Sunday, January 4. 2009
I've been going through pictures from past climbs and trips, editing them, and hosting them. In this process, I stitched together 4 photos into a panorama. Here is the skyline that surrounds the Titcomb Basin, from the southern end of it. Easily the best place I've ever been in all of my journeys through the mountains.
Monday, December 15. 2008
Tuesday, August 19. 2008
Friday, August 18. 2006
This entry is not only a trip report like my other entries, but a detailed explanation of what happened on Wednesday the 16th of August, 2006. For those on the trip, those that came to my aid, and those who are just downright curious, I write this.
The trip consisted of Ken Larsen, Sean (last name?), Steph Larsen, Slade Knightly, Jason Larsen, Lars Sundwall, Myself, Kevin Larsen, Jeremy Larsen, and Zach Larsen.
We left on the 15th of August from Sandy Utah and headed to the Elkhart Park trailhead just out of Pinedale Wyoming. We got there and began the arduous trek into the back country. After about 9 miles of hiking around 10,000 feet, we reached our first camp at Seneca Lake. We were all tired and ready to sleep. After cooking up some food during a small storm, we noticed that the storm had caused a forest fire somewhere. We considered it, but went to sleep anyway.
I stop here to point out something. I was sleeping on a 1 inch think air mattress in a sleeping bag in close quarters with Jason. This is the usual setup, and I don't say this by way of complaining. I slept for 12 hours straight that night. I didn't wake up in the middle of the night, I didn't hardly stir, I'm sure. This has never happened before. Anyone who has backpacked before knows the true meaning of this paragraph.
In the morning, I felt like I hadn't slept. I got up, ate some oatmeal, got some water and packed up. I was moving slowly, as were Jason and Lars, so the entire group minus the three of us moved off down the trail to the next camp. They figured we would just catch up, as usually we are monsters on the trail. We left about an hour after them. I made it as far as Upper Seneca Lake, and couldn't bring myself to go farther. I was in pain, I didn't feel well, and with each step, I was moving farther from the trailhad. I knew it wasn't smart. I like to play things smart. I could make another day of hiking, but not 4. On top of my logical thinking, I prayed for divine guidance. Nothing in me said to go on. Nothing even said to stay where I was. I had the strong, clear impression of two words: Get out.
I knew I was causing a logistical nightmare and that I would ruin the trip for at least two others, but I could not deny the impression which I received. Jason and Lars went on with haste to find and tell the others and devise a plan of action. I started back down the trail. I wouldn't see them again for 12 hours. I went for a mile and stopped just under the pass to get to Seneca Lake at around noon. I waited there for three hours, figuring that Jason and Lars could get to Island Lake and back by then. We figured Island lake because Ken had stated that we would stop to fish there. When 3:00 rolled around, I knew that I had to get moving if I wanted to get out by dark. At first I moved slowly, hoping they would catch up still, but sped up as the journey went on. Had I known what they were up to, I would have gone full speed ahead from the start. I stopped a few times, but the largest was at Hobbes Lake to filter water. It was the last big chance to get water before the railhead 5 miles later. After Hobbes, I stopped on an outcropping on top of a hill to make a phone call. I called my mom, and explained that I would be hiking out today. I also said that I was alone and didn't know exactly where anyone was, or what they were doing. I also expressed the desire for someone at home to drive up for me, as I wasn't sure I could depend on anything at this point. I also left a voice mail on Jason's phone updating him on my status. As it turned out, he didn't receive the voice mail until he was at Photographers Point, which was my next big stop, where I ate some tuna and tortillas.
I had set my GPS to 'trackback', that is, to follow the trail I had made back to the beginning. It said I had 5 miles left from there to the cars. This was a bit discouraging, as it seemed too long. I started off once again, and didn't stop for more than a minute until I reached the bottom a few hours later. I called this the death march pace. I would either make it where I was going, or march to death. It felt like I was going at least 1 MPH faster than my GPS was saying. The sun was slowly setting in the west, and I made it to the parking lot about a half hour before sundown. I dropped my pack, and I tried to figure out "what now?"
