Tag Archives: Back Country Camping

Sierra Mt High

DAY FOUR OF MT LANGLEY TRIP

NEAR LONE PINE

INYO NATIONAL FOREST

GOLDEN TROUT WILDERNESS

JOHN MUIR WILDERNESS

Activity: Backpacking, Back Country Camping

Horseshoe Meadows/Cottonwood Lakes/Mount Langley: distance 20 miles, elevation change 5,124’, 17 hour duration, rated HARD

Our last day in the Sierra was bittersweet packing up and heading back to civilization. We wanted to get out of the smoky conditions that were stifling the area from the many California Fires ravaging the state. When it was good it was really, really good, but when it was bad it was horrid. We understood that we were not experiencing this location in it’s normal pristine state, but we still saw enough to know that we could hardly wait to get back up in the Sierras and as soon as possible, because this place is special.

The mornings continued to be super nice and amazingly beautiful. This day would be the best yet. Mike had us sampling his barista skills started us out with his gourmet coffee concoction. Pretty fancy for backcountry camping I would say. Craig and Mike were both glad to see that I was feeling much better after a tough day suffering from the effects of AMS high on Mt Langley.

Today we were starting at the most scenic portion from the Cotton Wood Lakes back down to Horseshoe Meadows. Our trek took us beside the still lakes, through the quiet rocky meadows and into the vast forest. On the way up by the time we got past the wooded section everything was gray smoke and unworldly. This last morning it was awe-inspiring to be there.

The mountains, the peaks, the lakes, the woods, and friends on the trail gives you sort of a Sierra Mountain High. The mountains would be calling to us again real soon.

Wow, what an adventure the three of us had. We overcame multiple adversities: The fear of three strikes and your out for Mike, Covid-19 for my buddy Craig, AMS for me, and suffocating smoke for all of us. The struggle added to the accomplishment and certainly to the adventure of it all. There were tough times to face and there were times that hurdle was balanced by stunning, unforgettable beauty. But isn’t that the reason that we were out there? Overcoming struggles by bold experiences in nature… Said another way, “Pursuing Balance Through Adventure“. Please join my friends Mike, Craig, and me for more adventures, and more soul soaring in coming issues. You can do this simply by these actions: FOLLOW, COMMENT, LIKE, and SHARE. Go to the menu and explore many more locations that PBTA travels to. Get your PBTA Merch at SHOP APPAREL. Where there is currently a SPECIAL DEAL going on.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Cottonwood Lakes Trail

INYO NATIONAL FOREST

GOLDEN TROUT WILDERNESS

JOHN MUIR WILDERNESS

Activity: Backpacking, Back Country Camping

Horseshoe Meadows/Cottonwood Lakes/Mount Langley: distance 20 miles, elevation change 5,124’, 17 hours duration, rated HARD

After spending the first day acclimating in the High Sierra’s at Horseshoe Meadows and hiking up towards Cottonwoods Pass, in an attempt to get used to the high altitude, it was time to hit the trail with my friends Craig and Mike. Our goal was to summit Mount Langley. We hiked in approximately 6 miles to Cottonwood Lakes, which would serve as our base camp before the third days planned summit of Mount Langley.

Our outing was in jeopardy due to the CA Fires that were really starting to get out of hand. There were numerous fires burning to our North, but the fire that we were getting the most smoke from was the Kern Fire about 15 miles away. We were going to take it one step at a time and just see how it went. The morning gave us hope as it was clear blue skies, but we were starting to see a pattern that each afternoon brought choking smoke when the wind picked up blowing it over the mountains.

Our hike in was really good. The woods were beautiful, the trail was fun, there were multiple logs to maneuver across babbling brooks. Every so often we were blessed with glimpses of high peaks through the majestic pines. We were joking, and really enjoying the camaraderie of friends on the trail in a special place like the High Sierras. Once we started getting near the Cottonwood Lakes we passed through some meadows. In the Spring time there would be a shallow lake in this area, but not at the end of a dry, hot Summer. It was at this point, in the early afternoon, that we could see the smoke barreling in.

Mike had been on this trek several times and found us a great spot, sheltered, but with views of the lake and the high rock walls of the Eastern Sierra. We made some trail connections reuniting with the nice woman who had some good trails information for me when I first arrived at Horseshoe Meadows. We also met ”Kota”, and young, fit, adventure hungry guy, who had hiked up the Wall to check things this afternoon, just to see the valley filled with smoke and was considering bagging the whole summit idea he had planned for tomorrow. But, after talking to the others he learned about the mornings being okay, smoke wise, and was willing to get it a try. We were all in the same boat. Wait and see what tomorrow brings…

We made camp and Craig and Mike chowed down ‘just add hot water backpacking meals in a pouch‘, while I dined like a gourmet on Peggy Crandall’s Salmon Curry Couscous. Of course, I sampled the fare with my fellow trail mates if for no other reason than to flaunt my trail sophistication. Just kidding, I am usually chowing down Black Beards Trail Chili out of a bag just like everybody else, but I was set up with this fine meal by my sister Peggy. Checkout the recipe by clicking on it, (Bold Green Type Above), linking you to ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure Hiking and Backpacking 101‘. Where you can find a myriad of information including the recipe for this tasty meal.

The smoke had cleared and we had the moon and the stars to enjoy before turning in.

This scene would usually be crystal clear, but with the CA Fires being only 15 miles away the winds started bringing in the smoke early every afternoon.
You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so… get on your way!” — Dr. Seuss

Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion in the next post! Will the dynamic trio scale to the top of Mount Langley and join the 14er Club? Or will there hopes and dreams be dashed on the rocks below as they are forced back, gagged by the thick forest fire smog! Will Mike, Craig and Roger gain the balance they pursue through this adventure?! Find out next week! Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel!

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Happy Trails,

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure