King's Canyon the hard way

I received this note from our very own Irving Hoffman who just returned from a hiking adventure in the Sierra's:

I had a great time backpacking in the High Sierra’s for 5 days from the 3rd of August through the 7th of August.  I did some strenuous climbing with a 50lb backpack and learned about all the stuff I really didn’t need to take with me. 

We arrived at the Onion Valley trail head around 4:00 pm and headed out.  It was slow going, so we spent our first night at Gilbert Lake.  In the morning we headed out for the Kearsarge Lakes hiking over the 11,845’ Kearsarge Pass.  We found a great secluded site to camp at the far end of the large Kearsarge Lake close to the lake and a running steam with no other campers – the lake and stream were quite cold and pristinely beautiful.

Monday afternoon and Tuesday afternoon there were thunder storms, so we spent those afternoons staying dry in the tent – I’m glad I brought a book.  However, Monday morning we did a day hike up to the remotest of the Kearsarge Lakes – it’s incredibly beautiful and really isolated with no trails to get you there or back.  Tuesday morning we did some local exploring, but we could see the thunder clouds coming in, so we decided not to venture too far out from camp. 

 Wednesday was a gorgeous day and we started early in the morning on a day hike to the Ranger Station at Charlotte Lake and then we climbed up to Glen Pass which is 11,978’ and a very steep climb – I’m glad I was only carrying a day pack.  From there, we headed back to camp taking the upper Kearsarge Pass trail and got back to camp about 4:00 pm and skinny dipped in the lake to wash off the day’s dirt and sweat – that lake was so cold and so great after hiking 14.7 miles at altitude. 

 Thursday morning we packed up and did the 6.5 mile hike back – climbing up the first mile and half to Kearsarge Pass - to Onion Valley where the car was parked.


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