I wandered around the parking lot searching for cell service. I got some patchy service and attempted to call home. I could hear my mom, but I couldn't transmit, so she couldn't hear me. I decided that I had to get through to her, as my call probably just made her more worried. I walked down to the road and talked to someone who was walking around. His name was Adam. He had spent about the last month traveling around the western US alone seeing the sites. We walked to his truck and he drove me down to where I could get cellular service. I called home. My mom said that my dad and brother, Matthew, had started driving an hour ago. I called them, told them how to get to the trailhead from Pinedale, and drove back up to the cars. I rolled out my sleeping bag in the back of Sean's truck, and tried to rest. The night grew darker. More stars and the Milky Way appeared. I never got any sleep, but it wasn't all bad. After all, I didn't have to walk any more. About two hours later, I heard footsteps. I ignored them at first as my cranial artery had been pulsating on my sleeping bag, making the sound of distant footsteps (at a very fast pace, might I add) for hours now. When it wasn't my heartbeat, my breathing had emulated footsteps as well. Nothing could have emulated Jason desperately yelling my name. Desperate, because if I wasn't there, it was all for not.
Jason and lars had been 5 hours behind me (2 at the trailhead, 3 below Seneca). No way had they just gone to island. Sure enough, they had gone all the way to upper Titcomb lake. The next camp for all but those planning to go to the peak. They had hiked 21 miles that day, and it showed, as they were beat. I had been lying down for 2 hours, so I was rejuvenated enough to drive the van. I explained to them that I had people coming and that we should just leave the van and stash the key somewhere, but there was no convincing them. I drove down to service, and called my dad. I told them to turn around, but they had more sense than that. They said to meet us in Pinedale. So, we drive to a gas station, got some fruit loops, milk, and foam bowls, and ate as we waited for them. By chance, they pulled up next to us in the gas station around midnight. We started driving out, and maybe 10 minutes down the road we pulled over to do some relieving. Both for bladders, and my driving. I was just too tired, so I rode with Matthew in his Jeep and my dad drove the van back. It was a good thing they came after all, because all three of us that hiked could not have driven safely.
At a lower elevation, I do feel better. My body is still broken, and I still doubt I could have done the trip to it's apex (Gannett). I don't know why I felt a strong impression to "get out", and I may never know. But I felt it, and I cannot deny it. I do not excuse myself of anything I have caused through my following those promptings.
For Jason and Lars, I apologize for the trouble I heaped on you, and apologize for ruining the trip for you. Though you expressed that you still enjoyed the trip and aren't too angry, I still feel as though I owe more apology.
For Dad and Matthew, I again thank you for coming to my aid. Though, I MIGHT have made it without you, I had no idea what to expect and felt that I should cover my bases. In the end, It was definitely a VERY good thing you were there to relieve me from driving.
For everyone else on the trip, I hope I didn't ruin your time. I didn't want to ruin it, and it seems I didn't. Thanks for your understanding.
Saturday, August 7. 2004
August 2-7, 2004
Amazing experience. Went on a week backpacking trip through the wind river range in wyoming with Jason, his Dad, Ken, and members of his ward Including. Turned somewhat epic toward the end as injuries added up...
Day 1 - Drove from Sandy, UT, to the Spring Creek Park trailhead north of Pinedale, Wyoming. Took the Glimpse Lake trail to a ridge overlooking Fremont Lake and a large portion of the winds. Glimpse lake is a nice little place that would be great to camp at, but we wanted to get more miles that day. We continued on to Little Trapper Lake where we set up camp. We had a bit of trouble getting up the bear bags and it was raining on us, but eventually we (Me, Jason, Ken and Gary) got it up and joined the rest of the group for a nights sleep.
Miles that day: ~7
Day 2 - Thinking back at this day, I can hardly believe it was all in one day. we started off from little Trapper going north past Trapper. a main portion of the group went ahead, but Ken was lagging a bit so Jason and I stayed with him most of the journey. we were supposed to meet up with another group that went in the Trapper Lake trail head, but they were delayed and had sickness so they planned on just staying at Trapper the whole time and not continuing on with us. I got a bloody nose on the trail not too long after leaving and that caused us to have to wait for a minute. My boots still have a few drops of blood (I'm writing this mid-november) on them. We hit Borum Lake and took a nice what seemed an hour long break, as Ken wasn't feeling all too well. I remember the mosquitos being nearly unbearable and I was greatful when the Hail came.The rest of the group at this point was nearing summit lake but took shelter from the hail in a patch of trees. We continued on and met up with someone that they had sent back to find us. We joined them in their shelter and waited for the storm to pass. When it did we all continued on up to Summit Lake. The Summit Lake basin is one of the most beautiful areas I had been up to that point, though to be greatly overshadowed the next day. At this point I decided I needed to get going a little faster to keep my energy up, so from Summit lake and on, I was basically leading everyone. We set camp at Pass lake and enjoyed the sunset alpenglow on Sky Pilot Peak.
