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Top 5 of 2015: My Most Memorable Hikes

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.
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Top 5 of 2015: My Most Memorable Hikes

Postby HikingGeek.com » Mon Dec 21, 2015 11:43 am

The last year has been amazing. I spent more days on the trail than I ever have, took my first extended backpacking trip (High Sierra Trail) and I became an ambassador for 3 great companies. Out of my 50+ days on the trail, there are 5 that really stand out:

5. North Fork of Big Pine Creek
4. Banner Peak, Day 2
3. Alto Diablo Peak via ‘Duct Tape Ridge’
2. High Sierra Trail, Day 6 – Guitar Lake to Whitney Portal
1. High Sierra Trail, Day 2 – Bearpaw Meadow to Precipice Lake

Clicking the link or the photo below will bring you to webpage with photos and explanations why these days on the trail were memorable. What hikes from the last year stick out in your mind?

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Top 5 of 2015: Most Memorable Hikes


Thanks to the members of this forum for answering my questions! The planning process for all of these trips would've been more difficult without your help!



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Re: Top 5 of 2015: My Most Memorable Hikes

Postby markskor » Mon Dec 21, 2015 12:58 pm

87 bag nights this year...my top 5?

Hard to admit, but the 2 most memorable days this year were both on one 2-week trip, once again in the company of the Oldranger...good planning on his part; I just come along to cook.

1) A day hike, fishing adventure in the Sawtooths, somewhere in the vicinity of Ingleborg Lake - (our temporary base camp for 3 days). Despite inches of hail that day, and putting up with Mike's dubious company, somehow managed to snag a 26" Cut-Bow...my biggest trout to date.

2) Heart Lake, a week later...again backpacking/ fishing/ rafting the Sawtooths. I remember Mike calling out, "Just another 16 incher!"... for the first time, "almost" got tired of great fishing - thankfully that feeling quickly passed. BTW, caught my first, ever Greyling a few trail-days later...same trip.

3) The summer solstice solo atop Snow Creek...just a magical place for artistic inspiration - drawing Half Dome and North Dome, and one of the finest swimming holes ever.
north dome lg (2).jpg


4) Backside Lower Ottoway Lake for three days (again solo) with my fishing raft (and bong)... 'nuff said there.

5) Sharon Lake out of Kennedy Meadows (Mike's annual Old Fart happening)...hail and rain, off-trail initially, lots of cow-chit, and a tricky creek ford too, but actually turned out rather majestic, and a chance to meet up with a few other HST members.
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: Top 5 of 2015: My Most Memorable Hikes

Postby balzaccom » Mon Dec 21, 2015 1:58 pm

Hmmmm. I can't count 87 bag nights, but there were a few memorable days:

Day two of the Santa Cruz trek in the Andes, when we started at 11,500 feet and then camped at about 13,000 among a whole cirque of 20,000 foot peaks.

Mono Pass when we day-hiked up to Golden Lake from Fourth Recess...lovely, lovely hike.

And maybe add in the cross-country hike from Roosevelt Lake to Upper Youngs Lake in Yosemite...

good times.
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check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
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Re: Top 5 of 2015: My Most Memorable Hikes

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Dec 21, 2015 6:56 pm

I had about 50 nights out. Plus two non-backpacking trips- 2 weeks in Canadian Rockies and 2 weeks in Peru. Both these trips were quite memorable but not backpacks. Another very memorable few days for me was the 50th Anniversary NOLS reunion in Lander Wyoming. Seeing friends I had not seen in nearly 40 years again was fantastic. It was a very memorable party for an organization that was a big part of my life. As for backpacking moments:

1) "Memorable" does not always equal "good". My 21 mile-walk out from Nine Lakes Basin to Crescent Meadow in 11 hours was "memorable" but trying. On the positive side, I realize I can still do such stuff, even as an old fart!
2) My late season trip to Sabrina Basin was memorable, in that it is always wonderful to go to an area you think you really know and then find tons of new and exciting areas, plus catch fish every day for dinner!
3) The meet-up trip was memorable, even though I missed the meet-up! Again, it was over terrain I had previously done, but it totally changed my opinion of Keweah Basin- pervious trip I was not that impressed, this time it was great.
4) My 4-day trip up McGee Creek and over to the upper reaches of Convict Lake drainage was the most colorful trip I have taken! An afternoon in a storm, at Constance Lake, with amazing storm lighting on the absurdly colorful rock was a real treat.
5) My first trip with a High Sierra Topix member, who I had not met, was memorable in that we did so well! I am a bit of a solo-loner so this trip was very positive for me. Darwin Bench, again did not disappoint, even though I have been there many times.
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Re: Top 5 of 2015: My Most Memorable Hikes

Postby oldranger » Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:36 am

For me the 7th annual old Fart trip, usually relatively short so it can be accessed as a day hike by those with limited time, sometimes just 2 once with 6.
This year the original 3: markskor, old ranger,Tehipite Tom, plus a newbie and obviously "honorary" old fart, windknot.
oldfart.jpg
Old Farts at Sharon Lake


Second highlight was trip with markskor to Sawtooth Mountains where it took us more than 3 days to catch a fish under 15 inches long!

