socks. That would of been the big difference for her.

Altitude sickness, was pretty much gone by Thursday but so was our time. Maybe next time it will abate sooner, but oh well!
User avatar
RobertD
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:31 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: TR Lillian Lake Loop, our first trip ever

Postby The Other Tom » Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:22 pm

Ah, the memories. It rained/hailed/lightning/thundered on my first BP in the Sierra. I was worried during the storm but we made it through ok. The evening storm sure made for a beautiful morning, though.
I tried to camp "out in the open" so as not to be next to tall trees during the storm. I noticed your tent was next to trees...were you worried about that ?
User avatar
The Other Tom
Founding Member
 
Posts: 713
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 6:06 pm
Location: Upstate South Carolina
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: TR Lillian Lake Loop, our first trip ever

Postby RobertD » Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:28 pm

I was at first, but we were by far not the tallest. The part that concerned me most was the wind. Lots of dead trees, and lots of trees that looked like they had been hit by the light show in the past. Falling tree was my biggest worry.
User avatar
RobertD
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:31 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: TR Lillian Lake Loop, our first trip ever

Postby ManOfTooManySports » Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:11 pm

Glad you had a good trip the first time out. You may even miss the thunder storms on your next trip.

Sock liners are very valuable. Good sleeping bags are even more valuable.

I'm reminded of when I took my partner for her first trip, which was hugely demanding physically and mentally. Yet 5 days into a 7 day trip she was insisting that we plan for our next trip right then and there.
User avatar
ManOfTooManySports
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 142
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:58 pm
Experience: N/A


Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], mkbgdns, psykokid and 12 guests

cron