|Banner Peak (2009)|
|Big Margaret Lake (2009)|
|Dinkey Lakes (2009)|
|Graveyard Lakes (2009)|
|Kaiser Wilderness (2007)|
|Darwin Canyon (2006)|
|Upper Twin Lake (2006)|
|Redwood Canyon/Big Springs (2006)|
|Upper Twin Lake (2005)|
|Mt Whitney (2005)|
|Dinkey Lakes Wilderness (2005)|
|Cliff Lake/Dinkey Wilderness (2005)|
|Kaiser Wilderness (2004)|
|Blaney Meadows (2004)|
|High Sierra Trail (Mt. Whitney) (2003)|
|Mt Whitney Day Hike (2002)|
|Hell for Sure Pass(2000)|
|Marie Lake/Selden Pass (1999)|
|Sandbeach Lake (1994)|
|Big Spring (1994)|
|Hidden Lake and Kaiser Peak|
|Darwin Canyon via Lamarck Col|
|Redwood Canyon/Big Spring|
|High Sierra Trail|
|Mt Whitney Trail|
|Hell for Sure Pass|
North Lake to Darwin Canyon via Lamarck Col
Trip Report (August 2006):
Day 1 (Sunday, August 20, 2006): Conor, Richie, and I left Fresno around 5:30am and took Highway 41 up toward Yosemite. We got to the gate before it opened, so we got to go on through. We continued on the journey through the park. Traffic was pretty light, so we didn't have any problems (except a few slow people on 120). After a few brief stops we eventually got through the park and descended toward Mono Lake. After about another hour we arrived in Bishop, where we met Wayne. We then went up Highway 168 out of Bishop to North Lake, 9255ft , where the trailhead is. After a few hours of hiking we got to Upper Lamarck Lake, 10918ft. We found a nice little place next to the lake to set up camp. The has to be one of the bluest lakes I have seen and it was very clear. There were a few good sized fish (maybe 12 in trout) swimming in the water near us. Richie and I decided to take a quick dip in the lake. It was cold! I got out right away (but I still jumped in two more times). Since we couldn't have a campfire, we all went to bed soon after it got dark.
Day 2 (Monday, August 21, 2006): The second day we were to climb over Lamarck Col. We got up, had breakfast, packed up and set out on the trail. Well, actually according to the map, there is no official trail, but there definitely was a trail, probably because this is a pretty popular "cross-country" route. It was a fairly steep climb almost all the way to the top. It took us awhile, and the altitude really hit me around 12,000 ft. I slowed way down after that. We crossed several snow packs that weren't too hard to traverse since it was pretty well packed down. It was a relief to finally get to the top (about 12,800ft). We could see Mt Darwin and Mt Mendel and down into Darwin Canyon from up there and a good view of the lakes in Darwin Canyon. There was not really a defined trail on the other side, so we had to do quite a bit of scrambling. Wayne lead us down and we quickly fell behind him. After hoping down from boulder to boulder, we eventually made it down to the first lake (actually I believe it is the second in the chain of five lakes, but it was the first one we came to). We were all beat by then. I really did not feel like continuing on. But we didn't see any good campsites at that lake, so after a nice rest, we continued on. We had to climb up some more boulders when we went around the lake, that wasn't very fun. We then made it to the second lake, which is only about 75 feet after the first lake. We found an acceptable place to set up camp up on some rocks, so we rested and then set up camp. Unfortunately, with the canyon facing out toward the northwest, it channeled the wind right up it and we were very exposed, so it got very windy. I pitched my tent on granite because there wasn't any good spots on the grass. I could not stake the tent down, so I had to place rocks in it to hold it down. It also got pretty cold. I thought I would pack light for this trip, so unfortunately I did not have enough to keep me warm. So after dinner and a nice sunset, I went to bed.
Day 3 (Tuesday, August 22, 2006): It was windy most of the night, but I managed to get enough sleep and then get up in the morning. We had breakfast and got ready to go on a day hike to Darwin Bench. We hiked through the canyon, next to the lakes. I believe that between the third and fourth lake, there was an excellent campsite. It was sheltered from the wind and was very level. We hiked down and out of Darwin Canyon and away from the lakes, to Darwin Bench. That was some of the most beautiful scenery I had seen in the Sierras. It was relatively level, with a lot of green grass and the streams meandering through it. We hiked about 3 or 4 miles from camp to the edge where it dropped down into Evolution Valley. From there we had some awesome views. We took a nice break there. Some clouds were rolling in, but no signs of rain. Through the binoculars, I could see the John Muir Trail/Pacific Crest Trail down below going up toward Evolution Basin. After nice break, we headed back up to camp. It was a pleasant hike back and not too difficult, However, my legs were still sore from the previous day. Later, back at camp, we had one of the most beautiful sunsets I have seen. The clouds started out glowing a golden yellow color then to a bright orange color. The nearby peaks looked as if they were on fire. Every minute it looked different. Conor, Richie, and I stayed out a little later that night and looked at the stars. There were so many! You could clearly see the Milky Way against the dark sky. I was freezing standing out there in the wind, so it felt really nice to get in my sleeping bag and go to sleep.
Day 4 (Wednesday, August 23, 2006): (Final Day). I believe we had hiked in about 12 or 14 miles, so this was going to be a long day. After breakfast and packing up, we headed out. We passed by a person camped at the first lake and then headed up the slope. We tried to follow the trail this time as it came and went. Halfway up, I started slowing way down and had to stop every 50 feet or so. We got to the top in actually a fairly short amount of time. It was cold and windy there, so we found some shelter behind some rocks, had a bite to eat, and then continued down. We followed a stream that came from some of the snow up there and it took us right to the edge of a steep drop off, so we had to go over a little hill to the correct trail down. We continued down and came to a few people along the way. After a few more hours of uneventful hiking, we made it back to the trailhead. It actually didn't take very long to get back, it was still early afternoon by the time we got to the trailhead. We got changed and then headed down to Bishop. We had a nice meal there at a local restaurant and then headed back to Fresno. After spending what seemed like forever in Yosemite and a milkshake in Oakhurst, we finally made it home around 9:00.