Third was hike into Skoki Lodge out of Lake Louise Ski Area in Canada with Kathy.

Mike
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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Re: Top 5 of 2015: My Most Memorable Hikes

Postby kpeter » Thu Jul 21, 2016 9:40 pm

markskor wrote:87 bag nights this year...my top 5?
1) A day hike, fishing adventure in the Sawtooths, somewhere in the vicinity of Ingleborg Lake - (our temporary base camp for 3 days). Despite inches of hail that day, and putting up with Mike's dubious company, somehow managed to snag a 26" Cut-Bow...my biggest trout to date.

2) Heart Lake, a week later...again backpacking/ fishing/ rafting the Sawtooths. I remember Mike calling out, "Just another 16 incher!"... for the first time, "almost" got tired of great fishing - thankfully that feeling quickly passed. BTW, caught my first, ever Greyling a few trail-days later...same trip.


I just came across this in a search, Markskor--I missed it last year when it was first posted.

I grew up hiking in the Sawtooths. One of the reasons I first came to this site is that when I moved to California, I had a lot of knowledge about areas in Idaho where I first honed my backpacking skills, but I was a neophyte as far as the Sierra was concerned.

Your reference to Ingeborg in the Sawtooths brought back a particular memory. My Dad and I were there fishing in 1972 when a huge meteorite crossed the sky in broad daylight. We froze as it moved across. We thought it was a large plane exploding and burning up at first. We could see pieces breaking off and orange, blue, green flames shooting out of it, and it left a trail. It was eerily silent. This was in the middle of a cross-Sawtooth trek we did together. The sight of that fireball is etched in my memory more vividly than any other thing I have seen in my entire life. We knew at the time that we would likely never see anything like that again. It was definitely a once in a lifetime moment.

When we got out, we found a short news story about the meteorite, so we learned for sure what it was. Just recently, though, I discovered that it is now a well known and documented incident, with its own Wiki. It is now referred to as the "1972 Great Daylight Fireball." There is even a home movie of it. We were much closer to it than the person who shot the home movie, but when I saw the movie I was immediately reminded of its pace and trajectory and shape.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1972_Grea ... t_Fireball
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBu-yUzWXqg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WlCfuPrszU

A few years ago I went back to the Sawtooths and retraced our old trip and stood on the shoreline at Ingeborg where we saw the fireball together. Less notably, my Dad accidentally cast his spinning reel into the lake and had to pull it out by the fishline. He saved the reel but lost most of his line! I think he was trying to retrieve his reel when we first saw the fireball--no evidence that his lost the reel because of the fireball!
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Re: Top 5 of 2015: My Most Memorable Hikes

Postby Alpinista55 » Fri Jul 22, 2016 2:32 pm

In the Sierras: last years Evolution Loop from North Lake to South Lake. Yeah, the JMT portion lacked a bit of solitude, but 5-star for beauty and a variety of terrain.

2015-08-14 09.27.11_sm.jpg
Camp at Evolution Lake


All Time Best Hike: Skiing into the Alaska Range from a flag stop on the Alaska Railroad. Solitude? Absolute!

1980WFE_approach_010.png
Skiing up the Buckskin Glacier towards the Mooses Tooth, Alaska Range
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Re: Top 5 of 2015: My Most Memorable Hikes

Postby giantbrookie » Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:28 pm

Given that I had only 9 bag nights in the Sierra, and a few more up and back dayhikes sprinkled in, I'm not sure anything beyond top 1 is relevant for me.

1. I can't (won't) be specific of which day of the trip it was but it was one of the days of an early August trip from Little Lakes Valley to North Lake. One hour on that day was the sort of fishing experience we all daydream about and seldom (if ever) experience.

2 & 3. It could be argued that my 5 best High Sierra days of 2015 were in fact the 5 days of that trip, but we'll give no. 2 and 3 to other days on that particular trip, which was a really good one.

4. Day 2 of the family trip to the Large Rodent Lake on the west flank (6/20/15). Best day of fishing ever for my son and daughter. Those would have been great days even for jaded veteran fisherfolk. In fact my son Lee broke my family record for most fish of 15" and better in one day (he caught 8, my old mark was 7). I have not come close to getting the record back since.

5 tie. 9/24/15 Lakes Basin Area. Tapping a keg, thoroughly sampling it, then wobbling to a spot to catch 16 and 17 inch brookies. Not a bad season finale. Tied with day 1 of Large Rodent Lake trip (6/19/15) where I had one of my hottest big fish streaks ever but truncated to check if rest of family wanted to get in on the action--they were beat from the hike in and just wanted me to get dinner started. Would have undoubtedly extended and held the family 15"+ record had I not stopped after 45 min of fishing (with 6 fish of 15"+) but it was good to have stopped short and allow Lee to break my PR the next day.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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