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Crabtree trailhead to gem lake..... failed
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(urbanadvent) - F
Crabtree trailhead to gem lake..... failed on 07/18/2011 02:38:22 MDT Print View

first trip of the season. FINALLY.

I had a very ambitious plan, to be the first to make it to gem lake despite doubtful look on the lady ranger's face. she seemed very concern because i wanted to go so far this early in the season and because it was a solo trip, also because of the cherry creek crossing.

made it out to crabtree and this guy was just as excited as i was to get out on the trail.
exited dog
made it out to bear lake. it was very quiet and not very crowded, unlike camp lake were the mosquito situation and crowd were a problem
bear lake
bear lake
bear lake

how to make camp: step #1: choose a site with awesome view, step #2: make fire, step #3: unpack.step
notice the Columbia mobex pack and the bareboxer on the rock, its amazing how many things i can fit in there along with a bear canister and SLR camera. aside for the laufbursche bags this is the only other pack whose design has apealed to me, i know there are lighter and bigger options out there but since i work in the design business im always willing to sacrifice weight for aesthetics.

decided to try out one of backpacking light's ultra light tipspillow1
cant say that this worked for me, within 30 seconds of puting my head on it the bags deflated. maybe i got the wrong brand of bags lol.

this was my set up for the night, i made that sack 10 mins before leaving my home, i had been contemplating the move from tent to bivy for a while so i made this quick prototype to test what would be some of the issues that i would have with this type of set up.

me by the fire.

this turned out to be the major problem of the night, condensation eventually hindered the performance of my quilt, i was not cold but could have been warmer since i'm a cold sleeper, i like to sleep very warm. as u can see in the pic the condensation eventually turned to frost and ice hindering the performance on my down quilt.drying
made this rig to dry my quilt and get on the trail as fast.
set up
poe elite packed, got this about 3 months ago and was dying to use it perfect compliment to my quilt.

The trail up to bear lake was pretty damp, with some areas wet and muddy but i was fairly easy to walk on. On my way to piute lake the trail was mixed with some areas of snow were there was more shadows to keep the snow from melting. For the most part the trail was hot, arid, and exposed. Hence why i choose to put away my camera and just push my way to the lake asap. It was hot, and creek crossings were dangerous, i think i was the only one to cross the creek at the end of piute meadows that day since i did not see anyone on the trail on my way to and from puite lake. I actually did not cross the creek, i walked across the meadows were the creek is divided into 2 small streams before it bottle necks were it meets the trail making it dangerous. I saw 4 different people cross on horse back and the water would touch the horses stomach, once i got to puite lake i had 1/2 hour lunch before deciding to head home as fast as i could because of the mosquito problem.
It seemed like one of those NGC programs were depending on the temp, the larva all hatch at the same time. it was unbearable and it was all over the mountain, i could not understand it since the day before at bear lake i had no problems. I realized that cheery creek would be worst than the creek at puite medows so by process of elimination i decided not head further than puite lake. I did about 20 miles on sat counting all off trail exploration i did that day. Being the first trip of the year i was beat at the end of the day and those last 2 miles were really hard on my back (i have been caring a back problem from when someone slide tackled me in a soccer game 2 month ago).

i leave u with a pic of a camp fire gone out of control.

Edited by urbanadvent on 07/18/2011 11:50:17 MDT.

Yuri R
(Yazon) - F

Well on 07/18/2011 12:21:58 MDT Print View

Could have used the sleeping pad as a flotation device to transfer the pack while you swim :)

Good report though...

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
re: on 07/18/2011 12:31:57 MDT Print View

Nice report!

Very wise of you to not cross the deeper water, but to go upstream to where teh stream was two smaller ones!

Bradley Attaway
(AttaboyBrad) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Ziplock pillow trick: Use Platy instead. Great lumbar support too. on 07/18/2011 12:39:51 MDT Print View

I've never had any luck with the ziplocks-in-a-stuffsack pillow trick either.

What I've found works remarkably well is using a platypus or two instead.

Rather than squeeze the excess air out, I blow in as much air as I can and seal the top.

I use one underneath my head and the other underneath my back as a lumbar support.

Makes a CCF torso pad infinitely more comfortable, adds zero weight because I bring these things anyway, and you can let out air as necessary to adjust the support to your liking.

Michael Andrew
(pacifico) - F
Re: Columbia Mobex on 09/09/2011 23:20:49 MDT Print View

A rack of Mobexes caught my eye in the store today. They really are fantastic looking. Tried one on and loved the fit. Is yours a regular or XL?