Miles that day: ~8
Day 3 - We stareted the day going up some nasty switchbacks trying to enter into the Elbow lake basin. Just before reaching it we stopped at a very small, very gorgeous lake for a snack. At this point we were above treeline, and surrounded by granite slabs and lowlying grasses and bushes. It was like this for some miles afterwards. Upon entering the Elbow lake basin, I was in awe of one of the most glorious places on earth. we traversed across the basin for a pass on the other side. about half way across we met a man from Scottland. He had been to mountain ranges all over the norther hemishphere and said that this was among the most beautiful. I didn't doubt it. upon attaining the pass we had amazing views all around us. We were at the highpoint of our journey, at ~11,000 feet. the peaks around us were at 12,000-13,000 so they still towered above us, even at that elevation. Awesome views of Mt. Arrowhead, Mt. Oeneis, Sky Pilot Peak, Henderson Peak and G-17, a minor peak that I fell in love with at that moment (and just recently, as in the past few days, learned the name of). The majority of the group hurridly ran to Upper Jean Lake as we enjoed the view, and we joined them a few minutes later. We had lunch and fished there for an hour, although we planned on staying half that time, it was too beautiful to leave. I didn't fish the whole trip (it's not my thing), so I spent most of the time staring at G-17, which towered over us on the other side of the lake. I will climb it some day. After a good break we continued down, past Lower Jean Lake, a huge lake, and into the basin that the big water slide is in. At the rim of the basin was one of the most beautiful views I have ever seen. We reached camp and set up for the night. We also met up with another group, including Jason's brother Jeremy, that was with us that had come in Elkhart park, and the rest of the time we would be with them.
Miles that day: ~6
Day 4 - Rest day. Nothing too notworth takes place.
MIles that day: ~0
Day 5 - I halfway love this day and halfway think of it as living heck. It got started off bad as gary (attpeting to retrive the bear bags from a rock crevasse we hid it in, fell in, 15 feet where he hyper extended his knee. Not a good thing to happen while in the backcountry. So we got some first aid (we had a OB/GYN and a pediatrician, and all we really needed was a knee doctor...( I for the life of me can't remember the name)), gave him a priesthood blessing and went on our way. We had origionally planned to go to Hobbes Lake this day, but we thought it would be a bad idea to have Gary rest on his knee s it would stiffen up and make him immobile. So we hiked. most of the group went on as usual, but we Me, Jason, Kena and Jeremy, stayed with Gary to help him out if needed. after long hours of slow hiking with the gimp we neared hobbes lake and we saw a man with a horse and a pack mule coming down. Ken did the talking and asked if there was room for a passenger. The man said in his wyoming accent "well, he can't ride her cause she's crazy" pointing at the mule. so he gave up his seat on the horse and rode the mule hiomself, effectively getting Gary off the mountain. Well, now with gary getting off the mountain we all regrouped at hobbes to plan our own descents. We had to do a car shuttle from Elkhart Park to Spring Creek, so the Plan was for Ken and another driver to book it down the trail and do the shuttle, two of the kids, 14 or so, were supposed to go first, drop their packs and come back to get ken's and the other adults, so they could move faster and me and jason were to help the weaker people. In my opinion they delegated us to the wrong job. Ken beat the kids to the trailhead, and I almost got there at the same time even with my extra trail milage. For I had to shuttle packs back and forth, wasting time, and waiting for people to come from the trailhead to retrieve the extra packs that the weaker people couldn't carry. Eventually we got sick of this and me and Jason took on two packs at once. The main problem with that was balance, which Jason worked out with climbing gear.. I didn't bring any however. I went a mile or so with 2 packs, and jason went 1.5 to 2 with 2 backpacks. This came to and end and I dropped one of the packs on the side of the trail, and made a haul to the trailhead, beating most of the group down. Near the trailhead I saw some of the people that were supposed to haul to the trailhead and come back and help us, finally doing so. I told them to continue past me and get the packs off the trail and from Jason. Upon reaching the trail, I rested, took a drink, kissed the asphalt and 5 minutes later went running back up the trail. after a mile or so it was clear that no one needed my help, so i went back and made hot chocolate on my camp stove while waiting.
Trail Miles: ~13
Traveled miles (going back and forth on the trail): ~20
Total miles: ~41
This was supposed to be a 50 miler, and got really close for a few of us, but wasn't quite. Oh well, it was still awesome and still a pain in the A.
(Page 1 of 1, totaling 5 entries)
Firefox • Konqueror • Safari • Opera
note: Internet Explorer is not supported and may not render the pages properly.