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24 Hours: Kearsarge Lakes 7/14/10
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Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
24 Hours: Kearsarge Lakes 7/14/10 on 07/16/2010 00:16:18 MDT Print View

A leisure trip to one of my favorite spots in the Sierra. Leisure as in bringing the beer, the big tent, fresh food, taking my time...Given a cough and sinus infection and that I'm still recovering from a fractured wrist and sprained elbow, it's about the only type of trip I could muster right now.
Not crowded yet...A few other backpackers, all with HUGE loads, all just as happy as me. Pack weight? Who cares...Have fun and get out.


I was out the door at 6am, picked up my permit in Lone Pine at a little after nine...I love coming in from the east side. Desert to 14,000 foot peaks in the span of mere miles.

On the trail by 10:30, heading into the sky. The Kearsarge Pass trailhead at Onion Valley is at ~9,000 feet. The pass is at ~12,000. I'm fortunate I've never had altitude acclimation issues given I live at sea level.

Intense sun...All of the ice you see in this lake below the pass was gone the next morning.

Not a bad spot to be napping at 2:30pm. I brought the inner nest for my Shangri-La 3, something I typically never carry solo; after all, this was to be a comfort trip.
A good thing I did. The mosquitos were the worst I've seen them at the lakes...I don't wear DEET and I forgot my headnet.

Me, fully and completely aware that I am living the Good Life.
I was awakened from my nap by thunder echoing through the valley. Directly behind me some serious clouds had amassed but produced only noise...

Time to retire to the tent, sip some whiskey, and read. I really need to get a super-cushy inflatable mattress for trips like this. It was a surprisingly warm night; I slept in nothing but shorts, and used a WM Summerlite as a quilt. I'm not sure how I wasn't cold...

Morning. The coffee flowed, my instant potatoes with veggie sausage patties were delicious, and the mosquitoes were still sleeping. After a leisurely breakfast and walk around the lakes I packed up camp and took a slow hike out.
I was back at my car at 10:30am...exactly 24 hours since I left it.

The good life. I'll be going to get some more very soon...

Philip Delvoie
(PhilipD) - MLife

Locale: Ontario, Canada
24 Hours: Kearsarge Lakes 7/14/10 on 07/16/2010 06:15:45 MDT Print View


Great stuff. Loved the view from the tent.

Ryan Tucker
(BeartoothTucker) - M
views on 07/16/2010 07:22:56 MDT Print View

great views. thanks for sharing. do you use the go lite pole with the shangri la

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: 24 Hours: Kearsarge Lakes 7/14/10 on 07/16/2010 08:05:41 MDT Print View

Very cool seeing what this area looks like in the summer. You had a sweet view from your camp!

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: 24 Hours: Kearsarge Lakes 7/14/10 on 07/16/2010 08:31:57 MDT Print View

Craig, after I saw the photo on the other thread, I knew where you went. Nice, been there on a few occasions, I just new it looked familiar! I love that part of the Sierras. Great shots!

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: 24 Hours: Kearsarge Lakes 7/14/10 on 07/16/2010 08:48:59 MDT Print View

Ryan, I used my trekking poles. I connect them with a piece of tubular webbing and two hook and loop strips.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: 24 Hours: Kearsarge Lakes 7/14/10 on 07/16/2010 17:28:03 MDT Print View

"A leisure trip to one of my favorite spots in the Sierra."

What a gem of a trip, Craig. I nominate it for Chapter 1 in The BPL Guide on How Not to Ruin Backpacking for Everyone Else. ;)

BTW, if you'd taken a left at Foothill Rd, you'd have been headed to my favorite area. You really got my juices flowing with that shot of Williamson through the front window. September can't come soon enough.

(tacksman99) - F

Locale: So Cal
Coffee on 07/16/2010 22:36:59 MDT Print View

Am I the only one that can imagine how good the coffee would be that morning? What a great trip. I'll admit I'm a little jealous.....

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
24 Hr: Kearsarge lakes on 07/16/2010 23:02:53 MDT Print View

Very nice stuff Mr. Wisner!!!!!The Eastern Sierras are a secret be sure not to tell anybody else..

Lennie Noblin
(noblinl) - F
Re: 24 Hours: Kearsarge Lakes 7/14/10 on 08/14/2010 14:17:16 MDT Print View

I am looking for a nice easy trip for me, my wife and 11 yr old daughter to try for the first time. Would you recommend this trip or another one in the area. I have been looking at this one and maybe the cottonwood lakes trails out of Lone Pine. any suggestions?